NYC Media Lab Announces Third Cohort of Startup Teams from NYC Universities

Supported by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, NYCEDC and NYC Media Lab Member Companies, eleven startup teams will complete the Combine program to launch new ventures and commercialize emerging media technologies in New York City

Media Contact: Alexis Avedisian,

Special video: NYC Medusa Lab Combine participants share their experiences. 

NEW YORK —January 22nd, 2018 — NYC Media Lab, a consortium of universities and media and technology companies, announced the third cohort of startup teams for NYC Media Lab Combine, its signature entrepreneurship program to commercialize emerging media technologies from faculty and students at the City’s universities. The program is made possible with the support of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and NYC Media Lab’s corporate membership.

“The mission of NYC Media Lab is to drive engagement between institutions of higher education and the digital media and technology industry to encourage the next generation of talent and innovation,” said Justin Hendrix, Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. “The Combine matches talented entrepreneurs from the City’s universities with expertise from NYC Media Lab’s industry network to build new companies and develop a resilient media entrepreneurship ecosystem in New York City.”
“It’s our pleasure to support the NYC Media Lab’s Combine program for the third year in a row,” said Julie Menin, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “The Combine continues to pave the way for the future of digital media. The strong connections between higher education, and the public and private sectors demonstrate why New York City is and will always remain the global capital of creativity.”

Applications for the Combine opened in September 2017 at NYC Media Lab’s annual Summit, which hosted startups and demonstrations from across the City’s university ecosystem. Following a recruitment process that included networking events with NYC Media Lab advisors and leadership, dozens of teams applied. Ten teams were selected to receive an initial grant of $25,000, and will advance into an intensive, 12-week market validation and customer discovery program. An additional team, selected in partnership with the Taiwan Startup Stadium in Taipei, will join the cohort to explore the opportunity to build its business in New York.

Selected teams represent six of the City’s institutions, with members working in disciplines that range from design and business to engineering and computer science. This year’s cohort has seen a particular interest in emerging technologies like virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the blockchain.

“NYC Media Lab is an important convener between growing industries and academic institutions, ultimately strengthening our city’s economy,” said NYCEDC President James Patchett. “We want to congratulate all who are participating in the third cohort of the Combine. Their work will continue to transform vital industries and help generate quality jobs throughout the five boroughs.”

To mark the third cohort, NYC Media Lab launched the Combine Mentor program to continue building a community of startup founders and corporate innovation executives. Mentors are exposed to the Combine’s innovative startup ventures, and will help teams formulate their MVP pitch and connect to further resources. The Combine’s extended network has aided alumni in finding other program and fundraising opportunities. Alumni companies BraiqGeopipe and Acculis went on to complete the Techstars accelerator program, and 2016 alumni team VidRovr recently raised $1.25 million in seed funding.

At the end of the program, teams pitch at a demo day for NYC Media Lab corporate member advisors and potential investors on Friday, April 13th. Registration details will be made available in the coming weeks.

Selected teams are listed below:

NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
Jesal Trivedi, Jahde Eve, Chaitanya Pattewar

Aduri uses technology and design to inspire more intentional and mindful living.

Taiwan Startup Stadium
Ray Kung, Tinki Cheng, Jeremy Lin

Akohub is building a marketing platform that helps independent ecommerce brands boost conversion rates with retargeting, chatbot, and AI prediction models.

Columbia Business School and Columbia University
Charlie Hanna, Chris Robichaud, Zane Grube

BitRights is a platform for content creators (i.e., artists, journalists, etc.) and institutions to establish a permanent and verifiable record of rights ownership using Ethereum blockchain technology and cryptography.

School of Visual Arts, Interaction Design Program
Yue Yuan, Ning Xu

Brimly is an augmented reality mobile application to help Type 2 Diabetics patients efficiently make better food choices while grocery shopping.

The New School, Parsons School of Design
Vivian Lee, Hannah Ekman, Tong Zhang

With museum demographics becoming less diverse, CurAItor aids museum curators in understanding their exhibits further, and allow them to experiment with future designs.

Music Playgrounds
NYU Steinhardt
Andre Gill, Yilu Guo, Willie Payne, Tyler Bisson

The Music Playgrounds are a web-based platform for young people to express themselves and learn from music of importance to various cultural institutions.

NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
Chetan Hasabnis, Michael Kripchak, Dimosthenis Markopoulos, Nitish Wakalkar

Next-Generation Emergency Systems use an IoT analytics platform, building-installed sensors, and drone-attached modules to reduce operational difficulty by providing real-time situational awareness of structures and person-locative abilities to first responders.

CUNY City College of New York & NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Ahmed Ben Mansour, Salman Siraj, Kevin Navarra

Ouvos is a community based navigation app that allows cyclists to share real time road conditions.

The New School, Parsons School of Design

Courtney Snavely and Jane Mitchell
Ovee is an application that provides women with the necessary tools to take control of their sexual and reproductive health.

Rolling Muse
Cornell Tech and Columbia University

Sasha Stoikov, Sacha Stanton, Paul Heck
Discover music from like minded people with Rolling Muse.

Cornell Tech and The New School, Parsons School of Design

Andrew Mendez, Ran Sun, Tao Wei, Gretta Zhao, Maxime Martin
Spaceplanar is an AR app for event planners to place virtual furniture and re-arrange layouts in real-time in physical space to better communicate and deliver amazing events.

Media Contact: Alexis Avedisian,

NYC Media Lab Combine Hosts Demo Day for Second Cohort

Thanks to everyone who attended Friday's Demo Day for NYC Media Lab's Combine program. A dozen startup teams pitched ideas ranging from virtual and augmented reality to applications of computer vision and machine learning to haptics.

We appreciate the support of everyone who made this program a success, including our sponsors at NYCEDC and the NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, NYC Media Lab's member companies, and friends and mentors from across the NYC media and technology community.

Team pitch videos are now up on YouTube, and are linked for each presentation below. Details about the program are available at

If have questions about The Combine, NYC Media Lab, or if you'd like to be in touch with any of these teams, don't hesitate to contact us at

The New School

Jelena Gregov, Moreno Belic

AWOL is an augmented reality platform that provides easy implementation of content, immersive city tours, and virtual pop-up shops to create site-specific experiences.


Ada Slusarczyk, Chris Lysiuk, Darren Yee, Nick Molinski

An augmented reality mobile application for construction general contractors to visualize 3D designs on-site.

Columbia University

Jie Feng, Svebor Karaman

EyeStyle is an artificial intelligence system that discovers fashion products from inspiring visuals.

NYU & Brown

Christopher Mitchell, Ph.D. and Thomas Dickerson

Geopipe builds immersive virtual copies of the real world automatically for architects and beyond.

City College

Aashna Shah, Elnara Mikhaylova, Revital Schechter, Abhishek Samdaria, Karina Vargas, Christine Mossiah

Gleam is a conversational interface that is using automated text reminders to improve patient retention in community behavioral health clinics.



Mithru Vigneshwara, Roi Lev, Ondina Frate, Joakim Quach

Myx is a prototyping tool for VR and 360 to collaboratively create, share and get feedback on your storyboard and idea - it is the google docs for 360 and VR pre-production and planning.

Pratt Institute - NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Evan Huggins, Aaron Nesser, Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, Caitlin Sikora

Remo is a smart knee sleeve for sports training that helps adjust movement patterns for optimal performance using biosensing and haptic feedback.

NYU - Tandon School of Engineering

Mark Skwarek, Yao Chen, Alice Formwalt, John Pasquarello

Semblance AR lets you make 3D videos of people, places and events with your depth-sensing smartphone and share them with friends and family as augmented reality experiences.

Columbia Business School

George Lamb, Jack Guevara, Todd Wisman

The mission of StreetsSmarts VR is to bring realistic virtual reality simulation training and workforce analytics to state and local police departments.

Pratt Institute

Victor Vina, Lillian Tong, Doremy Diatta, Julian Goldman 

Voice-enabled digital companions for millennials.

Taiwan Startup Stadium

Allen Yu, Sandy Lin, Yu-Yi Chen, Jayson Chiang, Julie Hsieh, Wynn Chen

Toii gamifies your travel experience with AR location-based game.

Taiwan Startup Stadium

Ben Chang, Momo Lee, Pofat Tseng, Cyril Yu

AI personal sommelier who finds the best wine for you.

Visit for more details on the program!