Bronx Business Tech Incubator is back, and at your service

Lehman College is holding space for small local businesses


Lehman College’s Bronx Business Tech Incubator celebrated its facilities reopening this past Thursday after the pandemic shut things down 3 years ago.

The incubator, which was started in 2015 with funding from the City Council and the Bronx Economic Development Corp., helps support technology-related businesses or businesses utilizing technology very heavily in their operations.

Their mission “is to help startup companies and entrepreneurs to build successful companies, which in turn creates more job opportunities and drives new innovation and technology development in the Bronx.”

The incubator is hosted in the CUNY on the Concourse facility, with roughly 26,000 square feet and healthcare labs, computer labs, classrooms, testing centers, and many other facilities.

Jane MacKillop, who is the dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, heads up the incubator.

MacKillop elaborates on the cause for celebrating a reopening.

“We wanted to celebrate the full opening of the off-site location of CUNY on the Concourse by drawing attention to all that it offers and expanding the number of businesses that are served there,” she said. “That was the purpose of the launch, opening it up to the community, the small business community in the Bronx and lower Westchester.”

MacKillop believed the school is responsible for bridging the gap between the college and the Bronx community. “We work to do all sorts of outreach and recruitment both for the college and in workforce development,” she added. “We’re very much engaged in economic development.”

Previously the incubator has utilized local officials, word of mouth, flyers, newsletters, and neighboring agencies to spread the word about its services. They are now hoping that this event, along with their old methods, will broaden the public’s knowledge of the space. Included in the agencies they used to help get the word out are the Economic Development Corporation, Bronx Chamber of Commerce, and Business Improvement Districts — especially the Fordham Road Business Improvement District, noted MacKillop.

One of the success stories coming out of the incubator thus far is from one of Lehman’s own graduates.

SciGence CEO and Founder Vicente Navarro is a current member of the Bronx Business Tech Incubator. His company is a startup in the technology and virtual reality space. Navarro has been working with the incubator since the company’s start in the summer of 2020.

Navarro explained his company is currently focused on STEM and healthcare paired with virtual reality.

“Our goal is to really change how education is consumed,” he said. “Education is very analog, very tethered to a classroom. We believe that needs to change. We’re actually talking about training for example in chemistry laboratories, biology laboratories, nursing laboratories where students have to go in and practice and train in certain skills. Our platform will put that in virtual reality into train anytime anywhere.”

Navarro learned about the incubator while attending Lehman College. He said, “the incubator ran the program where essentially I learned how to program for virtual reality. So, I was very closely aligned with the school and the program itself.”

SciGence is only using the shared office space at this time because the higher-tiered membership is too expensive for his company at this time. However, Navarro is grateful for both the informal and formal meeting spaces provided at the facility as he has been able to meet with his team and with potential clients in dedicated professional spaces which has been very helpful to his work.

Currently, Navarro is in discussion with the small business advisor available through the incubator as he is looking for grant opportunities. He said that the advisor has been helpful in directing him to free resources and he often utilizes the counseling resources at the incubator.

There are four varied tiered membership options available to businesses looking to join. Tier 4 costs $495 a month and provides a fully furnished private office, five employees are granted use to the membership, eligibility for two interns through their program, and all the benefits of the lower tiers. Tier 1 is completely free and provides unlimited virtual business advising, support for business planning, a mailbox, a dedicated address, and access to in-person and virtual events.

“Space is at a premium in New York City,” said MacKillop.

To learn how to join the incubator and take advantage of the resources available, business owners can visit the center’s website at

The incubator is home to 20 different businesses at varying tiers. The facility can only house about five tier 4 businesses. But it finds with the different tiers it can receive a variety of businesses and applications.

Overall, MacKillop believed they could house 30 small businesses on various membership plans.

Lehman College, incubator, business, technology, Jane MacKillop, SciGence,