Zahn Blog https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/ en Mon, 12 Feb 2024 09:45:36 -0500 2024 Venture Incubator Cohort https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/2024-venture-incubator-cohort We are excited to be working with these amazing student-led ventures in this year's Venture Incubator and Competition Program! Kaylie Hardware Track BSTS - Better Safe Than Sorry enhances oven safety against fire and smoke from unattended cooking accidents. CarbonCLAIR - improves air quality by filtering carbon dioxide and particulate matter. Flyupav - building inspection company that maintains the structural integrity of building. Tracking Alert Device - TAD is a reliable tracking device that gives parents peace of mind to allow their adolescents to enjoy their independence safely. ZoneCast - revolutionizes youth baseball using advanced camera technology to operate an automated strike zone system, perform pitch analysis and livestream games. Standard Chartered Women + Tech Track De Silva Lingerie - an e-commerce store that sells customized bras for women. EmpowerED Finance - making learning finance less intimidating and more accessible, for first-generation students. Easy Meets - aims to create automated unique experiences based on your preferences and your friends locally and internationally.  Hormone Sensor - a medical device meant for tracking hormones in real time allowing women to monitor their menstrual cycle. W1K - a device company that aims to automatically alleviate pain. Zahn Social Impact Track BH Aid - a non-profit program that emphasizes the importance of community involvement and serves as a catalyst for education, based on resource provision and development of small communities. Career Compass - a simplified, job search and application platform meant to help people with mental challenges or specifically autism, who find traditional platforms burdensome, get jobs. EmployAble - a webapp designed to help employee specialists create observation reports for people with disabilities.  Inclusify - Aids its users to craft their unique story by creating their video resume. Zahn Software Track ArenaUnity - a gateway and service  to personalized sports experiences, connecting players to the games they love. MMA Class VR - A premium VR solution for learning and teaching MMA remotely. Savvy - an AI-powered assistant that provides shoppers with curated recommendations and insights, saving them time and money. Velocity - an efficient time management tool that helps busy students meet all their goals. YDH - an app that provides solutions, answers and connections about your health. Mon, 12 Feb 2024 09:45:36 -0500 Chris Bobko https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/30288 Entrepreneurship is Budding: Bossgirls 2023 Recap https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/entrepreneurship-budding-bossgirls-2023-recap Representing diverse neighborhoods in New York and New Jersey, 26 high school students can now proudly proclaim themselves Bossgirls and join this ever-expanding entrepreneurship community as the seventh cohort. Sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank’s Futuremakers Initiative and powered by the Zahn Innovation Center, Bossgirls teaches high school girls and non-binary students about entrepreneurship utilizing an experiential learning model. On July 5, we kicked off our first fully in-person program post pandemic, back on the historic campus of The City College of New York. In room 107 of Shepard Hall, where numerous ideas and talents had burgeoned, we warmly welcomed a new cohort of Bossgirls with an introduction to the program and the problem sets that they were going to tackle within five weeks. Bossgirls learnt about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the UNDP and goals from the OneNYC 2050 Strategic Plan. Eventually, students formed teams based on shared interests around the top four OneNYC goals voted on by the cohort, which included A Vibrant Democracy, Equity and Excellence in Education, Healthy Lives and A Livable Climate. During the first three weeks, the program laid a solid foundation of entrepreneurship for participants. Instructors and guest facilitators delved into crafting problem statements, conducting research, interviewing potential customers, understanding finances and the market, analyzing competitors, creating unique brands and marketing strategies, developing MVPs, generating future development plans, delivering impactful pitches and more. Students quickly applied their newly acquired knowledge and skills to their business and nonprofit ideas facilitated by a series of team and individual assignments. Their hard work, commitment to the program and support to each other enabled the transformative growth within a short period of time. Judges at the two round robin sessions held in the last two weeks were impressed by the diversity of ideas and the comprehensiveness of their pitches.  Role models are instrumental to personal and professional development, especially the ones whom those seeking inspiration can identify with. We invited three founders, Ashonda Sanoguet from Piggy’s Repair, Sanjana Khan from Laal and Tameka Ridely from I AM LIT, to share their entrepreneurial stories. Hearing directly from small business and nonprofit founders, bossgirls got to see how these enterprises began and how they got to their current stages. Lively Q&A sessions with the founders gave students a chance to ask more about what they were interested in and struggled with.  Learning can take place everywhere, even outside the classroom. Taking advantage of NYC’s prime location, we took the girls on two field trips. The visit to Mastercard’s office allowed the girls to see cutting edge artificial intelligence technology, hear from a panel of current employees representing diverse professional, educational and cultural backgrounds, and get a feel of working in a corporate setting. Locally, we toured Harlem, visiting The Oma Shop, a Black woman owned business, exploring the collections at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and enjoying signature shakes at the Harlem Shake. Mentors, family and friends, attending the finale on August 3, at the Standard Chartered New York headquarters, celebrated the achievements of our bossgirls . Following enlightening remarks by representatives of Standard Chartered and the Bossgirls staff, the teams pitched their ideas and gracefully addressed questions from the audience. We applaud the accomplishments of all of our bossgirls, and appreciate their dedication and commitment which made the program a rewarding one for themselves, mentors and staff. Please find more information about our Bossgirls 2023 cohort below. Team Name OneNYC Goal Team Members Project Description Altaire A Vibrant Democracy Arianne, Melanie, Mimi, Katherine With a lack of diversity and inclusion within the media and the government, the youth are less likely to vote. Altaire offers a platform to encourage youth from all different backgrounds to talk about their experiences freely, get access to voting resources, connect with diverse and like-minded individuals, and even have the chance to connect with their local representatives to share their concerns.  CollegeVo Equity and Excellence in Education Mandy, Nabila, Parneet, Qiutong, Reyn Low-income students often face disadvantages when applying to colleges due to the lack of resources being provided to them. With limited guidance, they are less likely to pursue higher education. Eduꓘit’s Equity and Excellence in Education Gemma, Jennifer, Jessi, Rashi, Sara Many students don't have access to resources to learn about finance, so our mission is to provide all students with resources to learn about financial literacy, inside and outside of the classroom. Health Yourself Healthy Lives Daphne, Ingrid, Zena There isn't enough education on maintaining physical health, specifically diet and inactivity, for customers to know whether a product is healthy for them (also in terms of its ingredients) and to allow them an opportunity to have a good relationship with food and exercise. MiniMills A Livable Climate Hayden, Kelly, Prapti, Rebecca, Ziying  Many entrepreneurs strive to appeal to the sustainable product market, yet shy away from such values due to the impracticality that’s often present when trying to achieve an adequate target audience, while still maintaining a revenue. High schoolers, in particular, often aren’t able to have a direct impact in the sustainability market because of the cost of being eco-friendly and finding an audience that adheres to similar beliefs. ReBed A Livable Climate Alicia, Kate, Mariana, Shao ReBed is a sustainable, small business that uses recycled clothing and fabric and upcycles them into durable and affordable bedding for young adults in NYC. The program could not have been made possible without the support of our sponsor, Standard Chartered, and the Standard Chartered mentors who coached the Bossgirls, founders who shared their entrepreneurial journeys and judges who provided feedback at round robin sessions. We would like to acknowledge and thank everyone for making this summer an inspiring experience for our 2023 cohort. Category Name Guest Facilitators Katie Olives Chantele Pereira Christina Torres Founders Ashonda Sanoguet, Piggy’s Repair Sanjana Khan, Laal Tameka Ridley, I AM LIT Industry Mentors Chris Bobko Joe Borrello Amy Chen Jessica Fields Tasha Garcia Esmeralda Herrera Yan Lawrence Deborah Metts Malcolm Paul Gina Ramcharan Standard Chartered Mentors Martha Adeline Ganesh Asirvatham Abigail Copeland Olivia Cortopassi Brian Heiman Ethan Hsu Eashna Kumar Cora Maclean Mariana Naccarato Chantele Pereira Jonathan Rothberg Richa Sardessai Kathleen Tynan Mea Vesci   Wed, 16 Aug 2023 15:25:09 -0400 Di Cui https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/26479 The Teams for the 2023 Cohort Are Selected https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/teams-2023-cohort-are-selected If you have been following us, you know that we have been collecting applications for our 2023 Venture Incubator and Competition. Over the past weeks, we have worked with external judges to narrow down the entries. The top teams were interviewed by Zahn staff, who then selected the semi-finalists to join our 2023 competition cohort.  We will begin working with these teams in February. The students will complete our Lean Startup Bootcamp, conduct customer research, work towards completion of an MVP for their startups, and prepare pitch decks.  They will also meet with expert mentors throughout the program. The incubator will culminate in a Demo Day on May 2nd and Final Pitch, on May 4th. Some of the teams are looking for additional members to join them. We are hosting a virtual “Join a Team Mixer” on January 18th, 2pm-4pm ET. If you are interested in working with one of these teams, please complete this form and also RSVP here on Eventbrite. You’ll have an opportunity to speak with the teams at this networking event and possibly find a role.    Here are the members of the 2023 cohort. Kaylie Hardware: Ideas include physical products and devices that may or may not include a connected (smart) technological aspect. SiGHT is a traversal solution that uses software and hardware for people with impaired sight and blindness Windreader is a UAV platform for observing atmospheric boundary layer characteristics at altitude BrailleBuddy is a refreshable braille display with lightweight mechanical design and a Windows-compatible screen reader that can parse inaccessible web pages ReH is an effective and user-friendly rehab device as an alternative to continuous passive motion machine (CPM) after total knee replacement surgeries  Standard Chartered Women+Tech: The category celebrates the role of women in building innovative businesses leveraging technology and finding solutions to social inequities. Startups in this category must be led by women and/or have a team made up of at least 50% women. Organovis models breast cancer and predicts drug response with high accuracy BusSense is an assistive navigational mobile app designed to help blind and visually impaired individuals locate MTA busses CyberTEch is making cybersecurity accessible to everyone TechSavvy provides smartphones and training to low-income visually impaired people in NYC Connect is a geolocation game/application which gives users more exposure to migrants and their stories by promoting travel, sharing resources and serving platforms for social interaction Zahn Social: These teams are challenged to build ventures with a sustainable revenue model, whose primary objective is social change or environmental stewardship. They may pursue either a nonprofit or for-profit model. Carefam.org is an online platform that offers caregiving resources to help first-time millennial caregivers  Nusketch is an image processing application for individuals with ASD that turns a picture into a b/w outline for coloring and use as a communication tool WalkIT is a physical and psychological training app to help people with ASD/SAD become independent progressively Productify is a research-based ADHD productivity aid that contains multiple tools to help users become more productive Zahn Software: This category includes transformative new apps, software, database tools, e-commerce sites, or technological devices. DisPath is the place to find people who live and think like you ERO is an easy-to-use application that notifies users of opportunities to lower their energy consumption to make money in both their future and current homes whether they own smart technology or not The Study Space is an online marketplace and learning management system for educators to build their brand and income beyond their classroom  MealMade provides meal kits using Chef’s recipes prepared by supermarkets Tangent Point is a digital application that helps non-native English speaking students enhance their discipline-specific vocabulary   Wed, 14 Dec 2022 10:19:13 -0500 Kesia Hudson & Ariana Sampson https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/25547 On Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, We Celebrate the Founders of Carella, Hybridraw, and I AM LIT https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/womens-entrepreneurship-day-we-celebrate-founders-carella-hybridraw-and-i-am-lit The Zahn Innovation Center fosters a community of changemakers. Encouraging young entrepreneurs to explore their creativity through startups has been one of the main focuses of the center. November 19th is Women's Entrepreneurship Day.  A global recognition of women and their contributions to the entrepreneurial community. We are highlighting the founders that achieved outstanding results in the 2022 Zahn Innovation Center Competition -- Carella, Hybridraw, and I AM LIT. Carella and I AM LIT were grand prize winners in the Standard Chartered Women+Tech competition and the Zahn Social Impact competition, respectively. They each were awarded $25,000 to further their business development. Hybridraw, a finalist in the Standard Chartered Women+Tech competition, received $5,000 in funding. Since the competition, they’ve all been busy working on product development. Carella - Samira Chowdhury, Mehereen Meem and Samia Omar Website: carella.one Instagram: carellallc Twitter: @carella.one Carella is an all-in-one search engine for hobbyists seeking the best deals on auto parts! Created by three CCNY college students, Samira Chowdhury, Mehereen Meem and Samia Omar, Carella is bringing technology to the forefront of the automotive industry by empowering car owners to make informative decisions about their car, and help them get connected to the right mechanics and sellers that will give them the best deals. Think of it as the matchmaker between the customer and the auto parts distributors and vendors. In October, Carella was accepted into the NY I-Corps Hub x Gotham Innovation Gambit Virtual Regional I-Corps, where they will do a deep dive into customer discovery. Mehereen is leading their research efforts. The customer insight data collected will inform the design of Carella’s platform and features. Starting a business while enrolled in college full time is not easy. It takes a lot of self-motivation and drive to stay focused.  “The idea of being in charge of my own innovative ideas has always driven me to have my own business,” says Samia.  Samira has a similar thought, “I became an entrepreneur because I wanted to run my own business and have a say in what I want to do and make a larger impact. I have been a tech person for a long time, and this felt like the right step in bringing my knowledge of this field to the next level. I don't think it was something I always intended for but I am very happy to have found the road to entrepreneurship.”    I AM LIT - Tameka Ridley Website: officialiamlit.com  Facebook and Instagram: @official.iamlit After winning two Blackstone LaunchPad competitions and the Zahn Social Impact competition, Tameka Ridley launched I AM LIT that stands for I AM LITERATURE, a mentoring organization that teaches people of color, and underrepresented groups how to write and publish books. It is a platform that connects clients to experienced authors for one-on-one mentoring in writing and publishing with professional publishing packages and guides.  The founder of I AM LIT, Tameka states ” I became an entrepreneur to inspire people, to honor my ancestors, and to make a meaningful impact in my community through literature. Ridley confirms that I AM LIT is making an impact in New York City by helping people of all ages to write and publish books. With their programs being the most affordable in the market, I AM LIT connects clients to authors who guide them throughout the entire writing and publishing process, and their aim is to make publishing more accessible to everyone. In the near future, Tameka plans to partner with Lehman College and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women to bring the writing mentorship program to their members. I AM LIT will also celebrate their first client releasing her first book in 2023. When asked for professional advice, Tameka states “ There will always be challenges ahead but embrace them as opportunities to learn and grow from. Persevering is the key to managing a sustainable business and being able to pivot as needed.”   Hybridraw - Ambika Paliwal  Website: hybridraw.com Hybridraw is creating non-toxic, biodegradable sanitary pads. Ambika Paliwal, Hybridraw’s founder, has  a master’s degree in Sustainability in Urban Environment from The City College of New York. The idea for Hybridraw came from her concerns for the environmental impact and health issues related to the use of the standard feminine hygiene pads.  She has been contemplating this for a while. As an adolescent, Ambika developed her own sanitary pads. When she heard about the Zahn Incubator Competition she seized the opportunity to make her dream come true. Ambika has created a prototype and is currently conducting product testing. She wants to make sure her pad is not only safe, but has the best fit and absorption. When asked about making it this far in her journey, Ambika states “It's all about consistency and believing in yourself”.  Kudos to our founders! If you are interested in supporting these startups, follow them on social media for the latest developments, and opportunities to participate.   Fri, 18 Nov 2022 11:03:56 -0500 Kesia Hudson & Erezana Morina https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/25477 Standard Chartered Bossgirls 2022 Summer Program: Aspiring Entrepreneurs Tackle the UN's SDGs https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/aspiring-entrepreneurs-tackle-uns-sdgs This summer the CCNY campus was abuzz with the energy only high schoolers can generate. Thirty five students representing cities across New York and New Jersey were here for the Bossgirls Program. Sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank’s Futuremakers Initiative and powered by the Zahn Innovation Center, Bossgirls teaches high school girls about entrepreneurship utilizing an experiential learning model.   Our first time back on campus since 2019, and we were just as excited as the girls! This is our sixth year and the first time we implemented a hybrid model. The program commenced on July 5, and was a blend of live virtual and in-person sessions. Week 1 was on campus. The girls entered the classroom on the first day with curiosity, trepidation, and excitement. By the end of the week, we had glimpses of their individual personalities and interests. The students quickly bonded with each other, forming a cohesive cohort. With a focus on social entrepreneurship and developing business acumen, we used the lean startup methodology to guide the bossgirls through a simulated creation of a startup. We began our journey learning about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The students selected five of the seventeen goals to address. They chose: # 3 - Good Health and Well-Being # 4 - Quality Education # 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation # 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities # 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production After researching these SDGs, the bossgirls identified a specific problem to solve. Each team then developed a business plan and pitch deck, reflecting their unique perspectives. Their plans included market research, competitive analysis, business financials and a prototype. Throughout the program, thirty three Standard Chartered employees volunteered their time to work closely with the teams providing mentorship and insight. An additional group of industry professionals joined us as guest lecturers and pitching coaches. Having access to role models is important. We brought in women entrepreneurs to share their experiences founding companies. Being able to speak directly with CEOs and presidents, was enlightening and inspiring for the bossgirls.  Our guest speakers included Amy Divaraniya of  Oova, Yan Lawrence of The Regime, and Deepali Vyasthe of Fearless+. All are CEO and founder of their respective companies. This is in addition to our instructors Georgie-Ann Getton, Kesia Hudson, and most of our presenters and industry mentors. The program culminated with our Bossgirls Finale, on August 4. With family, friends, mentors and staff in attendance, in person and via the live stream, our bossgirls took the stage at Standard Chartered’s midtown headquarters.  Each team had 3 minutes to present followed by 2 minutes of Q&A from the audience. Our bossgirls masterfully pitched their startup ideas. Each demonstrated the knowledge, skills and confidence achieved during this program. We’re so proud of them and we are excited to see what is next for our bossgirls!   Bossgirls 2022 Cohort:  Team: A.S.K. Team Members: Kimberly, Shradda SDG Goal: 3. Good Health and Well-BeingProblem Statement: 27 million people struggling with mental illness go untreated in the U.S. due to access and cost Solution: provide easy access to resources to help people improve and maintain a positive state of mental health Team: Resort EDU  Team Members: Adela, Julie, Marian SDG Goal:4. Quality Education Problem Statement:  As of this year, 45 million American students have student loan debt totaling over a trillion dollars, and it takes on average more than 20 years to pay off the loans. Solution: Online portal that provides resources and employment opportunities to help manage and pay off the debt Team: IVY Desk Team Members: Jade, Joanne, Vedasri SDG Goal: 4. Quality Education Problem Statement:  Over the Covid-19 pandemic, many educators struggled to make the transition from in person classroom learning to online learning, exposing vulnerabilities in school curriculums. Solution: Create a portal that equips teachers with adequate skills on how to navigate technology, ultimately improving how students learn for future generations Team: Rizz Team Members: Khyathi, Lihie, Mehr, Shruti, Viktoriya SDG Goal: 3. Good Health and Well-Being Problem Statement: After the height of the pandemic young adults find it hard to find people with similar interests and connect in real life due to feelings of anxiety and distrust.   Solution: Help young adults connect based on interests instead of looks, and build real and intimate relationships Team: The Purple Elephant Team Members: Emilia, Kaitlyn SDG Goal: 3. Good Health and Well-Being Problem Statement: There is an underserved need for qualified service providers for  individuals with Alzheimer's. Solution: Create an online platform that educates, trains and certifies caretakers  Team: Miss Planet Team Members: Mia, Sophie, Sydney SDG Goal: 6. Clean Water and Sanitation Problem Statement: Pipeline construction, use and spillage damages the environment, the surrounding ecosystems and communities. Solution: Centralized information on constructions and spills, clean ups and emergency resources Team: Reduce, Reusing, Supplies (RRS) Team Members: Imanie, Nicole SDG Goal: 4. Quality Education Problem Statement: Underfunded schools place the burden of providing supplies on the teachers and parents, additionally many new or under-utilized school supplies are tossed away by graduating students that no longer need them. Solution: Create local donation campaigns as well as student-run clubs in high schools to collect materials no longer needed Team: Aware Ability Team Members: Isabel, Layla, Nancy  SDG Goal: 4. Quality Education Problem Statement: 29% of students between the age of 14-17 suffer from ADHD or ADD in the U.S.  Solution: An online tool that minimizes distractions and provides the student with support to improve focus Team: Flora Center Team Members: Awa, Brianna, Gabriela, Mahiat, Malika, Pearl SDG Goal: 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities Problem Statement: There are over 90,000 homeless people in NYC, They lack dependable access to shelter, food and employment. Solution: Create an urban-based housing and agricultural training program Team: Closet Cleanse  Team Members: Allison, Hannah, Jigna, Roxanne, Sally  SDG Goal: 12. Responsible Consumption and Production Problem Statement: Fast fashion is the cheapest and most accessible option for clothing purchase, however it negatively impacts our resources and environment. Solution: A pickup and delivery service where customers can donate and exchange used clothes for newer ones Thank you so much to Standard Chartered for sponsoring the Bossgirls Program. Its generosity makes this programming possible. With gratitude, we also acknowledge everyone who worked with us. Staff Instructors  Georgie-Ann Getton  Kesia Hudson   Staff Teaching Assistants  Sarah Chowdhury Erezana Morina Ariana Sampson Standard Chartered Mentors Martha Adeline Samira Al Otaibi Ganesh Asirvathan Josephine Barcelon John Brunetti Kristen Castillo Amanda Cruz Neesha Das Alexandra Davis Kishell Davis Monica Gordon Anita Gray Brian Heiman Grace Henschel Osamwonyi Igbineweka Aarti Jaisinghani Crystal Joyce Mary McAnally Mariana Naccarato Hind Naciri Chantele Pereira Valerie Pholpituke Andrew Pietro Randi Pivnick Ann-Marie Reddish Douglas Rochman Sabah Shoshi Loyiso Siqaza Giap Tjan Sachi Vaz Laura Wang Su-Lin Watson Derrick Yeboah Guest Presenters  Hope Alcocer Jarlyne Batista Monzon Brian Heiman Steven Monzon Christina Torres Industry Mentors  Jill Dyer, Deutsche Bank Sierra Lattuca, Bella Zoia Katherine Olives, AWS Brandon Shin, Clearhaven Capital Management Kim Wales, CrowdBureau Matthew Washington, Phipps Houses Founder Talks Amy Divaraniya, Oova Yan Lawrence, The Regime Deepali Vyas, Fearless+   Fri, 26 Aug 2022 12:41:36 -0400 Kesia Hudson https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/25083 Out of Frustration a Startup is Born https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/out-frustration-startup-born Amy Divaraniya, the founder and CEO of OOva, will tell you she had no intention of becoming an entrepreneur. As a matter of fact, she avoided taking any business courses during undergraduate studies, but as fate would have it, Amy was destined to be an entrepreneur. Instead of business, Amy gravitated towards science with a focus on biology. She was interested in the intersection of biology and technology. Getting her masters degree in bioinformatics merged these two sectors for her. After graduating, Amy joined a large pharmaceutical company. It was a challenging environment for a young woman fresh out of graduate school with lots of innovative ideas to make an impact. There was a lot of bureaucracy and promotions were given to her male colleagues. Amy realized having a doctorate degree would add a lot more validity to the ideas she had and help her to compete in this industry. So, she went back to school. Amy and her husband were trying to start a family, while she finished her doctorate degree. They were struggling to get pregnant. Amy tried all of the available tools and kits in the market, but found them to be inadequate. They are designed for women who have regular menstrual cycles, which she did not. After 18 stressful months, Amy conceived her son! Although she was fortunate, Amy knew there had to be a better way. Leveraging her data science and genetic science expertise, Amy developed Oova, the first at-home multi-diagnostic fertility test to confirm ovulation with groundbreaking precision and clinical accuracy. This discovery changed her outlook on entrepreneurship. Founder Talk with Amy Divaraniya, was in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month. This event concludes The Standard Chartered Women’s Entrepreneurship Program Spring Speaker Series. To hear the full conversation moderated by Valerie Pholpituke, of Standard Chartered, click here. Wed, 08 Jun 2022 14:54:15 -0400 Kesia Hudson https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/24847 Congratulations to the 2022 Incubator Competition Winners! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/congratulations-2022-incubator-competition-winners Congratulations to all our startups for making it this far, your hard work paid off! We're excited to announce the grand prize winners across our four tracks, including I AM LIT(Zahn Social Impact), Hobbs (Kaylie Hardware), Autism Bridge(Zahn Software), and Carella (Standard Chartered Women+Tech). Each of these teams were awarded $25,000 for the development of their businesses.       Second place prizes of $5,000 went to Healing Arts (Zahn Social), Guardian (Kaylie Hardware), ARLE Clothing(Zahn Software), and HybridRaw (Standard Chartered Women+Tech). Congrats to all!   Thank you as well to our panel of judges:   Adriana Vasquez, founder, Wear Lilu Alessandro Ciari, Assistant Director, CUNY School of Public Health James Herndon, Commissioner, NYC Department of Veterans Services Karen Bhatia, SVP Tech, NYCEDC Ken Grimes, Principal, Bessemer Trust Ramesh Rengaragen, Eagle Tree Capital Sonia Rosetti, Regional Head Corporate Affairs & Brand & Marketing, Europe and Americas, Standard Chartered Wed, 11 May 2022 15:22:39 -0400 Chris Bobko https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/24769 2021 Annual Report https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/blog/2021-annual-report I am pleased to share our 2021 annual report with you. (Click the post title to see the links!)   The significant successes presented here are a reflection of the efforts and passion of a large community. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this community, to be working with our program participants, and to be connecting with stakeholders and partners. As we enter the spring season, we are excited to be welcoming students back on campus and back to programs both online and in person. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events or as supporters of our programs!     Tue, 22 Mar 2022 10:59:54 -0400 Chris Bobko https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/24569 Defining Our Story: Women's History Month Founder Talks https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/defining-our-story-womens-history-month-founder-talks   Oftentimes when we speak of Women’s History Month we reference events that occurred many years ago. We think of the generations that preceded us and overlook what is happening now. For this year’s Her Story Month, Standard Chartered and the Zahn Innovation Center celebrated the historical impact our community members are currently making. We hosted two events, beginning with International Women’s Day. Katherine Olives, Bossgirls Program Manager, spoke with Yoelle Gulko, a sophomore at Washington University and Elizabeth Shvarts, a senior at Staten Island Technical High School. Both are alumni of our Standard Chartered Bossgirls Program, an immersive entrepreneurial educational program for high school students.  Yoelle is the founder of  A Concerned Human, a video production company. She creates short films about the power of human connection and venturing outside of your comfort zone.  Elizabeth is co-founder/co-director of Bridge to Literacy, a global, UNESCO-recognized U.S Department of State-funded nonprofit that fosters a love of language through literacy-based mentorship of 150+ youth across 6 continents. They both credited the Bossgirls program for equipping them with skills that continue to support their educational and entrepreneurial endeavors. Our next founder talk featured Kim Wales, the Founder and CEO of Wales Capital and CrowdBureau, LLC. She is an Adjunct Professor at The City College of New York (CCNY) and a member of the Zahn Innovation Center’s Advisory Board. She is an author, advocate and pioneer on the JOBS Act 2012 (equity and debt internet finance) and the democratization of capital for investors, small cap companies and non-publicly traded funds. In conversation with Lenny Bell and Martha Adeline, of Standard Chartered, Kim discussed what led her to create CrowdBureau and the challenges she overcame. The work these women are doing now are shaping the future of entrepreneurship and social impact. They are inspiring the next Futuremakers.   Mon, 21 Mar 2022 15:35:46 -0400 Kesia Hudson https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/24563 Turning Tragedy Into Hope: One Woman's Journey to Honor Her Loved One https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/turning-tragedy-hope-one-womans-journey-honor-her-loved-one The Standard Chartered Women’s Entrepreneurship Program at the Zahn Innovation Center kicked off its spring speaker series with a Black History Month Founder Talk with Joy Fowler. She is the  co-founder of A MIRacle Foundation, Inc. In 2012, A MIRacle Foundation, Inc. was formed by Joy and her husband Allen after the loss of their son, Amir. Amir had a neurological disorder, developmental delays, and was deemed medically fragile by age five. He was 13 years old when he succumbed to this degenerative disorder. When he passed away, Joy knew she had to do something for his memory to live on. In Amir’s honor, she decided to create a foundation to help other families, children, and caregivers.  It started with a one simple initiative, supplying a snack wagon for the medical staff at Randall’s Children’s Hospital, where Amir had regularly frequented for treatments. The doctors and nurses could grab snacks on the go and stay fueled throughout their busy day. This year marks A MIRacle Foundation’s 10 year anniversary, and its impact is seen throughout Oregon. The organization has installed accessible playground equipment for special needs children at a Portland park, helped subsidize medical equipment for families where insurance doesn’t cover the cost, and partnered with the City of Portland to provide 200 children with computers and internet service in a quest to eliminate the great divide. Most recently, they collaborated with Culture City to create a sensory room at the Portland International Airport, for anyone with an invisible disability that needs some down time. Joy admitted that running a non-profit is challenging, but being a planner by nature has really been an asset. Having spent time carefully thinking about the organization’s purpose and who she wanted to focus on serving has helped them design highly impactful programs. Running an organization with your spouse isn’t for everyone, but Joy and Allen have found a way that works for them. Joy shared, “We operate differently. It is like night and day…We both think our way is the right way, but we let each other move through the process in our own way. We both end up at the same destination.” To hear the full conversation moderated by Debra Thomas and Chloe Petrich, of Standard Chartered, click here. The Standard Chartered Speaker Series continues in March, in celebration of Women’s History Month. You can find details of our upcoming events here. Fri, 04 Mar 2022 11:03:07 -0500 Kesia Hudson https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/24464 Introducing the Startups in the Zahn Center's 2022 Cohort https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/introducing-startups-zahn-centers-2022-cohort It’s that time of year again! We’re excited to announce the twenty student-led ventures who will participate in our 2022 Startup Incubator Competition.   Competing for the Kaylie Hardware Prize: Bioreactor - A unit that incubates organic matter Guardian - A wearable camera that prevents assault and notifies loved ones Hobbs - A digital weight machine that allows you to work out at home without equipment Hydroot - A friendly smart planter The Cone Screw - A funnel that attaches to cones to fill them optimally   Competing for the Standard Chartered Women+Tech Prize: Carella - A virtual platform to find auto parts at the best price Hybridraw - Sustainable sanitary pads Ooni - An online space that allows black women to challenge the cultural narrative around haircare Skinschip - A service to culture skin and provide personalized skincare needs via an organic chip Rx Reminders - An application that reminds the elderly to take medication   Competing for the Zahn Social Impact Prize: AfroCrops - A farmer’s coalition that helps farmers develop their agri-businesses in African nations Homequisite - A mobile app that allows users to share and try different regional dishes I AM LIT - A virtual mentoring organization offering inexpensive resources for aspiring authors of African American children’s books Set Settal - An organization that aims to reduce e-waste Healing Arts - An organization that provides art therapy for senior citizens through painting   Competing for the Zahn Tech Prize: Arle Clothing - An automated apparel authentication system Autism Bridge - A mobile platform that connects job seekers with ASD and employers MEDtalk - A mobile application helping non-English speakers communicate in hospital settings Parkit - A web-based platform that explains parking signs THOR - A 3D mapping technology for geological researchers   As part of our program, students will complete our Lean Startup Bootcamp, work towards completion of an MVP for their startups, and prepare pitch decks. The program will culminate in a Demo Day (May 3rd) & Final Pitch (May 5th). They will also meet with expert mentors throughout the program. We plan for the 2022 cohort to engage with us in a hybrid model, both in-person and online. In addition to our weekly Startup Bootcamp courses, mentor hours, and pitch practices, students will participate in optional skill boosting workshops and connect with founders at virtual speaker series & mixers. Many of these additional events will be open to the public, allowing for more students at CCNY, and entrepreneurs in the local community, to take advantage of our resources.  The full calendar of events will be updated in the New Year, and you will be able to find it on the events page of our website. For now, keep Demo Day & Final Pitch on your calendars, and follow us on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) for updates @zahncenternyc  Additionally, if you are interested in mentoring the teams listed above, fill out the form here.   Thu, 16 Dec 2021 16:18:40 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/24065 CCNY Startups Take Home $120,000 in Prizes at Zahn Center’s Final Pitch Night https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/ccny-startups-take-home-120000-prizes-zahn-centers-final-pitch-night Last week, many of you voted for your favorite startups during a virtual Demo Day the Pre app, and also attended our virtual Final Pitch where you heard from startups competing in our four categories for top prizes. In all, CCNY startups collected $120,000 in prizes, which they'll use to further develop their businesses. We hope to share more news about these resilient teams in the future, but for now, here are the results of the 2021 Demo Day & Final Pitch: the Zahn Social Impact Prize: The 1st place prize of $25,000 was awarded to GoodMD, a web-based health platform that connects you with clinics who can provide the best care at the lowest price.  The 2nd place prize of $5,000 was awarded to Civic Monitor, A comprehensive data infrastructure for the issue positions and ideas of candidates, to enable African voters to know, compare and interact with their candidates for political office. Civic Monitor was also Awarded the Audience Choice Award, decided on the Pre App during Demo Week by our greater community.  the Standard Chartered Women+Tech Prize: The 1st place prize of $25,000 was awarded to Skin Releaf, an online platform that provides persons of color access to dermatologists, skin experts,and education to help manage their skin health. The 2nd place prize of $5,000 went to Nailerz, an online platform where licensed nail technicians or small businesses go to promote on-demand nail services to clientele within the area, and gives the user the ability to find a remote nail service tailored to their personal nail art design desires. Nailerz also took home the Audience Choice Award. the Zahn Technology Prize: The 1st place prize of $25,000 went to AlgoRythm, an educational app that is aiming to simplify computer science concepts for high school students. AlgoRythm also won the Audience Choice Award. The $5,000 2nd place prize went to Fasfit, a fashion hub that promotes inclusivity and originality through networking and creative services. the Kaylie Prize for Hardware: The $25,000 1st place prize was awarded to Visual, a haptic feedback device to assist visually impaired individuals, navigating their surroundings. They also won the Audience Choice Award. Vertibrave, a technological solution to have true affirmation of spinal surgical success through real-time tracking, won the $5,000 2nd place prize in this category. We couldn't have had a successful Final Pitch without the help of our judging panel, including: Zahn Social Impact Prize: Amrita Bhandari, Chief of Business Development, Acumen Shabnam Rezaei, Co-founder and President, Big Bad Boo Studios & Oznoz Peter Zahn, President, Futures Unbound Standard Chartered Women+Tech Prize: Nydia Clayton, Principal, Deloitte Patty Fuster, Managing Director, Regional CIO Europe & Americas, Standard Chartered Acacia Lawrie, Investor, 37 Angels Zahn Technology Prize: Erica Matsumoto, Director of Partnerships and New Initiatives, NYC Media Lab Steven Rodriguez, Regional Manager US/Canada, Techstars Adrienne Schmoeker, Advisor, Urban AI Kaylie Prize for Hardware: Suma Reddy, CEO, Future Acres Shelby Thompson, Senior Community Manager, SecondMuse Andrew Wooten, Senior Director of Innovation Management, CCNY We also want to thank our Demo Day judges, who decided our finalists on May 6th. Judges include: Zahn Social Impact Prize: Esmeralda Herrera, Director of Programs and Community Relations, Communitas America Amer Jandali, Founder, Future Meets Present Cris Mercado, Founder & CEO, Grant Answers Standard Chartered Women+Tech Prize: Jen Jones, Co-founder & Managing Editor, Women You Should Know Lona Vincent, Design Team, Business Model Innovation, Johnson & Johnson Matthew Washington, Deputy Borough President, Manhattan Borough President’s Office Zahn Technology Prize: Anthony De La Rosa, Senior Program Manager, Uber Jonathan Hakakian, Managing Director, Soundboard Venture Fund Arber Ruci, Acting Director, CUNY Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Kaylie Prize for Hardware: Alessandro Ciari, Assistant Director, CUNY Center for Systems & Community Design Miles Flamenbaum, CEO, Actasys DB Lampman, Associate Director, Makerspace NYC And of course, we'd like to say a big thank you to our major sponsors, Irwin Zahn, Standard Chartered, and the Kaylie family for their donations which ensure CCNY student entrepreneurs are able to advance their innovations and pursue their dreams.   