Corktown mobility studios created by tie-up of Ford, Brooklyn tech center
A partnership between Ford Motor Co. and Brooklyn-based tech center Newlab will bring two studios focused on mobility to the Michigan Central campus in Corktown.
Beginning this summer, Ford will sponsor a corporate studio to address macro mobility issues. A civic studio will follow to focus on more immediate mobility issues in the neighborhoods surrounding the Michigan Central Depot, officials said.
The collaboration will be discussed Friday during a live-streamed fireside chat between Julie Roscini, Ford's head of external engagement for Michigan Central, and Newlab CEO Shaun Stewart as part of the virtual Detroit Startup Week.
Newlab will initially operate the studios remotely and could ultimately be a tenant in the Book Depository building which sits on the Michigan Central campus, said Ford spokeswoman Christina Twelftree.
It has been two years this month since Ford Motor Co. announced it had purchased the long-vacant iconic train station that will eventually house 5,000 workers, including 2,500 from its mobility team. The first workspaces are expected to open at Michigan Central in 2022.
Newlab’s studio model creates a network of entrepreneurs, engineers, experts and inventors from across cities, regions and industries.
The studios will involve the city and state’s existing community of incubators and accelerators while attracting talent and capital from outside the region, officials said. Newlab has a community of 155 startups.
"Our studio model will support the overall development of Michigan’s startup ecosystem, making the pie bigger for everyone and helping local startups to stay, grow and thrive here," said Shaun Stewart, CEO of Newlab.