15 Best Startup Incubators in NYC

Benjamin Debonneville
Founder & CEO
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New York City, is buzzing with people eager to bring their business dreams to life. It's a place where a great idea can grow into something unique, especially with the proper support.

That's where startup incubators come in. They're like greenhouses for fresh business ideas, providing the essentials: connections, cash, and know-how. In the Big Apple city, these incubators are everywhere, turning the city into a playground for new businesses.

In this guide, we'll explore some of the best incubators in NYC that can help turn your startup dream into reality.

Startup Incubators and Accelerators (Basic Differences)

Most people get confused when it comes to startup incubators and accelerators. Many think both are the same but there are some basic differences between them:

So,  before we dive into the details of the best incubators in NYC, let's clear up the basic differences between startup incubators and startup accelerators:

  • Venture Stages: Incubators are similar to helpful grown-ups who guide you from your first idea to when it starts to look like a real business. Accelerators are for when your business is already up and walking, helping it run faster.
  • Founding Team Setup: If you're flying solo with a business dream, incubators are your go-to. They're cool with just you and your idea. Accelerators, though, want to see a team ready to zoom ahead.
  • Funding and Equity: Both might give you some cash to help your idea grow, but they'll likely ask for a slice of your business pie in return, usually between five to ten percent.
  • Timeline: Accelerators are like a quick, super fun summer camp for your business, lasting just a few months. Incubators are more like your favorite long-term class, supporting you for up to five years.
  • Getting In: Getting into an accelerator is tough; you've got to show them you've got a small business already making waves. Incubators are easier; just your big idea and passion are enough to start.

15 Best Startup Incubators in New York City

New York is on track to become the next big hub for startups, brimming with tech geniuses, artists, and loads of eager customers, all in a city that's always up for business.

Here are the top 15 startup incubators in NYC, the city fast becoming the new Silicon Valley:

1. WeWork Labs

WeWork Labs, headquartered in New York,  isn't just a place to sit and work, it's a nurturing ground for fresh startups. Since 2010, WeWork has been creating spots where work feels good and productive.

It's a place that fits everyone, from one-person startups to big companies. With over 700 locations, you can find a space that feels just right, close to home, or in the heart of the city.

WeWork Labs goes beyond just giving you a desk; they connect you with people who know the ropes, teach you new tricks, and introduce you to others who can help your business soar.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Tech Innovators: Ideal for tech startups eager to disrupt the market with fresh, groundbreaking ideas and products.
  • Fintech Pioneers: Perfect for financial startups crafting new tools to make spending and saving smarter and more accessible.
  • Empowering Women's Ventures: A supportive hub for women-led startups aiming to make a significant impact in their industries.

2. AlleyCorp

AlleyCorp is where big tech dreams take shape in the heart of New York. It's not just an incubator; it's a creator of companies.

Kevin Ryan, a big name in the city's internet world, started AlleyCorp to turn new ideas into big deals. They've had a hand in starting well-known companies like MongoDB and Business Insider.

AlleCorp doesn't just fund startups; they get deeply involved in making companies from the ground up. They’re in it for the long haul, from the very first idea to the exciting day of going public.

With a focus on tech, healthcare, robotics, and social goods, AlleyCorp is on the lookout for 49 new ideas to invest in and grow.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Tech Pioneers: AlleyCorp is on the lookout for startups that are reshaping the tech landscape with innovative ideas.
  • Healthcare Disruptors: This incubator champions startups dedicated to revolutionizing the healthcare industry with smart solutions.
  • Robotics Innovators: If your startup is programming the future of robotics, AlleyCorp wants to help build that future with you.

3. TheTechGarden

TheTechGarden is a place that helps new companies grow by giving them what they need, like money, a place to work, and people to learn from. It isn't just growing; it's becoming a favorite place for people who want to build something cool.

With The Tech Garden's help, there's a tech buzz around town, with drones flying and apps being made. They've got a big building right downtown where tech folks can find a spot that's just right for them.

Whether you're making something on your own or with a small group, they've got space. They even have a theater and a spot to hang out and eat.

Plus, they give out grants to help you start and grow, from $10,000 to even $150,000, depending on how far along your idea is.

Best Suited Startups:

  • App Innovators: Dreaming up the next big app? The Tech Garden has the tools and support to help your app idea flourish.
  • Hardware Developers: For those inventing new gadgets, this incubator provides the perfect launchpad for your hardware dreams.
  • Tech Entrepreneurs: Any tech-focused startup will find a home here, with resources for everything from software to the latest tech craze.

4. Fordham Foundry

Fordham Foundry is a place at Fordham University, NY where students, alumni, and local entrepreneurs can get help to make their business ideas come to life.

They offer a space to work, advice from business experts, and classes on how to run a business.

To apply, you need to have a good plan and know how to make money from your idea. They like to work with businesses that want to make money and do good things for the world.