Thu, 13 May 2021 16:19:42 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/23175 Black Women + Tech Disrupting the Status Quo: A Conversation About Inclusion, Accessibility, and Community https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/black-women-tech-disrupting-status-quo-conversation-about-inclusion-accessibility-and   In celebration of Black History Month, the Zahn Center along with the Black Studies Program at CCNY hosted a Fireside Chat with two amazing founders: Dr. Quincy Brown of blackcomputeHER and Regina Gwynn of Black Women Talk Tech. They discussed representation in tech entrepreneurship, as well as why we should invest in Black communities and see entrepreneurship as a path to wealth. We asked some of our own Black founders who attended the panel to share their thoughts as well. Both Dr. Quincy Brown and Regina Gwynn create spaces for Black women in their work. Black Women Talk Tech is a collective of Black women tech founders who understand both the challenges they face and the advantages they bring to the tech industry. Their goal is to support and encourage Black women to build the next billion dollar businesses. Regina Gwynn believes that “success is when preparation meets opportunity.” However, she noticed that while “Black women have the most advanced degrees, highest levels of education, and are starting businesses faster than any other group in the country, they still receive less than a percent of venture capital.” Along with her co-founders, Gwynn created Black Women Talk Tech to ensure Black women have a seat at the table. “Black and Brown people influence culture and consume high levels of technology….we wanted to be able to own the technology we consume.”  Dr. Quincy Brown and her graduate school classmates noticed that they themselves were excluded from the table. They went to conference after conference and noticed that other’s research (often lacking compared to theirs) was being published, and they were not being offered the same opportunities. They started having “conferences after the conference,” where they were finally allowed to have the conversations they needed. Brown and her co-founders created blackcomputeHER as a safe place for Black women to discuss what they need for their community. The organization is dedicated to supporting tech education and workforce development for Black women and girls. She adds, “Ee wear a mask that’s heavy, and there’s no place where you can just let it go and talk about the things that hurt you.” Her events give Black women the chance to take off the mask. Both Brown and Gwynn actively invest in Black communities through their work. Gwynn notes, “White families on average hold ten times more wealth than the average Black family, but if one Black family starts a business, that multiple lowers to only three times.” That’s why she believes that everyone, especially those in the Black community, should start looking at entrepreneurship as a path to wealth. For Gwynn, entrepreneurship was a part of her upbringing. Her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all entrepreneurs, so she grew up with entrepreneurship on the table.  In contrast, Brown admits that she didn’t learn this stuff, and entrepreneurship didn’t always come naturally to her. Now she’s learning along the way, and noticed that finding people who have both a technical background and also know the community is so important. That’s why representation is important to her. Gwynn adds that creating spaces is the first step to building representation. She shared, “It’s interesting to see how easy it is to wash over us--it’s very easy to do, but it’s felt--when you’re in certain spaces but you don’t feel comfortable enough, you don’t ask the questions that you need to ask.” Many of our own Zahn Center Black founders agree with the panelists. Anna-kay Ellis, founder of I Am My Health and a competitor for the 2021 Standard Chartered prize noted that, “Representation in tech entrepreneurship is important in order to create culturally appropriate technologies that account for diversity and inclusiveness.”  Her sentiments are echoed by Johnoy Gordon, co-founder of Team UV and a current competitor for the 2021 Kaylie prize. He states that representation is important to him because “it shows that creators and innovators are just as diverse as the products we create.”  Daniel Gaston, co-founder of STEM Hive, the 2019 first place Standard Chartered prize winner agrees. He says that to him, representation is a jigsaw puzzle where everyone only has one piece: “alone, one person would not be enough to solve it, but by collaborating with others who have different pieces, they are able to think of new strategies and eventually solve the problem. That's why I feel as we get more representation, we are gaining access to new pieces and are able to create new solutions that we haven't thought of before.” Mahutin Paul, co-founder of FitKO, first place winner of the 2019 Kaylie prize adds, “Representation to me means putting a spotlight on the people who have been there all along….It’s making the industry and workplace reflect reality.” Through their respective organizations, Brown and Gwynn hope that they’ll increase the amount of Black women tech founders. They’re also helping to make Black women feel like the powerful founders they are, even if sometimes Brown and Gwynn themselves experience imposter syndrome! Brown admits that although she sometimes doesn’t see herself as a “powerful woman in entrepreneurship,” she finds peace in knowing that she “creates time and space for others to be themselves.” That is her favorite part of being an entrepreneur. Some of our own founders have similar thoughts, like Marvel Delva of Periodic Skin, a startup competing for the 2021 Standard Chartered prize. “My favorite aspect of being a Black individual in tech and entrepreneurship is the freedom to solve problems that can elevate my community.” He’s taking the knowledge he gained from this panel and is planning to reach out more to his own community. “I think it is important to develop a better relationship with people and understand their viewpoints,” he shared, “then, use that information to improve my business.” Mhegan Alexander-Lee, co-founder of Nailerz and another competitor in the 2021 Standard Chartered track, took so much from hearing Dr. Quincy Brown and Regina Gwynn speak. “My favorite aspect of being a first generation Caribbean African American individual in entrepreneurship is that I get to create the life that I want while gaining financial freedom for myself and others. I also get the opportunity to see my unique ideas and my visions turn into reality that can one day make a change in the world, just like Dr. Quincy Brown and Regina Gwynn.” As entrepreneurs, both Brown and Gwynn agree that they would not have made any changes to the world without taking on the risk of failing. Gwynn stresses that if you aren’t putting yourself in the position to let failure happen, then you’re not improving your business. “I never lose,” she says, “I either win, or I learn.”  Brown has taken an engineer’s approach to failure. She prefers to reframe it as iterating, and looks at failure as step one, and step two is learning and growing--it’s a cycle that moves in a new direction. However, she realizes that for some, failure is a huge risk to take on. We rest easy knowing that at blackcomputeHER, Black Women Talk Tech, and even at the Zahn Center, the community will catch you when you fall, and raise you back up to reach your dreams. **** Thank you to all who attended last week’s Fireside Chat with Dr. Quincy Brown and Regina Gwynn. The event would not have been possible without our sponsors at Standard Chartered. If you missed the event, we’re giving you a chance to watch the video recap here for a limited time. The link will expire on April 1, 2021.  Watch the video via YouTube here. Thu, 25 Feb 2021 15:50:40 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22779 Fireside Chat with Vet-Led Businesses https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/fireside-chat-vet-led-businesses Last month we held our final virtual Fireside Chat of the Fall semester with a panel of three veteran entrepreneurs along with a Zahn/CCNY alum and marine corps vet, Danny Tsoi, as the moderator. Our panel consisted of Mark Gatanas, Founder of Vizornet, Inc, Elana “Lana”  Duffy, Founder of Pathfinder.Vet and James Hendon, Founder of EnergyEDC and Commissioner of NYC Department of Veterans Affairs. It was a timely discussion as it immediately followed Veteran’s Day. Our panelists and moderator shared their experiences launching their own businesses and navigating entrepreneurship as veterans. The audience, consisting of a mix of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and supporters, asked thoughtful questions in this engaging session. Here’s a recap of the event: Lana founded Pathfinder.Vet because she saw a need. “I was getting out of the service and I needed to figure out where I fit in the community that I was coming back to. I wanted to learn what was around, what services, what benefits I qualified for, what services were available to me in New York and New Jersey and even at a national level.” Sometimes your personal wants and needs inspire a business.. Lana stated, “I needed the service myself and I realized it wasn’t out there and the more people I talked to, the more people were saying if this existed I would be in a better place right now and so I decided to build it.”  Danny commented, “That’s a good thing to do when you have your own problem and you're trying to solve it not only for yourself but for other people that have similar problems and it's great that you're your own customer.” Others like Mark and James, after the military, went on to work for someone else and realized that their destiny was to be an entrepreneur. Mark worked in Information Technology and Information Systems Management after he retired from the Army. After working for IT companies, Mark decided to create his own IT holding company that involved consulting and engineering services. James went to school after he got out of the military, worked at a corporation where he was unhappy, and then ran into his social enterprise professor. The professor told him to reach out to one of his classmates who just won funding for their startup. James worked at this startup, BlocPower, for three years. While working at BlocPower, James realized that he wanted to continue to help people, especially with the green initiative. Because of this desire,  he set up his own startup, EnergyEDC. Being an entrepreneur is within us no matter what we do in life. It clearly shows that with Mark and James. Danny asked the panel, “How does your military experience influence your day to day as a leader and as an entrepreneur, and what lessons have you learned that you constantly apply from your military experience?” Lana shared that she enlisted post college and did everything that was demanded of her from mowing lawns, writing reports, to interrogating. Everyday was different. “In a startup world, there is no day just like yesterday, even if I am working on the same type of task.”  Danny could relate to what Lana shared about her military experience. “Military experience teaches you grit and being able to resist the temptation to slack and give up.” “[It’s an] amazing trait and necessary to be an entrepreneur and it's the vital ingredient.”  James added that he agreed with what Lana and Danny shared, and stated that, “The military is a leadership laboratory where it is designed for you to fail in a safe environment so that when you are out and it's the real deal you will not fail, you will succeed.”  Mark shared that, “Some things came naturally, we are mission oriented, we take a disciplined approach.”  During the time of COVID, we all have to adjust the way we live and this is also the same with how we run our businesses. One of Mark’s partner companies is in the health and beauty industry, and they decided to create a specific catalog for emergency products. Lana shared that they had to adapt and overcome their challenges. “We had to switch up our customer model without having to change our core technology, still able to find new customer segments and find new opportunities that are fueling our mission, and get [the] data we needed and be able to train our AI system in a way that we can pay our developers this month.” This shows that in a startup space, you have to learn to pivot. James stated that the needs for the veterans in NYC shifted with the pandemic. The main focus is now on food, housing, and employment. We concluded the event by asking what resources panelists could share for veteran startups and entrepreneurs. James stated that the “Primary things entrepreneurs need are financial, social and intellectual capital.” The panelists also suggested that going back to your school/alma mater can help--they may have resources for you. Here is the list of resources that were shared with the guests: Kaufman Fastrack, Steve Blank, Lean Launchpad, NYU Vet Incubator, Bunker Labs, Patriot Bootcamp, Vets in Tech, Score. We’re thrilled that we could bring these entrepreneurs together in a virtual setting, and we’re looking forward to more events like this in the future. Stay tuned & visit  our Virtual Welcome Center for our full calendar of events. New events for the Spring semester will be added soon, including fireside chats in February & March! Follow us on social media @ZahnCenterNYC and keep in touch with us at contact@zahncenternyc.com . Tue, 15 Dec 2020 17:00:30 -0500 Anna Hutcheson https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22481 Fireside Chat with Arlan Hamilton https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/fireside-chat-arlan-hamilton Our Founders Fireside Chats are a great way for students to hear from founders and visionaries, but they’re also a great opportunity for us to connect with founders in our community. The first Fireside Chat for the fall semester was held in October and featured Arlan Hamilton, Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital. The conversation was moderated by Ramona Ortega, Founder of My Money My Future. We’re big fans of both these awesome women, so here is a recap of the event for you to enjoy: Ramona introduced Arlan and commented that, “She is a prolific speaker, author and hero for so many of us who are founders and particular tech founders in the ecosystem.” Ramona’s company My Money My Future is part of the Backstage family, and she was fortunate enough to meet Arlan in her early days.  Arlan started the conversation by telling us a bit about herself. “I never expected a room would know me.” She was born in Mississippi and grew up in Texas. When she was in her thirties she struggled to figure herself out concretely, Arlan states, “I had really cool gigs [and] I was working in live music with different artists and had to work my way up over [a] decade to that position, but I was still very curious about the startup world for various reasons.” Arlan learned about the disparities in venture capital and startup resources, noticing that the majority of funding was going to white cis-gender men. She didn’t think that made much business sense; it was leaving so much of the population out of the equation.  This is when she decided to try something herself and take what she’s learned about life and apply it to venture capital. The idea was to invest in 100 companies owned by underrepresented founders by 2020. She wanted to prove others wrong.Arlan surpassed her goal: “We have invested in 150 companies, we reached 100 by 2018, and [they are] all led by women, by people of color, and/or LGBTQ, which I am all three.”  Ramona said to Arlan, “You have broken so many rules in this industry, not only not having come out of a top tier school and the normal trajectory of silicon valley men, just the fact you are a black woman, a queer woman and you’re from the South and so many things you have broken the mold for….I think [this] is what you also see in so many founders. A lot of the founders you invest in don’t come from that mold. That’s the blessing in what you are doing...it really has been the underrepresented or underestimated founder. “ She then asked Arlan to talk about any common threads she looks for when it comes to investing in companies, and has she always looked for the same thing. Ultimately, Arlan revealed that things haven’t changed very much when it comes to her investing. “When you look at companies at an early stage, you have to trust your gut and look at a complete list of things: you’re not just looking to see if they are underrepresented, you’re not just looking at something about their story [that] touches you because we [are] only investing in 2% in what we see and we’re seeing thousands of companies.” It is also a lot based on instinct. Ramona encouraged Arlan to talk about financial freedom. “For me, it's a combination of both individually and as a group. Buying a car for mom at 39… I bought my mom a really nice car and thought about all the cars we had and didn’t have. I don’t feel like I bought that car, the work my mom did [for] the first 39 years bought that car combined with the work I’ve done. She is already building a generational wealth and enabling me to be able to do what I do. I don’t have children, but I like the idea of catalyzing so many people that those seeds are planted in every which way and that the individual is empowered.” Arlan explained. She continued to say that financial wealth is about “creating something for your offspring to have something. It is also about you today and you in the next few years, and getting to enjoy yourself and your life today... owning success and being happy about achieving something small for yourself.” Ramona then asked what is on the horizon for Arlan personally in terms of her own brand. Arlan said,“I’m going to be the person catalyzing.There is not much I can do on my own, but I can take, earn, build and then put that right back into the soil. There is no stopping us. Representation and amplification of our work is so important.” Next, Ramona asked Arlan to share some of her practices and advice for staying healthy over the course of her work. Arlan laughed and said, “People associate me with naps because I no longer have vices, I don’t drink, I guess my vice is food. I love a good meal and COVID has not been helping with that. You need to have the understanding that you have permission to take care of yourself and you have permission not to stress out to the max, work overloaded. exhausted, drained of all energy and creativity…. {you are] still considered a real founder if you do that and don’t do that to yourself, there is a hustle culture in startup land that is toxic and dangerous and is not rooted in any sort of logic. Take naps!”  Arlan fielded several questions with the audience and below are some examples. A question from Mahmoud: “Can you talk a little bit more about instinct, what does that mean to you, where does it come from, what influences your instinct, is it more of an emotional response to conversations or certain specific green flags you see?”  Arlan mentioned that she was going to give a short version answer for this question. She talks about this topic on a deeper version on a podcast by her friend Beta Luca, of which she was a guest on. Arlan states that instinct is “A series of trial and error helps you build an algorithm of starting to trust your own judgement. Take a little bit of risk, put yourself out there, and be willing to be wrong. [You can] start at any age and you can start saying I’m going to start making decisions and keeping track of how those decisions pay off, and who do I have in my orbit and my world and what opportunities I say yes or no to and what I decide on.” The next question was from Venetta: “I love the Backstage Crowd, do you encourage upwardly mobile people of color to start syndicates in their communities? What are the disadvantages of platforms like this.?” Arlan responded, “If you are not doing this full time like we are, I would not suggest to setup a whole syndicate sort of website [or] a whole platform... it is expensive for us, takes several people to run, and a lot to take on, [especially] if you don’t have a fund already. You can start an angel group. If you can invest already, either join an existing angel group or angel syndicate or several..” The next question was from Keith:: “A warm intro is considered the gold standard as the best way to get access to investors you don’t have personal relationships with. Without those connections directly can you comment on the best ways to cold connect with investors for fund raising?”  Arlan explained that  they don’t have a warm introduction policy at Backstage. You can go directly to backstagecapital.com and you can apply for office hours. They have rolling office hours and group office hours. She added, “You don’t have to know anybody at Backstage in order to talk to us. A lot of funds have events, attend their events and panels to get to know them better, research them.” Through a random drawing, we gave away three copies of Arlan’s book, It’s About Damn Time. The winners are Ewelina, Tina and Norval, students and faculty at CCNY. Norval shared with us a photo of him with the book when he received it. Tue, 15 Dec 2020 15:10:49 -0500 Anna Hutcheson https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22480 Introducing the 2021 Startup Incubator Cohort https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/introducing-2021-startup-incubator-cohort It’s that time of year again! We’re excited to announce the sixteen student-led ventures who will participate in our 2021 Startup Incubator Competition:  AccuroLab An intermediary between smartphone users and trusted health organizations in Africa, flagging inaccurate information AlgoRythm An app that aims to teach and reinforce data structure and algorithmic concepts, with a focus on helping individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Civic Monitor A nonprofit organization that helps citizens become more civically engaged in the democratic process, starting in Nigeria DTD Hero An app that helps those with Developmental Topographical Disorientation (DTD) better navigate indoor spaces EduTech360 A platform creating and sharing high quality VR educational content Fasfit Communicators A hub for fashion that promotes inclusivity and originality through creative services GoodMD A web-based discount health insurance service for clinic patients I am My Health (IMH) An integrative health platform that empowers women of color with resources to advocate for their health in order to access quality healthcare Nailerz An app for nail technicians to become certified, display their art, and find & book clients Periodic Skin A new technology brand that targets hormonal acne for women Project Pipeline A job search portal for high school students SpineAlign A technological solution for the recovery of scoliosis that solves the problem at its core rather than preventing the consequences Sudo A device that makes topical cream and lotion dispensing more efficient Team UV An air purification product to leverage UV light for ride sharing vehicles TriMenu A mobile application where restaurants may provide diners with menu options Visual A tool advancing the visually impaired to better understand their surroundings As part of our program, students will complete our Lean Startup Bootcamp, work towards completion of an MVP for their startups, and prepare pitch decks. The program will culminate in a virtual Demo Day (May 6th) & Final Pitch (May 7th). They will also meet with expert mentors throughout the program. The startups in this cohort are tackling complex problems, in fields like healthcare, education, and more, at home and abroad. Many are also focused on solving issues that the pandemic has brought into focus, and are creating solutions to serve New York’s hard-hit industries like the fashion and restaurant industries. Additionally, some of these startups were born out of classroom projects at CCNY, including the MPA program (AccuroLab & Civic Monitor), an Architectural Lighting course (Team UV), and a CEN-granted class that combines computer science, entrepreneurship, and branding (AlgoRythm & DTD Hero).  The 2021 cohort will work with us entirely online, and we’ve adapted our program for a virtual setting. We’re excited for the flexibility remote learning affords our students! In addition to our weekly Startup Bootcamp courses, mentor hours, and pitch practices, students will participate in optional skill boosting workshops and connect with founders at virtual speaker series & mixers. Many of these additional events will be open to the public, allowing for more students at CCNY, and entrepreneurs in the local community, to take advantage of our resources.  The full calendar of events will be updated towards the end of December, and you will be able to find it on our Virtual Welcome Center page of our website. For now, keep Demo Day & Final Pitch on your calendars, and follow us on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) for updates @zahncenternyc  Additionally, if you are interested in mentoring the teams listed above, fill out our form here. Fri, 04 Dec 2020 21:00:11 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22478 Zahn Center Summer Programs Thrive in Online Format https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/zahn-center-summer-programs-thrive-online-format We were in the middle of our annual competition & Startup Bootcamp when we went virtual in March. Our resilient students, facilitators, and mentors transitioned with ease, but the remote customer interview process & product development proved more tricky. We decided to extend the students' experience into the summer, and we’re excited to report that the online experience was largely positive! This summer we piloted a new program, “Summer Incubator 2.0,” and revamped our high school program, Bossgirls, for an online experience. Read more about the two below. Summer Incubator 2.0 & BNY Mellon's Business Plan Competition We called the extension of the competition "Summer Incubator 2.0," and it was designed for startups to explore and develop their businesses with a focus on MVP development. It ran entirely online with a combination of pre-recorded workshops, check-in meetings, and live virtual pitch practices. Participants built their MVPs while simultaneously learning the skills needed to establish the foundation of their businesses. As part of the Summer Incubator 2.0, startups worked with BNY Mellon mentors to write business plans. At the end of the summer, they pitched to judges at the BNY Mellon Business Plan Competition. Foodini took home the first place prize of $5,000, and Dype placed second with a $2,500 prize. Standard Chartered's Bossgirls Program Bossgirls is our entrepreneurship program for high school girls. Sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, it normally takes place over the summer on CCNY's campus. This summer, we offered it virtually and revamped the syllabus to include new topics. Twenty bossgirls from the NYC area spent the summer focusing on various problems and discovering innovative solutions. They researched their market, compared competitors, learned how to price their solutions & prototype them, and created a brand around their ideas. At the end of the program, they pitched their ideas to a virtual audience. Their ideas included an Etsy-like platform for eco-friendly products, an online support community for young girls experiencing sexual harassment, an app that helps you make healthy food decisions to improve your mood, an inclusive debate program for middle school students, and an after school program that brings art and music to the forefront. Each team also received Standard Chartered mentors. We're thrilled that even in a virtual setting, our bossgirls dove into the material and got out of their comfort zones, learning new things and developing confidence. Since it was such a hit, this Fall we’re piloting Bossgirls “After School,” a virtual extension of the Bossgirls experience including professional development workshops, networking events, and speaker spotlights featuring some amazing founders. Bossgirls from the past four years will connect with each other, learn new skills, and hear from women entrepreneurs. The program is meant to continue their immersion into entrepreneurship, build their network, and further develop skills that will help them no matter the career path. Fri, 16 Oct 2020 14:25:55 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22479 CCNY Startups Take Home $150,000 in Prizes at the 2020 Final Pitch Night https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/ccny-startups-take-home-150000-prizes-2020-final-pitch-night As many of you may remember, we postponed our annual Demo Day & Final Pitch (which normally happen in May) to give our students more time to develop their ideas in the midst of uncertainty and change surrounding the pandemic. Last week, many of you voted for your favorite startups during a virtual Demo Day the Pre app, and also attended our virtual Final Pitch where you heard from startups competing in our four categories for top prizes. In all, CCNY startups collected close to $150,000 in prizes, which they'll use to further develop their businesses. We hope to share more news about these resilient teams in the future, but for now, here are the results of the 2020 Demo Day & Final Pitch:the Zahn Social Impact Prize:The 1st place prize of $25,000 was awarded to Blue Generation, an environmental fitness app. Blue Generation also took home the Audience Choice Award for this category, decided at Demo Day.The 2nd place prize of $5,000 was awarded to Earthly Beings, a team developing skin care products to those with eczema.the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize:The 1st place prize of $25,000 was awarded to The Bella Zoia Project, a marketing and promotion tool for nonprofits.The 2nd place prize of $5,000 went to Parkbreezy, a community-based parking app geared towards drivers who are English language learners. Parkbreezy also took home the Audience Choice Award.Honorable mention in this category was our third team, Healistic, youth-focused mental health nonprofit for the South Asian community.the Zahn Technology Prize:The 1st place prize of $25,000 went to Dype, an app that authenticates streetwear.The $5,000 2nd place prize went to Foodini, an app that serves as a database for all foods to help you make “fearless food decisions.” Foodini also won the Audience Choice Award. the Kaylie Prize for Hardware Devices:The $50,000 1st place prize was awarded to Trias, a portable pre-diagnostic tool for high cholesterol. They also won the Audience Choice Award.IASSER, a product aiming to reduce the amount of car accidents, won the $5,000 2nd place prize in this category.We couldn't have had a successful Final Pitch without the help of our judging panel, including:Zahn Social Impact Track JudgesEsmeralda Herrera, Director of Programs and Community Relations, Communitas AmericaAndrew Rich, Dean, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at The City College of New YorkPeter Zahn, CEO, Moxie FoundationStandard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Track JudgesMatthew Washington, Deputy Borough President, Manhattan Borough Presidents OfficeJason Wong, Treasurer and VP-IR, Tiffany & CoJarlyne Batista Monzon, Community Manager, Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Iona CollegeZahn Tech Track JudgesMarc Escapa, Cofounder, NokenDesiree Frieson, Assistant Director, NYDesignsWeeks Mensah, Cofounder & CEO at Sourcediv, Inc.Kaylie Hardware Track JudgesHaytham Elhawary, Cofounder, KineticFaith Jaskowiak, Director of Marketing & Partnerships, CUNY StartupsBrian Wilson, CEO, Duro UASAnd of course, we'd like to say a big thank you to our major sponsors, the Kaylie family, Standard Chartered Bank, and The Moxie Foundation for their donations which ensure CCNY student entrepreneurs are able to advance their innovations and pursue their dreams. Mon, 28 Sep 2020 17:57:51 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22173 Congrats to Our Virtual Pitch Off Winners https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/congrats-our-virtual-pitch-winners  To our Zahn community: we hope that all of you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during this trying time. Here at the Zahn Center, we have been lucky enough to continue our programming online. The 2020 Cohort was about halfway through their competition when CCNY went into a distance learning model, and theyve continued to meet with staff, mentors, and complete weekly bootcamp workshops. Although in a different manner, weve managed to provide the same educational content. However, our MakerLab has been closed since mid-March. Students, especially those working on hardware devices, have not had access to prototyping equipment since then. In light of this, we have decided its in the best interest of our students that we postpone Demo Day & Final Pitch. We will now hold those events–complete with giveaways of our $150K grand prizes–in the early Fall. In the meantime, we held an internal “Virtual Pitch Off” for our teams to compete for smaller cash prizes. The pitch off took place last Thursday, and we're pleased to announce the winners:Winners of the Zahn Social Impact Prize:The $3,000 first place prize went to Earthly Beings, skincare that brings physical and emotional relief to those with minor to severe skin conditions. The $1,000 second place prize went to Blue G, a startup that offers strategies to reduce ocean debris that allows communities and globally conscious customers to combat the global plastic crisis.Winners of the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize:The $3,000 first place prize went to The Bella Zoia Project, which offers impact advertising for small to mid size nonprofit organizations. The $1,000 second place prize went to Parkbreezy, a community-based parking app.Winner of the Zahn Technology Prize:The $3,000 first place prize went to Dype, a peer-to-peer streetwear marketplace where buyers can get crowdsourced authentication. The $1,000 second place prize went to Staff to Go, an app that saves restaurateurs time and money by connecting them with staff using a simplistic matchmaking process.Winner of the Kaylie Hardware Prize:The $3,000 first place prize went to Trias, a pre-diagnostic tool for those with high cholesterol. The $1,000 second place prize went to IASSER, a device that makes the roads safer by combining cutting edge biosensor technology with the automobile industry.These startups, along with others, will continue to work on their MVPs and business plans throughout the summer. We are planning more virtual programming for the summer–an Incubator 2.0 if you will–to keep our teams on track for a Fall Demo Day. Stay tuned for more information about how you can get involved. Thank you again for your continued support of our students and our programming, and stay tuned for more information about the Summer & Fall.  Mon, 11 May 2020 14:38:31 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22172 Green Capsule Envisions a Greener Future https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/green-capsule-envisions-greener-future This weeks team highlight is Green Capsule, an innovative and eco-friendly heating and cooling system designed by a team of architects. Green Capsule is one of the startup teams competing for the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC $25,000 grand prize sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank as part of their Futuremakers initiative. I was able to meet virtually with Ina Dajci, who isGreen Capsules Marketing Specialist. She shared with me her teams concept, what they hope to gain from the Zahn Center, and their hopes for Green Capsules future. The team includes CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture graduate students Ina Dajci, Max Isakov, Melek Kilinc, and architect Rei Celo. Theyre joined by CCNY professor Dr. Ahu Aydogan, who serves as their advisor. The following team highlight blog is written by Zahn apprentice Lissette Lucero. When explaining the startups concept, Ina stated We are designing a vertical system for green walls that will be augmented in very dense urban fabrics. We would be cultivating medicinal cannabis within these green walls. Lissette: Oh thats something new to New York City. Why do you think there is a need for this here?Ina: We are architects. We are always discussing the environment and all of the environmental issues that we face especially in the building industry. 40% of the energy consumption in the United States comes from the building industry. We are trying to propose an idea that would merge farming with urban fabric by having agricultural products within the city. That was one of the main reasons we wanted to do this. There is a shrinkage in farmland in the United States. We are losing 3 acres per minute because of the building industry. We are proposing the idea of having green spaces integrated into existing cities or any new building construction. We thought by growing medicinal cannabis in these green spaces, there would be great profit and it would be accessible to pharmaceutical companies that are treating the THC culture as a great resource for medicinal purposes. We checked the growth rate market of this industry and it is super high. You can see it as an investment.Lissette: Yeah I completed a market research project last semester on the cannabis market, and there is a major growth rate now that it is becoming legal in more states.Ina: Yeah thats why we are excited, we feel it can be very profitable.Lissette: So Green Capsule, why did you choose that as your startup's name?Ina: Greenery is what we are missing in our dense environments and what we are constructing and building every day. Look at the green space in New York City for example. Its completely unfairly spread. We will have one big park but then we don't have enough for the rest of the neighborhood. This thing of not having enough greenery for all of the buildings everywhere gave us the green part. Capsule comes from the design of the modular system that we've created. Since this plan has a lot of requirements and needs a very controlled environment to be grown and stay healthy. We came up with this capsule which is a controlled environment for the plant. It would not just be having green walls with cannabis all over the city, but they would be in this capsule which is the controlled environment. The plant can grow until a certain state, and then it would be taken away with a capsule, sent to farmers, and the further steps will be proceeded.Lissette: What is the biggest value that you would like your consumer to gain from Green Capsule?Ina: The gain from this product comes from an environmental aspect. This system works as a shading device for buildings. This means it lowers the energy consumption of the buildings. In this way we are fighting the climate crisis. We also have a social aspect. It will create new jobs and new opportunities where the system will be implemented. There is also immense revenue for the people who will use this product. You buy the system once, but every four months you will continue to harvest, and as we know the market in this field is crazy, so there will be economical benefits also.Lissette: How did you feel that Green Capsule can benefit from the Zahn Startup Competition? What sparked your interest in their program the most?Ina: We've always known and heard about the Zahn Center from previous architecture students that had participated in the competition. Our mentor gave us the biggest push for us to join. She told us that the Zahn Center is serious and helpful, and they can give life to our project. This is what we do in school, we all design and come up with innovative stuff, it's very known in architecture.Lissette: Awesome, what would you say is your biggest takeaway from what youve learned with us?Ina: Zahn is really great for us. Initially, we didnt know the Zahn Center worked the way that it does. We thought this was more about advancing our design, when actually we didn't need that. Zahn helps us create and advance as a company–how to get out there in the market. This is very useful for us since none of us had much experience in this field. We are understanding more of structure and how to go from phase to phase. The bootcamp sessions are also very successful. We do appreciate the facilitators and the ideas they give us.Lissette: If explaining the Zahn Startup Competition to a prospective participant, how will you describe it?Ina: I would say definitely give it a try. What we learned at the Zahn Center, we did not learn in regular classes. As designers, we don't focus too much on subjects such as marketing. We focused more on product development and prototype building. I think the Zahn Center is a really great opportunity that designers shouldnt miss. You're learning to sell your skills, and if you don't know this then your ideas can get wasted.Lissette: By the end of the competition, where do you see Green Capsule?Ina: I think that the most important thing is we were brought closer together by this competition. We all believe in this project. By doing our assignments and having our regular meetings, we strongly believe this idea and want to continue this company. This is the greatest gift weve received from Zahn. It gave us structure and we know how to further proceed with our idea. Ina and I chatted more about the subject of marketing, as I shared with her my learnings and offered any advice that I can. At the Zahn Center, were excited to see Green Capsule grow. If youd like to learn more about the Green Capsule, you can reach them at Greencapsule@zahncenternyc.com . Tue, 21 Apr 2020 10:17:35 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22171 Dype Shares What All the Hype is About https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/dype-shares-what-all-hype-about As the world continues dealing with a public health crisis, we believe it is important to maintain a sense of normalcy for the students in our program. Weve continued all instruction online, including our weekly lean startup bootcamp, mentor hours, and workshops, and so far weve found that our students are engaging with our content more than ever. Were still working towards the goal of showing off their progress at a virtual Pitch Off in early May. Demo Day will be postponed until the early Fall. We had previously planned to highlight our student startups one by one, and have decided to still do so. They deserve to be able to share with you all of their hard work, and we could use a little good news as of lately.The following blog is written by Zahn apprentice Lissette Lucero. I had the opportunity to meet with Denny Liang, one of the founding members of Dype.. Dype is a startup competing for the $25,000 Zahn Technology Prize  sponsored by The Moxie Foundation. Their team members include Taehun Lim, Kartikeya Sharma, and Denny Liang. Theyre on a mission to democratize streetwear authentication and make sure those who buy and sell streetwear can do it safely.Denny started by letting me watch an introduction video. I asked Denny to further explain his concept, through words. Denny Liang: Dype is a peer to peer platform that allows individuals to  buy and sell streetwear anywhere in the United States safely. If someone wants to sell their sneakers, theyll post quality pics from multiple angles. Their listing will go through up to 20 experts who will review it–they will be experts that are hand chosen. Its an online trusted marketplace with zero fees, quicker payments, and fair disputes. If you're a seller, and you want to get your items verified, it can get expensive and lengthy. On the Dype app, we will use crowdsourcing authentication with images. You will post the item at multiple angles. The experts will tell you whether the item is real or not. There are already online communities doing this. We want to funnel the members of those communities