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180 new jobs not 'quirky' for Schenectady

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The Capital Region has claimed as its own Edison, Steinmetz, General Electric...and now Quirky.

“GE and Schenectady gave the world electricity, the first television broadcast, the steam turbine, and dozens of other transformative inventions,” said Quirky Founder and CEO Ben Kaufman. “We can’t wait to set up shop here and be a part of that history. We’re really excited to join this community–which continues to be a world leader in technology and manufacturing–and continue Schenectady’s tradition of innovation.”

The New York City-based Quirky is coming to Schenectady, a town with one of the most storied invention histories in the United States.

According to the company, Quirky makes invention accessible by bringing real people’s product ideas to life. To take ideas from pipe dream to consumer product, an in-house team of designers and engineers collaborate with Quirky’s online community on nearly all aspects of development. Anyone can make their mark by submitting a problem-solving idea or weighing in on others. And when a product is sold, Quirky shares its revenue with every community member that had an impact.

Founded by Ben Kaufman in 2009, Quirky’s products can be found at The Home Depot, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Amazon.com, and its own Web site, Quirky.com.

Quirky will occupy two floors at the Center City building at 433 State Street, and plans to create 180 new jobs in downtown Schenectady within the next three years. “We are continuing to see companies build and expand operations across our state which means more jobs and economic growth in Upstate New York,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “Quirky’s decision to build a new office in Schenectady means hundreds of jobs for the area and increased business activity in the region. I am pleased to join with our local partners in helping this New York City based company expand to other parts of our state.”

Quirky was founded in 2009 with the mission to make invention accessible. Since then, Quirky has commercialized 150 products invented by real people. In 2013, Quirky teamed up with General Electric to develop a co-branded line of app-enabled products dreamed up by the global Quirky community. Together, Quirky and GE have created five smart products–including the newly launched Wi-Fi-enabled Aros air conditioner–and will continue to introduce products to the connected home marketplace.

Quirky plans to begin operations in Schenectady in May, and is now recruiting new employees for the office. To apply for a job, visit online or attend their upcoming career fair on Thursday, April 3rd from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the Key Hall at Proctors Theater on 436 State Street.

With a nod to the past and the Facebook-driven world of social media, Quirky promises a new perspective on American-made jobs.

Dave Balog teaches financial basics to Schenectady families. dbalog99@gmail.com. 355-0967.

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