Meet our new Next Round cohort

Our incubator program for seed-to-Series A startups brings in 9 new companies, plus 5 old friends from our Catalyst program. Read why we’re excited about our newest cohort, which takes on AI energy optimization, F&B distribution, ML in healthcare and finance, and more

We’re excited to announce the newest cohort of our Next Round here at the NYU Tandon Future Labs. The incubator program offers startups the resources needed to get to the next phase of growth through top-flight benefits and expertise, and we have a powerful community to help, including Orrick with legal hours, PwC with accounting assistance, NYU faculty in residence, and a 10-year network of mentors, investors, companies, and partners. Our startups have thrived — in the past year alone, our portfolio saw street-intelligence platform Carmera raise $20M and cloud-computing platform Paperspace raise $13M, to name just two highlights.

The New York tech entrepreneurial landscape is a vibrant one, and the selection process for our programs is never easy. This time was no different. We are humbled by our applicants, and the debates over how — and to whom — we could be of most use were heated. The Future Labs team is proud to announce our 9 newest Next Round members, who will join 5 outstanding companies from our Catalyst program.


Founder: Eric Litman 
aescape is a robotics company building intelligent and highly personalized wellness experiences designed to give people better relationships with their bodies. By combining body science, machine learning, and computer vision in their products, aescape aims to significantly improve quality of life. “Advances in robotics are enabling orders-of-magnitude improvement in healthcare,” says Steven Kuyan, Future Labs managing director. “With an exceptional team of engineers, researchers, and serial entrepreneurs, aescape is poised to create an impactful suite of products. We are excited to be a part of bringing their vision, still in stealth, to reality.”


Founder: Paul Hurley and David Manela
Exactius offers a growth marketing platform that includes tools and a benchmarking dataset to enable world-class performance marketing. It provides market analysis, business model design, and go-to-market execution to help companies scale faster. “About 10 years ago, Sean Ellis coined the term growth hacking, and it’s had a profound impact on the marketing mindset,” says Steven. “Unfortunately, successful growth strategies are trade secrets that are rarely, if ever, shared. Massively scaling customers is an elusive knowledge gap now being filled by Exactius, which is taking some of the best strategies and turning them into tools for industry-wide adoption. We’re pleased to support a company that itself is supporting the growth of ventures large and small.”


Founder: Ruben Torrado 
OriGen has built an AI platform to predict and optimize real-world industrial-sized applications. Using oil refinery operation as an initial use case, OriGen aims to help its customers make better decisions and run leaner, more efficient operations that saves millions. “While AI has the potential for immediate impact on a number of industries,” says Steven, “OriGen is deploying its technology within industrial-sized applications where small, double-digit impacts are measured in hundreds of millions of dollars.” The startup has already secured Spain’s largest oil refinery as a customer.


Founder: Ari Kassman
Shelfmint is an end-to-end, fully managed B2B food and beverage marketplace: an online distribution platform using mobile and blockchain technologies to optimize the product distribution lifecycle, and enable customers to easily access a community of emerging local and healthy brands. “Shelfmint allows for niche brands to connect with all types of retailers, removing the inefficiencies that create high prices and poor consumer experiences,” says Craig Wilson, general manager of the Digital Future Lab. “It has the potential to promote local business and retailers, and support small brands that are looking to break through.”


Founders: Amy Auton-Smith, Richard Sheng, Laura Sabattini, and Maham Khan
“The topic of increasing diversity in the workplace receives significant attention from companies and the media, but even the most recent data shows little meaningful progress is being made,” says Teal Willingham, general manager of the Data Future Lab. FairFrame is a diversity technology platform and ‘spell-checker’ that helps organizations identify unconscious bias. Built upon behavioral science and AI, the platform flags bias in written communication across the employee lifecycle. “Bias is hard to unlearn, especially in large organizations, but FairFrame’s research-backed platform has the potential to become a powerful new tool in companies’ diversity arsenals.”


Founders: Adel Laoui and Niraj K. Jha
“We may be in the golden age of machine learning and automation, but there is still a vast unclaimed market for deploying meaningful AI applications,” says Teal. “Translating cutting-edge research to real-world deployment of intelligence services has been limited by accessibility to more distributed computing power at the point of use.” NeuTigers is a platform developing the next generation of energy-efficient machine learning applications to enable end-to-end intelligent services across cloud, edge devices, and sensors.


Founder: Sarah Krasley
“Apparel is an industry that hasn’t yet been disrupted by the technological revolution of the past few decades,” says Teal. “But as robots become more sophisticated, over 60M garment workers globally stand to lose their jobs to automation.” Shimmy is a cloud-based platform that uses AI to accelerate conventional apparel design workflows and help garment workers get the digital skills necessary to thrive in the age of automation. Shimmy’s learning software uses game mechanics to teach digital pattern making and 3D modeling, enabling workers to move into higher-paid positions at their factories and helping seed a 3D talent pool needed by apparel brands. The benefit to employers, too, is clear, Teal points out. “Shimmy’s AI-powered software can help fashion companies save billions of dollars by shortening lead times, increasing production capacity, and training workers to meet the demands of the apparel industry of the future.”


Cofounders: Nami Baral and Gabriel Dell’Accio
Bank fees — ranging from high-interest overdrafts to pesky ATM withdrawal fees — have grown into a $100B business annually, and are a massive pain point for the nearly 80% of American consumers who live paycheck to paycheck. Harvest uses AI to identify negotiable bank fees and automate the refund process, and supports most major U.S. banks. “We’ve seen companies across several industries use AI techniques to solve an array of issues; the Harvest team is unique in applying the technology to battle a common yet complex problem,” says Mina Salib, program manager at the Future Labs. “I’m impressed by the team’s focus on eradicating unwarranted bank fees while also having a clear roadmap to scale its technology to other everyday financial challenges. This is an ingenious use of powerful technology that can have true impact on everyman’s bottom line.”


Cofounders: Muthla Alsayer and Anoop Kanthan
omniX’s platform features a combination of computer vision and machine learning that can transform motion captured by cameras into actionable insights for companies. By using existing cameras to connect, analyze, and transform data in real time, omniX helps organizations save costs and define better customer experiences. “Retailers have been using analytics for centuries,” says Mina. “Analyzing data to improve their products is a common practice, but in the past, companies haven’t been able to take advantage of real-time and active ‘presence’ across their spaces. omniX ensures that this 24/7 insight is now a reality.”

Joining the new companies in Next Round are 5 graduates from our Catalyst program for pre-seed startups. We’re proud to welcome Omnirisk (insurance for autonomous vehicles), Skopos Labs (automated predictive intelligence), LandWright (a commercial securities marketplace), (predicting purchase intent for the beauty industry), and TRASH (predictive video editing in real-time). You can read more about them here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Next Round, getting involved as an enterprise partner, or giving back to the ecosystem as a mentor, email us at: We look forward to hearing from you.

Words by Tobi Elkin (

Related posts: Welcoming the first Catalyst NYC cohort