onto our platform. Our slogan is Whos hyped to join Dype?LL: How would you know if these members are accredited to know whether these items are real or fake?DL: We will use a filtering out process. We are currently planning on creating a reputation system, something like karma points… similar to that except wed have to design metrics to quantify one's expertise.LL: Dype is centered around streetwear. Why?DL: The whole idea is a secondary market place, but we started off with streetwear since it is something we are all interested in. We all buy and sell streetwear ourselves, and we wanted to create something that would better serve our community.LL:  What inspired the name Dype?DL: What do you think of when you hear Dype?LL: The name sounds interesting and intriguing, but I don't think of anything in particular.DL: Thats good. We wanted it to be different. We first thought of it by thinking of the word HYPE. A hypebeast is someone who is into streetwear like sneakers, hoodies, clothing, etc. From this we got decentralized hype and thats where the D came from. Were not centralized, theres no third party, its all up to the users themselves..LL: Nice, you should make some kind of campaign where you explain the name.DL: That would be cool.LL: Whats the biggest value that you want your consumer to gain from the Dype app?DL: Our value proposition is that we can authenticate items transparently, and we can do so without the need of a third party. The fact that the platform is created around what people are already doing, people are legit checking the validity of these items for free€¦ so why not create a platform where they can do it and get paid?LL: How did you learn about the Zahn Startup Competition and what sparked your interest the most?DL: I found out about Zahn my first semester here, and I wanted to join as a freshman. I previously used to watch a lot of videos about entrepreneurship, it was something I was always interested in. One day at City College I happened to be passing by during Demo Day. There were people outside pitching their ideas and showing off their projects.. I thought, That's what I want to do!LL: What so far is your biggest takeaway from the Zahn Startup Competition?DL: A community of diverse perspectives. Everyone sees different things from a different angle. Having that community where we all collaborate on shaping our ideas more, that's probably the biggest takeaway.LL: What are some things you hope to gain from the Zahn Center by the end of this competition?DL: First things first the 25K! Its not going to end there. Were going to work on it throughout the entire summer. We're going to be turning on the gears in marketing to get the word out.LL: What are some challenges you face as a team?DL:  Punctuality, and split accountability. If two people decide to slack off then that means the majority slacks off. If the majority decides to work then, you know. Holding each other accountable has been important in this.LL: When explaining the Zahn Startup Competition to a prospective student, how would you explain it?DL:  I would recommend The Zahn Startup Competition if you want to start a business and you don't have the guidance, but you're willing to put in the time. If you want to join a team and get some experience, but still be financially free. Entrepreneurship is trendy, so you can start your own venture without the risks. At the Zahn Center, were excited to see this team take off, and cant wait to see where they are on Demo Day. If youd like to learn more about Dype, you can reach them at Dype@zahncenternyc.com . You can also check out their website at www.dype.market. Tue, 21 Apr 2020 10:12:20 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22170 The Advanced Manufacturing Pod: Producing Concepts into Working Products https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/advanced-manufacturing-pod-producing-concepts-working-products What is Mechanical/Advanced Manufacturing? The Zahn Innovation Centers Mechanical Advanced Manufacturing (AM) Pod is part of our apprenticeship program. The pod aims to help students learn how to take a concept to plan, design, and manufacture that idea into a working product. The main goal is to create the stages of a manufacturing system that produces a product in the most time-efficient and cost-effective way. Essentially everything we use in our daily lives is man-made, or manufactured. Currently, many manufacturing engineers work in the automation, aerospace, and the computer industry, among others. However, this skill is also implemented within the food processing, clothing, toy, and film industries.The Mechanical Manufacturing Leader, Anis HalaniOur Mechanical/AM pod is led by Anis Halani, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering here at CCNY. As the pods assistant engineer, he manages and supervises all apprentices during the stages of product development. He also holds the responsibility of ensuring that apprentices grow as students and professionals by assisting them in developing essential skills such as research and time management. Anis was first attracted to join the Apprenticeship Program after hearing about it through a friend who was already an apprentice at Zahn. Now, Anis believes this program has helped him grow immensely both academically and professionally. He states that the Apprenticeship Program has given him, a platform where [he] can take what [he] learned [in class] and use it to create real-life objects that serve a purpose. Anis has also hosted and attended many workshops such as public speaking, resume building, and more, and has also learned from others within the program. Above all, Anis emphasizes that, through the Apprenticeship Program, he learned to Dream, Design and Develop, and that no challenge is impossible. Thoughts from Simeon, a freshman apprentice The mechanical manufacturing pod is made up of many proactive students whove joined to get a head start on their professional careers. One is Simeon, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering. A typical day in the program for Simeon includes building products using Solidworks and CAD software, and producing them through 3D printing and laser cutting. Simeons most valuable takeaway from the program is that although hes just a freshman, hes getting a head start on engineering classes hes yet to take later in his academics. Hes also made a lot of valuable connections within the program which has led to lifelong friends.When asked what advice he had for prospective student apprentices, he advised everyone, especially freshmen like him to, go for it since it provides you with good experience at an early stage.Future Projects Currently, the Mechanical/AM Pod is manufacturing a life-size robot replica of R2D2 from Star Wars, which will mimic all of his mechanical functions from the films. Everyday, the apprentices collaborate to design, print, and cut out the robots pieces. As pod leader, Anis stated that he values other apprentices the most since they offer, innovative ideas that if [he] would not have thought of if he were working by [himself]. If youre interested in joining the mechanical/AM pod, Anis advises, go outside of your comfort zone [because] thats when you will be challenged.Interested in growing your skills in mechanical and advanced manufacturing or other fields including marketing, electrical engineering, and CAD? Consider joining the Zahn Apprenticeship Program! Applications are now open, and you can apply here: zahncenternyc.com/apprenticeship Wed, 08 Jan 2020 16:07:31 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22169 Apprenticeship Program Stories: Meet the Electrical Engineering Pod https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/apprenticeship-program-stories-meet-electrical-engineering-pod The Electrical Engineering (EE) team is one of the 3 engineering pods here at the Zahn Center. EE is a subfield of engineering that works with electricity. Electrical engineers can work on a variety of things from circuit components, to different electrical control systems, to tiny microchips. Here at the Zahn Center, the electrical engineering pod focuses on both personal and client projects that involve electrical work. For example, theyre currently working on a life-sized replica of an R2D2 robot for a client that can be controlled through the voice controlled assistant Alexa, bluetooth, and remote control. As a long running member of the Zahn Center team, Salam Elhabi, assistant engineer, is no stranger to daily life at Zahn. Shes been a part of the team since June of 2017. During her senior year at CCNY, she joined Zahn Center as an apprentice and quickly moved her way up to the position of senior apprentice. After graduation she took a small break and then came back to CCNY for a second degree, and now supports the Zahn Center as an assistant engineer.  In her downtime she also enjoys making music, playing the trumpet, and being as involved as possible in campus affairs.Zahn: What do you consider your specific responsibilities?Salam: Im the assistant electrical engineer, but my apprentices do most of the hands on work. I help them mitigate problems, supervise when I need to, and if theres a problem, I give them hints to the solution. I feel like a doctor sometimes because they come to me with problems, and we have to figure out how to solve them.Zahn: What does a typical day look like for your pod?Salam: Were split into different groups, depending on the day Id oversee different tasks. Well spend a typical day tweaking issues and trying to google solutions to problems well have with projects. Well also brainstorm together to try to come up with solutions. For example, for our current R2D2 project. we wanted to install a personal assistant in-house. We had a lot of trouble using google assistant. As much as we tried to tweak some of the issues, we had to make the decision to switch to Alexa. Zahn: What about your biggest accomplishment?Salam: One of our favorite projects was when a client wanted a detachable light attachment for running shoes. The client wanted it to be detachable so that itd fit into almost all types of shoes. The product also had to be waterproof, and easily seen in the dark. It took us two semesters to complete it, but it was the first time ever that the designs were totally student made. Usually well show a client mockups and theyll choose a design. This time they completely designed it themselves and made it themselves. It was the best experience seeing how far theyve come.In the future€¦The Electrical Pod will take on more personal projects for clients and startups. They will also continue  to use their innovation skills to complete more in-house projects. This will allow things to run smoother for both the Makerlab and Zahn Center. For its apprentices, the goal is to work on certification programs, licenses, and sponsorships that will give them a leg up in the professional engineering world. Want to become an apprentice? Apply for the Spring 2020 Apprenticeship program and gain experience and skills in the electrical, manufacturing, CAD, or marketing pods.Applications are now open, and you can apply here: zahncenternyc.com/apprenticeship Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:16:56 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22168 Introducing the 2020 Startup Cohort https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/introducing-2020-startup-cohort Looking to mentor our newest cohort? Find the form here.The end of the year means were welcoming new startup ideas for our 2020 cohort! Over the past few weeks, weve worked with expert judges–from investors to successful entrepreneurs, educators to executives–to help evaluate our entries. We've selected 28 CCNY student-led projects (our biggest cohort yet!) who will compete for the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize, the Kaylie Hardware Prize, and the Zahn Social Impact & Zahn Technology Prizes. Although the competition will officially kick off next semester with our bootcamp, you can meet the teams now.Disclaimer: You'll notice the following descriptions are short & sweet. This is intentional. First, we need to remind our readers that these ideas are “work-in-progress” ideas, and they may develop & change. Second, the short descriptions protect the intellectual property of our students (which is very important to us). And third, our students join our program for a variety of reasons, and some may choose not to pursue their idea as a company when they complete the program.Competing for the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC PrizeThe Bella Zoia Project: lasting engagement and creative promotion for non-profitsGreen Capsule: a sustainable way to reduce heating and cooling costs for buildingsHealistic: a preventative care toolParkBreezy: a community-based parking appCompeting for the Kaylie Hardware PrizeErmos: introducing and optimizing scalable waste-to-energy systemsE-Shoes: a device that recycles energyIASSER: a product aiming to reduce the amount of car accidentsTrias: a portable pre-diagnostic toolCompeting for the Zahn Social Impact PrizeBlue G: upcycles plastic waste into art and other materialsEarthly Beings: developing personalized skincare productsGuineaClean: a waste management solution for markets in GuineaRecycle for All: a B-Corp dedicated to community-based recycling and remanufacturingCompeting for the Zahn Technology Prize:BERA: an app that helps individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder find jobsDype: is “Ebay on blockchain technology”  with a focus on street wearFoodini: an app that serves as a database for all foods, highlighting cultural dishesStaff to Go: a staffing app for the restaurant industry Once again, we're excited to see where these teams land. If you're a student who'd like to join one of these teams, please visit our “Join A Startup” form here. If you're interested in mentoring, please visit our Mentorship Page. Fri, 13 Dec 2019 14:54:09 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22167 The CAD Pod: Transforming Students Ideas into 3D Reality https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/cad-pod-transforming-students-ideas-3d-reality As part of our Apprentice Program Blog series, the below is written by Marketing Pod Apprentice & CCNY student Emily Santana. What Is CAD?The Zahn Innovation Centers CAD Pod is part of our apprenticeship program which aims to help transform students ideas into a 3D reality. CAD is short for Computer Aided Design, which is the process of using computer software to aid in the creation of a product. CAD software enables designers to create, visualize, manipulate, and test objects before theyre set into real-world conditions. For example, it is often used within automotive, shipbuilding, aerospace, architecture, and prosthetic industries. Many dont know this, but CAD also extends into the artistic realm to create computer animation and special effects makeup within television and movies. One familiar production that uses CAD is Coraline, a 2009 film created by Laika Studios. The stop motion characters were sketched out and transformed into 3D models with CAD manufacturing. The CAD Pod Leader, Baruch Shadrouz Our CAD pod is led by Baruch Shadrouz, a senior majoring in computer engineering here at CCNY. As the pods assistant engineer, he manages the day to day tasks of all his apprentices. Baruch was attracted to join the apprenticeship program because of all the skills [he] learns [because] it opens up many doors for future opportunities whether that is landing a great job or even starting your own company. With now almost 2 years in the Apprenticeship Program, he believes the program has helped him not only hone his engineering skills, but develop project management skills: a vital skill that can only be achieved by actually doing it in the real world. Thoughts from the CAD apprenticesThe CAD pod is made up of a group of student apprentices, all of whom value the programs ability to help them apply what theyve learned in class to real world situations. One is Ann Mary, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. She joined the Apprenticeship Program after learning about us through email. A typical day in the program for Ann Mary includes designing products using CAD software and printing them out on our 3D printers. She believes the Apprenticeship Program gave [her] an exposure to the real world engineering field. Further, her lessons have reached beyond technical skills because shes also learning how to collaborate with others when completing a project.Another CAD apprentice is Sumit, a sophomore who decided to change his major to computer engineering after working on a project over the summer at Zahn. He too believes the pod has helped him work to develop skills beyond the world of CAD. For example, Baruch encourages apprentices to participate in interdisciplinary projects since nothing in the industry is pure CAD, EE, or AM, there are aspects of them all. Professionally, the Apprenticeship Program has helped Sumit develop management experience which has made him more comfortable planning projects and developing [himself] as a leader in [his] team. While only being a sophomore in college, his exposure to a variety of fields and project management skills will be one of [the] key strengths in [his] resume.   What the Cad Pod Is up to NowCurrently, the CAD pod is working on a very exciting product that will potentially be on the market! They are also using CNC machining, creating an automation project for monitoring and watering plants, and are in the works of creating an automated robot project. When asked what advice he has for current apprentices and those who may be interested in joining the pod in the future, Baruch emphasized being a visionary. He believes it will help you see things that other people miss, change your belief system about what can and cannot be done, and most importantly, help you solve problems that others think cant be solved. Further, being a visionary creates passion in everything you do, and even when you lose it, you will find a new path to take to get that passion back.Interested in growing your skills in CAD manufacturing or other fields including marketing, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering? Consider joining the Zahn Apprenticeship Program! Applications are now open & you can apply here.  Wed, 04 Dec 2019 12:30:37 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22166 Introducing: The Marketing and Communications Pod at the Zahn Center https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/introducing-marketing-and-communications-pod-zahn-center This year, the Zahn Center expanded their career building apprenticeship program to include a new marketing and communications team. The pod aims to spread awareness about the Zahn Center and create a community of startups and innovative students within CCNY. Joining the marketing pod this year was a way for me to expand my marketing and communication skills, and explore fun and creative ways to learn new things. When I read the email about the pod application, I immediately knew that it was something I had to pursue.  Meeting our pod members for the first time was a great experience. Our pod consists of marketing assistants Chis Arsenault and Leanna Pham, whose roles include overseeing the rest of the apprentices, complete outside branding, social media, PR work and email marketing. The pod also includes the apprentices Emily, Linda, Jennifer, and me. Our roles range from website design to email and communications marketing.  During a typical day, an apprentice will work on individual projects as well as marketing and communication work for the entire pod. For a typical Zahn Center workshop, the marketing pod is in charge of creating graphics to promote the event, creating Eventbrites, creating registration links, completing social media audits and finally, updating the website with pictures from events.  Before working as marketing assistants, Chris and Leanna were both marketing interns for the Zahn Center over the summer. Leanna was also working as a brand ambassador for social media, and Chris was a music producer and advertised through branding his music. For the future, Anna Hutcheson, Program Manager at the Zahn Innovation Center, notes that the pod will eventually take on outside clients and fulfill marketing and social media work for other featured startups. During the summer, apprentices will also have the opportunity for paid summer internships within partnered companies. Once skill sets are built, the goal is to work with established outside companies outside of featured startups. The pod was created as a response to helping featured startups with marketing assistance and PR work in-house. This way, startups can benefit from marketing, and at the same time, create a learning experience for marketing students at CCNY. The goal is that future pod members will be able to reach outside companies and develop marketing and communication work for these organizations.  So far, one of our biggest accomplishments is being able to create a foundation for future marketing pods and continuing to build on it as the apprenticeship program grows. The hope for future pod members is that theyll be able to branch off continuing to spread awareness for the Zahn Innovation Center. Whats planned for the future? Well  be working on takeover Tuesdays – a fun and interactive way to give visual insight to students using Instagram stories. Then, pod blogs – a closer look into our apprenticeship pods and how they represent the Zahn Innovation Center.  Want to become the next apprentice of a Zahn Innovation Center pod? Apply for the Spring 2020 Apprenticeship program and gain experience and skills in the electrical, manufacturing, CAD, or marketing pods. Applications open December 2, 2019, so stay in touch with us at @ZahnCenterNYC or join our newsletter. Tue, 05 Nov 2019 11:15:09 -0500 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22165 Communitas America Inspires Changemakers at CCNY https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/communitas-america-inspires-changemakers-ccny Youll get a lot of nos, but you have to overcome them to realize your dreams. These were some of Judaline Cassidys words before she led our students in a warrior cry at the culmination of Communitas Americas Impact Career Program. By now youve heard about the program that trains students for careers in the social impact realm, and know that weve paired it with our Apprenticeship Program, a career-readiness program out of our MakerLab that allows CCNY students the opportunity to develop their skills by working on projects within our MakerLab. This summer, some of our apprentices took what theyve learned at the Zahn Center and worked as interns at NYC-based social enterprises, realizing that no dreams are realized without some hard work. With the help of these organizations, students were able to build the foundations of a career in the social impact sector.So how did it go? Nine students were placed in various social ventures in the NYC area for 10 weeks this summer, and all agreed they feel more confident in their skills thanks to this program. They told us all about their experiences at the finale event, kicked off by Tools&Tiaras founder (and the first woman to be accepted to the Plumbers Local Union 371 in Staten Island), Judaline Cassidy.  Joshua Chang worked at Farmshelf as their Engineering Field Technician Intern, and admittedly could not have imagined how much soldering hed do this summer (with a smile, he said he had an amazing summer). Hes still attending CCNY as a Junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Computer Science. He will possibly work part time at Farmshelf in the Fall semester. Joshua is also considering enrollment in a CCNY coding program. Christopher Hernandez worked at Zahn Center as their Senior Advanced Manufacturing Intern. He is attending CCNY in the Fall Semester as a Senior majoring in Economics and working a part time job. Also, he will be returning to the Apprenticeship Program as a Senior Apprentice. He loves the Apprenticeship Program because he not only develops his engineering skills, but is supported in career development too (those soft skills are important too, he insists).Phyo Zaw Hein worked at Design and Disorder as their Software Engineering Intern. He plans to focus on his studies for the fall as a Junior majoring in Computer Science, and to continue working with Design and Disorder. He loved working for a young startup and appreciated the openness of his boss Elmi, who trusted him with many projects.Ethan Toby Wong worked at Unique Electric Solutions as their Mechanical Engineering Intern. He will continue working for UES for the rest of the summer and attend CCNY in the fall semester as a Junior in the Macaulay Honors College majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He may work with UES in the future. He loved the program, saying, I am incredibly grateful for Zahn and the sponsor for putting this all together. I would have never gotten this experience without this program, and my career will definitely be uplifted from this internship. Alessandro Belaj  interned at Unique Electric Solutions as their Mechanical Engineering Intern. He will continue working for UES for the rest of the summer and attend CCNY in the fall semester as a Junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Francis Gold Sy interned at DogSpot as their Electrical Engineering Intern. He has been offered to stay until the end of the summer and continue on in the Fall semester. He will be attending CCNY in the fall semester as a Sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Computer Science. Francis will be rejoining the Zahn Center Apprentice Program to gain more hands-on experience. He will also be partaking in a fellowship – the S. Jay Levy Fellowship – where he will hone his interview skills and take personal development courses. Next summer, Francis will be interning or conducting research on the behalf of the fellowship. I loved how the workshops not only addressed hard skills (lathing, PCB design) but also soft skills (public speaking, business etiquette). It's great to have that balance and being able to improve in all aspects, he said.Sumit Das interned at Zahn Center as their Senior CAD and 3D Design Intern. He will be attending CCNY in the fall semester as a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering and be part of the Zahn Center Apprenticeship Program.Ngoc-Thao Ly interned at Hoplite Power as their Mechanical Engineering Intern, and learned how to assemble a ton! She will be attending CCNY in the fall semester as a Senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering and will be part of the Zahn Center Apprentice Program, and wants to explore as many opportunities as possible to keep herself well-rounded.Talha Kaleem interned at Pvilion as their Engineering Intern. He will continue to work with Pvilion until the end of the summer. He will be attending CCNY in the fall semester as a Senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering and will be part of the Zahn Center Apprenticeship Program. It was an exciting event, and what we found most interesting was that the majority of students thought theyd be more likely to seek out opportunities at social enterprises after participating in this program, noting that theyre more aware of the types of jobs that not only align with their career goals, but aim to make the world a better place. It seems like that changemaker mentality is really catching on here at CCNY! Communitas America, Inc seeks to support programs that encourage under-resourced communities to become changemakers. With the support of Communitas Inc., the Zahn Innovation Center is able to offer students these incredible opportunities as part of the Impact Career program, a special initiative designed to help students pursue careers within the social sector. Thanks to Communitas Inc.s support City College students will further their education, receiving on-the-job training and mentorship. This partnership helps both organizations fulfill the mission to create future change-makers capable of making a real, deep and positive influence in their communities and beyond. Wed, 09 Oct 2019 14:47:58 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22164 Standard Chartereds #Bossgirls Bootcamp Levels the Entrepreneurial Playing Field https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/standard-chartereds-bossgirls-bootcamp-levels-entrepreneurial-playing-field Many of you are aware that the Zahn Centers mission is to inspire the entrepreneurial mindset in students at The City College of New York, but many dont know about our program that extends outside of campus. Sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, the #Bossgirls Bootcamp at the Zahn Innovation Center aims to make the future of entrepreneurship more equal. In 2017, only 17% of startups had female founders and 2% of venture capital went to female founders. Likewise, the tech field is still male-dominated (although some companies are bridging the gap). Standard Chartered Bank & the Zahn Innovation Center are trying to change that by creating a pipeline of young women who not only embody the entrepreneurial mindset, but own the fact that they can create change in the world through their business initiatives. In that regard, Standard Chartered created the Womens Technology Incubator at CCNY and the company supports one of our competition tracks–Women+Tech4NYC. Soon though, we found that we needed to start sooner–the students we were reaching sometimes didnt see themselves as founders. We were doing a lot to prove to them that they should be here…so we thought, why not start a little younger?Thats how the #Bossgirls Bootcamp began. Now, the #Bossgirls Bootcamp is a summer entrepreneurship program for high school girls serving students across the five boroughs from a variety of different schools. Its designed to introduce high school girls to tech entrepreneurship and the startup life. Students learn the ins & outs of running a business while working on their own startup idea, and by the end of the program, theyll pitch their ideas for prizes (like in a mini-shark tank). From the start, students learn to discover the problems others around them face, and they brainstorm solutions to these problems. They research areas that interest them, and then head out into the community to learn how to create products and services their customers will actually use! All along the way they engage in workshops around customer research, marketing, financials, and product development. Expert mentors (from Standard Chartered) work with them to develop their business plans. This years mentors are particularly impressed because the students are leaning in faster than ever before. The current cohort is focused on subjects they care about. One team aims to make your commute safer, and encourages busy, young New Yorkers to make new friends along the way. Another wants to make it easier for those with food allergies or intolerances to eat out at restaurants (and for busy restaurant owners & workers to be better informed about how to cater to customers with severe allergies). A third team, inspired by their own many cultures, aims to share natural hair and skin care ingredients through subscription boxes. The final team, fueled by their love of food and travel, is introducing the average foodie to traditional cultural cuisines with an educational and immersive eating experience.Not only are these students coached by mentors, but theyre taught by Jana La Sorte, an adjunct professor at Northeastern University and founder/creative director at Ambassadora. La Sorte has over 25 years of experience in arts management, strategic issues consulting, marketing, and communications. Selected for the inaugural National Arts Strategies Chief Executive fellows program, La Sorte re-imagines what arts and social impact organizations can be, can do and how they can contribute to communities. She advises clients on strategic planning, organizational management, fundraising, program initiatives, marketing and communications. La Sorte is joined by current CCNY student Shaimaa Habib, who is the programs TA. As a former Bossgirl herself, Habib brings unique perspectives and guidance to the students. Shes currently studying business management. If youd like to learn more about the program and see our students pitch, please join us at their finale on August 15th. Details & RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-bossgirls-bootcamp-finale-sponsored-by-standard-chartered-tickets-65570255399 Tue, 30 Jul 2019 15:03:59 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22163 Communitas America Impact Career Program: Meet the Startups https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/communitas-america-impact-career-program-meet-startups Students at City College have an opportunity to create social impact through many activities on campus, but were excited to announce that well continue our partnership with Communitas America to train students for careers in the social impact realm. This year, weve paired it with our Apprenticeship Program, a career-readiness program out of our MakerLab that allows CCNY students the opportunity to develop their skills by working on projects within our MakerLab. We like to think of it as an apprenticeship that builds on what students learn in the classroom to prepare them for industry careers. This summer, some of our apprentices will take what theyve learned at the Zahn Center and work as interns at NYC-based social enterprises. Through this summer program, our students will not only gain invaluable career experience by working at social impact organizations and social enterprises in the NYC area, but theyll understand the foundations of building a career in the social impact sector through a series of skill-building workshops.Were excited to announce more details about the companies these CCNY students will support. Nine CCNY students were placed in various social ventures in the NYC area for 10 weeks (June 3rd – August 9th) this summer. Below is the list of the organizations.Design and Disorder: a multi-pronged technology for the deaf community and those with hearing loss, combining a stylish wearable with sensors in the home to help individuals identify & locate sounds. Not only will these individuals feel safer using this device (theyll be aware when a smoke detector goes off,  a door opens, a faucet is running, etc.), but it will allow them to establish more independence. Design and Disorder is a Zahn Center startup, and was founded by current CCNY students Heba Attia, Marvel Delva, and Elmi Jimenez. DogSpot: is committed to ethical pet treatment and animal neglect prevention. DogSpot is a smart sidewalk sanctuary, providing your dog a safe and cozy home away from home while you briefly go somewhere they aren't allowed. The device is temperature controlled, auto-sanitizing, and has a veterinarian grade space with remote monitoring.Farmshelf: an early-stage high-growth startup that builds smart indoor farms. Their bookshelf-sized Farmshelfs provide leafy greens and herbs year-round to food halls, corporate cafeterias and restaurants, including those of acclaimed chefs José Andrés, Marcus Samuelsson, and Claus Meyer. Their team of engineers, designers, fabricators, technicians and plant scientists take on the challenges of creating agricultural technology innovations to feed our growing urban populations.Hoplite Power. With Hoplite Power, you can easily charge your smartphone on the go€”no wires or outlets required! Hoplite Powers main impact on clean energy downstream is the reduction of e-waste, which has a net impact on the cradle to grave (or cradle to cradle in some cases) footprint of Lithium Ion Batteries. As a networked sharing economy product, Hoplites power bank rentals are able to improve the utilization, reliability, quality control, and accountability of the power bank market. This not only reduces the environmental hazards of power bank disposal, but also has a net reduction in the landfill CO2 footprint.Pvilion: a solar product company that integrates solar cells into flexible materials, from backpacks and clothing to stadium roofs and building facades. Because their products provide more than just solar electricity, they often work with forward-thinking and environmentally-conscious clients who are trying to extend their sustainability initiatives into the realm of celebrated public spaces.Unique Electric Solutions: a provider of electric propulsion and power systems for commercial trucks, commercializing two products an all-electric drive system for Class 4 thru 7 trucks and buses. UES is focused on fleet conversions for operations in highly congested cities where there is a high sensitivity to airborne emissions and noise.Zahn Center. The Zahn Center inspires CCNY students to approach their education as changemakers, transforming classroom learning into real-world application. As a startup incubator located at the City College of New York (CCNY), it offers co-working space and an array of resources including: an annual competition, a startup bootcamp, mentorship and pro-bono services, networking opportunities, and rapid prototyping facilities.Look out for more information about how these students are progressing soon! If youd like to see their final presentations, join us at their Finale on August 13th.Details & registration can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/zahn-apprentice-impact-career-program-powe… Communitas America, Inc seeks to support programs that encourage under-resourced communities to become changemakers. With the support of Communitas Inc., the Zahn Innovation Center is able to offer students these incredible opportunities as part of the Impact Career program, a special initiative designed to help students pursue careers within the social sector. Thanks to Communitas Inc.s support City College students will further their education, receiving on-the-job training and mentorship. This partnership helps both organizations fulfill the mission to create future change-makers capable of making a real, deep and positive influence in their communities and beyond.  Mon, 29 Jul 2019 12:37:14 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22162 Seven CCNY Startups Enter Zahn Accelerator 2019 https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/seven-ccny-startups-enter-zahn-accelerator-2019 For many of our students, it doesn't stop at the Final Pitch. Today we're pleased to announce the ten startups that will participate in our Accelerator this summer. Check them out below:Design & Disorder is a multi-pronged technology for the deaf community and those with hearing loss, combining a stylish wearable with sensors in the home to help individuals identify & locate sounds. Not only will these individuals feel safer (theyll hear a door opening, the water running, etc.), but it will allow individuals to establish more independence. One of the co-founders, Heba Attia (a Psychology major), has a personal experience with this that drives the team forward. Shes joined by Marvel Delva, an Architecture major, and Elmi Jimenez, an Electrical Engineering student, both equally determined to bring this idea to life.The Coach is an interactive, automated boxing device that trains you & makes working out fun. The Coach team is dedicated to fitness and believes its the best preventive medicine. However, they know working out isnt always easy, and it certainly isnt always fun. Their goal is to bring an engaging boxing HIIT workout into the home to fit busy lifestyles, almost like a Peloton for boxing. The Coach is made up of Mechanical Engineering majors Okiermute Oyiborhoro and Mahutin Paul, Computer Engineering major Krongchai Praponpoj, Computer Science major Nicholas Weatherley, and graduate student Granville Parker. They won first place in the Kaylie Hardware Prize, worth $50,000, and they'll use the funds to make more devices.Luxz is tackling another big problem in society€“the issue of sexual violence. This team is building an organization that helps survivors of sexual assault reclaim their lives through a combination of support groups, non-traditional therapy (meditation, yoga, art, etc.), and career services. Much of the current support for survivors focuses on legal and medical services, but the team at Luxz knows first hand that rape and sexual assault can completely alter someones life. So far theyve held workshops & will host a Take Back the Night event on campus. The team is made up of Jewish Studies major Ashley Persaud and Biology major Devjani Paul.MoneyMiles is a fitness app centered around runners. Through running competitions and personalized analytics, their goal is to encourage everyone to get out and run more! Although entering a crowded space, the MoneyMiles team is excited to focus on the motivations of runners, and they spend a lot of time talking to runners to truly understand what they need. A group of fitness junkies themselves, the team believes in the power of exercise to relieve stress, stay healthy, and make friends. The MoneyMiles team is made up of Computer Environmental Engineering student Jennifer Duong, Computer Engineering student Simranjit Kaur, Computer Science student Bhavesh Shah, and Anim Xhafa. MoneyMiles took home the first place prize in the Zahn Technology track, $25,000.SheFFA is a local, community-driven social enterprise dedicated to eradicating female genital cutting, is another competitor in the Social Impact track. Theyre working with young activists and community organizers to educate individuals on the effects of female genital cutting, with the hopes of eradicating the practice both here in the US and abroad. Theyre also working with doctors who specialize in reconstructive surgery to help more survivors access the surgery. The SheFFA team is made up of Biology major Arielle Brutus, Nonya Khedr, and Political Science student Shza Zaki. SheFFA took home the second place prize in the Zahn Social Impact track.STEM Hive is a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging young girls in STEM fields! The idea was born at a Hackathon here at CCNY when the founders realized that they werent the only ones who questioned careers in STEM even after loving science and robotics all their lives. STEM Hive is on a mission to make sure that girls never lose their interest in STEM and pursue careers in the field. Theyll use a combination of near-peer mentorship, workshops, skill-building curriculum, and more to keep young girls engaged in STEM. The team is made up of Brandinf& Integrated Communication grad student Penelope Herrera, Biochemistry major Karla Jacome, Biology major Carolina Perez, and Computer Engineering major Daniel Gaston. STEM Hive won first place in the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize.Floramind is an educational organization that develops tools to educate, empower and guide teenagers towards positive mental health & well-being. They host in-person workshops that cover the stigma around mental illness, mental health knowledge, self-care strategies, and how to seek for help. The founders are CCNY students Danny Tsoi, Khandker Ahamed and Mahmoud Khedr, three experienced entrepreneurs who are deeply passionate about solving the youth mental health crisis across the world. Theyve had experience working in organizations like the U.S. Marine Corps, Accenture, Teach For America, Facebook and Google€“along with building and running their own startups. So far, theyve developed partnerships at two schools, hosting 15 workshops impacting over 270 students. Theyve won awards from the New York Business Plan Competition (1st place, Social Impact) and Echoing Green/Barclays (Social Innovation Finalist), have been recognized as Forbes Under 30 Scholars, Clinton Global University Fellows, Colin Powell Fellows, and completed Y Combinators Startup School. Right now, theyre looking to get introductions to high schools and colleges that may be interested in bringing FloraMinds programs and workshops to their schools. Theyd also love introductions to CSR / Corporate folks who may be interested in sponsoring the work theyre doing so they can do it at more high schools.  