Browse By

Apply for NYC Media Lab’s Combine University Accelerator Program, Deadline 11/12

NYC Media Lab’s Combine university accelerator program turns five in 2020. Launched in the 2016 university season, the program has supported the creation of dozens of companies, with 18 still active within the City’s innovation community. Alumni teams have gone on to raise substantial fundsparticipate in leading programs like Techstarswin pitch competitionslaunch impressive crowd-funding campaigns; and partner with leading civic institutions.

Applications are open for university faculty and students (Deadline: Tuesday, November 12). Teams receive access to many game-changing benefits, including:

  • $10,000 in grants upon reaching key program milestones.
  • A dedicated, weekly curriculum that teaches the lean method, including customer discovery and market validation.
  • A cohort community of like-minded technologists, researchers, and emerging entrepreneurs from across the City’s campuses.
  • Access to world-class mentors who help teams develop partnerships and branch into specific markets.
  • The opportunity to pitch to an audience of 150+ executives and investors at the end of the program.

RSVP here to attend a virtual info session (via Zoom) on Friday, November 8 (12-1PM) to learn more.

Apply: Combine University Accelerator


Supported by Knight Foundation, NYC Media Lab will host News Lab ’20, a participant-led, interactive event for 150 newsroom innovators from across the country. Apply to attend.

New technologies like AI and machine learning can enable new business models; drive new commercial and journalistic partnerships; automate workflows; generate new product concepts and more. But local news organizations are not on a level playing field with larger, more resourced companies that have the engineering and executive structures to implement emerging innovations. News Lab ’20, a new event hosted by NYC Media Lab with support from Knight Foundation, aims to convene local newsrooms innovators who are crucial to telling the story of their communities.

The event will be held early next year (January 24-25, 2020) at New York University in Downtown Brooklyn. Attendees will engage in hands-on working groups and strategy sessions focused on defining the challenges faced by local newsrooms, while working together to imagine possible futures.

Applications to attend are now open. The deadline to apply is Thursday, December 5 (Midnight).

Apply to Attend: NewsLab ’20


Open Calls! Havas and New York Times are currently recruiting for funded programs with NYC Media Lab.

New York Times: Spatial Computing for News Challenge

New York Times is now recruiting university teams to explore the opportunities that spatial computing will create for the future of journalism. From augmented reality to data visualization, photogrammetry, and volumetric capture, spatial computing can support creation tools and workflows for news and content production. If you are developing spatial computing technologies on campus, this is your opportunity to work with the New York Times on an exiting prototyping sprint in Spring 2020.
Award amount: $5,000 per university team
Application Deadline: Tuesday, December 3 (Midnight)



Havas Lean Venture Studio for Retail

Havas is seeking teams to reimagine and build the future of retail. In this prototyping sprint, you’ll build innovative solutions with emerging technologies that will shape new and unique customer experiences, while learning lean processes such as customer discovery and market validation. Havas will provide expert mentorship along the way, and work with you to expose new solutions to select Havas clients in the retail space. Teams will work within several identified trend areas, such as: creating experiences; retail as a place to connect; desire for connoisseurs; and convergence of physical and digital.
Award amount: $5,000 per university team
Application Deadline: Tuesday, December 3 (Midnight)


If you would like to be notified when new open calls are announced, just share your mobile phone number here, and we’ll text you when new opportunities are posted.



New & Noteworthy

NYC Media Lab Summit Recap
NYC Media Lab’s 2019 Summit brought 1,000+ attendees together for 100 demos, 18 workshops and dozens of talks. In this video recap of the event, speakers Yaël Eisenstat of The Center for Humane Technology, Heidi Boisvert of New York City College of Technology (CUNY), and Lab leadership Justin Hendrix and Steven Rosenbaum speak about emerging tech, ethics, community and cutting-edge ideas.

NYC Media Lab’s Combine Alumni Team Canairy is making big moves in the City’s startup community and beyond. Recently, the team participated in many pitch competitions where they were winners and finalists, including the Ginnis Venture Competition at Carnegie Mellon, Scientista Pitch Competition at Harvard Medical School, and MIT Post Hack. In July, Canairy was awarded the Thiel Fellowship, receiving $100K in funding.

