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,

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.


NYC Media Lab