Business / Jobs

BankNote becomes home to business incubator

Renovated space in the BankNote Building now houses a new business venture for entrepreneurs.


The BankNote Building, Hunts Point’s brick behemoth where money was once minted for countries around the world, is now headquarters for entrepreneurs who will try to earn their fortunes.

The Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator opened in the century-old former fortress of finance on Garrison Ave. in January, becoming the first city-funded business incubation venture to open in the Bronx. Eventually, up to 400 entrepreneurs will be able to set up shop in one of the center’s 180 workspaces.

The businesses will have 11,000 square feet of conference rooms, classrooms and common space in which to create and kibitz over ways of becoming the next Steve Jobs.

“The BankNote building is the perfect place to foster this type of innovation in the Bronx,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the January 9th ceremony to inaugurate the new venture, and added that “Allowing entrepreneurs to rub shoulders and share ideas, in an environment that’s affordable enough to let them turn those ideas into action is a key part” of diversifying the city’s economy.

Tenants will be offered some flexibility to keep them from overcommitting scarce resources. They can rent virtual offices for as little as $99 per month, while renting a desk for $275 and co-working stations for $195.

“This new business incubator will offer start-ups and entrepreneurs in our borough the opportunity to grow at a reasonable pace, creating jobs without heavy overhead costs that can often stunt a new business’ early growth,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Sunshine is the eighth incubator to be established across the city, as part of a 2009 mayoral initiative. Sunshine Bronx officials say they will have nearly 50 entrepreneurs sharing the massive space within the next three months. Candidates are required to undergo an interview with Sunshine Suite’s managers, and are expected to present an action plan with a three-month timeline for achieving stated business goals.

“Creating a climate where small businesses and entrepreneurs thrive is essential to innovation and growth,” said Jim Corgel, general manager of an IBM academic program that has signed on.

“IBM is excited to help university students from the New York City region develop their skills and innovations to improve our cities and communities as part of the SmartPitch competition.”

Tenants will also have frequent networking events with other incubator tenants from around the city, along with mentoring, coaching, up-to-date technology and other business services.

Entrepreneurs interested in obtaining space at the Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator should call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov.

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One Comment

  1. SteveBolton says:

    Interesting how this Bronx Incubator project portrays itself.

    I have been working in this building for weeks now. In fact, I have the pleasure of working in the “Sunshine Suites” on the second floor. The space is lined with beautiful windows that lets in all the light. Hence, the issue at hand. Along with the light, comes the heat. There is NO air conditioning. It is like sitting and working in a glass greenhouse. The air hangs heavy and the heat is oppressive.

    The management has been contacted. Each time a new excuse arises. First, it was that the air conditioning is not put on until after Memorial Day. Well, the holiday came and went. The end of this past week has been the most unbelievable. Now, they are awaiting a part to repair the a/c units.

    It is bad enough that there is VERY minimal cleaning of the rest room facilities, emptying of garbage, etc. BUT the heat is incredible.

    The idea of getting great use of an old building is being displaced with frustration and incredibly bad working conditions. There is a pregnant woman at the other end of the floor. I can’t even imagine how she is able to stay. Management was contacted and windows were open on both ends of the floor and people were told, “this will create a cross draft.”

    Not impressed. Not happy. Management seriously does not respond to the needs of its tenants.

    Think twice about renting space and make sure you get very, very clear rental agreements.

    I’m contacting OSHA and 311 today to see if they can give impetus to do something.

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