NEWLAB – Hardware Renaissance in Brooklyn

In these days of rising costs, sky-rocketing energy prices and a war in Europe damaging whole supply chains, hardware related startups are feeling the stress. This is particularly true for innovation in the mobility and transport sectors, urban solutions included. That in mind I was stunned to discover NEWLAB in Brooklyn, right next to the ever stunning Manhattan Bridge. NEWLAB is an innovation hub for startups that focus on hardware. It was founded to address significant societal needs by scaling and commercializing emerging technologies and companies. In an old shipbuilding factory at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, young companies are today busy building the future, welding machines, 3-D printers etc. included. Time for me to take a closer look.

There is a conviction that the future of manufacturing and industrial employment in urban areas lies at the intersection of design, technology and physical products. Bringing innovators and cities together in meaningful ways, creating a powerful network of entrepreneurs – this is NEWLAB.

NEWLAB is an inventor’s playground. Its base couldn’t be more dramatic. The location dates back to 1902 and served as the primary machine shop for every major ship launched during World Wars I and II. Today, NEWLAB includes more than 900 entrepreneurs and private-public partnerships all under one roof.

Urban tech is investigating urban problems and provides innovative solutions for cities to become smart, for its inhabitants to come along. As the US yearns for its industrial heartland, the future of manufacturing now takes shape in Brooklyn. How good is that?

Technical innovation right in Brooklyn, this fosters a new mindset for young professionals creating a deeper understanding for urban solutions. Mobility becomes the living testimony for a smarter city, technology and hardware in harmony. New types of E-Bikes are generated and delivered into practice in record time.

A great example: CLIP - a powerful friction drive which delivers smooth power on demand to make any urban commute easy. As E-bikes are expensive and get stolen a lot, here is a device that you simply detach from your bike to carry it inside? Mobility device - made in Brooklyn.

Born in Brazil, Raised in Brooklyn and made in Detroit: Vela Bikes has a truly international heritage since its invention in 2012. In 2022 Vela Bikes took a step back and started a new chapter in Brooklyn while establishing itself as a premier global design-focused e-bike brand. Borrowing from the Portuguese word for ‘sail or candle’, Vela represents ‘natural movement and power’.

How did I get here: obviously by bike! Bike Sharing provider Citybike offers thousands of stationed bikes and e-bikes across Manhattan, Brooklyn and nearby Williamsburg; there are several of these stands around the Brooklyn Navy Yards making the two-wheelers the favorite means of transport for entrepreneurs and visitors alike. Smart urban mobility in practice, this is the new NYC in 2023.