During the Accelerator, each startup will receive a $10,000 stipend so that at least two members from each team can dedicate 40 hours a week to the program. This is made possible by a generous sponsorship from CCNY alum Howard Morgan, Co-Founder of First Round Capital. Startups will work towards individual milestones with specific end goals that could include acceptance into a top tier accelerator program or seed/angel round investment. Theyll receive access to expert mentors and will gain introductions to closed-door meetings with senior advisors, investors, and business partners specifically chosen to meet their needs.There will also be an educational component to the program in the form of daily workshops, as well as tailored consulting from Zahn staff. Startups will spend the summer conducting further market research and finishing their prototypes, all while developing a clearer understanding of their business from a financial perspective. Each team will receive individual help applying for grants, contracts, and other competitions. Experts from BNY Mellon and Willkie Farr & Gallagher will mentor startups throughout the program.The Accelerator kicks off the week of June 10th with investigative meetings with investors. If youd like to be a part of that, please email katherine@zahncenternyc.com with your interest.Well share their progress live on social media throughout the summer, so make sure you follow us @ZahnCenterNYC for updates! Wed, 22 May 2019 10:34:28 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22161 Communitas Americas Career Impact Program Gives CCNY Lessons in Engineering and Social Impact https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/communitas-americas-career-impact-program-gives-ccny-lessons-engineering-and-social Students at City College have an opportunity to create social impact through many activities on campus, but were excited to announce that well continue our partnership with Communitas America to train students for careers in the social impact realm. This year, weve paired it with our Apprenticeship Program, a career-readiness program out of our MakerLab that allows CCNY students the opportunity to develop their skills by working on projects within our MakerLab. We like to think of it as an apprenticeship that builds on what students learn in the classroom to prepare them for industry careers. This summer, some of our apprentices will take what theyve learned at the Zahn Center and work as interns at NYC-based social enterprises. Through this summer program, our students will not only gain invaluable career experience by working at social impact organizations and social enterprises in the NYC area, but theyll understand the foundations of building a career in the social impact sector through a series of skill-building workshops.The program will kick off with a two-day intensive training seminar. Participating students will learn about the field of social innovation, and explore what it takes to build a career around their personal sense of purpose. Theyll also learn valuable skills to be successful  in a social impact-driven career, like impact measurement and growth hacking. The seminar will feature interviews and discussion with leaders in the space, and will be facilitated by Jana LaSorte, an educator and expert strategist in community engagement and program development.This program was developed in partnership with Communitas America, a social impact firm that supports changemakers creating innovative solutions to solve social problems in underserved communities. Communitas America encourages changemakers and social entrepreneurs to further their missions. They are specifically focused on New York City, especially as its population represents much of the world. New Yorkers hail from hundreds of different countries, speaking many different languages; in the same vein, CCNY students represent almost every country in the globe and speak 150 different languages. For us, this means New Yorkers bring a variety of different experiences and are exposed to many more challenges, often having a duty to solve problems within their own communities here in the city and abroad. Communitas America is currently working with various social ventures and nonprofits in the NYC area within underserved communities to develop our Impact Ecosystems. They envision a city where no matter what zip code youre coming from, you can have the resources you need to be a changemaker where youre from. A community of changemakers can transform any community through collaboration and innovative work. With this program, we hope to give CCNY students a pathway towards a rewarding, purpose-driven career in social impact.Once the internship matching process wraps up, well share a little bit more about where students are working and what theyll focus on throughout the summer. In the meantime, follow us on social media at @ZahnCenterNYC for updates on the 2-day immersive program! Tue, 21 May 2019 15:01:32 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22160 Ten Startups Will Enter Zahn Accelerator 2019 https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/ten-startups-will-enter-zahn-accelerator-2019 For many of our students, it doesn't stop at the Final Pitch. Today we're pleased to announce the ten startups that will participate in our Accelerator this summer. Check them out below:Design & Disorder is a multi-pronged technology for the deaf community and those with hearing loss, combining a stylish wearable with sensors in the home to help individuals identify & locate sounds. Not only will these individuals feel safer (theyll hear a door opening, the water running, etc.), but it will allow individuals to establish more independence. One of the co-founders, Heba Attia (a Psychology major), has a personal experience with this that drives the team forward. Shes joined by Marvel Delva, an Architecture major, and Elmi Jimenez, an Electrical Engineering student, both equally determined to bring this idea to life.The Coach is an interactive, automated boxing device that trains you & makes working out fun. The Coach team is dedicated to fitness and believes its the best preventive medicine. However, they know working out isnt always easy, and it certainly isnt always fun. Their goal is to bring an engaging boxing HIIT workout into the home to fit busy lifestyles, almost like a Peloton for boxing. The Coach is made up of Mechanical Engineering majors Okiermute Oyiborhoro and Mahutin Paul, Computer Engineering major Krongchai Praponpoj, Computer Science major Nicholas Weatherley, and graduate student Granville Parker. They won first place in the Kaylie Hardware Prize, worth $50,000, and they'll use the funds to make more devices.Fruition is one of our edtech teams concerned about study habits. Having never learned how to study, they spent a lot of their high school days perfecting different study methods and helping friends develop study guides. Their goal is to help students understand how they need to study through learning assessments, and then develop personalized study plans around their study type. The Fruition team is made up of Political Science major Emma Montero, Computer Engineering major Ostavo Palacios, Computer Science major Jimmaely Valdez, and Mechanical Engineering major (and student athlete!) Nahomi Zambrano.Luxz is tackling another big problem in society€“the issue of sexual violence. This team is building an organization that helps survivors of sexual assault reclaim their lives through a combination of support groups, non-traditional therapy (meditation, yoga, art, etc.), and career services. Much of the current support for survivors focuses on legal and medical services, but the team at Luxz knows first hand that rape and sexual assault can completely alter someones life. So far theyve held workshops & will host a Take Back the Night event on campus. The team is made up of Jewish Studies major Ashley Persaud and Biology major Devjani Paul.MoneyMiles is a fitness app centered around runners. Through running competitions and personalized analytics, their goal is to encourage everyone to get out and run more! Although entering a crowded space, the MoneyMiles team is excited to focus on the motivations of runners, and they spend a lot of time talking to runners to truly understand what they need. A group of fitness junkies themselves, the team believes in the power of exercise to relieve stress, stay healthy, and make friends. The MoneyMiles team is made up of Computer Environmental Engineering student Jennifer Duong, Computer Engineering student Simranjit Kaur, Computer Science student Bhavesh Shah, and Anim Xhafa. MoneyMiles took home the first place prize in the Zahn Technology track, $25,000.Olacare is a customizable sexual & reproductive health app for the LGBTQ community. Having experienced healthcare that didnt consider issues outside of a heterosexual cisgender life, the Olacare team decided to create a more inclusive experience. Through Olacare, users can take control of their sexual and reproductive health, as well as find doctors who are either part of the LGBTQ community or are allies. The Olacare team is made up of Brivia Bobby, a Biology major with a minor in Psychology; Anthony Bravo, a Computer Engineering major; Tyler Jimenez Perez, an Electronic Design & Multimedia major; and Natascha Krishnanand, a Spanish & French double-major. Olacare won second place in the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize.Popit is helping individuals achieve their goals, build skills, and learn about knew topics. Theyre essentially a digital idea board, allowing users to organize screenshots, photos, and links in one place. The app also sets reminders and makes suggestions based on location. The idea was inspired by founder & Computer Science student Michal Moryosefs passion for dance. After serving in the military in her home in Israel, Michal came to the US to pursue her passion for dancing, but found that it was difficult to stay on track and find the right resources in a bustling city. She hopes this tool will help others reinvigorate their sense of goal-setting. Shes joined by Gabriel Adalla (studying Business), Greg Kimatov (studying Computer Science), and Mei Yolles (studying Applied Mathematics & Musical Performance).SheFFA is a local, community-driven social enterprise dedicated to eradicating female genital cutting, is another competitor in the Social Impact track. Theyre working with young activists and community organizers to educate individuals on the effects of female genital cutting, with the hopes of eradicating the practice both here in the US and abroad. Theyre also working with doctors who specialize in reconstructive surgery to help more survivors access the surgery. The SheFFA team is made up of Biology major Arielle Brutus, Nonya Khedr, and Political Science student Shza Zaki. SheFFA took home the second place prize in the Zahn Social Impact track.STEM Hive is a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging young girls in STEM fields! The idea was born at a Hackathon here at CCNY when the founders realized that they werent the only ones who questioned careers in STEM even after loving science and robotics all their lives. STEM Hive is on a mission to make sure that girls never lose their interest in STEM and pursue careers in the field. Theyll use a combination of near-peer mentorship, workshops, skill-building curriculum, and more to keep young girls engaged in STEM. The team is made up of Brandinf& Integrated Communication grad student Penelope Herrera, Biochemistry major Karla Jacome, Biology major Carolina Perez, and Computer Engineering major Daniel Gaston. STEM Hive won first place in the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize.WiseWatch is a stylish and customizable tracking device for individuals suffering from dementia. The bracelet will give caregivers and family members peace of mind, while also allowing people with dementia to gain more independence. This idea was inspired by one of the cofounders personal experience with his grandmother, and those of us who have experienced dementia know how terrifying it is to have your loved one wander off, vulnerable. The WiseWatch team is made up of Mechanical Engineering majors Nikolas Arsenlis and Norphel Sherpa, Computer Science majors Danish Faruqi and Thomas Ly, and recent grad Bethold Kobe Owusu. WiseWatch took home second place in the Kaylie Hardware Prize.During the Accelerator, each startup will receive a $10,000 stipend so that at least two members from each team can dedicate 40 hours a week to the program. This is made possible by a generous sponsorship from CCNY alum Howard Morgan, Co-Founder of First Round Capital. Startups will work towards individual milestones with specific end goals that could include acceptance into a top tier accelerator program or seed/angel round investment. Theyll receive access to expert mentors and will gain introductions to closed-door meetings with senior advisors, investors, and business partners specifically chosen to meet their needs.There will also be an educational component to the program in the form of daily workshops, as well as tailored consulting from Zahn staff. Startups will spend the summer conducting further market research and finishing their prototypes, all while developing a clearer understanding of their business from a financial perspective. Each team will receive individual help applying for grants, contracts, and other competitions. Experts from BNY Mellon and Willkie Farr & Gallagher will mentor startups throughout the program.The Accelerator kicks off the week of June 10th with investigative meetings with investors. If youd like to be a part of that, please email katherine@zahncenternyc.com with your interest.Well share their progress live on social media throughout the summer, so make sure you follow us @ZahnCenterNYC for updates! Tue, 21 May 2019 14:58:54 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22159 Were Looking for Marketing and Design Interns for this Summer! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/were-looking-marketing-and-design-interns-summer If you're a CCNY student looking to work in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, you're in luck! We're hiring for three internship positions–a Social Media Intern, a Graphic Design Intern, and an Email Marketing Intern–this summer. You can see all the job descriptions below, as well as details on how to apply. **This position has been filled for the summer** POSITION #1:  Social Media InternPosition Summary:The Social Media Intern will assist in the production and implementation of our social media marketing activities, and provide administrative and other communications support as needed. In this role youll increase the visibility for Zahn Innovation Center both on campus at CCNY and within the NYC startup space. About the Zahn Innovation Center:The Zahn Innovation Center is a startup incubator that nurtures entrepreneurial initiatives at the City College of New York, providing students with the tools they need to transform their ideas into sustainable ventures. The Center offers support for both technology-enabled startups and social impact ventures. The Center provides co-working spaces, as well as mentorship, workshops, academic classes, and expert pro-bono services. The Center also provides a wide range of prototyping capabilities for technology and hardware-based startups, including 3D printing, laser cutting, and machining.Essential Functions:Strategize, craft, and execute content for all platforms, including Instagram (including stories), Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTubeCollaborate with the team to understand how and what we communicate to each audienceCreate & keep a content calendar Use innovative tactics to grow & engage our social media audiencesServe as a brand ambassador for the Zahn Center & seek out stories to share amongst our communityUse data to optimize our social media marketingPosition Requirements & Qualities:Experience with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTubeCreative problem-solver able to get things done quickly, efficiently, and accuratelyExcellent written and verbal communication skills & interpersonal skillsExcellent organizational, time management and project management skills, with the energy and flexibility to shift from creative to administrative projects as neededA good storyteller with a strong eye for detailHighly motivated, energetic and enthusiastic self-starter Comfortable working as a collaborative partner on a small teamMust be able to work within deadlinesTo apply, email katherine@zahncenternyc.com with your resume and cover letter, as well as links to your personal social media pages and any that you might manage.POSITION #2:  Graphic Design/Website InternPosition Summary:The Graphic Design Intern will design & develop high-quality, visually attractive, clear, and engaging graphic communications for print and digital channels. This position will also assist in managing & optimizing our website. In this role youll increase the visibility for Zahn Innovation Center both on campus at CCNY and within the NYC startup space. The position will have a strong focus on event marketing and recruitment for our various programs (an annual Startup Competition with a Demo Day & Finale, our Accelerator, the MakerLab Apprentice Program, our Zahn Innovation Summit, as well as Hackathons, Workshops, Speaker Series, and more). About the Zahn Innovation Center:The Zahn Innovation Center is a startup incubator that nurtures entrepreneurial initiatives at the City College of New York, providing students with the tools they need to transform their ideas into sustainable ventures. The Center offers support for both technology-enabled startups and social impact ventures. The Center provides co-working spaces, as well as mentorship, workshops, academic classes, and expert pro-bono services. The Center also provides a wide range of prototyping capabilities for technology and hardware-based startups, including 3D printing, laser cutting, and machining.Essential Functions:Design & develop graphic communications for print & digital channelsDesign social media/website images, web ads, infographics, signs, brochures, flyers, and other promotional materialsAdhere to brand guidelines and design/font standardsWork closely with the team to design our e-newsletter & email marketing campaigns, and collaborate on social media content (visuals)Design and maintain new website pagesWork closely with our team to translate messaging concepts into marketing materialsPosition Requirements & Qualities:Proficient in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator & Photoshop and/or other common design applications (having a computer with access to these is a plus!)Proficient in WordPress and/or other common website applicationsMust be able to work within deadlinesCreative problem-solver able to get things done quickly, efficiently, and accuratelyExcellent written and verbal communication skills & interpersonal skillsA good storyteller with a strong eye for detailHighly motivated, energetic and enthusiastic self-starter Comfortable working as a collaborative partner on a small teamTo apply, email katherine@zahncenternyc.com with your resume and cover letter, as well as a portfolio of your designs. POSITION #3:  Email Marketing InternPosition Summary:The Email Marketing Intern will assist in the production and implementation of our email marketing activities, and provide administrative and other communications support as needed. In this role youll increase the visibility for Zahn Innovation Center both on campus at CCNY and within the NYC startup space. The position will have a strong focus on event marketing and recruitment for our various programs (an annual Startup Competition with a Demo Day & Finale, our Accelerator, the MakerLab Apprentice Program, our Zahn Innovation Summit, as well as Hackathons, Workshops, Speaker Series, and more). About the Zahn Innovation Center:The Zahn Innovation Center is a startup incubator that nurtures entrepreneurial initiatives at the City College of New York, providing students with the tools they need to transform their ideas into sustainable ventures. The Center offers support for both technology-enabled startups and social impact ventures. The Center provides co-working spaces, as well as mentorship, workshops, academic classes, and expert pro-bono services. The Center also provides a wide range of prototyping capabilities for technology and hardware-based startups, including 3D printing, laser cutting, and machining.Essential Functions:Strategize, craft, and execute content for our monthly newsletter, as well as assist staff with email marketing/invitations for events & programsCollaborate with the team to understand how and what we communicate to each audience, and keep our brand voice consistentCreate & keep a content calendarWork closely with the Design Intern to craft visuals to enhance our email marketingMaintain a rapid response time to email inquiries & keep a professional, but energetic tone in all correspondence Position Requirements & Qualities:Familiar with Mailchimp or other common email marketing applicationsMust be able to work within deadlinesCreative problem-solver able to get things done quickly, efficiently, and accuratelyExcellent written and verbal communication skills & interpersonal skillsExcellent organizational, time management and project management skills, with the energy and flexibility to shift from creative to administrative projects as neededA good storyteller with a strong eye for detailHighly motivated, energetic and enthusiastic self-starter Comfortable working as a collaborative partner on a small teamMust be able to work within deadlines & shift from project to projectCustomer service experience is a plus!To apply, email katherine@zahncenternyc.com with your resume and cover letter, as well as a one-page writing sample.  Wed, 15 May 2019 13:25:23 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22158 Startups Win $150K in Seed Funding at 2019 Zahn Final Pitch Night https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/startups-win-150k-seed-funding-2019-zahn-final-pitch-night Almost 200 students, faculty, staff, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, mentors, sponsors, and family members watched in awe as eight startups gave it their all and pitched for the chance to win the grand prizes in each of our four competition categories. To us, everyone was a winner last night. And as CCNY President Vince Boudreau put it: “What you'll see here tonight is the future of CCNY–nimbleness, adaptiveness, that entrepreneurial thinking, is the future, and there's no better time to be here.”But, there can only be four grand prize winners. It is with great excitement that I announce the top startups in each category:Kaylie Prize:The Coach, an interactive, automated boxing device that trains you & makes working out fun, won the Kaylie Prize for $50,000.This prize is part of an endowment sponsored by City College alum Harvey Kaylie, founder of Mini Circuits. The Coach team is dedicated to fitness and believes its the best preventive medicine. However, they know working out isnt always easy, and it certainly isnt always fun. Their goal is to bring an engaging boxing HIIT workout into the home to fit busy lifestyles, almost like a Peloton for boxing. They'll use the funds to manufacture their device. The Coach is made up of Mechanical Engineering majors Okiermute Oyiborhoro and Mahutin Paul, Computer Engineering major Krongchai Praponpoj, Computer Science major Nicholas Weatherley, and graduate student Granville Parker.Zahn Social Impact Prize:Beyond the Margins focuses on supporting “middle school deserts” with supplemental education designed to help students understand their passions and figure out what high schools would be best for them. They won first place in the Zahn Social Impact Prize, sponsored by the Moxie Foundation and worth $25,000.  For the past month theyve held workshops for middle schoolers in the NYC area, introducing them to a variety of different topics to supplement their education. Their goal is to help students go beyond the margins of the page and explore things that theyre passionate about. Beyond the Margins is led by Arielle Gallegos, an International Studies and Anthropology major; Jasmine Martin, an Advertising and Public Relations major; and Francisca Vallejo, a Mechanical Engineering major.Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC Prize:STEM Hive is a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging young girls in STEM fields, and they won first place in the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank and worth $25,000. The idea was born at a Hackathon here at CCNY when the founders realized that they werent the only ones who questioned careers in STEM even after loving science and robotics all their lives. STEM Hive is on a mission to make sure that girls never lose their interest in STEM and pursue careers in the field. Theyll use a combination of near-peer mentorship, workshops, skill-building curriculum, and more to keep young girls engaged in STEM. The team is made up of BIC student Penelope Herrera, Biochemistry major Karla Jacome, Biology major Carolina Perez, and Computer Engineering major Daniel Gaston.Zahn Technology Prize:MoneyMiles is a fitness app centered around runners. Through running competitions and personalized analytics, their goal is to encourage everyone to get out and run more! They won a first place of $25,000 in the Zahn Technology Prize, also sponsored by the Moxie Foundation. Although entering a crowded space, the MoneyMiles team is excited to focus on the motivations of runners, and they spend a lot of time talking to runners to truly understand what they need. A group of fitness junkies themselves, the team believes in the power of exercise to relieve stress, stay healthy, and make friends. The MoneyMiles team is made up of Computer Environmental Engineering student Jennifer Duong, Computer Engineering student Simranjit Kaur, Computer Science student Bhavesh Shah, and Anim Xhafa.These winning startups were chosen by four separate panels of elite judges, one for each track. Read more about our panels of judges here.We are so thankful for those who joined us in supporting these outstanding startups last night (and for those who were there in spirit!). In the upcoming months, well work closely with these startups to maintain goals and meet specific milestones. We cannot wait to share their progress with you, but in the meantime, check back next week for some exciting news about our Summer Accelerator! Fri, 10 May 2019 14:06:09 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22157 Meet the Judges Who Will Choose our 2019 Grand Prize Winners https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/meet-judges-who-will-choose-our-2019-grand-prize-winners We always say to our startups: our job is to make the judges job difficult. This quote sums up the time each track chair and mentor puts into priming every one of our startups for Demo Day and the Final Pitch.Every year, the competition gets closer and the judges deliberations get more complicated. This year, weve gathered a powerhouse team to evaluate the 2019 Cohort. On Demo Day, investors, entrepreneurs, educators, public officials, and experts in a variety of fields met with each semi-finalist and carefully decided who would move on to the Final Pitch. They included, listed by track: Kaylie Hardware PrizeAlex Darby, Director of Strategic Operations, NEW INCBlake Garcia, Manager of Operations, SecondMuseJacob Levy, Associate, SoundBoard Venture FundZahn Social Impact PrizeJen Jones, Co-Founder, Women You Should Know & Women You Should FundWilliam Poon, Director of Strategy, Communitas AmericaMaggie Tishman, Program Director for Economic Innovation, MIT Community Innovators LabStandard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC PrizeAngie Muller, Co-Founder & CEO, CarbynCamilla Uden, Treasurer, ZoetisMatthew Washington, Deputy Borough President, Office of the Manhattan Borough PresidentZahn Technology PrizeAmy Chen, Director of Entrepreneurship Programs, NYC Media LabMarc Escapa, Co-Founder & CEO, NokenAbby Lyall, Senior Associate, Quake Capital      On Thursday, the finalist teams will meet more investors from Golden Seeds, SoundBoard Venture Fund, Republic, Accelerate NY Seed Fund, and 6th Ave Capital; experts from Standard Chartered Bank, The Moxie Foundation, Acumen, NYCEDC, CapGemini, UpWardly Global,  the Cordes Foundation; as well as educators from CCNY, founders, and experts in law.Together, theyll consider how developed each teams product/service is, their pathway to long-term sustainability, and their go-to-market strategy. There are also specific requirements for each of the four categories, so weve assembled four separate panels of experts€“one for each track€“to evaluate the 18 teams.The Kaylie Prize was developed and sponsored by CCNY Alum Harvey Kaylie, Founder of Mini-Circuits. This category celebrates all things hardware, and qualified startups are building physical products that may or may not include a connected (smart) technology. This year, we chose judges who not only have experience investing in medtech and hardware devices, but have vast knowledge of how these devices operate! They include:Noel Goddard, Principal, Accelerate NY Seed FundJonathan Hakakian, Managing Partner, SoundBoard Venture Fund DB Lampman, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Makerspace NYCThe Zahn Social Impact Prize is developed and sponsored by the Moxie Foundation. This category acts as a catalyst for the spread of social entrepreneurship on campus, and encourages students to develop a global perspective on impact. Startups in this category were challenged to build ventures with a sustainable revenue model, whose primary objective is social change or environmental stewardship. They may pursue either a nonprofit or for-profit model, and the judges are experts in economic development and non-profits & social enterprises.Lindsay Clinton, Senior Vice President, NYCEDCPeter Zahn, President, Moxie FoundationYasmina Zaidman, Chief Partnerships Officer, Acumen The Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC Prize is sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank as part of the Women in Technology Incubator at the Zahn Center. This year, the category celebrates the role of women in building Silicon Alley. Startups were challenged to leverage technology to address challenges in urban environments. By nature, many of the startups in this category have a social impact mission at their core, and may consider nonprofit status in the future. This years panel of judges is dedicated to keeping their city on the cutting edge, with expertise in investing, finance, and social enterprise.Jina Krause-Vilmar, President and CEO, Upwardly GlobalEmily Susskind, Managing Director, Golden SeedsLalita Vadhri, Global Accounts Manager, Corporate and Institutional Clients, Americas, Standard CharteredThe Zahn Technology Prize is also sponsored by the Moxie Foundation. Startups in this category were challenged to develop ventures that use technology to solve problems otherwise untouched. Their products include transformative new apps, web platforms, database tools, or e-commerce sites. This year, we chose judges with a vast knowledge of the latest technologies. Some work directly in the tech field, while others have been long-time investors of technology ventures. They include:Samantha Berg, 6th Ave CapitalChuck Pettid, Partner, RepublicBob Schwartz, VP, Applied Innovation Exchange Global Operations Lead, Capgemini Our Final Pitch judges will decide who will walk away with grand prizes totaling $150,000. Follow the action live on Thursday, May 9th via Twitter & Instagram at @ZahnCenterNYC starting at 5:30pm. Wed, 08 May 2019 10:36:13 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22155 Meet the Startups that Will Pitch for $150K https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/meet-startups-will-pitch-150k Were still feeling excitement from yesterdays Demo Day. Hundreds of supporters visited CCNY startups as they shared their MVPs and prototypes with the community.Startups seen yesterday have developed their ideas in our Lean Startup Bootcamp for the past semester, and Demo Day marked the first of two events that will determine which teams win prize money totaling $150,000. While the fun was happening outside on campus, judges carefully deliberated inside. The pressure was on. After much thought, the judges selected two teams from each of the four categories €“ hardware, social impact, women & tech for NYC, and technology. These eight finalist teams will pitch again in front of an audience later this week at the Final Pitch. The Kaylie Hardware Prize:The Coach – an interactive, automated boxing device that trains you & makes working out fun. The Coach team is dedicated to fitness and believes its the best preventive medicine. However, they know working out isnt always easy, and it certainly isnt always fun. Their goal is to bring an engaging boxing HIIT workout into the home to fit busy lifestyles, almost like a Peloton for boxing. We cant wait to see it in action! The Coach is made up of Mechanical Engineering majors Okiermute Oyiborhoro and Mahutin Paul, Computer Engineering major Krongchai Praponpoj, Computer Science major Nicholas Weatherley, and graduate student Granville Parker.WiseWatch – a stylish and customizable tracking device for individuals suffering from dementia. The bracelet will give caregivers and family members peace of mind, while also allowing people with dementia to gain more independence. This idea was inspired by one of the cofounders personal experience with his grandmother, and those of us who have experienced dementia know how terrifying it is to have your loved one wander off, vulnerable. The WiseWatch team is made up of Mechanical Engineering majors Nikolas Arsenlis and Norphel Sherpa, Computer Science majors Danish Faruqi and Thomas Ly, and recent grad Bethold Kobe Owusu. The Zahn Social Impact Prize:Beyond the Margins – focuses on bettering education for marginalized groups. For the past month theyve held workshops for middle schoolers in the NYC area, introducing them to a variety of different topics to supplement their education. Their goal is to help students go beyond the margins of the page and explore things that theyre passionate about. Beyond the Margins is led by Arielle Gallegos, an International Studies and Anthropology major; Jasmine Martin, an Advertising and Public Relations major; and Francisca Vallejo, a Mechanical Engineering major.SheFFA – a local, community-driven social enterprise dedicated to eradicating female genital cutting, is another competitor in the Social Impact track. Theyre working with young activists and community organizers to educate individuals on the effects of female genital cutting, with the hopes of eradicating the practice both here in the US and abroad. Theyre also working with doctors who specialize in reconstructive surgery to help more survivors access the surgery. The SheFFA team is made up of Biology major Arielle Brutus, Nonya Khedr, and Political Science student Shza Zaki. The Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize:Olacare – a customizable sexual & reproductive health app for the LGBTQ community. Having experienced healthcare that didnt consider issues outside of a heterosexual cisgender life, the Olacare team decided to create a more inclusive experience. Through Olacare, users can take control of their sexual and reproductive health, as well as find doctors who are either part of the LGBTQ community or are allies. The Olacare team is made up of Brivia Bobby, a Biology major with a minor in Psychology; Anthony Bravo, a Computer Engineering major; Tyler Jimenez Perez, an Electronic Design & Multimedia major; and Natascha Krishnanand, a Spanish & French double-major.STEM Hive – a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging young girls in STEM fields! The idea was born at a Hackathon here at CCNY when the founders realized that they werent the only ones who questioned careers in STEM even after loving science and robotics all their lives. STEM Hive is on a mission to make sure that girls never lose their interest in STEM and pursue careers in the field. Theyll use a combination of near-peer mentorship, workshops, skill-building curriculum, and more to keep young girls engaged in STEM. The team is made up of BIC student Penelope Herrera, Biochemistry major Karla Jacome, Biology major Carolina Perez, and Computer Engineering major Daniel Gaston. The Zahn Technology Prize:MarkGen – a platform that uses machine learning algorithms to handle multivariate relationships to simulate market data and provide accurate risk assessments for financial products. They plan to help financial analysts better predict market patterns, but perhaps theres a possibility that this could help your everyday at-home trader! The students working on this project work closely with several professors across departments including Michael Grossberg, Kevin Foster, and Hank Nguyen. The MarkGen team is made up of Computer Engineering majors Andriana Aivazians, Eddie Chen, and Marin Muso.MoneyMiles – a fitness app centered around runners. Through running competitions and personalized analytics, their goal is to encourage everyone to get out and run more! Although entering a crowded space, the MoneyMiles team is excited to focus on the motivations of runners, and they spend a lot of time talking to runners to truly understand what they need. A group of fitness junkies themselves, the team believes in the power of exercise to relieve stress, stay healthy, and make friends. The MoneyMiles team is made up of Computer Environmental Engineering student Jennifer Duong, Computer Engineering student Simranjit Kaur, Computer Science student Bhavesh Shah, and Anim Xhafa.  To support your team and find out who takes home the grand prizes, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@ZahnCenterNYC) on the evening of May 9th. Well go backstage with the startups, and announce the winners by the end of the night. Well also announce the winners that YOU selected for the Audience Choice Award, and the startups who will continue on in our Accelerator Program! Tue, 07 May 2019 12:37:14 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22156 What Expert Mentors are Saying About Our Teams https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/what-expert-mentors-are-saying-about-our-teams Only a few more days until Demo Day! Were excited for you to see how far our startups have come in only a few months, but we have to acknowledge some of the people who helped get them to where they are. Each year we invite expert mentors in to support our startups. Some lead workshops on the topics in our Lean Startup Bootcamp, some take one on one office hours each week, and others join us for pitch practice, readying the startups for not only Demo Day & the Final Pitch, but for investors later on. Its a fun, rewarding process, and heres what some of our mentors had to say about it: Mentoring young entrepreneurs through the Zahn Center is so rewarding. Its great to listen to their ideas, share with them my experience to help them grow, then watch as they take my suggestions and improve their business ideas. The students at the Zahn Center work so hard to ensure their business is the best possible that it can be.” – Liz Gallo, WhyMaker – Liz led several workshops on user identification, customer interviews, and how to analyze insightsI volunteer at the Zahn Center as I find the enthusiasm and ambition of the start-ups to be inspiring. By leveraging technology and a lot of ambition, they are looking to tackle some of our communities biggest challenges. To be a small part of the that journey is why I come back every year. – Brandon Shin, Standard Chartered – Brandon, a mentor from our Women in Tech network at Standard Chartered Bank, leads workshops, takes office hours, and somehow manages to make COGS fun!It was a great service-learning opportunity to support the Zahn Innovation Center startups and share in the entrepreneurial journey of the teams. The one thing I know for sure is that the root of entrepreneurship and innovation is community, and it was great to be a part of this one. This community, a true demonstration of gender parity, equity, and diversity among founders, truly sparks joy and speaks to the future of venture creation. – Lona Vincent, Johnson & Johnson – Lona and her team led several workshops on customer discovery and customer mapping to help our startups understand their users.Im proud to support the Zahn Centers student-entrepreneurs at City College. Ive found the program participants curious and unafraid, prepared and responsible, and looking for a way to change the way we think about any number of subjects. It might seem off to some, but after participating in a kick-off sessions or all-day bootcamp I leave feeling enthused and invigorated, and even feeling honored to have met and possibly even helped people who are striving to make a difference in the world. Brian Heiman, Standard Chartered – Brian helps us select startups by reviewing countless applications & joins us throughout the year to offer financial support as well as pitch feedback.“I learn a lot mentoring the amazing students at the Zahn Center. It's definitely a two-way street. And it's great having a chance to meet the fresh new faces of tomorrow!” – Joe Spivack, Angel Investor – Joes guidance early on is crucial for our startups as they navigate the world of entrepreneurship & venture capital.Its been a pleasure working with the creative young minds at Zahn, especially watching our CUNY I-Corps teams move their projects forward. – Jessica Fields, iCorps – Jessica worked with some of our startups in the CUNY iCorps program before they entered our Lean Startup Bootcamp, and then came back to help startups dissect their learnings and pivot if necessary.“I am so inspired by the CCNY Zahn student entrepreneurs – their drive, passion and creativity – it is an honor to participate as a mentor in the program.” – Fran Engoron, Golden Seeds – Fran has invested in over 30 women-led startups and brings incredible perspective to our teams. The entire team at Golden Seeds has been tremendously helpful when it comes to coaching our startups and providing feedback.Mentoring at the Zahn Center is inspirational. The students have such energy and drive–and do it while balancing a full course load. It is so rewarding when you can guide them to a better answer to compliment their idea. And their ideas are always so fantastic. I wish I had that level of creativity. – Jim Miller – Jim takes one-on-one meetings with mentors year after year, offering fantastic advice.The experience of working with highly passionate minds collaboratively engaging with critical social issues was truly refreshing and inspirational. – Jonathan Melendez-Davidson, Johnson & Johnson – Jonathan taught a workshop on customer mapping & has used his design experience to help numerous startups.The Zahn Innovation Center is an important place for students to learn about entrepreneurship through experience. I was impressed by the students, the robustness of the program, and the vision of the projects. – Wilma Lam, Johnson & Johnson – Wilma also led a workshop on customer insights, and helped startups map out their customer experience. A huge thank you goes out to all of our mentors, listed below. From Standard Chartered BankMartha AdelineMalti AgnaniNatalie BergeronGiancarlo BracciaNick CaselliMonica CostaAmanda CruzWojciech DeptuchJill DyerPatty FusterSandra HarrisBrian HeimanDonna HillHilary HuberJeremy MitchellBen OlsonAyodeji OmoogunTing Ting PengRaja Rajeswari BommuHilary RosenbergMadeline SchatzmanAshley ShillingfordBrandon ShinNancy Shuangcen YuRodrigo VegaLara Yacoub From the Zahn Advisory BoardArt BrodyDave Newman From CCNYCelia Lloyd From Golden SeedsFran EngoronRenee LautmannCheryl KallemEric Nadler From Johnson & JohnsonWilma LamMin Joo LeeJonathan Melendez-DavidsonSarikka RamanLona Vincent Our Entrepreneurs in ResidenceMarc Escapa, NokenEllie Li, Projections.ioItamar Yunger, SoundBetterLisa Guerra, SeeThruChristina Torres, SeeThruKhandker Ahamed, FloraMindMahmoud Khedr, FloraMindDanny Tsoi, FloraMind And more!Shayak Banerjee, MeetupSean Dhadialla, essdee consultingBill Drewes, AttorneyJessica Fields, CUNY NSF iCorpsBelle Frank, VMLY&RLiz Gallo, WhymakerSahar Ghaheri, dh studioMax Goodman, Wilkie Farr & GallagherHeinrich Gross, ArrowSteven Haines, Sequent Learning NetworksStephen McKenna, IBM Jim Miller, Cloud9 TechnologiesOscar Romero, NYC Mayors Office of the CTODeepti Shrivastava, InvestorJoseph Spivack, Angel Investor  Some of these mentors will join us on Demo Day. Will you?  