Applications for The Combine university accelerator program are now open across three dedicated tracks. If you’re building emerging technologies on your campus and are interested in forming a company, you are encouraged to attend our upcoming info sessions in advance of your application.

Application Deadline: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 (Midnight)

Combine 2020 Tracks

Health and Longevity Technology

Learn More

Responsible and Humane Technology

Learn More

Human-Machine Hybrid Technology

Learn More

Join NYC Media Lab for Upcoming Info Sessions

NYC Media Lab will host several informational sessions throughout fall of 2019 wile the application period is open. If you are interested in hosting an info session at your university, or if you’d like to request a meeting at your campus, please contact NYC Media Lab with any questions or to discuss your idea. Upcoming sessions will be listed here as they are confirmed. We look forward to meeting you!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 (2:00PM - 3:00PM)
Virtual Session: Attendees will be sent a Zoom link

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 (12:00PM - 1:00PM)
Info Session at NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Location: 370 Jay Street, Room 324, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 (12:30PM - 1:30PM)
Info Session at NYU Leslie eLab
Location: NYU Entrepreneurial Institute (Leslie eLab), 16 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003

Thursday, October 17, 2019 (11:30AM - 12:30PM)
Info Session at Columbia University Medical Center
Location: Columbia University Medical Center, Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center, 104 Haven Ave, New York, NY 10032


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Benefits of joining The Combine

Startup teams participating in the Combine are joining a generous network with NYC Media Lab. The program does not take any equity in startups. There is no fee to participate in the program. Teams are eligible to receive up to a $10,000 startup grant if they complete the program (Phase 1). If the team incorporates into a company, the team is eligible to receive follow-on funding (Phase 2). 

  • Teams receive access to a weekly curriculum. Assignments focus on defining their value proposition, searching for customers and discovering product-market fit. 

  • Teams receive access to a cohort community of other early-stage entrepreneurs. The peer learning experience is invaluable. Teams support and learn from each other. The commitment to the other teams in the program results in the overall success and strength of the cohort. 

  • Teams receive access access to world-class mentors from NYC Media Lab’s network. These mentors are executives who are enthusiastic about the earliest stages of entrepreneurship and they have coached startups to develop partnerships and understand specific markets.  

  • At the end of the program, teams deliver a pitch that tells their story about the big problems they are trying to solve. Startups will share their vision of why their team will succeed with their product in the market they’ve identified. 

  • Teams will be positioned to make a “go” or “no go” decision about continuing, whether through pursuing venture capital or crowdfunding or bootstrapping with customers and partners.


 Faculty and students at an accredited university located in NYC are eligible to apply.

The Team Lead must be current affiliated with an NYC university at the time of application to be eligible.

Teams that have already incorporated into a company entity are eligible to apply, but teams do NOT have to already be incorporated to be eligible. Many teams that join the Combine are pre-company.

 What does the Combine Offer?

Curriculum: NYC Media Lab Combine provides a structured "flipped classroom" curriculum for entrepreneurial teams. The curriculum includes video lectures, "field research" for customer discovery, and weekly presentations that show evidence of understanding of the fundamentals of market validation and business model generation. Combine teams will conduct over 100 customer interviews in the program. Teams will develop a business model canvas in the program.

Community: The cohort-based program is a major benefit of the Combine experience. Teams support and learn from each other. The commitment to the other teams in the program results in the overall success and strength of the cohort. 

Mentorship: Mentors from NYC Media Lab's network of innovation executives, faculty experts, and Combine alumni contribute to the growth and development of the Combine's startup teams. 

Funding: Teams are eligible to receive up to $5,000 in grant funding if they complete the program. Following successful completion of the program, if a team incorporates, the team is eligible for additional follow-on grant funding up to $20,000.

Track: Health and Longevity Technology

Emerging technologies are changing the way we experience healthcare and wellness. New hardware and software products and services are helping patients, providers, and others with personalized and accessible tools to promote health and longevity. From the doctor’s clinic to the hospital operating room, from retail pharmacy locations to personal home care spaces, where is there room for innovation in areas like patient care and wellness, hospital/clinic operations and administration, and healthcare training?

Combine alumni startups working in this area: Retina Technologies, Ovee, Aduri

Track: Responsible and Humane Technology

With technology becoming more ubiquitous, how can we ensure a better future for all? Emerging technology areas such as 5G wireless, VR/AR, mobile edge computing, and camera/IoT sensors have the potential to change the way we interact with each other—but we must undergo deep considerations about their applications. How can we solve challenges in a responsible way in our plugged-in world?

 Combine alumni startups working in this area: Street Smarts VR, Bloc

Track: Human-Machine Hybrid Technology

Automation is top of mind for many large companies and organizations, and there is great potential to achieve business operations optimization and efficiency. How are business workflows going to involve both humans and robotic processes in the future? How can AI, machine learning, computer vision and voice applications help with search, discovery and generation of media?

Combine alumni startups working in this area: Vidrovr, Geopipe

2020 important dates & program time commitment

Friday Cohort Sessions: Unless otherwise noted, Friday sessions will take place from 9:00AM to 12:00 PM at the RLab, Building 22, McDonough Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205. Friday sessions are a priority for all team members to join for the cohort experience. Sessions on Thursday or Wednesday are mandatory for at least 1 team member to join, although it is preferred that the entire team can join. 

  • Thursday, January 9 (9-5pm): An introduction to the Combine and Business Models

  • Thursday, January 9 (6-8pm): Kickoff Reception with Mentors

  • Friday, January 10 (9-5pm): Customer Discovery and Team Planning

  • Friday, January 17 (9am-12pm): Value propositions and customer segments

  • Friday, January 24 (9am-12pm): Competitors and sizing the market

  • Friday, January 31 (9am-12pm): Minimum viable product

  • Thursday, February 6 (9am-12pm): MVP Week – Happy Hour: Mentors & Teams Mixer, Location and Time TBD

  • Friday, February 14 (9am-12pm): Minimum Viable Product Testing and Assessment

  • Friday, February 21 (9am-12pm): Distribution Channels

  • Friday, February 21 (1-3pm): Storytelling Clinic I

  • Friday, February 28 (9am-12pm): Revenue and Lifetime Customer Value

  • Wednesday, March 4 (9-11am): Breakfast with Mentors

  • Friday, March 6 (9am-12pm): Revenue models and pricing tactics

  • Friday, March 13 (9am-12pm): Partners

  • Thursday, March 19th (1:30-3pm): Legal Clinic

  • Friday, March 20th (9am-12pm): Resources, Activities & Costs

  • Friday, March 27th (9am-12pm): Lessons Learned & Demo Day Prep

  • Friday, March 27th (1-3pm): Storytelling Clinic II


  • Thursday, April 2 (9am-5pm): Final Intensive Day Session



Application Deadline: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 (Midnight)

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