Daria Siegel is Director of the Alliance for Downtown New York’s Hive at 55, the largest coworking facility in Lower Manhattan. She helped launch the Hive just over two years ago. Since then, the Hive has attracted hundreds of members while helping businesses develop and grow. In this video, Daria describes all that the Hive has to offer.
Archive for the ‘Hive at 55’ Category
The Hive’s main purpose is to support and promote our community of entrepreneurs, freelancers and startups as they grow their businesses. What better way to do so than to have them interviewed on a local news program?
I joined Hive members Rajiv Roopan and Tom Conlon on ABC’s Up Close with Diana Williams this past weekend. After relaxing in the green room for a few minutes, we headed to the studio. Diana asked us about life at the Hive, and we spoke about collaboration and members working together. Rajiv and Tom also talked about their startups, and Diana asked them some great questions about their work. Diana couldn’t have been nicer; she really put our nerves at ease!
The experience was topped off when we bumped into Kelly Ripa in the hallway. Star-struck, we all said “Hiiii!” in unison, and she kindly said hello back. The time we spent at the ABC studio won’t be soon forgotten, and the experience was made possible simply because we all call the Hive “home” during the week!
For a year and a half the walls of the Hive have remained colorful, yet bare. We always hoped to have local artists display their work, but the bare walls just seemed to feel less naked over time.
But last winter, convening on a cold night at Frank Gehry’s IAC building for an event sponsored by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, I had the opportunity to meet some artists who participated in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council‘s inaugural Artists Summer Institute. We immediately hit it off and decided that the Hive would be the perfect venue for an installation by the participating artists of the ASI program.
Now, several months later, the Hive is celebrating the installation of more than 20 pieces hung throughout the space in an exhibit entitled, The Balance. The name refers to the tenuous balance between the creative process and the practical issues of economic sustainability, an experience common to artists and small-business owners alike. More than 100 friends joined us for our opening celebration on October 26 and enjoyed not just the fixed pieces on the walls, but several video installations displayed in the conference room as well as numerous interactive pieces, including spoken word and a human earthquake!
The installation will be up through February and I encourage you to come by and enjoy it. Viewing is available to the public Monday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM. Contact information on the pieces is available if you have questions or wish to make inquiries.
Holly Landau is a sought-after presenter, facilitator, and motivator on such topics as leadership, diversity, innovation, and workplace relationships. She draws from her experiences to inspire others to think creatively and strategically. She is the featured leadership expert in the American Express Open Book on Leadership; the CEO and founder of Landau Leadership, a management consulting firm; and a partner in The Shift Group, an innovation firm. You can find her leadership training brochure here. She spoke with us recently about Learning from History, scheduled for June 25 at the Hive at 55, 55 Broad Street.
What inspired you to curate a TEDx event?
I was so inspired when I first visited the TED.com website. I saw people from all walks of life speaking on such varied topics—and they were all interesting to me. I was then asked to speak at a TEDx in Princeton. Soon after I applied for a TEDx license to hold my own event, hoping that I could create some of the inspiration for other people.
Why the theme Learning from History and why TEDxBroadStreetNY?
I’m inspired by the history, architecture, and stories of downtown Manhattan. Sometimes people see the newness of the skyscrapers and forget that this is where it all began for New York. I thought that the theme Learning from History could remind us that there are stories in these streets. In fact, Jacqueline Langholtz from the Seaport Museum is going to speak about that very topic—Mapping Manhattan: Downtown Streets and Stories. Broad Street itself and the surrounding neighborhood is rich with history. We can explore some of these stories at our event.
What can an attendee expect from the day?
Attendees can expect compelling speakers, great conversations and the opportunity to network with like-minded curious folks. One of my favorite things will be the conversations throughout the day. We’ve planned plenty of time for attendees to discuss their reactions to the speakers and topics. The speakers themselves will be available for these discussions too. We thought we’d host a sort of historical break in the middle of our program, so we’re offering a modified “afternoon tea.” Before we enjoy the tea, tea historian Marjorie Wilkov will talk about the history of tea. One of our sponsors, GlobalFashionBrands.com, is hosting a cocktail hour at the end of our program, so there will be more time to network and share thoughts about the speakers.
Tell us about some of the speakers. Is there a speaker you’re particularly excited to hear?
