Affordable Housing Unit with Tech Incubator Comes to Silicon Harlem

January 18, 2017

12:50 pm

For the past 4 years, Silicon Harlem has worked towards making Harlem the tech destination for startups in New York City while building up the local population. The area has established coworking spaces, gained gigabit infrastructure, secured investment capital for startups, and hosted monthly entrepreneur meetups.

Silicon Harlem strives to be part of the solution when it comes to lowering unemployment rates, increasing quality education opportunities, and producing sustainable job growth. And they’re off to a pretty great start.

Clayton Banks, the cofounder and CEO of Silicon Harlem, spoke of their upcoming projects to be housed in an new development in central Harlem. Foremost, it will be an incubator, but it will also offer courses for senior citizens, children, and everyone in between. The curriculum will include basic technology skills and STEM related courses.

We want to be able to utilize the space to increase digital literacy of our residents,” said Banks. “The classes will be for seniors to children. Not just providing a space for them to use a computer.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, according to Harlem Patch, announced Friday that a city-owned vacant lot would be involved in a development project that would include affordable housing units, restaurant space, and of course, Silicon Harlem. The project is expected to create a total of 29 affordable housing units.

The building is still in the development phase, so there are not too many details as to what the incubator will look like and how exactly it will work. However, Banks has plans for the space that include providing a resource for the community to help grow Harlem as a tech hub.


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Chelsea is a journalism student at Arizona State University. She enjoys introducing people to new things, topics and ideas. She has written for Downtown Devil, azcentral and EmpowHER. She is currently the social media chair for her student chapter of National Association of Black Journalists. When she isn’t writing articles or doing homework, she is probably in the kitchen trying a new recipe.