Wed, 01 May 2019 14:11:17 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22154 Meet the Startups Competing for the Zahn Technology Prize https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/meet-startups-competing-zahn-technology-prize Its only a few more days until Demo Day–have you met the the startups yet? Youll get to vote for one favorite in each track (there are four tracks–Kaylie Prize for Hardware, Zahn Social Impact, Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC, and Zahn Technology). Below youll meet the startups competing for the Zahn Technology Prize this year! The Zahn Technology Prize includes mobile apps, platforms, and e-commerce sites. The track ensures that technology serves people & enhances more industries. Were excited by the use of added technologies like machine learning that we see in this cohort! This year the startups in this category will focus on exciting industries like finance, fitness, and data. Check them out:MarkGen is a platform that uses machine learning algorithms to handle multivariate relationships to simulate market data and provide accurate risk assessments for financial products. They plan to help financial analysts better predict market patterns, but perhaps theres a possibility that this could help your everyday at-home trader! The students working on this project work closely with several professors across departments including Michael Grossberg, Kevin Foster, and Hank Nguyen. The MarkGen team is made up of Computer Engineering majors Andriana Aivazians, Eddie Chen, and Marin Muso.MoneyMiles is a fitness app centered around runners. Through running competitions and personalized analytics, their goal is to encourage everyone to get out and run more! Although entering a crowded space, the MoneyMiles team is excited to focus on the motivations of runners, and they spend a lot of time talking to runners to truly understand what they need. A group of fitness junkies themselves, the team believes in the power of exercise to relieve stress, stay healthy, and make friends. The MoneyMiles team is made up of Computer Environmental Engineering student Jennifer Duong, Computer Engineering student Simranjit Kaur, Computer Science student Bhavesh Shah, and Anim Xhafa.PopIt is helping individuals achieve their goals, build skills, and learn about knew topics. Theyre essentially a digital idea board, allowing users to organize screenshots, photos, and links in one place. The app also sets reminders and makes suggestions based on location. The idea was inspired by founder & Computer Science student Michal Moryosefs passion for dance. After serving in the military in her home in Israel, Michal came to the US to pursue her passion for dancing, but found that it was difficult to stay on track and find the right resources in a bustling city. She hopes this tool will help others reinvigorate their sense of goal-setting. Shes joined by Gabriel Adalla (studying Business), Greg Kimatov (studying Computer Science), and Mei Yolles (studying Applied Mathematics & Musical Performance).Dont miss these startups and more at their Demo Day on Monday, May 6th outside of the NAC from 12pm-2pm! Wed, 01 May 2019 11:57:28 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22153 Meet the Female Founders Competing for the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/meet-female-founders-competing-standard-chartered-womentech4nyc-prize Its only a few more days until Demo Day–have you met the the startups yet? Youll get to vote for one favorite in each track (there are four tracks–Kaylie Prize for Hardware, Zahn Social Impact, Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC, and Zahn Technology). Below youll meet the startups competing for the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize.Although our entire cohort represents 50/50 gender parity, the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize celebrates women founders specifically. This category is meant to bolster the NYC tech & entrepreneurship scene (already the best place for female founders) with even more women in c-suite positions. The startups in this category will define what Silicon Alley will be known for, and represent a variety of fields from robotics to edtech. Meet the future of NYC below:Fruition is one of our edtech teams concerned about study habits. Having never learned how to study, they spent a lot of their high school days perfecting different study methods and helping friends develop study guides. Their goal is to help students understand how they need to study through learning assessments, and then develop personalized study plans around their “study type.” The Fruition team is made up of Political Science major Emma Montero, Computer Engineering major Ostavo Palacios, Computer Science major Jimmaely Valdez, and Mechanical Engineering major (and student athlete!) Nahomi Zambrano.Gesture gives individuals with disabilities their independence back with help from a robot! Inspired by family members who have limited mobility, Gestures goal is to give individuals an extra set of hands for reaching things and doing what they love, like cooking. The best part is that the robot is controlled via hand gestures, so it can be completely manipulated by the user, making it extremely customizable. The Gesture team works with professor Hao Su of the Robotics Department, and is led by Electrical Engineering students Annmarie Reid and Xin Xin Huang. The team is rounded out by new members Avraham Brand (Computer Engineering), Seoyeong Lee (Chemical Engineering), and Ewelina Randall (Mechanical Engineering).Another competitor in this track is Olacare, a customizable sexual & reproductive health app for the LGBTQ community. Having experienced healthcare that didnt consider issues outside of a heterosexual cisgender life, the Olacare team decided to create a more inclusive experience. Through Olacare, users can take control of their sexual and reproductive health, as well as find doctors who are either part of the LGBTQ community or are allies. The Olacare team is made up of Brivia Bobby, a Biology major with a minor in Psychology; Anthony Bravo, a Computer Engineering major; Tyler Jimenez Perez, an Electronic Design & Multimedia major; and Natascha Krishnanand, a Spanish & French double-major.STEM Hive is a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging young girls in STEM fields! The idea was born at a Hackathon here at CCNY when the founders realized that they werent the only ones who questioned careers in STEM even after loving science and robotics all their lives. STEM Hive is on a mission to make sure that girls never lose their interest in STEM and pursue careers in the field. Theyll use a combination of near-peer mentorship, workshops, skill-building curriculum, and more to keep young girls engaged in STEM. The team is made up of BIC student Penelope Herrera, Biochemistry major Karla Jacome, Biology major Carolina Perez, and Computer Engineering major Daniel Gaston.And finally, Studyspace looks to develop a WeWork for students, creating smart co-working spaces for students to study & network. Founders Diamantie Davy (a recent CCNY grad) and Khrisanna Trinidad (an Economics major) are longtime study buddies and friends who were tired of hopping around from the library to Starbucks in order to study. They needed a dedicated, 24hr (and coffee-friendly) space that they could call their own. So far, theyve partnered with current spaces to create study pop-ups. Diamantie & Khrisanna are joined by economics student Justin Pearce.Dont miss these startups and more at their Demo Day on Monday, May 6th outside of the NAC from 12pm-2pm! Wed, 01 May 2019 11:51:31 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22152 Meet the #Socent Teams Competing for the Zahn Social Impact Prize https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/meet-socent-teams-competing-zahn-social-impact-prize Its only a few more days until Demo Day–have you met the the startups yet? Youll get to vote for one favorite in each track (there are four tracks–Kaylie Prize for Hardware, Zahn Social Impact, Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC, and Zahn Technology). Below youll meet the startups competing for the Zahn Social Impact Prize.The Zahn Social Impact Prize celebrates changemakers and aims to develop the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Many of our students–like a lot Millennials and GenZers–are incredibly socially conscious. These startups specifically pursue entrepreneurship as a way to make the world better, and focus on issues right here at home, or abroad. From combating sexual harassment & FGC to enhancing cultural experiences & education, these startups are taking on some tough challenges. Meet the teams:Beyond the Margins focuses on bettering education for marginalized groups. For the past month theyve held workshops for middle schoolers in the NYC area, introducing them to a variety of different topics to supplement their education. Their goal is to help students go beyond the margins of the page and explore things that theyre passionate about. Beyond the Margins is led by Arielle Gallegos, an International Studies and Anthropology major; Jasmine Martin, an Advertising and Public Relations major; and Francisca Vallejo, a Mechanical Engineering major.SheFFA, a local, community-driven social enterprise dedicated to eradicating female genital cutting, is another competitor in the Social Impact track. Theyre working with young activists and community organizers to educate individuals on the effects of female genital cutting, with the hopes of eradicating the practice both here in the US and abroad. Theyre also working with doctors who specialize in reconstructive surgery to help more survivors access the surgery. The SheFFA team is made up of Biology major Arielle Brutus, Nonya Khedr, and Political Science student Shza Zaki.Luxz is tackling another big problem in society–the issue of sexual violence. This team is building an organization that helps survivors of sexual assault reclaim their lives through a combination of support groups, non-traditional therapy (meditation, yoga, art, etc.), and career services. Much of the current support for survivors focuses on legal and medical services, but the team at Luxz knows first hand that rape and sexual assault can completely alter someones life. So far theyve held workshops & will host a Take Back the Night event on campus. Meet the team–Jewish Studies major Ashley Persaud, Biology major Devjani Paul, and English major Andrew Rondon–at Demo Day!Last but not least is Stage One, a locally-based patronization and discovery platform for artists. They aim to empower street artists & performers as well as reinvigorate a sense of hyper-local culture. New Yorkers can find and support (through monetary donations) other New Yorkers–The Sterling Strings at the Broadway Lafayette stop, Im looking at you! Come out and support the Stage One team, made up of Math majors Zachary Simon and Aviad Susman, as well as Ezra Zinberg, at Demo Day!Dont miss these startups and more at their Demo Day on Monday, May 6th outside of the NAC from 12pm-2pm! Wed, 01 May 2019 11:38:32 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22151 Meet the Hardware Startups Competing for the Kaylie Prize https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/meet-hardware-startups-competing-kaylie-prize Its only a few more days until Demo Day–have you met the the startups yet? Youll get to vote for one favorite in each track (there are four tracks–Kaylie Prize for Hardware, Zahn Social Impact, Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC, and Zahn Technology). Below youll meet the startups competing for the Kaylie Prize this year! Many of the teams in this track are born out of senior design or research projects from the School of Engineering or Architecture, and some are inspired by real-life problems people closest to them face. Startups in this cohort are developing tangible products in our MakerLab, and work closely with the students in our Apprenticeship Program to develop their prototypes. And it might be a coincidence, but all of them are medtech-focused–theyre either focusing on making chronic diseases and conditions more manageable, or dabbling in preventive practices with fitness devices.So who are they?Design & Disorder is a multi-pronged technology for the deaf community and those with hearing loss, combining a stylish wearable with sensors in the home to help individuals identify & locate sounds. Not only will these individuals feel safer (theyll hear a door opening, the water running, etc.), but it will allow individuals to establish more independence. One of the co-founders, Heba Attia (a Psychology major), has a personal experience with this that drives the team forward. Shes joined by Marvel Delva, an Architecture major, and Elmi Jimenez, an Electrical Engineering student, both equally determined to bring this idea to life.Glucodot is a wearable device for individuals with diabetes that allows the user to monitor their glucose levels without pricking their fingers. The device will stick on the user, using sweat to monitor glucose levels. Its particularly ideal for those who need to continuously monitor. The Glucodot team is made up computer, chemical, and biomedical engineering students Emily Choon, Sandy Qiu, Sabrina Shafi, and Maliha Tabassum. How did they come up with the idea? Many of their family members suffer from diabetes, and they wanted to help them & others like them manage the disease.Another competitor is WiseWatch, a stylish and customizable tracking device for individuals suffering from dementia. The bracelet will give caregivers and family members peace of mind, while also allowing people with dementia to gain more independence. This idea was inspired by one of the cofounders personal experience with his grandmother, and those of us who have experienced dementia know how terrifying it is to have your loved one wander off, vulnerable. The WiseWatch team is made up of Mechanical Engineering majors Nikolas Arsenlis and Norphel Sherpa, Computer Science majors Danish Faruqi and Thomas Ly, and recent grad Bethold Kobe Owusu.Another group of mechanical engineers and computer engineers are working on The Coach, an interactive, automated boxing device that trains you & makes working out fun. The Coach team is dedicated to fitness and believes its the best preventive medicine. However, they know working out isnt always easy, and it certainly isnt always fun. Their goal is to bring an engaging boxing HIIT workout into the home to fit busy lifestyles, almost like a Peloton for boxing. We cant wait to see it in action! The Coach is made up of Mechanical Engineering majors Okiermute Oyiborhoro and Mahutin Paul, Computer Engineering major Krongchai Praponpoj, Computer Science major Nicholas Weatherley, and graduate student Granville Parker.Another startup looking to help fitness junkies get the most of their workout is Adon, a smart clothing brand focused on providing 3D form tracking and personalized feedback. Their goal is to minimize fitness-related injury and maximize the results of weight lifting by helping you maintain proper form. The team believes this is a great option for those without trainers (and for those who dont want to YouTube every move!). Adon is made up of Biomedical Engineering students Vladislav Mandzhiye and La Shawn Pearce, Mechanical Engineering students Mohammad Bari and Darren Lin, and Computer Engineering student Krushang Shah.Dont miss these startups and more at their Demo Day on Monday, May 6th outside of the NAC from 12pm-2pm! Wed, 01 May 2019 11:31:50 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22150 Highlighting Women-Led Startups for Womens History Month https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/highlighting-women-led-startups-womens-history-month Many of you are familiar with our partnership with Standard Chartered Bank, and the track they support (Women+Tech4NYC). In partnership with Standard Chartered, increasing the number of women founders in NYC (and supporting them) remains a core initiative of the Zahn Center. Last year, we achieved gender parity in our competition (a rise from a mere 17% women just three years prior). This year, women represent at least 60% of our cohort! To close out Women's History Month, we'd like to take a minute to call out the startups that are either founded solely by women, or have women on the founding team. And as you can see, it's nearly every team (the others are strong allies–The Coach, Stage One, and WiseWatch looking at you!). Adon (formerly HolesNYC): a fitness shirt that tracks muscle movement to help you achieve the best results when you lift weightsDesign & Disorder: a sleek wearable for individuals with hearing loss to help them identify the sounds around themSugar-Tat: a wearable technology that monitors diabetes without having to prick your fingerFruition: an app that enables students to enhance their success through personalized study plansGesture-Controlled Robot: a robot controlled via hand gestures made by the user, meant to enhance quality of life for people with disabilitiesolacare (formerly Olahealth): a customizable sexual/reproductive health app for the LGBTQIA+ communitySTEM Hive: a platform for young girls to engage in STEM, receive community mentorship, and gather cryptocurrency rewards based on academic or social achievementsStudy Space: smart co-working spaces for students to improve their studying experiencesBeyond the Margins: bettering education for marginalized groupsIt Hurts: a local, community-driven social enterprise dedicated to eradicating female genital cutting by empowering young activists through education & artRising Phoenix: an organization that aims to help survivors of sexual assault reclaim their livesMarkGen (formerly EMAC): a platform that uses machine learning tools to handle multivariate relationships to simulate market data and provide accurate risk assessments for financial productsGetUp: an app that makes exercise fun and helps to motivate individuals to form healthy physical activity habitsPopIt: a digital idea board that allows to organize screenshots, photos, and links in one place to better achieve goals, build skills, and learn about various topicsThe reason we end Women's History Month with this call is that even though NYC is the best place for female founders, and even though programs like ours exist to inspire more young women to pursue entrepreneurship and tech, there are still hurdles for these young women to climb. For example, even as the number of women-led businesses grow at an unprecedented rate, a mere 2% of all Venture Capital goes to female founders.What can you do? Speak up & sponsor. If you can get into rooms that she can't, make sure that you're her greatest advocate.   Fri, 29 Mar 2019 14:58:07 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22149 Zahn Summit Offers Workshops, a Panel and Pitches for NYC Startup Scene https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/zahn-summit-offers-workshops-panel-and-pitches-nyc-startup-scene Join us on March 6th for the second Zahn Innovation Summit, a premiere event in Harlem featuring thought provoking conversation from NYC government officials, investors and entrepreneurs. Our theme is “our problems, our solutions, our unicorns.” Well be talking about the diversity of NYCs population–the unique challenges we face–and how we can take ownership of the solutions for our own communitys problem sets.This event is all about bringing the tech/entrepreneurship community here to CCNY's campus and highlighting YOUR role in the future of NYC's tech ecosystem.Workshops:1. “Hidden” Resources for New Yorkers w/ Desiree Frieson (NY Designs), DB Lampman (Makerspace NYC) & Maggie Tishman (Bronx Innovation Factory)  – A discussion around organizations and available resources supporting the NYC entrepreneurial ecosystem, that may have an unique niche, or are located in the outer boroughs.2. Using NYC Open Data w/ the Mayor's Office of Data Analytics – understand open data sets & how to use them (bring your laptop for this one!)3. Electronics 101 w/ Arrow – joins us for a fun workshop on electronics!4. Understanding Government-funded projects w/ the Mayor's Office of the CTO – we talk about funding opportunities through local government5. Data-Driven Diversification w/ Paolo Gaudiano – finding, accessing, and using data to inform diversification6. NYCx Co-Labs Local Challenges for Immigrant Communities (closed meeting) – The Inwood and Washington Heights Community Tech Board was convened by the NYCx Co-Labs team of the NYC Mayors Office of the Chief Technology Officer to inform the research behind the NYCx Co-Labs Challenges. The Community Tech Board convenes periodically to discuss local community challenges. This event will be a participatory workshop where members of the Community Tech Board will share their views regarding local challenges for immigrant communities.A Panel DiscussionIn our panel discussion, we'll discuss public-private partnerships and how you can leverage them. Special speakers will be announced soon! The Zahn Startup Competition Practice PitchThe very heart of Zahn Innovation Center is our Zahn Venture Competition. Every year, 24 teams compete for over $150,000 total prizes. Youll meet the current teams vying for these prizes at their first public pitch in preparation for May's Demo Day. Come support and see them as they take their first step into the public eye. Read more about the 2019 Startup Cohort here.Use code BFF for free tickets! Mon, 25 Feb 2019 14:58:07 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22148 Skinno Seeking Pre-Seed Round, FloraMind at Clinton Global Initiative, Nuravine in M-Corps, and More https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/skinno-seeking-pre-seed-round-floramind-clinton-global-initiative-nuravine-m-corps-and Wondering what some of your favorite Zahn alumni have been up to? Weve rounded up some of our past startups who are knee deep in the #startupgrind & highlighted some of their recent successes so that you can be in the know. Skinno Seeks Pre-Seed Investment RoundSkinno, the winner of last years Zahn Technology Prize. Skinno is an application that translates ingredient lists into plain English, and connects consumers with products that are right for them. They're starting with skincare to bring transparency through consumer education to beauty and wellness, a historically opaque and confusing industry. The founders, Lisa Guerrera and Christina Torres, are both scientists turned startup founders, hoping to make the science of everyday products accessible to everyday people. They're both CCNY alumni, with Lisa having a B.S. in Chemistry, and Christina having a BS/MS in Biology. Currently, they employ a few part time people: two developers from the Bronx; graphic designer Sumi, a very recent CCNY grad; and UI/UX designer Corinne, an EDM student at CCNY.Since the Competition they've launched SkinMood, an interactive quiz that combines factors like skin type, environment, lifestyle, and product preferences to give consumers insight into what their skin needs in the moment and to collect preliminary consumer data they need for their product. Within just two weeks of launch they had over 12,000 people take this quiz with no marketing money spent. They're working on the second version of this quiz based on over a 1,000 users feedback. Currently, they're raising their pre-seed round via a convertible note and are looking for investors to be a part of their round. Anyone interested in investment can contact Lisa at: lisa@skinnoapp.com Floramind Brings Mental Health Education to NYC High SchoolsFloraMind is an educational organization that develops tools to educate, empower and guide teenagers towards positive mental health & well-being. They host in-person workshops that cover the stigma around mental illness, mental health knowledge, self-care strategies, and how to seek for help. The founders are CCNY students Danny Tsoi, Khandker Ahamed and Mahmoud Khedr, three experienced entrepreneurs who are deeply passionate about solving the youth mental health crisis across the world. They've had experience working in organizations like the U.S. Marine Corps, Accenture, Teach For America, Facebook and Google–along with building and running their own startups. So far, they've developed partnerships at two schools, hosting 15 workshops impacting over 270 students. They've won awards from the New York Business Plan Competition (1st place, Social Impact) and Echoing Green/Barclays (Social Innovation Finalist), have been recognized as Forbes Under 30 Scholars, Clinton Global University Fellows, Colin Powell Fellows, and completed Y Combinator's Startup School. Right now, they're looking to get introductions to high schools and colleges that may be interested in bringing FloraMind's programs and workshops to their schools. They'd also love introductions to CSR / Corporate folks who may be interested in sponsoring the work theyre doing so they can do it at more high schools.  Carry Fils-Aime Brings Iodized Salt to Grocery Stores in HaitiDo you remember Le Sel Foundation, a competitor in the 2015 Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC track? Le Sel was founded by Carry Fils-Aime, a CCNY grad inspired by problems in her home country of Haiti. The original vision for Le Sel Foundation was a salt manufacturing company combined with an educational component that would popularize iodized salt in Haiti, a country that suffers from Iodine Deficiency Disorder. In a few short years, and not without many bumps in the road–like the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, which not only destroyed Carrys inventory but meant more pressing issues on the island had to be resolved–Le Sel is now Agro Karib S.A., a salt producing company that provides healthy iodized salt under the label Tika. The company provides both coarse and fine salt, and has five full-time employees. Tika is sold in 42 supermarkets, and has become somewhat of a household name in the metropolitan area. Now the company is in the process of buying machinery, moving from her small shipping container office to a warehouse, and securing more partnerships. Carry and her team are currently pitching for a $200K investment. She explains that with that money theyll will build a laboratory to test their products on site, as well as buy some equipment. Theyre also applying to the Scale Up Haiti program, which is a new public/private initiative that aims to help companies grow.Nuravine Finishes I-Corps, Moves to M-CorpsNuravine, the winner of the 2017 Zahn Social Impact Prize, finished two rounds of the National Science Foundations I-Corps (at the Regional & National levels), a program designed to allow scientists and engineers the opportunity to bring products to market by garnering a deep understanding of their customer landscape. Theyve recently been accepted to M-Corps, a new manufacturing program by SecondMuse in NYC and NextCorps in Rochester as an edition to NYSERDAs cleantech startup program. Alex Babich and Adrian Logan, both recent CCNY grads, tell me theyre excited to join so many other incredible startups in M-Corps. The Nuravine team is working on a new product, while also testing with customers (who report their plants are growing 10% faster with Nuravine!). They expect to start raising in Q2 of next year.More Updates!Veripad, the 2016 Zahn Social Impact Prize winner has been accepted to I-Corps Nationals and continues to make progress. BitSprout, the 2017 Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize is currently testing its product with students. Sprtlook, a competitor in the 2018 Zahn Technology Track, is currently raising a Friends & Family round. We look forward to what 2019 will bring these teams, and will keep you updated on any developments. If you would like to get connected to these startups, please reach out to them directly or email contact@zahncenternyc.com for more information.   Thu, 20 Dec 2018 11:46:41 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22147 Introducing the 2019 Startup Cohort https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/introducing-2019-startup-cohort Looking to mentor our newest cohort? Find the form here.The end of the year means were welcoming new startups for our 2019 cohort! Over the past few weeks, weve worked with expert judges–from investors to successful entrepreneurs, educators to executives–to help evaluate our entries. Zahn staff then held interviews with the top teams, and selected five semi-finalists and one alternate in each category. These startups will compete for the Kaylie Hardware Prize, the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize, and the Zahn Social Impact & Zahn Technology Prizes. Although the competition will officially kick off next semester with our bootcamp, you can meet the 24 CCNY student-led startups competing for $150K worth of prizes now! Heres a sneak peek:Some very cool hardware startups will compete for the Kaylie Prize this year. Many of the teams in this track are born out of senior design or research projects from the School of Engineering or Architecture, and some are inspired by real-life problems people closest to them face. Startups in this cohort will develop tangible products, from medtech devices to fitness products, and will join a vibrant hardware community in NYC. From the city that gave us Makerbot, the following teams will add to the disruption:Adon (formerly HolesNYC): a fitness shirt that tracks muscle movement to help you achieve the best results when you lift weightsDesign & Disorder: a sleek wearable for individuals with hearing loss to help them identify the sounds around themSugar-Tat: a wearable technology that monitors diabetes without having to prick your fingerThe Coach: an interactive, automated boxing device that trains you & makes working out funWiseWatch: a tracking device that allows caregivers & family members to track individuals with dementiaAlthough our entire cohort represents 50/50 gender parity, the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize celebrates women founders specifically. This category is meant to bolster the NYC tech & entrepreneurship scene (already the best place for female founders) with even more women in c-suite positions. The startups in this category will define what Silicon Alley will be known for, and represent a variety of fields from robotics to edtech. Meet the future of NYC:Fruition: an app that enables students to enhance their success through personalized study plansGesture-Controlled Robot: a robot controlled via hand gestures made by the user, meant to enhance quality of life for people with disabilitiesolacare (formerly Olahealth): a customizable sexual/reproductive health app for the LGBTQIA+ communitySTEM Hive: a platform for young girls to engage in STEM, receive community mentorship, and gather cryptocurrency rewards based on academic or social achievementsStudy Space (alternate): smart co-working spaces for students to improve their studying experiences The Zahn Social Impact Prize celebrates changemakers and aims to develop the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Many of our students–like a lot of Millennials and GenZers–are incredibly socially conscious. These startups specifically pursue entrepreneurship as a way to make the world better, and focus on issues right here at home, or abroad. From combating sexual harassment & FGC to enhancing cultural experiences & education, these startups are taking on some tough challenges:Beyond the Margins: bettering education for marginalized groupsIt Hurts: a local, community-driven social enterprise dedicated to eradicating female genital cutting by empowering young activists through education & artRising Phoenix: an organization that aims to help survivors of sexual assault reclaim their livesStage One: a locally-based patronization and discovery platform for artistsAnd last but not least, the Zahn Technology Prize includes mobile apps, platforms, and e-commerce sites dedicated to making tech serve people & enhance more industries. Were excited by the use of added technologies like machine learning that we'll see in this cohort! This year the startups in this category will focus on exciting industries like finance, fitness, and data. Check them out:MarkGen (formerly EMAC): a platform that uses machine learning tools to handle multivariate relationships to simulate market data and provide accurate risk assessments for financial productsGetUp: an app that makes exercise fun and helps to motivate individuals to form healthy physical activity habitsPopIt: a digital idea board that allows to organize screenshots, photos, and links in one place to better achieve goals, build skills, and learn about various topics Once again, we're excited to see where these teams land. If you're a student who'd like to join one of these teams, please visit our “Join A Startup” form here. If you're interested in mentoring, please visit our Mentorship Page. Tue, 04 Dec 2018 17:19:08 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22146 Why You Should Invest In Diverse Startup Teams https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/why-you-should-invest-diverse-startup-teams In case you missed it, we closed out the summer with a Fireside Chat with Howard Morgan, Co-Founder of First Round Capital & Chairman of B Capital, and pitches from the 2018 Accelerator cohort. Howard Morgan focused on the ROI of diverse investment, sharing his experiences as Philadelphia's most respected venture capitalist. When we talk about “diverse investment,” it doesn't mean keeping a diverse portfolio; it means investing in teams that are in themselves diverse. During the fireside chat, we learned how important it is to look for startups that represent diverse genders, cultures, and disciplines because diversity literally breeds innovation. Teams with diverse thoughts, experiences, and skill sets are smarter–their products & services are better–because they have a broader view of the world. “You gain from investing in diverse teams,” Howard said.We then heard from some of our diverse teams, led by an array of individuals from different backgrounds.FreeFoot €“ an assistive device for those with gait disorders like Foot DropPaxWalk €“ an app that connects college students with new friends via safe, reliable, publicly shared walking routesSkinno €“ an app that uses machine learning to decipher skincare ingredients for consumersSprtlook €“ an app that connects high school athletes with coachesUpwardAI €“ a marketing management platform that helps grassroots organizations & nonprofits grow and engage with their membershipsThe reason the topic: “the ROI of diverse investment” is so important to us is because we see the validity and importance of so many of the startups we work with. Their founders are just as fantastic as the Mark Zuckerbergs of the tech world, and they need to realize that just as entrepreneurship has no mold, founders have no specific shape either. So we're calling on all of you to be purposeful about encouraging diversity in startup teams. Earlier, we wrote about how we achieved 50/50 gender parity in a short period of time. You can read more about that here, and consider how you can be thoughtful about the entrepreneurs you invest in & talk about.….. The Zahn Innovation Centers Accelerator (which currently takes place during the summer months) focuses deeply on product-market fit, coaching startups through a better understanding of their customer and the acquisition process. Our Accelerator prepares early stage startups for their next milestone events, whether its a crowdfunding campaign, investment, or acceptance into a top-tier program. Through partnerships with BNY Mellon, Wilkie Farr Gallagher, and an incredible set of mentors, startups build stronger business plans, handle legal work, and gain a better understanding of their customer metrics.We have a unique program that de-risks startups for investors, and our approach is working. Several successful Zahn alumni include Veripad, StrongArm Technologies, and Homer Logistics. Fri, 12 Oct 2018 11:54:47 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22145 Summers #Bossgirl Bootcamp Produces Social Impact Startups and Female Founders https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/summers-bossgirl-bootcamp-produces-social-impact-startups-and-female-founders Life is a platform that connects environmentally-conscious individuals with entrepreneurs selling green products, while also creating an online community in an Etsy meets Buzzfeed type of way.Keenly, an app that allows individuals with social anxiety to monitor their stress levels while on outings with actual counselors, is breaking the stigma of mental health & bringing people together.SafeSpace is an app that prevents sexual harassment and assault in party settings by allowing young people to keep track of their friends and find immediate help.And UnitED translates school documents and homework for parents who are English language learners.They sound like cool, new startups–and they are. But what if I told you they were started by high school girls? This summer marked the second year of our high school bridge program, and we couldnt believe the sophistication of the ideas that came out of it. #Bossgirls Bootcamp, a program sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, is designed to introduce young women to technology and entrepreneurship. The six-week program emphasizes a problem-based approach to entrepreneurship, and students participate in workshops that encourage them to not only discover solutions to problems all around them, but teach the ins and outs of running a startup. They also learn a bit of coding basics–enough to get them started on a prototype–and go out into the field to conduct in-person customer interviews. At the end of the six weeks, they present a business plan, app/website, and pitch deck.Jana La Sorte, CEO of Ambassadora led the bootcamp, and coding workshops were led by Zahn alum Abhishek Samdaria. Shaimaa Habib (a former bossgirl) and Maleye Diakhate assisted and helped to coach the bossgirls towards the final stretch. The bossgirls were also supported by countless Standard Chartered mentors and peer mentors from Zahns startup competition.This summer, the bossgirls focused on personal problems, and found solutions that aligned with their passions. Each year its amazing to see these students from different backgrounds and a variety of high schools come together for common causes. This summers cohort represented high schools like the Academy of Finance & Enterprise, Benjamin N. Cardozo, Brooklyn Latin, Brooklyn Tech, Bronx Science, Democracy Prep, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frederick Douglass Academy, Gregorio Luperon, NEST+M, New Rochelle, and Stuyvesant. Whats incredible is that these students now have a network that they never would have had.The #Bossgirls Bootcamp doesnt stop over the summer. Each student is invited into a fellowship that carries into the Fall semester. Six bossgirls accepted the fellowship, and will receive personal mentorship from professionals at Standard Chartered Bank. There are also two teams continuing to develop their business through the Zahn Center–Life & SafeSpace–and we will continue to support their success.You might be thinking, this deviates from our usual programming. So why do we do it? As part of Standard Chartereds Women in Technology incubator, were supporting women-led startups in New York City and doing our part to make sure that Silicon Alley has gender parity. Our own Kesia Hudson likes to say, I want to see more women in C-suite positions, especially here in New York. Thats part of what we do here–were creating female leaders in New York–and in our eyes, theres no better place to start than with the next generation.We start recruitment for Summer 2019s #Bossgirls Bootcamp soon, so if you know someone who might be interested, you can email katherine@zahncenternyc.com to request more information until the application is ready. Tue, 09 Oct 2018 09:52:55 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22144 Student Interns Share Stories from Summers Experiences https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/student-interns-share-stories-summers-experiences Last week we concluded the Career Impact Program with Communitas America with a finale event where we heard from the students who interned for social enterprises and non-profits throughout the city. Matthew Washington, Deputy Manhattan Borough President, spoke at the event. For him, internships were an invaluable aspect of his life, and those experiences got him to where he is today. But Matthew didnt pursue any internships, he was drawn towards internships that made a difference in the community, and now hes representing his own. Growing up wasnt easy, he went on to explain; his father died at the ripe age of thirty-three, leaving his mother to raise five children on her own. My mom became a single parent with five black kids in a poor neighborhood. I could have been every statistic. Thankfully, my mother wasnt having that. Matthew recalls that his mother ingrained in him the importance of investing in your education and your future. During high school, he interned at LEAP, an organization that brings art into the classroom. They offered him a job after that, and he continued to work after school and during the summers. He was able to buy his first pair of jeans, and get through college.When Matthew graduated college, he visited his old supervisor and they hired him on the spot. They needed someone to manage a program for kids in the park, and as a result, his job required him to work with elected officials in the local area. One of those elected officials happened to be Gale Brewer, who became the Manhattan Borough President in 2015. So my high school internship literally led me to where I am today, he said.Matthew went on to say, Throughout my career, I was interested in learning everything. I knew the organization I worked for was advocating for bigger things, and I wanted to be a part of what was happening. We need young people like you who stand up and say they want to invest their time in something.This summer, CCNY students invested their time in a number of different organizations creating change in fields like education, economics, energy, entrepreneurship, and much more. We heard from four of those students. The first was Jocelyn Gao, a CCNY student in the MPA program who interned at Echoing Green. At Echoing Green she worked on content creation, event support, data analysis, and partnership cultivation, and was incredibly inspired by the social entrepreneurs she met during the summer. While she considers herself a lifelong student, shes passionate about creating some change in the world, and hopes to make in impact in the fields of womens and minority rights, youth education, and the environment.Kartikeya Sharma, who interned with Bootstraps Film, was up next. This summer, Kartikeya worked on a docu-series following a study on Universal Basic Income. The goal was to spread awareness about UBI and how it can be utilized. Kartikeya specifically created a tool to understand and visualize the struggles of different individuals that was dependent on over 12,000 applications–the data, as we can imagine, was something that had to be managed. Through this internship, Kartikeya learned that UBI can be beneficial in helping society transition the future, and credits this internship as a way to really understand the social enterprise culture. Kartikeya believes that theres no better way to use your skills than for a social purpose.Then, Hugo Meza spoke about his internship at Yada. He was the only intern working on a team directly with the CEO and CTO of the startup. Yada aims to create a scalable workforce of research assistants augmented by software & AI. This was Hugos first internship, and he couldnt believe how different the startup world is compared to the corporate world. He learned a lot this summer