Of course, I’m excited to hear all of the speakers. When I curated the event, I tried to strike a balance between speakers who will share historical stories and facts and those who will share personal histories. We’ll have Jennifer S. Wilkov sharing her personal history as a Riker’s Island inmate, and Michele Mattia Melis sharing her personal story about witnessing the events on 9/11 from one block from Ground Zero. Will Corrente will talk about the rewards of failure and Malcolm Arnold will share insights about using the old-fashioned apprenticeship model to teach technology in his social entrepreneur projects. The New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly will talk about Cultural Codes and The New Yorker Cartoon and Melanie Stiassny from the American Museum of Natural History Museum will share some lessons we can learn from ancient fish.
How can people get tickets for the event?
You can click here for a $75 ticket. The ticket includes the four-hour program, the afternoon tea, and the reception with cocktails and appetizers. I’d also encourage you to join our Facebook page here. That’s where we’re sharing a lot of our event information and hope to continue the conversation after the event.
Any future plans for more TEDx events?
I’m glad you asked! I’ve already been considering a few possible TEDx themes that could be interesting and inspiring—like The Art of Technology, Survival & Renewal, and Words. Stay tuned.
It’s always wonderful to watch Hive Member Businesses grow and thrive—and recently, I’ve seen some major success stories develop.
Over a year ago, Jason Richelson came to the Hive with an idea that stemmed from the frustrations of owning a small neighborhood wine shop. He set out to build a simple and fast point-of-sale system that relied on the Internet, providing store managers access to the “back office” from any location with web access. The result is ShopKeep.com, which now also boasts an excellent iPad cash register!
Since arriving at the Hive, Jason has used the facility for his launch party and hired other Hive Members for freelance work. But he needed more space after he hired two full-time employees. As a result, ShopKeep.com leased the office suite directly next to the Hive.
Battery Park City resident Bill Aurnhammer has a similar story. He came to the Hive seeking an office close to his family for Aurnhammer LLC, a mobile marketing and advertising company. Over the months, the business grew and he added more employees.
At the Hive, Jason and Bill rented offices next to each other. When Jason decided to rent the office next to the Hive, he considered finding a co-tenant for part of the space. Bill and his new employees were a logical match. So now Suite 13G houses two small businesses incubated at the Hive.
Meanwhile, in early 2010 as the Hive scheduled more weekly events, we hired our Evening Manager, Dan Robinson. When we met Dan, he excitedly talked about the startup he was working for—a mobile app for NYC commuters called Roadify. Sure enough, Roadify went on to win the NYC BigApps competition earlier this year. With the cash prize, Roadify is our newest startup company, and it is nice to have more familiar faces in the room!
Long story short: The Hive is a dynamic place where exciting opportunities can arise. While some startups grow up and leave, new ones are arriving all the time.
By Brian DiFeo, Hive at 55 Community Manager
Yes, it’s been more than a year since the Hive at 55 opened its doors in Lower Manhattan as the only coworking space in the neighborhood. We recently celebrated our first year with a great group of people. We invited our members and friends as well as our sponsors – NYC’s Economic Development Corporation, our landlord (Rudin Management), and of course, the Downtown Alliance. Over delicious food and drinks, around 60 people escaped the slushy weather to mark this special occasion.
The Hive is a shared workspace for independent professionals, and while there is plenty of collaboration and networking among our members, there is nothing like a party to get them chatting. Current and former members mingled with event organizers, sponsors, and others who have supported the Hive over the past 12 months. It’s always great to see two people getting to know each other who wouldn’t have otherwise met – especially because it often leads to business opportunities and job leads!
One highlight of the night was listening to the remarks of our sponsors. We are truly thankful for their support and we wouldn’t be what we are today without them. There really is a lot happening in New York City’s startup community, and we’re glad to be a part of it!
By Liz Berger
New Year’s is a time to consider the past and make resolutions for the future, a time of reflection and dreaming, reckoning and optimism. I’ve resolved to finish the books on my nightstand, learn how to make pie crust, and work out (this has been at the top of my list for too many years but this time I’m serious).
I also spent time as the new year approached reflecting on the past, present and future of Lower Manhattan—and when the clock struck 12 on New Year’s Eve, I raised a glass to all of us who live Downtown and made a simple toast: We’ve arrived.
