Audible has launched a new series of business attraction efforts designed to help innovative companies join Audible in Newark. Companies with founders of color or female founders are particularly encouraged to apply and can access relocation assistance, capital for new leases, and stipends for employees to live and shop locally – an extension of Audible’s successful Live Local Program.
Audible’s business attraction efforts target startups with at least 10 employees, at the seed or Series A stage, and which are looking to expand or relocate to Newark. The program aims to leverage Newark’s data infrastructure, boost local spending to preserve and create jobs, address high retail and commercial vacancy rates, and accelerate the growth of the city’s innovation ecosystem.
The business attraction efforts will also facilitate leasing opportunities at buildings in Newark’s Harriet Tubman Square, such as 33 Washington Street, 550 Broad Street, 494 Broad Street, 540 Broad Street and 536 Broad Street. Six companies in the tech innovation, hospitality, and entertainment sectors have already joined the program and will be expanding or arriving in Newark. Four new tech startups have leased office space in 550 Broad Street, while Newark Culture Club is opening at 12 Halsey Street, and Harlem’s BLVD Bistro will open a second location in the mixed-use space at 33 Washington Street – all located in Newark’s newly created burgeoning arts and innovation district adjacent to Harriet Tubman Square and home to Audible’s headquarters.
“Audible has worked to catalyze the city’s revitalization, from our decades-long work with Newark high school interns, to the Covid response program Newark Working Kitchens which has delivered more than 1.5 million meals and helped to support more than 37 Newark restaurants,” said Aisha Glover, vice president of Urban Innovation for Audible’s Global Center for Urban Development. “We’re proud to be creating economic opportunities for the growing innovation sector, local businesses, workers, and residents to thrive. Our startup attraction efforts are leading the way in this resurgence by thoughtfully and equitably growing the tech and innovation ecosystem, empowering diverse founders and supporting the local economy.”
“This innovative pilot program is another scalable model that can be adopted by other companies seeking to make an impact in the cities they call home,” said Audible Founder Don Katz. “It is gratifying that since moving our US headquarters to Newark and the launch of many efforts to impact and accelerate positive change, that so many Audible employees are drawn to work at Audible because of our People Principles, which includes our stated commitment to the people and city of Newark.”
ABF Creative, Gymble, co:census and Fitnescity are among the first four businesses to receive startup attraction packages from Audible. Each will lease office space in 550 Broad Street and join Newark’s burgeoning tech scene, which has been blossoming over the last decade to include Aerofarms, 1Huddle, MindRight Health and other innovative companies.
ABF Creative is a multicultural kids and family podcast network and production company, founded by Newark native Anthony Frasier, that joins Audible in the audio and podcast industry.
Gymble (pronounced gym-bull) is a fitness app, founded by three athletes from Charlotte, NC, that connects communities to facility rentals, personal training and fitness experiences. The all-in-one platform helps fitness facilities and entrepreneurs market to their customers and manage their bookings more effectively.
co:census is a collaborative, cloud-based workspace for urban planning and design teams to learn, plan, create, analyze, and work together as they conduct research projects and community engagement.
Fitnescity is a consumer health startup that gives consumers easy access to wellness tests, along with personal analytics, while allowing local clinics to reach more consumers. Designed to make health and wellness testing convenient and accessible, Fitnescity partners with local clinics, labs and leading healthcare providers across the country to provide wellness tests.
Newark is home to a strong technology sector led by Audible, and which includes HAX Capital, Panasonic, and WebMD. As one of America’s smart cities, Newark is home to 26 miles of underground municipal dark fiber that delivers 10-gigabits-per-second speeds at prices far below those of other cities.
550 Broad Street will also be home to Melba’s 550, a second location of the revered comfort food destination Melba’s Restaurant in Harlem. Fidelco, a Newark-based developer and property owner, has led the cutting-edge renovation. Overlooking Newark’s newly renamed Harriet Tubman Square, the neighborhood is within walking distance to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, robust public transit with access to Manhattan in under 20 minutes, and area restaurants including Swahili Village and Marcus B&P.
Audible’s efforts to attract new businesses and tenants to downtown Newark include collaborating with community stakeholders to transform iconic spaces, like 33 Washington Street, into hubs for local businesses. Small businesses and retailers at 33 Washington will sublease from Audible and be eligible for its new business support offerings, such as stipends for rent and mentorship. Nina Cooke John, the architect and artist behind the new Harriet Tubman monument in Tubman Square, will also lead the building’s redesign into a mixed-use space that is engaging for anyone who lives, works or studies in the Tubman Square neighborhood.
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