NYCEDC hosts Next Top Makers Pop Up tour

Shakeena Julio, 13, shows off the prototype she made with her classmates for a scooter that charges electronic devices while you ride it.
Photo courtesy of Andy Zou / Imagination in Space

Entrepreneurs from the Bronx and around the city gathered at the Bronx Business Incubator on Wednesday, November 12 for a Pop Up event hosted by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

The event at the Banknote building in Hunts Point invited “makers and manufacturers” to network and share their innovative ideas with each other.

One such entrepreneur was 13-year-old Shakeena Julio, who was showing off a wooden prototype for a scooter that charges electronic devices as you ride it with a group of her classmates from I.S. 125. The group is working to get a working prototype constructed in fiberglass.

Julio said the students became interested in building something after learning about inventors a few years earlier.

“I find it fascinating,” she said about the entrepreneurial process. “I never thought I could do something like this.”

The young group also started an online company called Makeosity, which has the goals of taking children’s ideas and making them a reality, said Julio. She came out to the pop up in order to spread the word about the project.

Another entrepreneur was David Lee, founder of KD New York, a company that has managed dance and fitness wear in the Bronx since 1987.

Lee was there to talk about the revolutionary yoga mat he is developing out of a knit material, which he said will provide a better grip for superior yoga poses. While the mat was not ready yet, he brought along meditation pillows stuffed with fabric scraps from his apparel, which will be part of his future yoga line to complement the mats.

Lee thought the business pop up was a great idea.

“It gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to get feedback,” he said.

He also thought the night’s event provide a needed spotlight on the borough.

“People in the Bronx are doing some amazing things,” said Lee.

Other pop up participants included 3DHeights, a 3D printing company from Washington Heights; Wanda Liz Art, a 3D graphic designer from the Bronx; and Vista Wearables, a group of doctoral candidates from City College of N.Y. who are developing an armband for the visually impaired that vibrates as it approaches objects.

The event was part of a five borough series put on by the New York City Economic Development Corporation as part of their Next Top Makers program that encourages innovation and entrepreneurial development.

The pop up is designed to encourage sharing information about resources, said Miquela Craytor, Director of NYC Industrial & Income Mobility at NYCEDC.

“It’s really about community building,” she said.

Reach Reporter Jaime Williams at 718-260-4591. E-mail her at jwill‌iams@‌cnglo‌cal.com.

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