The Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation has added nine new companies to its existing roster in the areas of fashion design, home furnishings design, and clean energy technology. The Incubator supports the entrepreneurial talents of designers, artists, and architects – including several Pratt alumni – by providing them with resources to launch businesses. The Incubator is part of Pratt Institute’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research, which is led by Incubator Founder and Director Deb Johnson.
“Pratt has a longstanding interest in the economic development of small businesses in Brooklyn. The Incubator is a direct way for the Institute to help local entrepreneurs develop products and services that create jobs, support local industry, and bring innovative products to market,” said Johnson. “We’re looking to create a diverse mix of creative thinkers that can bring design, engineering, and technology together into an innovative eco-system based on sustainability,” she added.
The Incubator supports its companies with custom-tailored services for sustainable business endeavors. Incubator companies have access to a flexible curriculum in sustainable entrepreneurship mentor-based coaching and work amongst a thriving community of socially responsible entrepreneurs. Since its 2002 inception, the Incubator has supported the launch of 26 companies, has created over 50 new jobs, and has consulted for 15 organizations.
In addition to providing entrepreneurs with access to markets, networks, office infrastructure, training, talent, and capital, the Incubator taps its extensive network to provide sustainable design innovation to businesses and organizations that are seeking ways to improve their products and services in the areas of resource use, ecological impact, health, and social equity.
As a leading educational institution in art, design, and architecture, Pratt is committed to becoming a role model for art and design schools across the nation by educating students, faculty, and staff on sustainable practices and their role as socially and environmentally responsible citizens, artists, and designers, and by integrating sustainability into the curriculum and campus facilities management.
The nine new companies are listed as follows.
Eko-Lab is an ethically and ecologically driven fashion company that employs local artisans and production facilities to create clothing out of social and environmentally responsible fabrics.
Spectrum BioEnergy LLC is a renewable energy and waste management venture focused on next generation biogas — cutting-edge applications of traditional organic waste-to-energy technology. Biogas technology converts organic waste into organic soil nutrient, and a high-energy and clean biogas that can be used to supplement natural gas, generate power, or create renewable transportation fuel.
Pliant Energy Systems LLC explores novel methods of extracting energy from moving water and developing mechanisms for dam-free hydrokinetic electricity generation and self-powered irrigation pumps for use in developing nations.
Frank Millero Studio was founded by sustainable design consultant and educator Frank Millero. Millero works to design and develop home products and to implement design strategies and develop marketing messages in socially and environmentally responsible ways.
ReMADE USA is a design company that upcycles used materials to make one-of-a-kind bags and home accessories. The company’s vision is to design desirable objects out of discarded materials, which diverts waste from landfills.
Holstee offers practical and sustainable alternatives to everyday products. In addition to designing the products, the company has begun to curate products from like-minded designers and share them with the community through their website.
Life Cycle Solutions was founded with the goal of eliminating energy waste in buildings. The company offers efficiency consulting services and is currently developing Web-based software to encourage the implementation of efficiency projects and improve their continual performance.
designing hope is a socially and sustainably-minded design firm that consults with companies and non-profits to create social impact. In addition, this firm designs sustainable products that help to create awareness and positive change.
Dargelos creates flexible accessories and garments to encourage bicycling in the city. The refined designs unite a minimalist aesthetic with safety, practicality, and durability.
The three existing companies are listed as follows.
Alder believes a garment should not only be aesthetically interesting, but should also have a quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail that customers will appreciate. Alder’s designs are minimal and essential, but still playful, and always a little unexpected. Alder strives to be as sustainable as possible, and to make informed decisions about materials used.
Domestic Aesthetic offers consumers affordable home products that adhere to environmentally and socially responsible standards.
Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology (SMIT) connects and provides for people in pursuit of a zero footprint lifestyle by creating a rich portfolio of products and a dense network of relationships.
For more information on the Incubator and on the companies listed above, please visit http://incubator.pratt.edu.
Clockwise from L to R: B. Pietro Filardo of Pliant Energy Systems, Incubees from reMade USA and Eko-Lab, Shannon South of reMade USA, and David J. Krause from Alder. All are at work at the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation. Photo Credits: Jonathan Weitz