When the Downtown Alliance opened its doors in 1995, commercial vacancy rates approached 20 percent, companies that had been downtown for 100 years were leaving, and the streets were getting dark, dirty and empty at night.
Today Lower Manhattan’s 55,000 residents have joined the more than 300,000 people who work here every day and nearly six million annual visitors to create a new kind of central business district, a thriving, round-the-clock neighborhood with 1,050 restaurants and retailers, eight museums, and nine public schools—with one more on the way.
For 16 years, our job has been to advance Lower Manhattan—through programs, service, research and advocacy—as a global destination of choice for companies, workers, residents and visitors.
Here is how we do it:
We make daily life better now. The Downtown Alliance provides Lower Manhattan with supplemental sanitation, public safety, transportation, and homeless outreach. We started a public art program that turns construction sites into canvases and launched a co-working facility that offers affordable workspace to freelancers, entrepreneurs and startup companies. Today the neighborhood is one of the city’s cleanest and safest. Our sanitation staffers bag trash at all hours in all kinds of weather. Our public safety officers are the district’s eyes and ears, continually patrolling the streets, checking in with businesses, and providing friendly assistance.
We support Lower Manhattan’s businesses, employees and residents. We brand, market and position Lower Manhattan to investors, commercial tenants, shoppers, visitors and people who live and work here. We promote local retailers and restaurants all year long in print and on the web, with special emphasis on holiday shopping and summer cultural activity. Our research department produces business reports, market research documents and special publications such as our 2010 Survey of Lower Manhattan Residents. In addition, every year, we produce and distribute two million tourist, WiFi, and Downtown Connection maps, shopping and dining guides, residential living and retail investor brochures, and other printed materials.
We think about the future of Lower Manhattan. A half-century ago, David Rockefeller and his contemporaries proposed the creation of Battery Park City, the World Trade Center, the South Street Seaport, and countless other public/private partnerships, as strategies to sustain Lower Manhattan as a globally competitive central business district by encouraging the growth of a vibrant, mixed-use community. His legacy of business activism through visionary planning has inspired our work to keep Lower Manhattan a destination of choice for many years to come.
Lower Manhattan has been an active, vital and innovative center of urban life for more than 400 years. Our resolution is to keep it that way for (at least) 400 more!
—Liz Berger is President of the Downtown Alliance
It’s hard to believe, but the Hive at 55 is now 6-months old. Yesterday, we raised a glass and celebrated this anniversary with friends, partners, and members that have supported us along the way.
We have partnered with countless organizations and had hundreds of individuals walk through our door and join our community. It’s been amazing to become a resource for the many small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers in New York City.
The Hive is definitely “on the map” when it comes to the greater technology and startup communities.
The celebration started at 6 PM, just about the time when our members start to wrap up their day. With drinks supplied by The Greene Grape and delicious food from Harry’s Italian, we pushed “play” on the stereo and let the fun begin!
We saw so many familiar faces: a mix of current members, Meetup organizers, friends of our community, and even some new folks who have been supporting us from afar. A women-based entrepreneur club was even discussed to empower the women of the Hive!
You can check out some of the festivities at our Flickr page. More than 100 people attended the party, including more than 20 members of our co-working community (some even brought their kids!).
The Hive will continue to evolve based on the people who work here. Their personalities and professional needs, as well as their input on programming and events, are what make the Hive a special place to do business. We look forward to celebrating our first year with everyone and seeing what changes are made in the next six months!
Where are you from and where do you live now?
Born and raised in NYC. Proud resident of the Downtown Financial District since 2002.
Name of Company?
What is your job title?
President and founder of Virtuos Consulting Group
What industry are you in?
Digital marketing and promotion services.
Describe your occupation
Virtuos is a full-service digital marketing and promotion firm that serves the needs of small-to-medium-sized businesses. We provide advertising, marketing and promotion services that help companies meet the demands of the digital age. Our services include web site design, iPhone app development, search engine optimization and social network promotion.
How long have you been working at the Hive?
To date, three months.
Why do you work at the Hive?
I think the Hive is an excellent resource for our company. Because many of our employees and resources are spread out across the United States, maintaining a physical presence is sometimes an unnecessary full-time cost. Having a place to hold meetings, conferences and brainstorm collectively as an on-demand resource is simply invaluable.