In October, NYC Media Lab’s Executive Director Justin Hendrix travelled to Bucharest, Romania to speak at GoTech World 2019. He discussed emerging tech trends like XR, synthetic media, and AI content, and how they will impact business and society to an audience of international executives.

RLab Accelerator is currently recruiting startups. The 12-week accelerator for XR startups includes a residency at RLab in the Brooklyn Navy Yard (from March 9 to May 22) and potential equity investment from Super Ventures. Learn More & RSVP for Info SessionsApplication Deadline: December 20.


Around Town

Collaborative Technology ConferenceNovember 7. This event from City & State New York will showcase how public and private sectors working closely together can innovate, bring new technological and business ideas, and transform the government.

The State of Platform CooperativismNovember 7-9. Who owns our data, our cities, the world? This multi-day event brings speakers and attendees from over thirty countries to meet, co-design, and learn about topics such as worker power in the platform economy, antitrust, misogyny, racism, and ecological sustainability.

All Tech Is Human NYC. November 9. An all-day ethical tech summit with 200 technologists, academics, advocates, students, org leaders, artists, designers, and policymakers. Join for an impactful mix of lightning talks, topical panels, strategy sessions, and tech/humanity art performance.

EMERGNovember 13. This event connects early stage founders together with a community of top VCs, accelerators, innovation labs and technology companies. NYC Media Lab Combine alumni team Aduri will pitch in the Health & Wellness track.

Future ForumNovember 17-18. An all day event for people who work with AI and those who will be impacted by it. The event will convene tech industry gatekeepers, researchers, early adopters, regulators, journalists, activists and skeptics who will work together to demystify AI.

Natural Language, Dialog and Speech (NDS) Symposium. November 22.
This symposium will address areas including dialog systems, spoken and natural language understanding, natural language generation and speech synthesis.



Data ScienceThe New York Times recently published a review of how they are experimenting with recommendation algorithms, and it links to several helpful research papers. The Times is building real-time feeds, specialized newsletters, customizable elements of their news app, and using recommendation algorithms to highlight articles of interest to reader segments. One area of exploration is in contextual multi-armed bandits, which learn over time how people engage with articles, while predicting what will garner higher engagement from readers.

Platforms & PublishersFollowing this timely article from Columbia University’s Emily Bell, we were reminded of this paper about the relationship between technology platforms and news publishers. As part of a multi-year research project from Columbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, the paper assesses the involvement of platform companies in influencing news production, and how newsrooms and publishers are leveraging the platforms for sustainability, growth and workflows.

Data & Ethics. A team of researchers, including Desmond Upton Patton from Columbia University’s SAFE Lab, published a paper on how machine learning and natural language processing are being used to annotate data from social media platforms. Annotation, or the process of providing metadata through the act of labeling language, is key to forming analysis. The researchers set out to determine the level of expertise required of annotators who may be working with data about vulnerable populations, and found that a deeper focus is important.



Reminder: Multiple Open Calls with NYC Media Lab. Faculty, students, and early stage startups should browse through our open calls to explore what’s possible this fall.

NYC Media Lab is hiring an Associate Director of Entrepreneurship Programs. This role will provide leadership and strategic direction for NYC Media Lab’s Combine venture platform and accelerator program. The Associate Director will plan, lead and execute a variety of meetings, events and activities that bring together entrepreneurs in the Combine with the Lab’s diverse stakeholders.

Deadline: November 15: RLab Producer. RLab is seeking a Producer to prepare a special report on the future of human-computer interaction, including VR, AR and spatial computing. This project-based position is ideal for a current or recent graduate student with a background in multimedia journalism and a strong grasp of the digital media sector. Apply Here.
Join three weekly newsletters: On VR/AR from RLab and on Data Science and Corporate Innovation from NYC Media Lab. Subscribe here to receive a pick of useful news, research and industry insights on these topics.
Contact with any questions, comments or tips.
Please add to your email address book or Safe Sender List to ensure delivery of future communications from NYC Media Lab.

Leave a Reply