Dec. 19, 2023 By Bill Parry
The new incubator space opened at the Bulova Corporate Center, located at 75-20 Astoria Blvd. S. in Jackson Heights, with two tech companies moving in and taking complimentary office space.
The new office is the fifth to open as part of the incubator program, which was launched in 2022 and aims to help home-grown tech startups thrive. The incubators are located at Queens College, LaGuardia Community College, Greater Nexus in Jamaica, Beach 105 in the Rockaways, and now in Jackson Heights.
“We launched the Queens Tech Incubator program because we know there is no better way to support startups and grow our tech ecosystem,” Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Grech said. “We are delighted to open our third location this year and [the fifth since the program’s inception] and support the companies that will drive the expansion of the tech economy here in Queens.”
The two companies, Zeme Inc. and Chobhar Inc., have already moved into the Bulova Corporate Center venue as part of the program. The program offers them free space for a year; business coaching; networking opportunities; as well as social media and press opportunities.
Zeme Inc. is a startup that has created an all-in-one platform designed to simplify broker and agent workflows, property management, and enable renters to easily manage their current and future homes; while Chobhar Inc. is a pioneering country-based social marketplace for South Asian communities in the United States, acting as a bridge connecting traditional small businesses and freelancers with the bustling digital marketplace.
“Queens is rich in talent and ingenuity, but not always in resources,” said state Sen. Jessica Ramos, who represents the greater Jackson Heights area and is chair of the Senate Committee on Labor. “I’m thrilled to join in on the celebration of this incubator and the inevitable homegrown greatness that will spark from its presence in our community.”
The Queens Tech Incubator is a key initiative of the Queens Tech Council, which launched in February 2021. Members include representatives from Amazon, Pursuit, Google, Facebook, LIC Partnership, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, JetBlue Ventures and Cornell Tech. The Queens Tech Council focuses on building a local economy that embraces innovation and promotes tech adoptions. This includes supporting tech companies in established industries to startups doing cutting-edge work.
“This new location will allow two growing community-based tech companies to access the space and office resources they need to help expand the Queens tech economy,” Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas, who represents Jackson Heights, said.
Startups have to go through an application process to be part of the incubator program. The applications are reviewed and selected by members of the Queens Tech Council.
In addition to access to complementary office space, chosen companies have access to mentorship opportunities from existing Tech Council members as well as resources provided by the Small Business Resource Network.
The Queens Chamber of Commerce represents 1,400 businesses and more than 150,000 Queens-based employees.