The Foundry is part of the big city's business community and helps people start and grow their businesses with programs, and connections, and even offers up to $25,000 for businesses started by Fordham students and alumni through the Fordham Angel Fund.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Mission-Driven Ventures: Businesses that want to make money and make a difference.
  • Innovative Thinkers: Startups with fresh, smart ideas to solve today's problems.
  • Fordham Family: Companies started by Fordham's students or alumni, or connected to the university.

5. 25madison

25madison is an incubator for startups, helping new ideas take off and grow strong. Since 2017, they've been the sidekick for businesses just starting out, giving them the cash and know-how they need to get bigger.

25madison is all about teaming up with fresh companies, especially those thinking up new tech, figuring out finance, or shaking up healthcare. With a team that's seen it all, they've got over 200 years of know-how in making big things happen.

They've helped smart software like Eon, which reads X-ray words, and Keragon, which lets you do techy health stuff without being a tech whiz.

Plus, they've got Kouper Health, which makes leaving the hospital smoother. They're the folks you want in your corner when you're ready to make waves in healthcare and beyond.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Healthcare Innovators: Startups aiming to make health care smarter and more caring fit perfectly with 25madison's vision.
  • Tech Game-Changers: If your startup's playing with new tech that could change the game, 25madison is interested.
  • Fintech Creators: For those who are reimagining the finance world, 25madison has the expertise to elevate your startup.

6. Long Island High Tech Incubator

The Long Island High Tech Incubator helps new tech companies in their early stages. It's a space for new companies where they get the right tools and care to help them bloom.

This place has helped over 70 companies since 1992, and these companies have gone on to do great things, like creating jobs for more than 500 people and adding billions to the economy.

LIHTI has special programs for clean energy and are buddies with Stony Brook University, which means they get to use some really smart ideas from the university to help businesses.

Plus, they have a big building with lots of rooms and labs for making cool stuff, and they're always ready to welcome more tech companies to join their garden.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Tech Innovators: Startups that create new gadgets or software and love to solve tricky tech problems.
  • Clean Energy: Companies that want to make energy that's good for our planet, using the sun, wind, or other smart ways.
  • University Brainiacs: Teams that use brainy ideas from university research to make new things or services that help people.

7. RSV Venture Partners

RSV Venture Partners offers one of the best incubation programs for new tech businesses. They find smart people with bright ideas and give them the tools, advice, and a team to help them soar.

Based in New York, they have a special eye for tech geniuses from Russia, where they find lots of brainy folks ready to start something new.

They don't just hand out money; they share wisdom, teach the tricks of the trade, and even help make friends with investors. RSV knows that a good mentor can make all the difference like a coach picking the right plays for the big game.

RSV is all about ensuring that the fresh tech teams have the best start, from picking a cool name to planning how to make money.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Tech Trailblazers: Startups with fresh tech ideas that can make a splash are just what RSV Venture Partners is looking for.
  • Russian Innovators: If you're a brainy bunch from Russia with a tech dream, RSV is ready to help you make it real.
  • Mentorship Seekers: New businesses hungry for guidance from top dogs in tech and business will find a home at RSV Venture Partners.

8. Future Labs

Future Labs stands out in New York's startup scene as a creative force for digital ventures with big potential. Established in 2009, this incubator partners with major corporations to craft and nurture tech innovations that have the potential to redefine markets.

With a keen focus on sectors like AI, cybersecurity, and healthcare, Future Labs is committed to fostering ideas that scale rapidly and have a significant impact.

Future Labs is the place where technology meets ambition, resources meet innovation, and startups are positioned to make a meaningful difference.

Future Labs has helped more than 30 tech companies that have expanded their reach globally, proving their effectiveness in guiding tech ventures from local players to international frontrunners.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Tech Game Changers: Startups poised to disrupt with cutting-edge technology, especially in AI and cybersecurity, find a perfect ally in Future Labs.
  • B2B Pioneers: Enterprises aiming to lead the B2B digital space receive the tools and support to excel from Future Labs' expertise.
  • Visionaries Going Global: Startups with sights set on global markets benefit from Future Labs' extensive international network and growth strategies.

9. Rose Tech Ventures

Rose Tech Ventures, established in 2001, is a beacon for visionary entrepreneurs aiming to make a significant impact. At its core, it's an early-stage investment fund and incubator, committed to cultivating world-class ventures.

Led by the renowned David S. Rose, Rose Tech is not just an investment fund; it's a supportive community for startups with the potential to change the world.

With 42 investments and 12 exits, it's a testament to their commitment to growth and innovation.

Located in the heart of New York, Rose Tech Ventures is the go-to place for entrepreneurs with the drive, expertise, and leadership to create groundbreaking enterprises.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Innovators in Tech: If you're making cool new tech that could change how we live, Rose Tech is interested.
  • Health Helpers: Got an idea to make people healthier? This is a place that can help you help others.
  • Real Estate Revolutionaries: If you have a fresh take on houses and offices, Rose Tech Ventures could be your new best friend.

