LaunchPad Huntington opens for startup companies

Harry Scheiner, left, and Tristan Valentino, programmers for Harry Scheiner, left, and Tristan Valentino, programmers for the startup company, eGifter, work at their desks as the opening of the shared work space, LaunchPad Huntington, is celebrated Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

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Another effort to nurture startup companies on Long Island has launched.

LaunchPad Huntington, a co-working space on Main Street, officially opened its doors Wednesday.

The space will offer desks and offices for startups to rent, with the goal of building an entrepreneurial work environment that can nurture creativity and collaboration. The Huntington space is part of the LaunchPad Long Island brand -- the original LaunchPad co-working office opened last year in Mineola.

The Suffolk LaunchPad is being backed by Tyler Roye, who has already moved into the space his own startup company, eGifter, which provides a mobile platform to sell, buy and send electronic gift cards. A majority of LaunchPad Huntington's 8,500-square-foot abode consists of open space with desks, augmented by two conference rooms and three offices.

"It was a bit of a journey and took a couple more months than I hoped it would," Roye said. "Now we're in we'll forget about those extra months and move forward."

Huntington Village, with its walkable downtown and social environment, has been widely talked about as a promising location for Long Island entrepreneurs to congregate. LaunchPad Huntington has been approved to receive up to $140,000 in tax breaks from Suffolk County.

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"I think this is the moment when all the folks who've been trying to build the ecosystem have been converging toward," said Mark Lesko, the executive director of Accelerate Long Island, an organization launched in 2012 to bring together entrepreneurs and promising research in order to build new companies locally.

Although three startups were initially confirmed as anchor tenants for the Huntington space, only Roye's eGifter remains after one company was sold and another decided to stay in its current location.

Instead, Roye said the extra space will be filled with five smaller tech startups he has selected.

Roye said he wants the companies to remain for six to 12 months and grow out of the space into their own offices nearby. To facilitate the effort, he has already begun cataloging empty space available for rent in Huntington.

Startups interested in renting space can apply at launchpadhuntington.com. Desks start at $299 per month.

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