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 Media 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.

2017 NYC Media Lab Combine founders pitched new concepts in a final Demo Day, April 2017.

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 Braiq, Geopipe 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, Hanyu 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,