September 27, 2016

The $300K NYU Entrepreneurs Challenge

What do the founders of Pintrest, Seamless, and Twitter all have in common? They all started right here at New York University.

If you can make it in New York, as Sinatra famously sung, you can make it anywhere. And the boom in successful startup businesses over the past few years has certainly proved this. Maybe you want to transform the code you’ve written into a profitable mobile app. Maybe you want to apply your data analytics algorithm for the financial services industry. Maybe you want to use technology to solve a social problem, like poverty, famine, or access to healthcare.

But how can you bring your startup ideas to life? Fortunately, NYU’s $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge is here to help you turn your dreams into reality, and is open to NYU students, faculty, and alumni from all departments, including the Center for Data Science!

Last year, over 250 teams competed, and this year, the number is set to grow. The introductory talk that took place on September 14th attracted so much interest that all seats were taken within minutes of the doors opening.

Given the recent explosion of tech incubators and accelerators all over the world, why and how does this competition continue to attract so many aspiring entrepreneurs? One reason, of course, is that there are lucrative prizes up for grabs: $100,000 for the best New Venture or the most cutting edge Technology Venture, and $75,000 for the most innovative Social Venture.

NYU’s Entrepreneurs Challenge, however, also boasts an especially powerful support network of successful CEOs, Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists, and experienced industry professionals in New York City. All teams have an opportunity to work closely with these talented mentors as they progress through the program’s nine-month journey of workshops, networking events, and development boot camps.

Access to this network is the secret behind NYU’s success in producing entrepreneur after entrepreneur since the competition’s conception twenty years ago. With successful mentors and the unparalleled accounting, legal, and marketing resources provided by NYU’s Leslie eLab, W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab, and Stern School of Business, the time is ripe for aspiring entrepreneurs to step outside the classroom and into the global market.

by Cherrie Kwok