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Business incubator space opens in Sibley building


High Tech Rochester has a new name: NextCorps. And this morning, the organization officially opened its new business incubator space in Sibley Square (the new name for the Sibley building).

High Tech Rochester has operated out of temporary space in the Sibley building for the past  few years while its new space was under construction. The organization owns all 40,000 square feet of its new facility; Sibley Square is otherwise owned and under development by Boston-based Winn Development.

The $24 million NextCorps space includes private offices and suites, wet labs for biotech companies, 3-D printing capability for prototyping, conference rooms , a roof deck, an auditorium, common areas, a kitchen and cafeteria area, and a game room.  And the startups have access to mentoring, legal, financial, and accounting services to help them develop and grow. Current businesses include an optical device maker, companies that develop health care-focused apps, a company that makes shipping logistics software, and a company developing desktop-sized monitors that are collapsible and portable.

Since the facility occupies the sixth floor, it got the old Sibley's department store Tea Room. The area wasn't in the best of shape before construction, but now it's been converted into a bright and airy co-working space.  There are lots of desks, some rolling whiteboards, and some private office spaces fashioned out of what used to be the men'' and ladies' lounges. The main room kept the old bar, too. As I took a quick glimpse around the place this morning, I shot a few photos of the converted Tea Room. They're attached as a slideshow.