If you're a design entrepreneur, how do you get started? Design school arms you with design thinking, and hopefully you then come up with good ideas for products. But a good idea alone is miles (or kilometers) away from you running a successful design business. How do you go from eating ramen over a sketchbook filled with unrealized brilliance to eating gourmet takeout with a bunch of newly-hired employees?
NYDesigns is an NYC-based organization dedicated to helping local design entrepreneurs get to the next level. "We believe small businesses are an integral part of New York City's economic landscape and design one of its most competitive sectors," they write. From their headquarters in Long Island City, they provide emerging designers with studio and office space, business and sustainability training, business mentorship, a green materials library and crucially for you hands-on people, a prototyping lab.
Of course, not anyone can just stroll in the door and set up shop. Design entrepreneurs (of any discipline) must apply for acceptance:
We require submission of a working business plan demonstrating projected growth targets for a 3-5 year period. Upon submission of the business plan, you are invited to give a formal presentation to a committee consisting of NYDesigns management, our business consultant and usually a guest from the design community. Inclusion in our resident community depends on the strength of the business plan as well as your perceived contributions to the synergy and community cohesion of NYDesigns.
Should you be accepted, you'll have access to the business wisdom of local successful designers that can help you grow your business. And you can do it from within some sweet facilities:
WHAT YOU GET
- A studio space (sizes and layouts vary) with 11-foot-high ceilings in a converted loft; dimensions and layout vary
- Common spaces free-of-charge: conference rooms, lounge, occasional event space
- Storage space at additional cost
- 2 loading dock bays and a freight elevator
- Fiber optic network and free broadband Internet access
- Phones with pre-negotiated long-distance rates
- 24-hour accessibility and security
A NYDesigns success story was just published in yesterday's NY Daily News. Jamie Clawson was your classic ramen-eating ID grad with six-figure student loan debt. After struggling for years, Clawson was accepted to NYDesigns and managed to get his accessories designs spotted by "American Idol's" Randy Jackson. Click the link to see where his promising story is going, and how NYDesigns helped him get there.
"As a designer, your priority is in realizing your creative potential," the organization writes. "As an entrepreneur, your creativity must challenge the market—and succeed."