Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of the new global headquarters of Bak USA LLC (Bak), one of the inaugural businesses in START-UP NY. The high-tech company, which is one of the first American firms to produce own-branded electronic tablets, is located at Compass East and covers 10,000 square feet of space on the top floor of the former site of Sheehan Memorial Hospital at 425 Michigan Avenue.
“Today, we celebrate the grand opening of Bak’s new global headquarters in Buffalo, as well as the company’s investment in our community and residents,” said Governor Cuomo. “Thanks to our innovative START-UP NY initiative, Bak’s electronic tablets will be ‘Assembled in Buffalo’ and businesses and jobs will continue the growth and development that we have achieved for Western New York’s economy over the last four years.”
Kenneth Adams, Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner, said, “Today is a very exciting day for Buffalo as we celebrate the grand opening of the new global headquarters of Bak, one of the first businesses to join the Governor’s ground-breaking START-UP NY initiative. Bak is helping us create jobs and grow our economy, goals that we have pursued from the beginning of our administration and that START-UP NY has succeeded in achieving in a very short time. “
Howard Zemsky, incoming President , CEO & Commissioner said, “Governor Cuomo’s economic development efforts, including the game-changing START-UP NY initiative, are delivering significant results in Buffalo and throughout New York. Bak’s decision to open its new global headquarters here is the latest example of the Empire State’s ability to attract businesses and jobs from around the region, country and world, and I look forward to the company’s success in the Queen City.”
Bak, which committed to creating 100 jobs in Buffalo in the next year, began training its first employees last month, already has produced more than 500 electronic tablets, and expects to create 80,000 devices in 2015. The company currently produces two models of its tablet, ranging in price from $100 to $140. One model is Wi-Fi only, while the other utilizes 3G data connections. A 4G model is in development.
“Today is a celebration of a dream come true for Bak USA and our twenty members of our company ‘family,’” said Ulla Bak, co-founder and president of Bak USA LLC. “In just six months, we’ve achieved so much and are creating the jobs we promised to Buffalo. I would like to express my deepest thanks to the START-UP NY program for making it possible for Bak to be part of Buffalo’s high-tech transformation. These connections are invaluable to cementing our social entrepreneurship model here in Buffalo and expanding it globally. I’d also like to say ‘thank you’ to all the local government and non-profit entities, as well as the countless individuals who have made us feel so at home here in Buffalo.”
Bak’s co-founders, Danish attorneys and entrepreneurs Ulla and JP Bak, are basing their Buffalo business on their work in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. There, the couple established Sûrtab SA, in Port-au-Prince, training workers to produce devices with the dual goal of providing well-paid jobs for local residents and affordable, durable electronic tablets that bridge the educational digital gap.
As part of its efforts, Bak will engage SUNY Buffalo engineering students in a senior design course that will provide students with hands-on experience and help the company advance product development and efficiency. The company also intends to collaborate with the School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership on social entrepreneurship programs and activities.
BNE recently recruited respected filmmaker, John Paget, to create a video that captures “A Day in the Life of Bak USA.”
Entry image courtesy of Bak USA