2023 saw the return of Make It in Brooklyn meetups and pitch contests. In January and again in November, we gathered champions of Downtown Brooklyn at Ace Hotel Brooklyn for panel discussions at the first Real Estate Tech Breakfast. In June we hosted the Make It in Brooklyn clean energy panel featuring M/WBE founders and professionals from NYC’s clean energy sector.
Make It in Brooklyn programming this year also included two popular pitch contests. The Female Founder’s Pitch Contest saw five bright up-and-coming female-led startups compete, with Meili Technologies taking home the $5,000 prize.
In August, we selected five startups to compete for the $5,000 prize money — this time, with a focus on the use of artificial intelligence for good. The competition was close, but founder Colette Ellis of Libbie Health won for her transformative solutions surrounding mental health in the workplace.
During the summer, we worked with Cornell Tech to deploy “trashbots” under our Living Lab program, which tests experimental tech in real-world environments. The remote-controlled trash cans played a role in a larger study of the ways people respond to service robots in public spaces.
culture + education
Big things happened in the cultural and educational sectors. In January, the City announced that it would invest $20M to build the Brooklyn Navy Yard a Biotech Hub: a 50,000sqft incubator that would provide workforce training and space for industry startups, amongst other goals.
In September, Design Works High School rang in its first semester at 1 Willoughby Square, and The Center for Brooklyn History re-opened for the first time since their merger with Brooklyn Public Library. Meanwhile, renovations are almost complete on the LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theater, bringing new life to the 95-year-old gem at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues. The theater will accommodate 2,600 people at most, and anticipates a spring 2024 opening.