NYC Media Lab Launches Program to Fund Notable Media Startups

September 28, 2015

12:30 pm

NYC Media Lab, a consortium of New York City university and major media and tech companies, announced the launch of a new program called Combine – an initiative aimed at supporting and growing high-potential media startups from faculty and students at the city’s universities. A grant pool of $250,000 will be made available in the program’s first year (2016) and is provided by funds from the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and through NYC Media Lab’s various corporate members.

Applications for NYC Media Lab’s Combine program are now open and will remain open until 11:59 ET on Tuesday, December 1st 2015. Teams made up of 2-4 people are expected to apply, with a specific focus on products, services, or technologies that will advance the future of media and communications. Whether that’s through the application of artificial intelligence or machine learning, to renewed approaches to video and social media, the Combine program looks to advance initiatives aimed at the future of media.

“The mission of NYC Media Lab remains the same as at its inception: to build a program of engagements between institutions of higher education and the digital media and communications industry to encourage the next generation of talent and technology innovation in New York City,” said NYC Media Lab executive director, Justin Hendrix, in a statement. “The Combine will match entrepreneurs and technologists from the City’s universities with expertise from NYC Media Lab’s member companies to build companies that will change the way media is produced, distributed, consumed and monetized.”

The unique media startup incubator will take participants on a three-month program that will include an entrepreneurship curriculum (with an introduction to lean startup methodology), customer discovery and market validation model formulation, and a demo showcase featuring NYC Media Lab member company advisors and potential investors. The program seeks to accept an initial cohort of 5 to 10 companies, each supported by an initial grant up to $25,000 from the Lab.

The NYC Media Lab’s membership includes the city’s top colleges including New York University, Columbia University, CUNY, The New School, and Pratt Institute, as well as top media companies, such as the AP, Bloomberg, the Hearst Corporation, Viacom, NBC Universal, and Time Warner Cable. Participation in the Combine program will expose startup teams with industry mentors from these different institutions to help ensure their projects are prepped for success.

Find out more about NYC Media Lab’s Combine program.


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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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