10. Waldencast

Waldencast is a New York-based incubator with a creative space for new beauty and wellness brands. Started in 2018, it's where good ideas grow into great products that care for people and our world.

With eight investments and one successful exit, Waldencast is all about building brands that have a heart and a mission.

Waldencast helps brands stay true to what they believe in, while also helping them to grow big and strong. Notably, it has propelled its vision forward with a significant $1.2 billion business combination, marking a milestone in its growth journey.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Purpose-Driven Brands: Startups that blend beauty with a mission, aiming to improve the world in style.
  • Innovative Wellness: Waldencast assists companies in creating new wellness products that help people feel good inside and out.
  • Sustainable Beauty: Brands with eco-friendly products that care for the planet as much as for beauty.

11. The Tech Garden

The Tech Garden in New York is a place where people with big ideas for new tech stuff—like apps or gadgets—can get help to make their ideas real.

They give you a space to work, money to get started, advice from smart people, and special events to learn more.

It's part of a bigger group called CenterState CEO, and they make sure you get what you need, whether it's just a desk or the whole package to grow your business.

Tech Garden has been doing this for over ten years and is really good at it, so much so that other places copy what they do. If you're starting something techy and need a boost, this is the place to be!

Best Suited Startups:

  • Tech Whizzes with Fresh Ideas: If you're dreaming up the next big app or gadget, this is your launchpad.
  • Go-Getters Ready to Grow: Got a tech business that's just starting? They'll help you make it bigger.
  • Innovators Seeking Smart Advice: If you want to learn from the best in tech, they've got your back.

12. NYU Tandon Future Labs

NYU Tandon Future Labs is a network of innovation programs for new businesses in New York City. They have special places called incubators that help young companies grow in areas like clean technology, smart cities, and even helping veterans start their own companies.

They've been doing this since the big money troubles in the early 2000s to help the city's business world get stronger. With NYU's help, they give these new companies the special attention they need.

Since founded in response to the financial crisis of the early 21st century, NYU Tandon Future Labs has helped over 200 companies get really good at what they do, and these companies have created more than 3,200 jobs.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Clean Energy Ideas: If you're inventing new ways to power the world without pollution, they're your cheerleaders.
  • Tech Trailblazers: Got a brainy idea in computing or AI? They'll help you make it real.
  • City Innovators: If your startup makes city life smarter and better, they're the perfect match for you.

13. RSE Ventures

RSE Ventures is an incubator and a private investment firm made up of builders, innovators, partners, and founders for small companies, especially those into sports, fun shows, cool tech, and shopping stuff.

They've turned a soccer idea into a huge event and made a drone race the talk of the town. They also help restaurants become everyone's favorite place to eat.

If you're starting a company that's fun, sporty, or all about the latest gadgets, RSE could be the perfect helper for you!

Best Suited Startups:

  • Sports Innovators: Startups aiming to hit a home run in the sports world catch RSE's eye.
  • Show Creators: If you're dreaming up the next big entertainment hit, RSE could be your spotlight.
  • Tech Trailblazers: For gadget gurus or app creators ready to change the game, RSE offers a launchpad.

14. Human Ventures

Human Ventures is a New York City incubator that starts and grows companies to make life better. They believe in people first, investing in brave founders who dream big.

They're not just investors; they're builders, dedicated to fostering growth, courage, and innovation. Whether it's health, work, or consumer goods, they back ventures that promise a brighter, easier future.

Since 2015, they've invested in 28 companies, with 4 big wins. Human Ventures is where bold ideas meet the grit to make them real, all in a space that buzzes with creativity and the drive to make a difference.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Health Innovators: Startups focused on new health and wellness solutions to improve quality of life.
  • Work Revolutionizers: Ventures aimed at transforming the future of work for better productivity and satisfaction.
  • Daily Delight Creators: Companies making everyday consumer goods that bring happiness and ease to routines.

15. Chobani Incubator

The Chobani Incubator is a place that helps new food businesses grow by giving them money and advice without asking for a share in their company.

Started by Hamdi Ulukaya in 2016, it's all about making food better for more people. They've supported 47 companies, creating jobs and raising over $200 million to improve how we eat. The incubator also connects these companies with over 200 mentors.

Chobani is proud to have a diverse group of founders, with many being women or from minority groups. They love working with different kinds of people who want to make food that's good for you and the planet.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Food Fixers: Startups that have smart ideas to make our food system better and healthier for everyone.
  • Earth Lovers: Companies that care about our planet and make food in ways that don't hurt it.
  • Community Helpers: Food businesses that want to make sure all people, even those with less money, can eat well.


New York is brimming with startup incubators that help early founders' dreams grow. They give advice, help, and sometimes money to help ideas become successful businesses.

If you have a business idea, these places can help you make it big. Your idea could be the next big thing that everyone loves. Keep thinking of great ideas and working hard – your big chance is just around the corner!

Benjamin gave great tips to my start-up Blend for polishing and optimising my pitch deck, refreshing perspective. Recommend!