What do you like about working at the Hive?
There is something about being in a room of creative, focused and motivated people that drives you. If you are willing and motivated, you will find other people who work at the Hive with similar interests and needs—making the Hive an excellent resource for vertical integration and relationships.
What days and hours have you generally been here?
I usually work at the Hive about three days a week during the afternoons on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
How has your business or work style changed by working at the Hive?
I treat my visits to the Hive as a welcome change in my work day and work week. It allows me to focus on being productive in a quiet, yet warming, environment. I am always genuinely surprised how much work I am able to complete every time I work out of the Hive.
How do you think your business will improve or grow from working at the Hive?
I hope to get to know my Hive-mates better in the up and coming months. In my experience, building strong relationships with talented people is the key to success. From my short time at the Hive, I’ve met some really interesting and smart people doing some great things.
What’s your favorite thing about Lower Manhattan?
Living here in the area for almost a decade, I’m so excited to witness the growth of a community filled with diverse food, entertainment and culture. Lower Manhattan has always been a great place to work but it’s getting to be a great place to live.
All the subways are a stone’s throw away, the rent is cheap(er), and if you know which streets to avoid on the weekends—tourists are everywhere—it’s pretty quiet and calm for a city that never sleeps.
Where do you go to lunch when you’re at the Hive?
Ten places to eat lunch (in no order)
Do you have a hidden talent or secret hobby?
I am a Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner and train at the Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Midtown. I hope to compete in this year’s Pan Am world championship. I speak English and Chinese fluently. I am currently studying and have a conversational knowledge of Russian and Arabic.
What’s your favorite band, TV show, or movie?
Favorite Band: Tribe Called Quest
TV Show: MacGuyver / The Wire / Breaking Bad
Movie: The Godfather I and II. III doesn’t exist.
Is there someone in your industry who you admire?
I admire anyone who has taken an idea and turned it into a reality. Whether it has failed or succeeded financially, sometimes the payoff of following your passion is incredibly rewarding in itself. I am constantly surprised how financial success usually finds its way of tagging along.
Fun fact you want to share?
Diehard fan of the Yankees, Celtics, University of Michigan [GOBLUE] and anything Team USA.
The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of parties, celebrity sightings, student promotions and good old-fashioned collaboration.
On May 12th, Mayor Mike Bloomberg visited the Hive to witness part of his “Media2020” campaign in action. The Mayor spent over an hour here, meeting with member companies, taking a tour of the facility and speaking with reporters about the success of the Hive and the technology industry in New York. It was a very exciting day, to say the least.
From my perspective—in the back of the room behind all the cameras and flashes—I gained a great appreciation for this man’s job. Throngs of reporters follow him around, and while talking about the NYC tech industry, he had to answer questions about oil spills, politics and the economy. I was exhausted just watching.
Speaking of big names coming to the Hive: Just last week we celebrated the launch of ShopKeep.com, and amid all the music, food, and drinks, John Legend paraded in to say hello to a friend! He was with his girlfriend, Chrissy Teigen, and the two of them mingled for 10 minutes before heading out to their next party. No, his appearance didn’t make it onto Page Six, but it was nice to meet them both!
Later this week, after the submissions are reviewed by the judges, the Hive will announce the winner of the Tech in Residence Student Competition. We are happy to engage and support the student community and be a part of the next generation of startups and entrepreneurs. The submissions were all excellent and it was really cool to see how many students have started their own companies. The winning team will get free space to work on its company here at the Hive for the summer. For all other students, we have some exciting discounts on our website.
Last, I wanted to update you about collaboration among our members. The Hive makes an effort to ask its members: “What do you need?” and “What can you offer?” Through this approach, we’ve set up members with new jobs and had other members collaborate with each other. For example, a friend of the Hive asked if we had any web designers. Two days later, this person was sitting here working with one of our members on her website. Meanwhile, a marketing company in our building asked if we had any app developers. Just a short time later, a member told us that he signed a contract with that company. Along with these two big examples there have been a number of other instances, and there will be many more to come.
Collaboration, exciting visitors and outreach to the technology and media communities in NYC are what make life at the Hive so much fun. If you haven’t been here yet, come on by and check it out!
More photos of the Mayor’s visit can be seen on our Flickr page