because he was able to manage his own projects, and he learned all about algorithmic thinking.Finally, Asia Johnson spoke about her experiences at BlocPower. She revealed that she was attracted to the internship because its a social enterprise company–she believes its essential to work for a company whose mission is aligned with your passions. At BlocPower, Asia used data to contact building owners and make recommendations about how to make buildings more efficient. She also put together an impact report, created social media posts, and worked on case studies. Asia learned a lot at her internship including time management, editing, and how to craft the perfect tone of voice, but the most valuable thing she learned is how important it is to take care of the earth we have now. She stressed that the tiniest bit of effort can go a long way.We hope that if youre a student and youre reading this, you keep Asias and Matthews words in mind and remember that the time and effort you invest in yourself–and in organizations that matter–will go a long way to creating a brighter future.Wed like to specifically thank William Poon, Director of Strategy at Communitas America, for making these internships possible for CCNY students. Hes optimistic about the future these students will create, and said, “We're excited to see the next generation of Changemakers in New York explore and gain experience working alongside social ventures. We're grateful to all the partners that made this possible and look forward to seeing how these students change the world in the coming years.” Tue, 25 Sep 2018 12:12:40 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22143 Students Create Impact at Local Startups with Communitas America Career Program https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/students-create-impact-local-startups-communitas-america-career-program Our exciting partnership with Communitas America continues to train CCNY students for careers in social impact. Earlier this summer, we hosted seventeen CCNY students for a two-day, immersive, social impact training seminar. In addition, ten students were placed in paid summer internships with social enterprises throughout the NYC area. At the immersive training seminar, students discussed why pursuing a profession in social impact is so vital, especially today. Those in attendance learned about what it means to be a social entrepreneur, and how they can succeed in social impact-related careers. On the first day, the participants studied cases involving Uncharted Play and Toms, and heard from Amer Jandali, the US Head of Operations at Dopper. The second day began with an exercise out of Echoing Greens Work on Purpose, which challenges participants to define their passion by examining tangible skills along with personal virtues. That day, they heard from Ben Chase, Managing Director of IDEO.orgs Equity Practice, and discussed a case study on differing ridesharing services Uber and Careem.Ten students took what they learned from the seminar into their internships, and theyre now creating impact in their own ways at various New York social enterprises. Learn more about the organizations below, and how CCNY students are gaining career experience in interesting fields. Be Social ChangeThe mission at Be Social Change is to help people find + do purposeful work, connect with like-minded people, and lead socially-conscious lifestyles. Be Social Change does this through weekly workshops, monthly events, and resources such as a weekly events guide and jobs board that help people plugin or transition into the social impact space. Oluwafunmilayo Agoro, a freshmen studying biomedical engineering is an intern at Be Social Change helping with various projects.Pale Blue Dot MediaPale Blue Dot Media is a production company based in New York City. They focus on stories at the intersection of human rights and environmental issues, but will tackle any subject with a compelling narrative and end-goal of contributing to the greater good. Current projects include: BOOTSTRAPS – a doc series about universal basic income, STORY OF PLASTIC – a feature doc about the global cycle of plastic production, consumption, and disposal, and THE RELUCTANT RADICAL – a feature doc about the climate crisis and the use of non-violent civil disobedience. Kartikeya Sharma, a sophomore studying computer science, works as a data scientist for Bootstraps Film.BlocPowerBlocPower is a clean energy startup that provides engineering, financing, and project implementation services for green building retrofits that save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve health and create local employment opportunities in low-to-moderate income communities. Asia Johnson, a Masters student studying Communications, is a marketing intern at BlocPower.Civic HallCivic Hall is a one-of-a-kind innovation center for civic tech innovators. Located in NYC, it provides a space to share knowledge, build tools and solve problems together. Erika Santos, a senior studying public policy and international relations, is a special programs intern at Civic Hall this summer.Echoing GreenEchoing Green identifies tomorrows transformational leaders today. Through its Fellowships and other innovative leadership initiatives, Echoing Green spots emerging leaders and invests deeply in their success to accelerate their impact.Echoing Green has been ahead of the curve for more than 30 years, supporting visionaries around the world who are transforming economies, and pursuing racial and gender equity, environmental sustainability, and more. Echoing Greens unparalleled community of talent consists of more than 700 innovators who have launched Teach For America, City Year, One Acre Fund, SKS Microfinance, Public Allies, and more. The organization provides seed-funding and leadership development to a new class of Fellows every year and welcomes them into its lifelong community of leaders.Echoing Green accelerates talent that will change the world for the better. Jocelyn Gao works as a search and selection intern at Echoing Green, helping them to identify this talent. Shes a public administration grad student.SecondMuseSecondMuse builds purpose-driven networks using innovation to tackle the complex challenges of our time – in communities, cities and countries around the world. They help organizations solve systems-level grand challenges, governments more effectively utilize their resources and connect with citizens, and corporations leverage their strengths and break silos to solve complex problems. They have implemented projects across six continents for clients such as IKEA, Intel, NASA, Nike, USAID, New York City Economic Development Corporation, The World Bank, the US Department of State, The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the City of Melbourne.Mariama Wilson, a senior studying electrical engineering, is a Cities Intern at SecondMuse this summer. Teach For AmericaTFA is a diverse network of leaders who confront educational inequity through teaching and work with unwavering commitment from every sector of society to create a nation free from this injustice. As a collective force€”educators, advocates, entrepreneurs, policymakers, community members€”Teach for America fights for the aspirations of students and families. Their aim is to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, grow, influence, and lead.Michael Borrello, a junior chemical engineering major, is a podcast and video intern at Teach for America. ThinkEcoThinkEco is a NYC-based, Internet-of- Things (IoT) technology company, providing easy-to-use energy efficiency solutions for utilities, enterprises, and homes. They are the innovators behind Con Edison’s SmartAC program (www.conedsmartac.com), which is one of the country’s largest demand response programs focused on residential customers. Their novel approach to energy management has been featured in local and national media, including the New York Times, CBS News, the Today Show, the Wall Street Journal, and has garnered numerous awards for its pioneering work in energy efficiency, including Alliance to Save Energy’s Star of energy Efficiency. Emmanuil Simkhayev, a senior studying computer science, is a software developer at ThinkEco for the summer.VeripadVeripad is a social impact tech company looking to improve access to high quality medications in underserved communities by providing a cost-effective and easy-to-use platform to chemically authenticate medicines. Tala Azar, a senior biomedical engineering major, works on a variety of projects at Veripad including B2B sales, marketing, and social network mapping.YadaYada is a scalable workforce of research assistants, augmented by software and AI. Accessible via chat anytime, we process all of the manual data tasks that burden sales and marketing teams today (e.g. online research, lead generation, data cleaning, etc.). Hugo Meza, a computer engineering major, is a software engineering intern for the summer. To learn more about these incredible organizations, follow their title links. Communitas America and the Zahn Innovation Center are proud to be able to place changemakers within the vast realm of social innovation. Wed, 08 Aug 2018 12:44:03 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22142 Impact Career Program Preps Students for Purpose-Driven Work https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/impact-career-program-preps-students-purpose-driven-work Students at City College have an opportunity to create social impact through many activities on campus. Were excited to announce a new partnership with Communitas America which will train our students for social impact careers, and place a few in paid internships with world-renowned social enterprises. Through this summer program, our students will not only gain invaluable career experience by working at social impact organizations and social enterprises in the NYC area, but theyll understand the foundations of building a career in the social impact sector through a series of skill-building workshops. The program will kick off with a two-day intensive training seminar, open to all students at CCNY. Participating students will learn about the field of social innovation, and explore what it takes to build a career around their personal sense of purpose. Theyll also learn valuable skills to be successful  in a social impact-driven career, like impact measurement and growth hacking. The seminar will feature interviews and discussion with leaders in the space, including Ben Chase, Managing Director of IDEO.orgs Equity Practice.This program was developed in partnership with Communitas America, a social impact firm that supports changemakers creating innovative solutions to solve social problems in underserved communities. Communitas America encourages changemakers and social entrepreneurs to further their missions.Communitas Americas vision aligns with the outlook of the majority of Millennials and Generation Z. A recent report conducted by Deloitte found that less than half of Millennials and Gen-Zers believe businesses behave ethically, or that business leaders are committed to helping improve society. Millennials seek more than financial gain from their career choices, but overall fulfillment. Another article suggests that they see jobs as a route to exploring their passions, hobbies, and philosophies. With this program, we hope to give CCNY students a pathway towards a rewarding, purpose-driven career in social impact. Once the internship matching process wraps up, well share a little bit more about where students are working and what theyll focus on throughout the summer. In the meantime, if you know a CCNY student who would like to take part in the two-day seminar, please direct them to the signup link. Wed, 16 May 2018 16:42:29 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22141 Major Gift from the Moxie Foundation Paves Way for Future of Creative Problem Solving at CCNY https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/major-gift-moxie-foundation-paves-way-future-creative-problem-solving-ccny We have some exciting news to share from our sponsor, the Moxie Foundation, regarding the announcement of a $2.73 Million gift for an initiative at The City College of New York. Peter Zahn, President of the Moxie Foundation is thrilled to share:“The Moxie Foundation has just signed a new gift agreement with City College to help strengthen the Colleges capacity to prepare students for creative problem solving in the 21st century. The gift will continue support for the Zahn Innovation Center and also build on the Center's work in entrepreneurship by growing the spirit of creativity and innovation on a campus-wide scale.“The gifts vision is that every student in every major will realize her or his capability to create significant, positive change in the world. There will be a strong focus on preparing faculty from all majors across campus to integrate more creative, entrepreneurial, and community-based practices inside, as well as outside the classroom.“The Moxie Foundation couldn't be more optimistic about this next chapter for City College and for the ZIC. We look forward to our continued work together, supporting these incredible students.”To read more about this exciting initiative, visit this article on CCNY's website. Thu, 10 May 2018 16:26:29 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22140 Meet the Startups in Our 2018 Accelerator https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/meet-startups-our-2018-accelerator We told you the excitement wouldnt stop at the Final Pitch! Today, were thrilled to announce the ten startups that will participate in our Summer Accelerator:Among Allies €“ a nonprofit organization that helps victims of workplace sexual harassment find resources and offers workshops on the topic for small businessesCakeWLK €“ an app that connects college students with new friends via safe, reliable, publicly shared walking routesExostride €“ an exoskeletal knee augmentation to reduce workplace knee injuries & fatigueFreeFoot €“ an assistive device for those with gait disorders like Foot DropKhamis + Co €“ an app that connects like-minded individuals to travel togetherListen! €“ a nonprofit organization building an e-learning tool that uses gamification to teach basic vocabulary and language for children in refugee campsSkinno €“ an app that uses machine learning to decipher skincare ingredients for consumersSporta €“ a centralized platform to connect leagues, teams, and playersSprtlook €“ an app that connects high school athletes with coachesWebNest €“ a marketing management platform that helps grassroots organizations & nonprofits grow and engage with their membershipsDuring the Accelerator, each startup will receive a $10,000 stipend so that at least two members from each team can dedicate 40 hours a week to the program. This is made possible by a generous sponsorship from CCNY alum Howard Morgan, Co-Founder of First Round Capital. Startups will work towards individual milestones with specific end goals that could include acceptance into a top tier accelerator program or seed/angel round investment. Theyll receive access to expert mentors and will gain introductions to closed-door meetings with senior advisors, investors, and business partners specifically chosen to meet their needs.There will also be an educational component to the program in the form of daily workshops, as well as tailored consulting from Zahn staff. Startups will spend the summer conducting further market research and finishing their prototypes, all while developing a clearer understanding of their business from a financial perspective. Each team will receive individual help applying for grants, contracts, and other competitions. Experts from BNY Mellon, Wilkie Farr, and Google will mentor startups throughout the program.The Accelerator kicks off the week of June 11th with investigative meetings with investors. If you'd like to be a part of that, please email katherine@zahncenternyc.com with your interest.Well share their progress live on social media throughout the summer, so make sure you follow us @ZahnCenterNYC for updates!  Wed, 09 May 2018 11:37:57 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22139 Startups Receive $150K in Seed Funding at 2018 Final Pitch Night https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/startups-receive-150k-seed-funding-2018-final-pitch-night Almost 200 students, faculty, staff, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, mentors, sponsors, and family members watched in awe as eight startups gave it their all and pitched for the chance to win the grand prizes in each of our four competition categories. To us, everyone was a winner last night. And as Standard Chartered Bank's CEO Torry Berntsen put it last night: “Your dreams are never-ending.”But, there can only be four grand prize winners. It is with great excitement that I announce the top startups in each category:Kaylie Prize:FreeFoot, an assistive device for those with gait disorders like foot drop, won the Kaylie Prize for $50,000. This prize is part of an endowment sponsored by City College alum Harvey Kaylie, founder of Mini Circuits. The FreeFoot team is made up of mechanical engineering students Jade Ardinez and Winnie Ngo, and biochemistry student Anwar Jammal. Jade was inspired by one of her family members who suffers from foot drop to create a solution for this issue. With $50,000, FreeFoot will adjust their prototype based on the customer feedback they've received and conduct more trials.Zahn Social Impact Prize:FloraMind, a mental health curriculum for high school students to promote self-care and break the stigma around mental health, won the grand prize for this category, also sponsored by the Moxie Foundation. The FloraMind team is made up of CCNY undergrads Khandker Ahamed, a digital product marketing major; Mahmoud Khedr, an applied psychcology major; and Danny Tsoi, an economics major. Theyre helping teens understand mental health, learn how to identify warning signs, and build resilience through workshops and well-being exercises. The $25,000 will be used to develop more workshops and educational tools to reach more classrooms. Read more about FloraMind here.Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC Prize:CakeWLK, an app that connects college students with new friends via safe, reliable, publicly shared walking routes, won first place in this category and $25,000. The track, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, encourages women-led technology ventures to create solutions for issues in urban environments. The CakeWLK is made up of Ashia Nagi, a junior studying applied mathematics at CCNY; and CUNY students Estefanía Barrón, computer science & Frances Shnaidman, a computer science and journalism major. The prize money will help them finish development of their app. Read more about CakeWLK here.Zahn Technology Prize:Skinno, an app that deciphers skincare ingredients for consumers won the grand prize of $25,000 for this category, sponsored by the Moxie Foundation. The Skinno team is made up of Lisa Guerrera, a recent CCNY grad pursuing her Masters in cosmetic engineering at Manhattan College; Christina Torres, a Masters biology student at CCNY; Sumali Dey, a sociology & pre-law student at CCNY; and David Murphy, a computer science major. They all have a passion for science communication, and want to empower consumers to make informed decisions. They'll continue to gather beta testers so that they have enough data for their machine learning technology. Read more about Skinno here.  These winning startups were chosen by four separate panels of elite judges, one for each track. Read more about our panels of judges here.We are so thankful for those who joined us in supporting these outstanding startups last night (and for those who were there in spirit!). In the upcoming months, well work closely with these startups to maintain goals and meet specific milestones. We cannot wait to share their progress with you, but in the meantime, check back next week for some exciting news about our Summer Accelerator! Fri, 04 May 2018 13:33:02 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22138 Judges from First Round Capital, Golden Seeds, Facebook, Acumen, and more Choose 2018 Winners https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/judges-first-round-capital-golden-seeds-facebook-acumen-and-more-choose-2018-winners We always say to our startups: our job is to make the judges job difficult. This quote sums up the time each track chair and mentor puts into priming every one of our startups for Demo Day and the Final Pitch.Every year, the competition gets closer and the judges deliberations get more complicated. This year, weve gathered a powerhouse team to evaluate the 2018 Cohort. On Demo Day, investors, entrepreneurs, educators, public officials, and experts in a variety of fields met with each semi-finalist and carefully decided who would move on to the Final Pitch. They included, listed by track:The Kaylie Prize: Joe Barba, Director of Student Entrepreneurship & Engineering Professor, CCNYKatey Metzroth, Director, 2M Cities & Lead, Futureworks IncubatorMaggie Tishman, Director, Bronx Innovation FactoryThe Zahn Social Impact Prize:Kyungsun Chung, Founder, Root ImpactStephanie Fernandez, Education Assistant Policy Analyst, NYCs Mayors OfficeEngjell Latollari, Programs Coordinator, Echoing GreenThe Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize:Amy Chen, Director of Entrepreneurship Programs, NYC Media LabCamilla Uden, Treasurer, ZoetisMatthew Washington, Deputy Borough President, Office of the Manhattan Borough PresidentThe Zahn Technology Prize:Arber Ruci, Entrepreneur in Residence, NSFs I-CorpsSandy Wollman, Co-Founder, Westchester AngelsKim Yarnell, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook On Thursday, the finalist teams will meet more investors from First Round Capital, Golden Seeds, Republic.co, and Accelerate NY Seed Fund; experts from the Moxie Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, Acumen, ELab, and the Cordes Foundation; as well as educators from CCNY, founders, and experts in law.Together, theyll consider how developed each teams product/service is, their pathway to long-term sustainability, and their go-to-market strategy. There are also specific requirements for each of the four categories, so weve assembled four separate panels of experts€“one for each track€“to evaluate the 18 teams.The Kaylie Prize was developed and sponsored by CCNY Alum Harvey Kaylie, Founder of Mini-Circuits. This category celebrates all things hardware, and qualified startups are building physical products that may or may not include a connected (smart) technology. This year, we chose judges with a vast knowledge of engineering. They include:Gilda Barabino, Dean, Grove School of Engineering at CCNYGeorge Gerstman, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw, LLPMary Howard, Program Manager, ELabNYCThe Zahn Social Impact Prize is developed and sponsored by the Moxie Foundation. This category acts as a catalyst for the spread of social entrepreneurship on campus, and encourages students to develop a global perspective on impact. Startups in this category were challenged to build ventures with a sustainable revenue model, whose primary objective is social change or environmental stewardship. They may pursue either a nonprofit or for-profit model, and the judges are advisors and investors for social enterprises.Eric Stephenson, Portfolio Director, Cordes FoundationPeter Zahn, President, Moxie FoundationYasmina Zaidman, Chief Partnerships Officer, AcumenThe Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC Prize is sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank as part of the Women in Technology Incubator at the Zahn Center. This year, the category celebrates the role of women in building Silicon Alley. Startups were challenged to leverage technology to address challenges in New York City. By nature, many of the startups in this category have a social impact mission at their core, and may consider nonprofit status in the future. This years panel of judges is dedicated to keeping their city on the cutting edge, with expertise in investments, finance, and crowdfunding.Trish Sullivan, Head of Financial Crime Compliance, Europe & the Americas, Standard Chartered BankEmily Susskind, Managing Director, Golden SeedsKim Wales, Founder, CrowdBureauThe Zahn Technology Prize is also sponsored by the Moxie Foundation. Startups in this category were challenged to develop ventures that use technology to solve problems otherwise untouched. Their products include transformative new apps, web platforms, database tools, or e-commerce sites. This year, we chose judges with a vast knowledge of the latest technologies. Some work directly in the tech field, while others have been long-time investors of technology ventures. They include:Noel Goddard, Principal, Accelerate NY Seed FundHoward Morgan, Co-Founder, First Round CapitalChuck Pettid, Partner, Republic.coTogether, these judges will decide the fate of 18 startup teams, and decide the two finalists in each category€“who will then pitch again on Thursday, May 3rd for a chance at first and second place prizes totaling $150,000.On Thursday, well also learn which startups were our audiences choices on Monday, and who will join us this summer in our Accelerator. Follow the action live on Twitter at @ZahnCenterNYC Wed, 02 May 2018 10:19:05 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22137 Meet the Startups Who Will Pitch for $150K https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/meet-startups-who-will-pitch-150k Were still feeling excitement from yesterday's Demo Day. Hundreds of supporters visited CCNY startups as they shared their MVPs and prototypes with the community. Startups seen yesterday have developed their ideas in our Lean Startup Bootcamp for the past semester, and Demo Day marked the first of two events that will determine which teams win prize money totaling $150,000. While the fun was happening outside on campus, judges carefully deliberated inside. The pressure was on. After much thought, the judges selected two teams from each of the four categories €“ hardware, social impact, women and tech for NYC, and technology. These eight finalist teams will pitch again in front of an audience later this week at the Final Pitch. Our 8 finalists are€¦The Kaylie PrizeBrystech €“ an imaging device that makes breast cancer-screening more comfortable & accessibleFreeFoot €“ an assistive device for those with gait disorders The Zahn Social Impact PrizeFloraMind €“ mental health education curriculum for high school students to promote self-care and break the stigma around mental healthListen! €“ a game teaches basic vocabulary and language structure for children in refugee camps The Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC PrizeAmong Allies €“ a platform that helps victims of workplace sexual harassment find resources while also helping companies establish safer workplace environmentsCakeWLK €“ an app that connects college students with new friends via safe, reliable, publicly shared walking routes The Zahn Technology PrizeFare €“ a driver-focused intuitive taxi demand prediction modelSkinno €“ an app to decipher skincare ingredients for consumers To support your team and find out who takes home the grand prizes, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@ZahnCenterNYC) on the evening of May 3rd. Well go backstage with the startups, and announce the winners by the end of the night. Well also announce the winners that YOU selected for the Audience Choice Award, and the startups who will continue on in our Accelerator Program. Tue, 01 May 2018 13:56:29 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22136 What it Takes to Make it in the #StartupLife https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/what-it-takes-make-it-startuplife Ever wonder what its really like to be a student founder? While you get a glimpse of #StartupLife on our Instagram (@ZahnCenterNYC), its hard to imagine what goes into running a startup while youre in school. We sat down with some of our founders and talked to them about some of the challenges they face. Heres what they said:  Living in Iraq for the majority of my life, Ive always thought about the American dream. Being a student founder makes me feel fulfilled. However, it does not come without its challenges. Balancing school, work, social and startup life is very difficult and can be exhausting. Not worrying about small details and looking at the bigger picture has helped me work through the struggles of being a young entrepreneur. My main goal is to continue learning and being a part of Zahn definitely helps me with that. Although this semester has been hectic, I have gained so much knowledge and have grown more than any other time in my life.  One piece of advice I would give to young entrepreneurs is that if they are given the opportunity to be a part of a startup I would definitely do so, even if its not something you want to do as a career. – Baker Mohammed, SprtLook.It is full of challenges, hard work, creative thinking, and self-sustainability, which are worth a lot at the end. – Enzo Ames, Sporta The most important thing I've learned from my experiences with the Zahn Center is that you and your team need to be truly passionate about the problem you are solving. The passion is what allows you to push through all the hardships that come with starting your own business as a student, and allows your team to motivate each other. – Labiba Chowdhury, WebNestEntering into the world of entrepreneurship has been one of the most rewarding decisions that we ever made, but it has its downsides. While putting our passion into solving our problem has taught us how to think and operate in new, exciting, and more efficient ways, we have also learned how to deal with rejection and failure on a continuous basis. That lesson is something that I believe has made us better in every facet of our lives and is something that we'll carry with us forever. – Jaret Wyatt, FreightTran“Building a startup is an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience. A classroom setting can only teach you so much, so creating our own company allowed us to learn valuable skills and implement them immediately. It fueled our creativity, curiosity, and confidence. ” – Revi Schechter, VestaThe biggest challenge of being a student founder is juggling a startup, classes and all my other activities. I have to prioritize what is most important for my day and my priority in life is Khamis+Co. There are so many startup founders that advise us to dropout of college as they did so that they can focus on their startups. Being City College students, I know that I can juggle my studies while growing my startup. – Raneem Elsayed, Khamis + CoOur favorite part about the #startuplife is learning how to make our own mark on the world. – ExostrideWe hope youre excited to meet these startups at Demo Day on April 30th where youll help us choose the Audience Favorites & award four startups $1,000 each! You can reserve your FREE ticket today: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/zahn-center-demo-day-2018-tickets-44306150… Thu, 26 Apr 2018 14:36:50 -0400 Gabriela Gonjon https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22135 New Startup FloraMind Creates Mental Health Education for GenZ https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-startup-floramind-creates-mental-health-education-genz With Demo Day only a week away, were thrilled to introduce you to some of our startups competing this year! Remember, the power is in your hands on Demo Day. YOU decide who gets the Audience Choice Awards.Today youll meet FloraMind, a team dedicated to breaking the stigma around mental health. They're helping teens understand mental health, learn how to identify warning signs, and build resilience through workshops and well-being exercises. This seems especially important in a society categorized by mass shootings & social media-induced depression. I sat down with the FloraMind team–made up of CCNY undergrads Khandker Ahamed, a Digital Product Marketing major; Mahmoud Khedr, an Applied Psych major; and Danny Tsoi, an Economics major. This is how they got started:Katherine Olives: So happy to get to sit down with you, FloraMind! (Love the new name.) So when you entered the competition, you were building an AI-powered app to help people cope with depression and anxiety. I'm excited to hear more about have you've re-positioned yourselves!Mahmoud Khedr: We were trying to build a chatbot that would help individuals with depression, but since then weve pivoted–mostly by understanding the end user. There are plenty of products and services out there that help individuals overcome depression or anxiety, but theres still one major underlying issue: a lack of understanding of mental health issues. Through our research we learned that fifty percent of mental health disorders develop at age fourteen, but there isnt a curriculum around mental health. Some schools dont even have counselors on staff, and when they have counselors, these counselors are trained to help students work on their grades and pick colleges, not help them overcome mental health issues.Danny Tsoi: We saw this as a gap–a way to give educators what they need.MK: Theres an average of one social worker for every 600 students. We have more school security guards than that. To me, that means were very much focused on the effects of mental health disorders, rather than the cause. One in four teenagers will experience a mental health episode in a given year; one in twelve will attempt suicide. How is this happening? Schools dont invest in mental health; and some dont want to talk about it at all.KO: Its really amazing that you've decided to tackle this problem. What makes your team so connected to it?Khandher Ahamed: Everyone on our team has faced a mental health issue at some point in our lives. We know first hand and relate to a certain extent. We feel more and more of a need to get up and get out there and actually execute.MK: We actually did our first workshop yesterday at Medgar Evers Prep. We wanted to start at our own high schools, so we connected with one of the teachers there and she helped us set up the event and share it with the students there.KO: Thats awesome! What was the workshop about?MK: We worked on the social stigma of mental health. A lot of people think mental health is a taboo subject, so this workshop was designed to break that. We discussed what you should talk about, who you should talk to, and what you should worry about when it comes to mental health.DT: We also introduced meditation and the students loved it. Our goal is to not just educate young people about mental health, but introduce them to well-being exercises. We hope that theyll be able to recognize warning signs within themselves, their family, and friends. Itll also help them develop resilience.KO: Did the students like it?DT: They loved it. Its so great to know that the students were engaged and enjoyed the activity–it  means they're invested in emotional regulation.KA: When we asked for feedback at the end, they said that the whole workshop helped them learn more and understand how to talk about these topics. It's a good feeling.MK: Its super exciting that were getting validations from customers. The next step is to get validation from others. Were going to be in Albany this week–Thursday and Friday–for the New York State Business Plan Competition. Were competing against 120 other teams, and we're so excited to share our ideas.KO: Im sure youll all rock it. It sounds like youre getting a lot of positive feedback–is there anything thats challenging you right now?MK: Mental health is such a big field and a big problem–I fear that its hard for us to create impact. Theres also a lot of research that goes into trying to understand the field. None of us are psychologists. We had struggles when we were pivoting, trying to understand what individuals really needed. And of course there are challenges that come with working with best friends. Weve had to figure out what our workflow is, and how to convert from friend to team member.KA: Another challenge is that people just dont like to talk about mental health. Its hard to stay focused on this problem when everyone keeps pushing it under the rug. Theres a huge stigma we have to break. DT: Thats one of the reasons why we picked reducing social stigma as our first topic. Its the most difficult thing to do, but it needs to happen. You wont be open to mental health education if that stigma isnt broken first. This is where we see that we can create the most impact.MK: We worked with twenty-two students in our first workshop, and thats twenty-two individuals who are now more open to talking about mental health. In the future wed like to engage parents and educators as well.DT: Were stepping up and showing the value of mental health education. It's almost like this type of curriculum prepares you to be a human being. I wish I had something like this when I was in high school!KA: Right?! High school puts a lot of pressure on you–you have to get good grades, be social, do sports, give back to your community, get into college–but no one teaches you how to deal with that pressure. As you go on in life the stress just gets worse. No ones teaching you how to deal with that. People wonder why kids resort to drugs–they end up resorting to bad habits to deal with the stress instead of developing good habits.DT: Plus, for years now, high school students have known that getting a college degree doesnt mean that youll get a job. Thats not what our parents dealt with. Its a hard reality to face.MK: And theyre affected by social media. High school students feel like they have to be perfect–on- and offline. Theres this notion that you have to maintain a flawless Instagram-worthy life, and this carries over into our normal lives.KO: Kids need to have allies, but they also need to know that they are their own biggest allies. I think you're giving them the tools to understand that. I can't wait to find out how you do in Albany!MK: Us too! We're also pitching in front of judges at Echoing Green soon–we're social innovation finalists, which means we can be fast tracked into their program.KO: That's so exciting! We're sending all the positive vibes! Send more positive vibes FloraMind's way by following them on Instagram @flora.mind & checking out their website. They're looking to connect with high schools, educators, and psychologists. You can meet them in person at Demo Day on Monday.  Wed, 25 Apr 2018 14:52:05 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22134 New Startup CakeWLK Aims to Improve Campus Safety https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-startup-cakewlk-aims-improve-campus-safety With Demo Day coming soon, wed like to introduce you to some of our startups competing for seed funding totaling $150,000. Like many of our startups, CakeWLK is using modern technology to solve a societal issue. Theyre creating a digital version of the buddy system–an app that connects college students who feel unsafe during their commute to school, or their walk from class to the dorms.I sat down with two members of the team to talk about how they came up with this idea, and what drives their passion for advocating for safety. CakeWLK is made up of Ashia Nagi, a junior studying applied mathematics at CCNY, Saad Ahmed, a sophomore computer science major at CCNY; and CUNY students Estefanía Barrón, computer science; and Frances Shnaidman, computer science and journalism. This is how they got started:Ashia Nagi: The funny story is that we met at Technica (an all women hackathon). Most people go to it with a team, but I ended up going alone. I was really close to not going, but something told me to try it anyway. I met Estefanía and Francis, and they proposed CakeWLK. I thought the problem behind it was so cool–we all feel unsafe sometimes, and to help think about a way to solve feeling unsafe as a college student. We met, and now were here. Even though we didnt win the hackathon, I told them about the Zahn Centers competition. We stayed up for two days, but it was all because we realized this is something that I want to pursue. Estefanía Barrón: That hackathon was my first experience with computer science. It was super intimidating. But I had the idea for the app for awhile. I thought, what if you could find a walking buddy for your commute home? I pitched it to Francis, and then we met Ashia and it was cool to meet people that were just as passionate about it.Katherine Olives: I mean its definitely a huge problem–I hardly ever feel safe when I walk alone. Its incredible that youre trying to tackle this issue.AN: Theres this constant trend of people getting harassed alone and not being able to report it to school–often theres no evidence. With CakeWLK, theres proof they were walking a certain route, theres a certain record of what happened. It could be potentially helpful in situations like this. We dont want anyone to live in fear while theyre getting an education. You wouldnt believe what we found in our research–in some cases, there are more instances of crime within a campus than in the community that surrounds it. Data like that puts everything we do into perspective.EB: I grew up in the most dangerous city in Mexico–its a place where women disappear all the time. I was not allowed to walk home from school alone (even though I only lived about two blocks away). I usually had to wait for my male cousins to pick me up and walk me home. I remember that when I was younger there was a seven year old girl who went missing and was found brutally murdered. It turns out she walked the three blocks home from school at 4pm–in broad daylight–and was never seen alive ever again. When I came here, I thought things would be different. But I often dont feel any safer in the US, a first world country. I thought to myself, if I dont do anything about this, no one else will.KO: Wow. I don't even know what to say. You're helping so many people. Are the customers you interviewed excited?AN: The craziest thing is that students are excited for this app. Were getting so much support. At our tabling events, students will stick around and talk about the experiences theyve had. Its inspiring.KO: Does that keep you going?AN: Absolutely. We get really stressed, but its the feedback from students and colleges that keeps us going. Its almost like were not in this alone. Its been so amazing. I cant describe how good that feels.EB: I love when I get validation from people who arent students, or students who dont go to CCNY. People want to help, theyre always like let me find people for you. Its so empowering. People want it, and theyre helping us to make CakeWLK a reality.AN: We had one meeting with a Chancellor and he connected us to someone from Duke University–everyone has been very helpful so far.KO: It sounds like youre getting so many positive reactions! Thats so great. But there must be some challenges. Tell me about that.AN: Its been challenging working with friends. Its hard to let people down, to give harsh criticism, because it always seems a bit personal. Plus, while a lot of the interactions weve had are positive, some of them are not. Weve had experiences working with individuals who arent as passionate as we are. I feel like when a person isnt passionate, it drags down the whole team. It creates negative energy–it makes everything harder to accomplish. Thats a hard lesson I had to learn. You might work with really talented people, but if they dont care about the problem, chances are they wont apply creativity to their work.EB: Theres a lot of technical issues that were going through right now. My desire and ideas are bigger than my skills, so its really frustrating. I often think, I want to add this feature, but can I actually make it happen? When that happens I just say yes I want to make this happen and I will, but Im going to need a little bit of time. I cant always deliver immediately, but Ill figure it out. Fake it till you make it, right. Ive been living that motto!AN: Hahaha exactly! Were learning as we go. Youtube is our best friend. But honestly, it shows the passion for this problem. I honestly think that we think intelligently, we figure out ways to get around obstacles, and we work with the skills we have now. And honestly, a practical education is the best way to learn coding.KO: Thats really great advice. Many students or other young people dont think that they have the skills to become an entrepreneur. But a lot of it is a learning experience. Do you have any other advice for students?AN: Yes! Im always giving people advice haha. Im doing things on my own, no one is guiding me, so I like to share what I learn.KO: Give us your advice, Ashia!AN: Okay so there are two things. In the tech realm Ive received so much backlash from my community and teachers. So many people think that your current skill set is a determining factor. Skills can be acquired. If someone is saying, Oh Im bad at Math, I shouldnt do this, thats ridiculous. Why are you in college? TO LEARN. Are you passionate about Math? That passion will see you through.EB: My biggest piece of advice: there is a place for you. I feel like in computer science or engineering, its easy to think that you have to look a certain way or be a certain way to have a place in the classroom. There is a space for you and you deserve it as much as anyone else. More advice: remember that youre growing. Dont be someone that youre not. Skills without passion are meaningless. You cant teach someone how to feel something, its there or its not. Whatever skill you have, its going to be meaningless. Do it with your heart, do it because you feel it.AN: I know a lot of people wont listen to us–I dont really listen to advice either because often its so abstract. You just have to experience it. We all cried a little, we drank 25 coffees in one day, we did whatever we had to do to not give up. Im not gonna give up, and neither should any of you.KO: You here that, City College? Will you be sharing more advice at Demo Day, or just your MVP?AN: I want people to sign up for our web app at Demo Day! If youre a college student whos excited about this idea, take part in the beta test. You can be part of the creation of CakeWLK. Besides that, were open to all feedback. Let us know what you think! Share your thoughts with CakeWLK & sign up on their website. Youll see them at Demo Day! Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:23:44 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22133 New Startup Skinno Uses Machine Learning to Translate Skincare Ingredients https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-startup-skinno-uses-machine-learning-translate-skincare-ingredients With Demo Day coming up, wed like to introduce you to some of our startups competing for seed funding totaling $150,000. Many of them are using latest technologies like AI and machine learning to help solve everyday problems. Skinno, an app that translates the scientific language in skincare ingredients into common language, is trying to do just that. Theyre committed to breaking the barrier between scientific jargon and the average consumer. Their goal is to help consumers make more informed decisions about the products they purchase.I sat down with members of the team to talk about how they came up with this idea, and why science communication is so important to them. Skinno is made up of Lisa Guerrera, a recent CCNY grad pursuing her Masters in cosmetic engineering at Manhattan College; Christina Torres, a Masters biology student at CCNY; Sumali Dey, a sociology & pre-law student at CCNY; David Murphy, a computer science major; and Bryce Halley, an economics major at CCNY who has previous startup experience. This is how they got started: Lisa Guerrera: Its a long story; it started way back when I was doing my senior thesis on cosmetic marketing and how it exasperates chemophobia (the fear of chemicals). I thought that if people understood what was in their products, understood what the scientific jargon on the back of bottles really meant, it would help them. I thought of the idea for Skinno, but I didnt have any programming experience. Eventually I started talking to Christina (my roommate) and some of my other friends. They encouraged the two of us to enter last years Nestlé Skin Health Hackathon, and we ended up winning. Then we decided to enter the Zahn Competition.Christina Torres: We met Bryce at an Info Session, and Lisas known David since high school. Theyve both been passionate about the idea from the beginning. Then, when we were looking for a graphic designer, we met Sumali and she just understood exactly what we were looking for.Katherine Olives: It seems like all of you are very passionate about enhancing communication, and the problem behind Skinno. Where does this passion come from?LG: For me its two fold. I studied Chemistry and I love skincare and science–the intersection of it is what Ive cared about for years. This is what I want to do as a career. I want to communicate science well and make it fun.CT: I come from a Biology background. I actually study a family of beetles in the Amazon.KO: Beetles?! Thats awesome.CT: Haha, its pretty cool, but my passion lies in science communication, and for me its exciting to apply my technical skills to that passion. David, our developer, also has a biology background and a passion for science communication, and that was one of the things that drew him to the project.Bryce Halley: I was going to apply to the Zahn Center last year with a different idea, but my team sort of fell apart the day the application was due because we found out that a lot of other big, public companies were tackling the same issue. Growing up in Silicon Valley, I experienced that a lot. Id think of a problem and come up with a proposed solution only to find out that everyone else was trying to do the same thing. When I heard Lisa speak about Skinno, I wanted to get on board. If we can make science easy to understand and easy to access for a large population of people, thats real impact.LG: Sumali couldnt be here today, but shes on board because she loves skincare. The two of us struggle with acne, and we hope to make that struggle a little bit easier on everyone else.KO: Count me in for that too! Haha but in all seriousness, theres a real opportunity for this technology to help a lot of people. Have you considered how it can be applied to other markets?LG: This tech can definitely impact other sectors. Science jargon is what people struggle with daily–whether its in their food ingredients or skincare products, medicines–people make assumptions, they could be right or wrong, but the best way to combat incorrect assumptions is accurate education. I think the next sector that we could go into is marketing. Marketing lingo means a lot of things, but its not something thats concrete. For example, the word natural is unregulated and doesnt always mean what we think it means. If we can put a definition to it, then that would help people make smarter purchases. I also think it could work in legal language, think of all the privacy statements & agreements we encounter on an everyday basis. Who really reads it? And why dont we? Because we cant understand half of it.KO: Exactly–Im thinking about everything thats happening with Facebook right now, and how much information we give away when legal language isnt always clear.CT: Watching the testimonies was pretty funny because it all reeked of tech communication problems on both sides–the consumers dont understand that theyre giving up their personal information and privacy, and on the other side, our government doesnt seem to understand how this technology works. It just showed that theres such a need for this. Even though were in skincare, theres such a need for this in so many areas. Wed avoid a lot of the issues were facing today if things could be easily translated.LG: Weve seen this problem personally with influencers, who were using in our own marketing. One of them told us that she was working with a company who gave her certain language to use, but it was loaded with jargon that most people wouldnt understand. She was told to put it into her own words, but she didnt understand it either, and her YouTube video tanked. I also have ridiculous allergies, so Im always reading the ingredients on everything and sometimes I miss something because its called a different name. Its hard to keep track of.KO: I bet! Its amazing that youre working on this, trying to solve a big issues. But there must be challenges along the way. Tell me a little bit about what youve faced so far.LG: The biggest challenge so far is automating it all–and were in the process of doing that. No one has ever automated this task. Skincare has by nature become a citizens science project. We want to make sure that our technology becomes a cheap, automated service for everyone, and its big process.CT: Its funny because with science communication, you think of a teacher breaking things down for you in a personalized way. Automation is kind of counter intuitive. So its been a challenge to create a happy medium between personalization and automation. But one of the best things weve learned is sometimes communicating with symbols is easier than finding words. Symbols are more universal.LG: Because beauty tech is a somewhat new industry–there are many technological advances in beauty, but beauty hasnt been innovated by digital tech. Were on the first wave, and because there arent a lot of companies out there doing something like this, we dont have much to reference. So when we have questions about how to price things, who are customers are, we have to really start from scratch. The industry is also more closed than others because its so competitive. Not many people want to help you out or talk to you about things. But again, were overcoming all that.KO: Ill say! Youre really doing great things! You got into JLABS–tell me more about how thats been.LG: There have been so many benefits that came with being a part of JLABS. We applied before the Zahn competition started, so it meant that we had to incorporate very early, and we had to get a lot done in a short period of time. We learned a lot about ourselves as a company, and it accelerated us. A lot of people told us that it was too early for us to apply, but we decided to anyway, and so far its been amazing. The whole experience made us a lot more confident.KO: I love that you just went ahead and applied. Thats great advice for anyone whos questioning themselves. Do you have any other advice for young entrepreneurs?CT: Talk to everyone! Dont be afraid to talk to people, and like we say, always be pitchin. You have to talk to people about what youre working on. Collaboration is key–one person doesnt create things alone. You never know who might have a solution for you, a different perspective.LG: Thats represented in our team. Were all multi-disciplined and come from different backgrounds. We built our team by sharing our idea with strangers. Another piece of advice I have is to stay organized. You can go to school, work, and start a business. You can do it all, but you have to stay organized.BH: My advice is, if its important to you, make sure that you never have a zero day. Get something done everyday, dont waste your time.David Murphy: And maximize the little time you have–I listen to podcasts that teach me things between commutes. You can also take advantage of free resources to help you when youre stuck. There is so much content on YouTube.LG: Go to ALL the events! Even if you feel like you dont belong there, make yourself feel like youre allowed to be in that space. Everyone in that space had to build themselves up at some point, just remember that.CT: Talk to the most important person in the room, youd be surprised by how many people are interested in what youre working on.BH: And its important to ask for feedback and contact information. You might get denied, but there are so many mentors that have worked with us because weve asked for their emails.LG: Mentors are key. The Nestlé Skin Health team has been a wealth of resources and knowledge. Theyre experts in the field, theyve given us space at their offices to work out of. That support has been life changing. Weve also been introduced to great mentors at the Zahn Center, Josh Lucido from Matter VC always gives us extra help and follows up when we ask him questions. And Devin [Voorsanger] too, even if hes about to walk out the door, hell give you time in front of the whiteboard.KO: Thats awesome. Sometimes it can be nerve-wracking to meet with mentors because they have so much experience, but theyre always willing to help. You never know what youll learn. So before we wrap up–I have to ask–how excited are you for Demo Day?LG: Were very excited about Demo Day because were going to show everyone what weve been working on. Well have a working prototype and an MVP, and were excited to have everyone test it out!CT: In the meantime, were encouraging individuals to sign up to be beta testers. We want everyone to use it, even if you dont use skincare currently. Were hoping it will open others up to using skincare and exploring what it can do for you. If youre an IOS user & want to become a beta tester, sign up now on Skinnos website. Be sure to check out this team at Demo Day on April 30th from 12-2pm outside of the NAC at CCNY! Wed, 18 Apr 2018 13:34:13 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22132 New Startup Fare Empowers Cab Drivers and Gives Them an Edge https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-startup-fare-empowers-cab-drivers-and-gives-them-edge With Demo Day coming soon, wed like to introduce you to some of our startups competing for seed funding totaling $150,000. Some of our startups are using cool technologies like AR/VR, machine learning, and big data to empower everyday entrepreneurs. Thats what Fare, an app designed to help hardworking cab drivers better predict demand, is all about. I sat down with two members of the team to talk about how they came up with this idea, and what they think the future will look like (we talked robots) in this blog. Fare is made up electrical engineering students King Crawford & Michael McIntosh and computer engineering student Sarena Tran (whos father is a yellow cab driver). This is how they got started:Michael McIntosh: It started out as a concept that I had thought about during an AI class. We were studying bio-inspired algorithms and particles swarm optimization. Its all about how flocks of birds find food. Initially I thought the algorithm would be able to locate and distribute taxi cabs in a city. I wondered how would you distribute them in a space so theyd all have the most chance of meeting demand.At first it was just an idea, but then I started to think how can we actually do that? They say autonomous vehicles are still 15 years out, but this would be a great technology for them. But it can help the current taxi industry. Taxi drivers have been hurt a lot by services like Uber and Lyft. How can we create something that helps them, and also work with all of this data?King Crawford: So he approached me and told me about this idea. It was first for senior design–it seemed timely and it was interesting material to explore on the technology side of it. Plus, I started working at Bustrek around that time. Its a special group at the MTA that writes the software the bus drivers use to route busses in the city, so I had some experience in the area of transportation. We write the software that the bus drivers use to route busses and how they run.MM: We had taken this idea into senior design, and when Lindsay came and spoke to our class, I realized that the Zahn Center was the resource that we needed to get this off the ground, build it, and understand it. Thats when we applied to the competition. It was the perfect fit.Katherine Olives: Thats awesome–it sounds like you really fell in love with a problem.MM: We definitely did. And we love learning more about this problem, but its so hard to talk to people sometimes–it can be really nerve-wracking. Weve spoken to a bunch of Uber drivers and yellow cab drivers, and we even went to a garage a couple of weeks ago. A couple of the drivers were skeptical and not so open to talking to us in the beginning, but once we spoke to some of the dispatchers and well-respected people there, they all saw that they could trust us.You definitely have to approach it a certain way, say were engineers working on tools, we know things, were students, so they know we can talk to about this problem and we want to work on it. Theres definitely a wall at first. We were using that garage as a practice, but they quickly let us in, and they gave us a lot of contacts.KC: But there were definitely some surprises–or validations wrapped in surprises. When we asked them questions about what they need and what they were looking for, theyd almost give us our idea. But then their imagination went a little further, and they started talking about things that we couldnt deliver based on current technology. What it did prove was their willingness to accept a technological solution for this problem.KO: Is that a major concern? That drivers just wont want to use technology to solve this issue?MM: Its definitely something we think about. Some drivers say that they wouldnt need this because there are people everywhere. But then when they start talking, they say things like they never know whether they should turn left or right. They want to know where the customers are and if theyre there. They want us to predict with 100% accuracy. We know that the problem is now real, and we didnt just make it up. Now were thinking of how wed market it.KC: We also need to know how we can build that trust and show them this tool is useful to them so that they have a desire for it. Its more than just a tech challenge.MM: Right now were thinking well have to market it to new and younger drivers who dont have any specific habits yet.KC: And maybe years down the line, after building relationships with drivers, wed break into the autonomous market. But right now were concerned about making this working for people.MM: Exactly. If we can figure out a way to take what we have and empower medallion owners to get into the autonomous game–because people are going to be responsible for these autonomous vehicles, theyll need trainers, garages still–and help them through this process of transition, thats our main goal. Of course, should the autonomous market come in to play.KO: Right. We definitely grew up imagining flying cars–but well have to see how soon autonomous vehicles actually become a normal part of life.KC: Beneath it all, the main idea is to enhance human life.KO: Im hoping robots will do just that!KC: Hahaha maybe!KO: Before we get into a discussion about the future of robots, Ill let you both get back to work. Were all super excited about Demo Day. Is there anything you want readers to know before we see you there?MM: By Demo Day we hope to have users testing out the platform. We want to have our business plan formalised and in a deliverable form, and were still looking for interviews. We want to talk to as many people as possible and get yellow cab drivers. So if you know anyone, send them to us! You can reach the Fare team at fare@zahncenternyc.com . Dont miss them at Demo Day–make sure to RSVP here! Thu, 22 Mar 2018 09:30:59 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22131 New Startup Brystech Makes Breast Cancer Screening More Accessible and Comfortable https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-startup-brystech-makes-breast-cancer-screening-more-accessible-and-comfortable With Demo Day only about a month away, wed like to introduce you to some of our startups competing for seed funding totaling $150,000. Many of our startups are pursuing the fields of medtech & biotech, and theyre inspired by their love of science and engineering to create solutions to real-world problems. In this blog youll meet one of those startups, Brystech, a team creating a device that makes breast cancer screenings not only more accessible, but wayyy more comfortable. Brystech is made up of senior biomedical engineering students Jemimah Aslarona, Tala Azar, Alex Chalco, Merin Sabu, and Kiara Smith. This is how they got started:Jemimah Aslarona: Last summer, Kiara, Tala, and I were part of a competition at Coulter College for rising BME seniors. We were given a prompt–bridging gaps in disparities in breast cancer incidents and mortalities–half of the summer to research it, and at the beginning of August, we went to Atlanta to attend a 3-day incubator program to come up with a solution for the problem prompt.Katherine Olives: And you all worked together on this?JA: We were expected to work with only students from our school, but we were on a team with others. Everyone started with the same prompt, and all of us were from very different urban and rural areas, and surprisingly, we all came up with the same notion: no matter where they live, women are not getting detection or screening processes enough.Tala Azar: The reason women werent getting screened really depended on where they were, whether they had health insurance, or if could take off of work to go get screened. We realized that we could create a device to mitigate this issue.JA: The device we were working on now was from my group–we won the pitch for that competition. Come the beginning of our senior year, that idea stuck with us, and even though we all have different senior design projects, we thought we should enter this into the Venture Competition at the Zahn Center.Merin Sabu: We realized this is a social problem and thought, lets try to solve it. The three of us kind of spontaneously started talking about it, we talked about it in a Shake Shack, actually, and we got enthusiastic about it. Thats how Brystech was born. We applied, we got in, and here we are.KO: And how far along are you? Are you working on the prototype now?Alex Chalco: Currently were building the first aspect of the device, its an inflatable version that uses an ultrasound transducer. It provides the needed pressure to take an image without the pain. The device will image the breast tissue for any abnormality.KO: Without the pain? Thats a huge step up from current practices.JA: Exactly. Womens health isnt well-funded or well-researched in my opinion. One of the women we interviewed actually said to us that if a woman had invented the mammogram machine, it would be more comfortable. With medicine still a male-dominated industry, there havent been a lot of innovations around womens healthcare. Were trying to change that and build something that has more of a natural shape.Kiara Smith: But possibly the biggest reason that we need to make this happen is to make breast screening more accessible. You cant just go to any doctor to get a mammogram, you have to go to a facility with the machine. Often, women have to go to their physician first, then get recommended, then theyre sent somewhere else, then they finally schedule the exam. For example, people Ive spoken to who live in Maine have to travel hours to get mammograms. By bringing the device to primary care physicians and OB GYNs, you can get scanned there during a routine visit.KO: It sounds like youre getting a lot of research done and you really know your audience. Has it been difficult to get customer interviews?MS: When we started interviewing, we went to users, women who we thought would be getting screened. We targeted women from age 20 and up, and one of the most difficult things was not knowing what responses wed get. I had no idea how open individuals would be, but it got easier. Most women were easy to talk to and more open to us, but we realized through our user research we should be talking to physicians and OB GYNs too. We need to talk to doctors, theyre the ones who have been conducting exams, and theyll eventually purchase our device.TA: The main reason we talked to women first is because we wanted to learn why they werent getting mammograms. We found out that many people didnt know alternatives to breast cancer screenings, and when they did, they werent readily available.MS: When I talked to women above the age of 20, they didnt know what they were looking for in a self-exam. And honestly, it didnt matter if that person had a PhD or a high school education, none of them felt like they were knowledgeable enough.TA: We interviewed a lot of health clinics and people from lower income backgrounds, and we learned that its hard to take days off to go get a mammogram, especially if youre working for an hourly wage. For whatever reason, the roles of a woman in a family, its hard for women to put their health first. They put off going to the clinic or physician, and were trying to make it easier for them.KS: However, we noticed that if they had a family history or a personal experience with breast cancer, they were more likely to get screened. But still, those individuals might stop going regularly. I had an aunt that passed away from breast cancer. She used to get screened for it regularly, but then she stopped, she just figured that it would be fine, but then she was diagnosed with Stage Four.MS: Many of my friends moms had breast cancer–they were getting regularly screened, and because of early detection, they were able to catch it. Granting better access to all women could mean a longer life.KO: Your mission is truly inspiring, and to be honest, all of you are inspiring. Its not easy to be a woman in STEM (and Alex, I know youre not a woman but Im glad youre an ally and honestly STEM isn't easy period). Do you have advice for other young women, or young people in general pursuing a career in STEM?JA: Personally I would say, broaden your horizons, were bio-engineers, were jacks of all trades, we learn a little bit of everything, but you never know what youll like until you try it. Even just stepping out of your comfort zone a bit–if you want to pursue STEM, try to be as well-rounded as you can. Ive had internships that werent in this field and Ive added those skills to my resume.TA: For me it was important to find people who are working in this field, I used to go to panels and talks so that I could explore all of my options. Finding ways to pursue what you want is important.MS: Talking to people and getting involved is a big deal. You never know how others points of view will spark an idea of your own.AC: Make a lot of friends because they help out. Its hard to do this on your own, and its helpful to think about new angles and new perspectives–parts of life that you didnt know before.KS: Be open to new opportunities. If something comes your way, be open to trying it out, because you never know where itll take you.KO: I love it! Now I promise Ill let you get back to work…. But first–are you excited for Demo Day?JA: We are, but were nervous about getting our device done. Were excited to meet people, get our name out there, get opinions about how people receive our device. At Coulter, people thought we were in a fashion competition–itll be interesting to see what people think.TA: Were trying to change the norm of breast cancer screening, and Im eager to see if individuals are open to changing the cycle.KS: And of course I think we all want to hear more stories. It makes us that more motivated.If you have a story to share, get in touch with the Brystech team at brystech@zahncenternyc.com . You can also follow them on Instagram (@Brystech) & Twitter (@Brystech_Inc). Dont miss them at Demo Day–make sure to RSVP here! Thu, 22 Mar 2018 09:20:03 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22130 Themes like VR/AR, Medtech, Edtech, Social Impact, and more Represented in 2018 Startups https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/themes-vrar-medtech-edtech-social-impact-and-more-represented-2018-startups With Demo Day and the Final Pitch only about a month away, we thought wed re-introduce you to the startups vying for seed funding totalling $150,000. Usually, we introduce them to you in their respective tracks (Kaylie Hardware, Zahn Social Impact, Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC, and Zahn Technology), but this time, we thought wed highlight some of the themes were seeing startups explore this year. While theyre still competing by track, youll notice that many of them could fit in multiple categories. Were pleased to report that across the board, were noticing many startups at CCNY have a socially-focused mission. Also, in addition to the Women+Tech specific track, our entire cohort represents a 50/50 gender parity.At Demo Day, youll get a chance to meet teams (and an array of interesting entrepreneurs) exploring the fields of medtech, biotech & edtech, and also those advocating for human rights, creating solutions for the underserved & making our everyday lives better. Get to know them below before you vote for them at Demo Day! A love for science inspiring creative solutions for real-world problemsYoull meet Brystech, a team creating a device that makes breast cancer screenings not only more accessible, but wayyy more comfortable. Then theres Free Foot, a team helping individuals with gait disorders get back on their feet.If you love the sun, youll want to talk to ZIMNO, a team led by two brothers thats creating smart sunscreen to help you remember to re-apply (and avoid skin cancer). And dont miss Exostride, a team focused on reducing knee fatigue.Of course theres also Lucid Motion, the startup that wants to re-write the aging process and give the elderly their freedom & mobility back. A passion for sports re-imagined to encourage healthy habitsSporta is building a platform for athletes (and the average player) to find leagues and others to play with in their area. The team of software engineers wants us to de-stress and get out and play!FreightTran is a team of high school friends helping fellow longboarders save their shoes from the wear and tear of the sport. Theyve been working on this idea since they realized they went through way too many skate shoes.Finally, Sprtlook aims to give athletes a place to shine, and connect them directly with coaches eager to add to their teams. The entrepreneurs behind the idea boast a variety of experiences, but are all athletes and avid soccer fans. Using big data, virtual reality & machine-learning to empower entrepreneurs and consumers alikeKhamis + Co is a travel app inspired by the co-founders grandfathers love of exploring. They aim to connect curious travelers so that they can explore new places and create lasting friendships. Another app, CakeWLK, also wants to bring people together. This team believes theres safety in numbers and has found a way to enhance the buddy system.Dont miss two startups using data to empower everyday entrepreneurs. Theres Fare, an app thats helping hardworking cab drivers better predict demand. And Vesta, a smart solution that helps property owners better service their tenants.  Theres also BioBowl, a social impact startup thats building a VR pop-up experience for city dwellers to help reconnect us with our natural environment and make more sustainable choices.Last but not least is Skinno, the winner of last years Nestlé SHIELD Skin Health Hackathon. They believe consumers deserve to know whats in their skincare products, and have developed a smart technology that helps you translate that science jargon. Advocating for others & stepping up to create a better world for ALLMeet FindJustice, a group of young activists who want to make it easier for grassroots organizations and nonprofits to communicate with & grow their memberships. Then theres endWH, a startup led by pre-law and business students determined to end workplace sexual harassment once and for all (and support victims of it in the meantime).Then theres Prime, an app designed to help those suffering depression, powered by AI technology. You wont want to miss SHIELD Enterprises, a team working to empower the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean by bolstering local business and ending remittances. Focusing on the next generation, and saving one thats considered a lost causeWe hope youll get excited about teachxchange, an edtech startup that aims to connect educators to share lesson plans and other resources to support one another, and improve their students classroom experience.And of course theres Listen! This team is focused on helping Syrian refugees in Turkish camps. They dont want to lose an entire generation thats currently growing up in refugee camps, so theyre developing solutions for the children there.We hope youre excited to meet these startups at Demo Day on April 30th where youll help us choose the Audience Favorites & award four startups $1,000 each! You can reserve your ticket today: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/zahn-center-demo-day-2018-tickets-44306150890 Wed, 21 Mar 2018 13:15:57 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22129 Save the Date for Demo Day and Final Pitch https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/save-date-demo-day-and-final-pitch City College has always been the birthplace of some of historys greatest innovations. From groundbreaking scientists and technologists to change-making political leaders and artists, CCNY alumni have led the charge into a brighter future. At our annual Demo Day & Final Pitch, youll meet the next chapter of that legacy in our CCNY startups. These events kick off the week of April 30th, and below is info about each, as well as an updated list of the 2018 Venture Competition Cohort!What to expect at Demo Day? Demo Day takes place on Monday, April 30th at the City College of New York at 12pm. This is where youll see all 18 startups of our Venture Competition on display in an open expo. Here theyre competing for the chance to pitch for first and second place across four competition tracks on Thursdays Final Pitch where they will compete for the Grand Prize in their track! Expert judges will decide who moves on to the Final Pitch, but your role is to help us choose the Audience Favorites and award four startups $1,000 each!RSVP today: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/zahn-center-demo-day-2018-tickets-44306150…Here are the startups that youll meet at Demo Day:Kaylie Prize (Hardware)Brystech – an imaging device that makes breast cancer-screening more comfortable & accessibleExostride – an exoskeletal knee augmentation to reduce workplace knee injuries & fatigueFreeFoot – an assistive device for those with gait disordersLucid Motion – a human-generated power device to fight muscle atrophyZIMNO – a sunscreen that uses the five senses to warn you when to re-applyAlternate: FreightTran – protective shoe soles for longboarders Zahn Social ImpactFloraMind – a platform to help those with depression and anxiety by providing necessary support utilizing AI.Listen! – a hand-held audio device that teaches basic vocabulary and language structure for children in refugee campsteachxchange – a tool for educators to share lesson plans and other resources to support one another and improve their students classroom experience.Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYCAmong Allies (formerly endWH) – a platform that helps victims of workplace sexual harassment find resources while also helping companies establish safer workplace environmentsCakeWLK – an app that connects college students with new friends via safe, reliable, publicly shared walking routes Khamis + Co – an app that connects like-minded individuals to travel togetherWebNest (formerly FindJustice) – a marketing management platform that helps grassroots organizations & non-profits grow and engage with their membershipsZahn TechnologyFare (formerly Murmuration) – a driver-focused intuitive taxi demand prediction modelSkinno – an app to decipher skincare ingredients for consumersSporta (formerly Plugr) – a centralized platform to connect leagues, teams, and playersSprtlook – an app that connects athletes with coachesVesta (formerly Proprio) – a platform to manage property units  What to expect at the Final Pitch? The Final Pitch is an evening program that takes place on Thursday, May 3rd. There, the eight leading startups from Demo Day will pitch to a live audience for prizes totaling $155,000. Industry experts  will act as judges to decide the fate of first and second place. Past Judges have included Howard Morgan of First Round Capital, Jason Feifer of Entrepreneur Magazine, and Minerva Tantoco, former CTO of NYC. RSVP today. Wed, 21 Mar 2018 12:59:14 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22128 New Startup Aims to Create Fountain of Youth in a Hardware Device https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-startup-aims-create-fountain-youth-hardware-device In our previous interview with Clayton Banks, the investor and Silicon Harlem founder spoke about the next generation of entrepreneurs–Millennials and Generation Z–and their potential to use technology to not only improve infrastructure and efficiency, but quality of life. I get to work with this new crop of entrepreneurs everyday at the Zahn Center. In this blog, Ill introduce you to Lucid Motion, a startup developing a human-generated power device that fights muscle atrophy. Their potential market is the aging population, and they hope to create a smart device to improve quality of life for the elderly.But their idea is much more than just a device; its a shift in mindset, a cultural change, all fueled by a passion to give back to the generations before us. Lucid Motion is made up of CCNY biomedical engineering students Anuoluwapo Bolarinwa, Christian Fong, and Daniel Villarroel; and Philadelphia-based architectural designer Javier Villarroel (Daniels older brother). The project was inspired by the Villarroel brothers grandmother, and Ill let them tell the rest of the story€¦Daniel Villarroel: I think the idea was born when my grandmother from Chile moved here to live with us. She has Alzheimers, and my mom has been her primary care provider for two years now. Javier and I go home to help out. A lot of people think that Alzheimers is purely a mental disease, but it affects a person physically as well. My grandmother doesnt remember or understand how to do things like shower or feed herself.Katherine Olives: And besides that, theres the mental change.DV: Exactly. The mental change takes a toll on you. My grandmother was once extremely active and social. Now, because of her disease, she doesnt leave the house very often. Shes not independent. She doesnt talk much anymore, doesnt interact with our family. She has a longing to do what she once did, but often doesnt have the mental or physical strength for it. So theres a depression that comes along with not being able to do what you once loved doing. We realized that most of the aging population struggles with this.KO: So youre developing this device for them€”the aging population?Javier Villarroel: Overall, were looking for people who are living a more sedentary life, whether thats the elderly or someone suffering from an injury. What if we could create a device that encouraged people to get outside again, do the things they love?KO: I think that would have tremendous impact on our society. It sounds like youre really getting to the problem behind your idea. DV: Right now were still very much falling in love with the problem, as Zahn encourages us to do. Since were still conducting customer interviews, were still figuring out if our initial idea is what our customers want. Ill have to admit though, the interviews right now have been a little discouraging.KO: Really, how so?DV: Were just not sure if muscle loss is really the main problem behind this. Its hard to tell what the elderly want or really need. Many doctors and patients have told us that muscle loss is just a part of life, a part of the aging process.KO: Right, its almost like youre up against a societal barrier.DV: Exactly. We have to convince people that you dont have to accept a sedentary lifestyle. We dont have to accept the traditional aging process. My grandmother has done so much for us, and I feel like its time that we give back to this generation. We shouldnt put them in homes and forget about them. If youre spending each day sitting inside, not able to pursue your passions, it makes you anxious. Theres no will to live. Its not right for them to believe that this is just a process, theres nothing to do about it. A lot of research goes into making people live longer. Whats that worth when you cant even walk? We need to pay attention to the quality of that life. Lets make sure we can make these 100 years very enjoyable.JV: Our value proposition reflects this. Our intent is to improve an individuals independence. It takes into consideration the physical and social aspects.Anuoluwapo Bolarinwa: Even my father whos a pretty active person has started to get tired on walks, he might say things like Im getting older, I cant do that anymore. And even though he looks completely healthy, hes losing muscle at a greater rate. Our device could help give them that little boost that could make a difference.KO: And what exactly do you envision your device doing? What else like this is on the market?AB: Although were still conducting research, we would like to build a prototype that would self-diagnose and offer treatment depending on an individuals muscles. Wed also like to explore how a smart element could help researchers further understand the aging process.DV: There are a lot of electrical stimulators on the market, I even saw one at the mall, but its not passive. You would use it to stimulate, say, your ab muscles, and it runs on electricity or battery.AB: For the elderly, this can cause cardiac arrest. Were trying to create a device like this that can run off of a persons own energy, and convince the individual to move more. We also need it to be safe for the elderly to use.KO: Im excited to see how your idea develops, especially as you talk to more potential customers and learn from them. And, like you said, there are a lot of barriers to get past.JV: The issue that were trying to tackle is definitely controversial. To most people, the issue€”aging–were trying to solve is pointless and eminent.DV: Were here to show that social norms can be broken, that there is a way to change the trajectory of your life, and dictate the aging process.  At the Zahn Center, we're excited to see this team take off, and can't wait to see where they are come Demo Day (April 30th). If you know someone Lucid Motion could interview, or if you want to learn more about the team, visit lucidmotiontech.comLucid Motion will also be one of the CCNY startups featured at the Zahn Innovation Summit on March 6th, which includes skill-building workshops for entrepreneurs, a fireside chat with NYCs CTO Miguel Gamiño, and a panel of leading investors. Tickets to this incredible event are now on sale, but running out fast. Reserve your seat today.  Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:59:24 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22127 Why Silicon Harlems Clayton Banks Believes NYC is on the Verge of an Upgrade https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/why-silicon-harlems-clayton-banks-believes-nyc-verge-upgrade At the Zahn Innovation Summit on March 6th, youll hear from local government officials, investors, and entrepreneurs. Each of our guests will share their expert opinions and advice on technology, entrepreneurship, and more. As a teaser, I sat down with one of our featured guests who will speak on our investor panel, Clayton Banks, Co-Founder and CEO of Silicon Harlem.The mission of Silicon Harlem is to transform Harlem and other urban markets into Innovation and Technology hubs. Under Claytons leadership, Silicon Harlem has been able to partner with the Department of Education for New York City to establish an after school STEM based startup accelerator, collaborate with the NYC Mayors office to assess wireless broadband in Upper Manhattan, and coordinate a virtual startup incubator for tech based entrepreneurs.To Clayton, Silicon Harlem is citizen-centric. He says, This isnt about how great we can we can be, its about what we believe our citizens deserve. Its about making sure their voices are heard and represented across the board. I make sure Harlems voice is always at the table when it comes to tech.In his short interview with me, his passion for technology, innovation, and Harlems multidimensional community came across. Clayton loves what he does, and I had the pleasure of speaking with him to get a feel for what he thinks the future looks like. Katherine Olives: What are the biggest trends in the tech and entrepreneurship scene in Harlem right now?Clayton Banks: There are several trends that are very significant, and these trends are setting up for the future. Most important are the things happening in the community and infrastructure in Harlem. There are systemic things happening, and Silicon Harlem tries to address these them. The biggest problem is the lack of broadband adoption. Forty percent of households in Upper Manhattan are not accessing the internet from their homes. Since the internet impacts every aspect of life, from health to employment, not using it is detrimental. Everyone should be accessing the internet from their homes. So why arent they? The wires are here, theres access, its just too expensive. Theres an affordability issue that were trying to solve. KO: Is Silicon Harlem working to solve that?CB: Absolutely. Were trying to create an alternative way for homes to get online for a reasonable cost. KO: Thats so important. Are there any other trends youre seeing? Or issues in this particular part of the city?CB: Another issue were seeing is lack of digital literacy. We want to see the community improve from a skills perspective. How can they use the internet to not only watch Netflix, but improve your quality of life? Thats why were focusing on everyone–from pre-schoolers to grandparents. We want to improve digital literacy in the entire community. Nine out of ten people dont know the speed of their internet, but they pay for it. Were teaching them how to participate in the digital economy.KO: Any other ways you see more individuals participating in tech?CB: Another growing sector is IoT. Citizens need to understand how smart technologies are going to impact their communities, and why they need it. More and more advanced technology will come out in the next year that has the potential to save money for households, and improve efficiency in peoples individual lives. The bottom line is that everyone needs advanced and smart tech, but the only ones who are going to get it are the ones who have the money and the knowledge.KO: Its definitely going to be an exciting time. Its a great time to be an entrepreneur! CB: Exactly! My generation has done some big things–we introduced the internet to the world and figured out how to connect folks. We found huge issues with communication, so we tried to fix that. Now at the next level, the new generations–Millennials and GenZ-ers–theyre going to have to take on new problems, and unfortunately some of the problems left over from us. You take an area like Harlem or the Bronx and ask yourself: Why is this particular area marginalized? Why dont they have resources? With the advanced tech platforms that are coming, 5G for example, itll allow young minds that are coming out of school to solve some of these age-old systemic issues. KO: You think the new generation of entrepreneurs will be solving issues in the social sector?CB: Absolutely. There are simple problems that have plagued us for many years like the amount of rats and vermin we have in the city that can be solved better by new ideas, new solutions, and new technologies. What if we can create smart garbage cans that alert sanitation when its almost full? Having problems like this tells me that the government needs the private sector to help them, and this is where the new crop of entrepreneurs will find opportunities.KO: I would love to be part of the generation that eradicates rats! What are some of your other visions for the future of tech in NYC, and especially Upper Manhattan?CB: Let me tell you something, the greatest opportunity the city has is to empower the startup community, the tech community, and really all tech-enabled companies. Theyll have to give tech companies and startups a landscape to root themselves in the city, to grow here, and to produce jobs that were going to need in the future. Rather than entrepreneurs running to Silicon Valley or another city, theyll be able to get gainful employment right here. Thats a huge opportunity for the city. Tech is the economic engine that sustains us, it creates a great quality of life, and it can be a robust career. Honestly, I believe the entire city is due for an upgrade. This city is about to be the most intelligent major city in the world–from using blockchain to decentralize single-vendor facilities, to smart technologies to enhance quality of life and reduce costs–its going to be momentous.KO: Absolutely!CB: Weve been on the verge of an upgrade for awhile, and its going to start with infrastructure. Baked into that is connectivity–we have to make sure telecommunications are built into future advances. People want to live in cities, and the greatest opportunity we have is to empower our startups and connect Wall Street to them. Theyre landlocked Downtown, and we need to bring them Uptown. They need to see whats happening up here–at CCNY, at the Zahn Center, at Silicon Harlem–weve encouraged more and more co-working spaces to pop up here, and we worked hard to get WeWork up here. Now the WeWork Uptown location is the most diverse location in both the types of startups and the types of entrepreneurs working out of there. Its at capacity, and most of the ideas working out of that space are there to benefit the local communities.KO: Thank you for saying all of that, I think sometimes the work thats happening in our area is overlooked. There are amazing things happening in the city around tech and innovation, especially in Upper Manhattan, and its time New York was known for that. I think Silicon Harlem has been on the forefront of that.CB: One of the things that weve been able to do is attract an unprecedented amount of money into Upper Manhattan and Harlem for research and test-bedding over the next five years. This is an accomplishment that has never been seen in NYC or any other major city. With this, Harlem will never trail in tech again, and we can improve the quality of life for those who are being left behind. KO: Thats incredible! CB: Thank you, were very excited. Were having an event to celebrate this sometime in March, and well announce that soon. Its a big feat. KO: Ill say! Its so exciting. So in my opinion, Silicon Harlem was Silicon Harlem before the coining of Silicon Alley. Do you think Harlem is leading NYCs charge into a smart future–and if so, how?CB: Harlem has always been a community of leading change. Its baked in our DNA to be a leader and an agent of change. Whether its cultural changes, artistic changes, music and food–all these things that define New York City–they started in Harlem. Creativity is in our veins, so I think Harlem is poised to take the next big change–technology–and run with it. Having this DNA in us in Harlem, getting through the Depression, the 1960s, all of the major life-changing moments in our country, Harlem has been on the forefront and its built to be leading in anything thats innovative. Even our transportation is innovative–its easiest to get in and out of the city from Harlem. Harlem is multicultural, there are so many different experiences represented there, there are major hospitals, twelve colleges, and countless young minds being trained and educated here that will contribute to the world in a big way. Harlem has the bones for entrepreneurs. A large number of businesses are owned and operated by families, and theres a stable set of corporations invested in Harlem. We have great elected officials working here, and there are a lot of nonprofits in the area that are adopting technology as a way to keep their missions alive. To hear more from Clayton Banks, save your seat at our upcoming Summit: https://goo.gl/nWxQ29 Thu, 15 Feb 2018 10:11:10 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22126 Zahn Innovation Summit: An Evening of Workshops, Startup Pitches, and Investor Advice https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/zahn-innovation-summit-evening-workshops-startup-pitches-and-investor-advice At the Zahn Center, we believe that diverse thinking drives innovation. In order to celebrate that, we're introducing the Zahn Innovation Summit, a premiere event that gathers a broad set of leaders in the NYC startup space with emerging entrepreneurs at the City College of New York in Harlem. The summit includes workshops to build skills, a fireside chat about unique opportunities in NYC, and a discussion about the power of investment in non-traditional founders. Participants will also meet the current class of startups at the Zahn Center. This exciting event is brought to you in partnership with the Mayors Office of Data Analytics as part of Open Data Week, Silicon Harlem, and the NYCEDCs Futureworks program. Consider this your open invitation to build new skills, gain new knowledge, and discover new ideas. Here's what to expect:  Hack the Future WorkshopsInnovation requires action. Our workshops have been specifically designed to help you take the next key step with your startup. Inspired by the subject of our four competition tracks–hardware, software, social impact, and women & tech–youll find theres a workshop for everyone. How to measure sustainable impact w/ B Lab – The workshop will provide you with a clear step-by-step process to start capturing and tracking your social impact, while getting you ready for future evaluation with more sophisticated methodology to communicate with your intended stakeholders.Negotiating in a biased environment – Participants are introduced to the framework for negotiating. They overcome any reluctance to negotiate as they engage in exercises and role plays that demonstrate how to solve a party's interests rather than confront their position, and how to engage in bargaining to achieve creative solutions.Using open data in your software application w/ Socrata – The workshop, Inclusive Web Programming €“ Programming on the Web with Open Data for Societal Applications — connects  three  themes: open data, web programming, and the need to provide better analytics over the web with open data to citizens to promote better quality of life.Sales Training for Startups w/ Google – Learn how to become a pro at sales with this actionable workshop with experts from GoogleA Fireside Chat with Miguel Gamiño, New York City's CTO; moderated by Lylah Alphonse, Managing Editor, U.S. News & World ReportHow does Silicon Alley differ from Silicon Valley? As New York City emerges as a leader in tech and entrepreneurship, how will it distinguish itself from the already robust tech space? Join us and New York City's CTO, Miguel Gamiño, in a conversation about why NYC has chosen to invest in tech, and what the city plans for the future.An Investor PanelInspired by Raj Chettys research on Lost Einsteins, this panel will discuss why its important to invest in marginalized entrepreneurs. The panel features venture capitalists and entrepreneurs who are making the investment in a new future of entrepreneurship. Youll learn about their unique approach to investment, how they choose companies and their thoughts on how to create a vibrant ecosystem that fosters these types of innovators.The panel will be moderated by Linda Villarosa, Author, Journalist, and Professor at CCNY. Panel includes: Rehana Nathoo of Spectrum Impact, Lorine Pendleton of Portfolia Fund, Clayton Banks of Silicon Harlem, and Elizabeth Vilchis of latinoTech (she's also a CCNY grad). The Zahn Startup Competition Practice PitchThe very heart of Zahn Innovation Center is our Zahn Venture Competition. Every year, 24 teams compete for over $150,000 total prizes. Youll meet the current teams vying for these prizes at their first public pitch in preparation for Aprils Demo Day. Come support and see them as they take their first step into the public eye. If you'd like to join us at this exciting event, please RSVP here.Discounted tickets are available to CCNY students, faculty, and staff with valid ID. Use code “CCNY.” Tue, 06 Feb 2018 13:23:08 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22125 Nuravine Enters I-Corps Nationals with New Outlooks from Hydroponics Farmers https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/nuravine-enters-i-corps-nationals-new-outlooks-hydroponics-farmers The good news keeps on coming. Wed like to update you on one of our startups, Nuravine. You may remember them as the food computer of the future, but since then, theyve made a slight pivot. They still have the same dream of building fully automated food-growing systems, but theyre hyper-focused right now on making the first product. They call it Elixir, an auto-nutrient doser and ph-balancer for indoor hydroponics. Nuravine was recently accepted into The National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) National Competition. I-Corps prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory, and accelerates the economic and societal benefits of NSF-funded, basic research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. I sat down with Nuravine co-founders Adrian Logan and Alex Babich to talk about what they hope to accomplish over the next few months.Katherine Olives: First of all, congrats! Were so proud of the Nuravine team. How exactly did this opportunity come about?Adrian Logan: Thank you! Were very excited. We were part of the I-Corps New York City Regional Node, mostly thanks to Arber Ruci, who is a CCNY grad and entrepreneur. He saw us pitch at one of the Zahn events, and told us that wed be a great fit for the I-Corps program, which hes affiliated with. As part of the program, you can win up to $50,000 to talk to 100 customers. Since we won the Regional Node, were moving on to Nationals.KO: Thats so exciting! It sounds like a lot of the entrepreneurs in the program are working on a project that hasnt been commercialized yet. Do you find that to be true?Alex Babich: Yes, most of the startups in the program are research-based. This program is about finding the right market for your project. Usually theyre working on something in a lab that theyre looking to commercialize. In many cases, theyre PhD-level students. It can get a bit intimidating.AL: But we definitely had a lot of advantages coming out of the Zahn program. Many of the other teams havent been exposed to the entrepreneurial, the business side, or things. We sort of had a leg up on that. We were also comfortable talking to people and getting feedback. People hold very dearly to their technologies, especially if youre doing extensive research on it. And when you put it into the real world, some people dont get it. Its a hard thing to hear. Zahn really prepared us for that. We learned to lose our egos and be open to feedback.KO: Thats definitely a difficult thing to learn. You get attached to your ideas, you know? So what is the program all about?AL: I-Corps follows the business model canvas and the lean startup. You learn about how the business model canvas should be–everything on it as a hypothesis. Once you hear enough trues or falses, you can either validate or invalidate what you thought.KO: And what have you learned so far?AB: From our interviews, weve learned that we should be targeting the industrial side, as opposed to the in-home market. We initially thought that there were enough industrial products and we wouldnt be competitive. But after talking to people in that space, we realize there is still plenty of room for innovation.AL: I think its Bert Brodsky that says Find a big market and take a sliver of it. I think thats what we finally realized we should do. These people really need our help. Theyre using clipboards and stuff to keep track of this. Theres so many smart people who have already figured everything out, but there are so many different spaces. Some of them get ignored by the big companies. You should go out and talk to people, and you learn about these spaces.AB: One of the best experiences was going and visiting the farmers. When you go and visit, you get to see what theyre doing for yourself. Its great to get to know them, ask them questions, they truly have the best insights. We definitely want to see more farmers. Not just indoor farmers, but outdoor as well. As part of this competition, were going to be able to travel all over the US and learn more about farmers. Hopefully well get an even deeper understanding of their problems.KO: Wow, travelling across the country–that sounds so exciting! Do you have a set plan?AB: We just started building lists, we wanted to make a list of at least 100 growers, and then started to plan out dates. Well start in Texas–thats where the program starts–but were trying to talk to people all over the place.AL: Were going to talk to at least 100 direct customers, but we also want to talk to anyone who knows anything about this market. So if youre one of those people, connect with Nuravine. Theyre looking for hydroponic growers and farmers to go and interview. Email alex@nuravine.com to set up a time to chat. Wed, 31 Jan 2018 12:47:03 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22124 Lindsay Siegel Reacts to Lost Einsteins: The Innovations Were Missing https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/lindsay-siegel-reacts-lost-einsteins-innovations-were-missing Innovation lives everywhere. The brightest ideas in solving problems in our society can come from every corner and every community, and we would be crazy to ignore the contributions of the immigrants, women, ethnic and religious minorities, and any other way you want to define diversity.Raj Chetty and his team at Stanford have again published important work on the study of inequality in our society, and their most recent research on Lost Einsteins particularly rings true for us at the Zahn Center at The City College of New York. The research concludes that innovators must be exposed to inventions and entrepreneurs from a young age. It's this mere exposure that delineates those in our society who will become our next Steve Jobs, and those who will never even dream to contribute in this way. And like I said, we are crazy to let that happen.We all know that the problems in our society are vast and complex, and affect each of our communities in different ways. But if only a small fraction of our population is working towards the development of new technology that will actually solve some of these challenges, there's no possibility of creating technology that benefits all of society and creating greater equity and sustainability for everyone.At the Zahn Center we argue that many of the brightest minds who can solve pressing problems are under-supported. We also argue that the challenges that are most important in those under-resourced communities are overlooked by the mainstream tech and entrepreneurship sectors today. It is our great responsibility to train this next generation of entrepreneurs to both identify problems that matter to them, and develop the solutions.One of our recent graduates is a company named Veripad. This team of immigrants whose families come from Egypt, Korea and Vietnam experienced the tribulations of unreliable medication when visiting family abroad. As a result they are developing new technology to verify each pill, in such a way that a simple pad and a smartphone can tell you instantly whether the medication you are giving your child will cure his malaria.Another company that got its start at the Zahn Center is Strong Arm Technologies. This team from Upstate New York witnessed their family members being hurt or worse as they labored in construction, virtually unprotected. The team of engineers built armor for the industrial athletes who rely on their bodies strength every day to earn their living.These are not problems that most traditional entrepreneurs experience, and yet they are challenges that affect millions of people in our society. We at the Zahn Center are so lucky to work with the innovative entrepreneurs that are solving challenges that matter to all members of our society. And it is our shared responsibility to work to find and nurture the Lost Einsteins so that we all move forward together and apply technological advancements in a way that positively impacts all parts of society. We'll explore Raj Chetty's research on “Lost Einsteins” on a panel at our upcoming Zahn Innovation Summit, and you'll learn why investors seek out founders from every corner. Tue, 30 Jan 2018 13:00:09 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22122 Skills Workshops to Boost Your Resume https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/skills-workshops-boost-your-resume Looking to gain new skills this year? You can learn something new at our public workshops, free for all CCNY students, faculty, and staff. No previous skills are required to attend. Heres a complete list of whats being offered this semester:Thursday, February 22nd at 6pmIoT & Arduino 101 Workshop: Are you fascinated by the world of IoT? In this workshop, youll build an understanding of the IoT space & learn how to work with an Arduino board. RSVP here!Software Design for Startups Workshop: Learn how to design your software in order to ensure rapid delivery. RSVP here!Thursday, March 1st at 6pmCAD Design & 3D Printing 101: Want to learn something new? In this workshop youll learn advanced mechanical designing for 3D printing (or the design behind 3D printing) so that you can get started on your new hobby or skill. RSVP here!Grant Writing 101: Do you work at a non-profit or social enterprise? Grant writing can be a great skill to help you get a head. If youre a social entrepreneur, learning out to find and write grants can help you get ahead. In this workshop, youll learn how to find grants that apply to your non-profit AND how to successfully write them. RSVP here! Mon, 29 Jan 2018 16:07:31 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22120 How to Get Feedback on Your Startup Idea https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/how-get-feedback-your-startup-idea We want to hear your ideas!Many students visit the Zahn Center to get feedback on their ideas. We love getting visitors from across campus, so now we're making it even easier for you to meet with us. This semester we're launching Open Office Hours at the Zahn Center @Marshak. All you have to do is stop by during one of the days/times listed below to bounce your ideas off of us. You'll leave with advice and feedback from our resident entrepreneurs.Mondays, 11am-12pm with the Ouvos teamTuesdays, 10am-4pm with Ellie Li of Projections.ioWednesdays, 8am-12pm with Namisha Bahl of MogulWednesdays, 2pm-5pm with Perry Mao of Wailian EducationWednesdays, 3pm-5pm with the dawaCare teamFridays, 11am-2pm with the Nuravine team  Questions? Email katherine@zahncenternyc.com   Mon, 29 Jan 2018 15:35:07 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22121 And the 2018 Lean Startup Bootcamp Begins! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/and-2018-lean-startup-bootcamp-begins This past weekend, ninety-some CCNY students joined us at Grand Central Tech in Midtown for a two-day retreat to kick off our 2018 Lean Startup Bootcamp. Here's a recap of the weekend:We kicked off Saturday with inspiring words from Joe Barba, Director of Entrepreneurship at CCNY. He spoke about the journey to come and shared: “Each and every one of you is going to struggle at some point, have setbacks, but that's okay. We'll be with you every step of the way. By the end of this program, you'll leave with much more than any other student gets to experience.”From there, we moved right into the “Five Whys” workshop, a technique that peels away the layers of symptoms which can lead to the root cause of a problem. Our startups were forced to think like children who constantly ask “why”, and in turn, realized a lot about the problems behind their solutions.After, startups completed a critical path worksheet to identify their bootcamp goals. And then, they heard from entrepreneur Bishoy Ghobryal, Co-Founder and CEO of Veripad. Bishoy shared tips for learning how to work with your team. He stressed the importance of trusting your business partners and celebrating their individual expertise, because “your co-founder relationship will be one of the most important relationships of your life.”Then, Standard Chartered Bank human resources experts presented on team management and managing conflict. And for the afternoon, startups worked with Standard Chartered mentors and staff at the Zahn Center to put their project plans into motion by completing a RACI chart and organizing roles & responsibilities. Sunday was all about the customer. While we started off completing the Business Model Canvas, most of the day was dedicated to customer discovery. Startups discovered how to create a value proposition based on your customer's wants, needs, and objections, and conducted a fact finding exercise to discover what they knew and didn't know about their potential customers. Teams also put together customer personae to understand the ins and outs of their customers. Then, they learned how to interview customers to get the most accurate information.After lunch, entrepreneur and Founder of My Money My Future, Ramona Ortega, joined us to talk about product market fit, and share her best marketing practices.The day wrapped up with a User Based Design workshop, and finally, we heard all of the teams pitch!Overall, startups thought the retreat prepared them for what's to come! Although it was a lot to learn in one day, they pushed through the weekend with determination. We can't wait to get started. Mon, 29 Jan 2018 15:19:39 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22123 Ouvos Builds Beta and Joins NYC Media Labs Combine https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/ouvos-builds-beta-and-joins-nyc-media-labs-combine Yesterday, NYC Media Lab announced its third cohort of startup teams that joined Combine, its entrepreneurship program to commercialize emerging media technologies from faculty and students at the Citys universities. Among the selected startups is our own Ouvos, a community-based navigation app for cyclists. I sat down with the Ouvos team–Ahmed Ben Mansour, Kevin Navarra, and Salman Siraj–to learn more about the progress theyve made since our Accelerator, and what they hope to accomplish during Combine.Katherine Olives: So what is new with Ouvos? We spend almost every day with you, but we havent given a public update in awhile. Were so thrilled about your acceptance into Combine. What is it like so far?Ahmed Ben Mansour: Were very excited too! The program kicked off a little over a week ago, so we havent had too many sessions yet, but the way the program works is every week we conduct at least ten interviews that we present on Thursdays. During those weekly presentations, we discuss what we learned from our interviews, and how the interviews proved or disproved our assumptions on various parts of our business and product.KO: That all sounds very exciting. And whats your main goal during Combine?ABM: Our main goal is to get as many signups as possible so we can launch in February. Were planning to launch in both NYC and San Francisco. For now, itll just be a private beta where select people have access. Its for us to get as much feedback as possible and try to build what matters most to cyclists. The main reason weve been holding it off launching publicly is so that active cyclists are actually using it, so others can see the value there.Kevin Navarra: Exactly. We really want to get validation for what were building. We have validation that this is a real problem and its worth solving, but there are aspects that we havent really considered. Taking the time to talk to customers during the Combine program will help address those issues, and hopefully well come up with a product that addresses all the problems cyclists face while trying to navigate.KO: Youve been doing a lot of interviews already. How has that been going?ABM: Kevin and Salman have literally been pounding the pavement.KO: Wow that must be challenging. And nerve-wracking right?KN: Weve literally been stopping Citibikes and cyclists on the street, so the cold has been our biggest challenge. Everyones bundled up and just trying to get to where theyre going as quickly as possible, so we have to spend a lot more time waiting to see bikers. When we do see them, its hard for them to stop and give us five minutes.KO: I bet! Do you have any tips for getting interviews, because you still manage to do it?Salman Siraj: Instagram and bike shops have been the most helpful so far. Bike shops are great for in-person interviews because the people who work there are usually cyclists themselves. Plus, you get to talk to their customers.KN: Yeah the bike shops have been great. Weve developed great relationships with some of the local shops and its helping because they give us referrals. But it also leads us to unexpected findings. I went to a bike shop the other week and a guy came in and said he got into an accident. I learned about how he got into the accident, how it could have been prevented, and it was really helpful for our app.KO: So Ive got to ask–most of our readers might remember you before your pivot, when you were mainly considered a hardware device. Why did you decide to pivot?ABM: A long time ago, Ouvos was a navigation device through hardware. The pivot was a customer adoption thing. When the baseline of your product is hardware, theres a barrier to entry. Do we have a hardware device that 5% of the cyclists will use? Or do we have a phone app that we can build a community around? It makes it easier for us to reach and tap into more people.KO: So your pivot still aligns with your initial inspiration?ABM: Absolutely. The initial inspiration came to me about two summers ago, when I started to get back into biking. For the first time, I felt like I wasnt really safe, even in bike lanes. I started exploring this issue for my senior design project, and the product I worked on was what I entered into last years Zahn Competition. But then I actually witnessed something else. Do you remember that Salman?SS: Yeah, it was when we went on the bike tour last Spring with Cyqlo (another team in the competition focusing on cycling). A guy on the opposite side of the street hit a pothole and flipped over. He was completely passed out, bleeding, the ambulance came and everything.ABM: One of the store owners on the corner came out and said this was the second time that happened this week. I started thinking about how we could fix this problem. If that guy would have known about the pothole, he could have avoided it, and thats when Ouvos as it is today was born. The Zahn team is incredibly excited for the Ouvos team, especially because Ahmed (previously Kanic) and Kevin (previously Migo, Frip, and Runr) have been a part of our program for a few years. Ahmed, Kevin, and Salman are the truest form of entrepreneurs–individuals who will try and try again until they create something that can help someone. Amy Chen, Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at NYC Media Lab, also shared her anticipation for working with the Ouvos team: NYC Media Lab is excited to welcome Ouvos to the 2018 cohort because the team members have demonstrated their passion for working together as early-stage entrepreneurs. The team has also shown their enthusiasm to learn from the customer discovery curriculum we offer, and we are impressed by the teams vision for safer streets and more efficient routes for the cycling community. If youre a cyclist, or have friends who are cyclists, make sure you check out Ouvos & sign up for their Beta. Wed, 24 Jan 2018 09:01:18 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22119 BNY Mellon Partnership Leads to Impact in Social Sector https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/bny-mellon-partnership-leads-impact-social-sector Although our Internship Program is popular on campus, many havent heard the story behind it. About two years ago, the Zahn Center approached BNY Mellon with a proposition. We wanted to find opportunities to apply the talent of the CCNY student body to solving needs in the social sector. Soon, the idea for a funded internship program for social enterprises and non-profits came to life. At last weeks Fall Internship Finale, our own Lindsay Siegel proudly announced that since the start of the program, thanks to BNY Mellon, weve been able to support 37 leading social enterprises in NYC by providing them with paid interns. Of those interns, eleven students have received full and part-time job offers after their internships. She also specifically acknowledged Kate DeBold, Associate Director of Global Citizenship & Sustainability at BNY Mellon, for her partnership in making all of this possible.In Kate DeBolds eyes, having an internship at a non-profit or social enterprise allows students to develop phenomenal perspective on what it means to be part of the social impact space. At last weeks event, she explained why BNY Mellon fits so nicely into the equation. As one of the first financial institutions in the world (it was founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1784), its in BNY Mellons DNA to seek positive change as they meet the worlds investment needs. As part of the institutions philanthropic mission, the bank invests in social impact and economic empowerment. BNY Mellons partnership with the Zahn Center was one of their first connections to the social impact space. As Kate explained, working with the Zahn Center allows us to impact an ecosystem–we can work through your bright minds to make a change in the ecosystem.For the rest of the evening, we heard presentations from five of the Fall interns. They shared a how they helped their respective social enterprises to enact change.First to present was Dibya Shahi. She interned at BlocPower, a startup that aims to bring clean energy to scale in American inner cities. During her internship, Dibya collected data about energy bills and helped the engineering teams explore different models. By the end of the internship, she gained technical knowledge, and now understands a lot more about green technologies. Shell use a lot of that knowledge to aid in her senior design project at CCNY.Next was Eshrat Khan, who worked as a marketing intern for Zahn startup dawaCare. dawaCare is a non-profit that  improves health outcomes in developing nations, with a specific focus on Cameroon. During her internship, Eshrat researched Cameroons healthcare system, its culture, disease profile, and designed content for the young startup. In the process, she learned about Cameroon. She told us that working for a startup is different because you have to be a self-starter. Eshrat will continue to work with dawaCare throughout the Spring semester.Brian Kalledeen worked for a former Zahn resident, Keen Home. They make smart vents, so Brian helped model some displays. As they were releasing new firmware and hardware, Brian played a key role. He gained experience in a field that deeply interests him, got a feel for the startup world, and got to meet smart people. Brian will also continue his internship with Keen Home–and continue to enjoy their free coffee and snacks.Next, Darren Lin talked about his time at Resonant Energy. Their main goal is to make solar power accessible to families by grouping solar projects together so families can split the costs and share the benefits. Darren conducted research on the electricity costs in 5 or 10 years, met with contractors to negotiate prices, and worked with very cool software. He especially loved working out of the Urban Future Lab because he met so many great people and built his network. Surprisingly, he also discovered that although he was his most busy last semester, he was more productive and he got his best grades yet.Finally, Gresa Murati told us about her experience at Ecogy Solar, a startup that finances solar PV systems through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). During the Fall semester, Gresa researched the solar market in Costa Rica and conducted market research, all in Spanish. One of the biggest things she learned was how challenging it is to speak Spanish in a topic thats unfamiliar. She also learned valuable skills to aid in the creation of her own startup (endWH, a competitor in our upcoming competition).Were excited to support these CCNY students, along with the others in our internship program, to stay focused on the impact they will have to effect positive change with their careers. Mon, 22 Jan 2018 16:26:42 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22118 Kesia Hudson Shares Key Takeaways for Women and People of Color in Entrepreneurship https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/kesia-hudson-shares-key-takeaways-women-and-people-color-entrepreneurship In late November, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented the Forum on Inclusive STEM Entrepreneurship. The event was organized by key figures in the space including our own Kesia Hudson and Lindsay Siegel, and CCNYs Dean of Engineering, Gilda Barabino. It brought together a diverse set of leaders in STEM and entrepreneurship to share best practices, network, and plan for more a more inclusive tech and startup space.One of the main goals of the Zahn Center is to cultivate more women entrepreneurs, and create a pipeline to the C Suite. In the same sense, we recognize that some of the challenges that women face also apply to people of color. Kesia Hudson, Director of the Standard Chartered Womens Technology Incubator at the Zahn Center, can speak to these challenges first hand.As a grad student, Kesia remembers her experience pitching a custom clothing concept that incorporated 3D modeling to an all-male panel of judges not understanding the expanding fashion market. And throughout her life, she recalls quizzical or even incredulous looks that often greeted her when she put her coding skills to use in various corporate intrapreneurial jobs. That she was an African American woman didnt help. In the following blog, Kesia discusses her takeaways from the Forum on Inclusive STEM Entrepreneurship, and helps us identify ways to build a brighter future.Meritocracy doesnt exist – so how do you prove yourself?As Arlan Hamilton, Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, puts it, not everyone has the luxury of dropping out of school, donning a hoodie, and going into the garage to start a company. Minority entrepreneurs have to prove, prove, prove, and prove some more. At the event, entrepreneurs spoke about how hard it was for them to get funding, when male counterparts seemed to have it so easy. Its almost as if merit doesnt always matter. This is a hard pill to swallow, especially for hard-working, young entrepreneurs. And unfortunately, theres no answer but to keep on working, and to find that one person who will believe in you from the beginning.Build your own innovation table.Another panelist suggested building your own network, or creating an innovation table. In the next five years, as entrepreneurship collides with minority buying power, who are you surrounding yourself with? How will you make sure others like you get a seat at the table?Rakia Finleys (Co-Founder of FIN Digital) best advice: if youre invited, extend it to your network. We need to get past the point where were getting these invitations that are non-transferrable. Bring a plus one, or a plus two, and soon, well see each other across the table. If youre a man–especially if youre not underrepresented–decline the invitation to speak at the panel of all other men who look like you. Instead, suggest a female colleague with similar expertise.Tell your own story.One of the best pieces of advice I took away from the event was the power of storytelling. If youre not being heard, if youre not being celebrated, then tell your own story. Social media is a powerful thing, and women and minority entrepreneurs should use it to their advantage. The only key is to design your message so that people who are not a part of your story care about it.Another suggestion that came from a panelist is to find people in your circle who can tell your story if they have more influence. As an actionable plan, we need to make a more structured environment to tell our own stories, and spread it through that network.Stop acting like bootstrapping is sexy.Natalia Oberti Noguera, CEO and Founder of Pipeline Angels, brought up something that she oftens hears in medi: When it comes to entrepreneurship, you only see the highlight reel. You see the product of sleepless nights, the luxurious lifestyle after years of barely making ends meet. Those types of stories make you question whether or not youre doing it right. Media has made bootstrapping sexy (almost like it gives you grit, and you have a chip on your shoulder.) For many of us, bootstrapping is living. When youre bootstrapping everyday, how are you supposed to bootstrap a business. Its not glamorous, so we need to stop acting like it is.Dont let scarcity stories perpetuate the scarcity.When it comes to women and minorities doing things, it seems like all we hear about are exceptions. The one person who made it. This is mostly because people see the growth of minorities as a threat rather than an opportunity. How do we get past the exception, and make powerful women and minorities the norm? Dont let the success of one seem like a failure for yourself. Theyre not the exception. If they can do it, you can do it too.For me, being in a room with all of these accomplished women and men of color–experts in academics, business, public policy, and beyond–wasnt one of those stories. For us it was normal. This is what it should look like. It shouldnt be a surprise. Mon, 15 Jan 2018 08:00:40 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22117 New MakerLab Program Helps Students Land Industry Jobs https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-makerlab-program-helps-students-land-industry-jobs This year we piloted a program to give CCNY students an opportunity to develop their skills by working on projects out of our MakerLab. As our own Technology Program Director, Devin Voorsanger, puts it, Were a teaching hospital for engineers. Its like an apprenticeship that builds on what students have learned in their classes to prepare them for industry careers. And after one semester, were very pleased that one of our SuperUsers, Jason Pratt–part of a cohort of 24 students specializing in Software, CAD Design, Electronics, and Advanced Manufacturing–was offered a full-time position at Lockheed Martin. Jason shares some of his thoughts on the program and his experiences below, proving that passion and drive can help you reach your dreams.The first time Jason heard about the Zahn Center was during his first semester at CCNY. He recalls having a conversation with a classmate about a project. Jason immediately saw the business potential, and started to imagine turning the project into a venture. His classmate suggested that he check out the Zahn Center.He said there would be a lot of other students there who I would click with…Engineers trying to make their ideas come to fruition. So later that day, I walked into the Zahn Centers MakerLab. I was blown away! There were engineering students working on a mechatronics device, and students were soldering boards, running code for motors, and testing their designs. That was my first experience witnessing engineering students practicing their trade. That day, I walked around to get more of an idea of what was at the Zahn Center. I saw an array of 3D printers printing components and pieces, and it reminded me of why I pursued engineering in the first place.And thats when Jason realized that he needed to become a part of our community. He recalls, Considering I had experience with a few of the printers that were at the lab, I went and spoke with the lead engineer to see if he needed any extra help with the 3D printers. At the time, they didnt need any extra help, but fast forward a year and a half later, and a friend of mine tells me the Zahn Center is starting a program to give engineering students real work experience. I was excited, having heard that I would learn how to use the industrial sized 3D printers, CNC machines, and laser cutter. I also knew Id get to practice geometric coding, the language 3D printers use.From there, Jason interviewed for and accepted a position as a SuperUser. He was brought on during the Summer of 2017, and then quickly showed he was capable of more responsibility. Along with three other students, he took on the role of a senior SuperUser in Fall 2017, and led a pod of five other students around Advanced Manufacturing projects.When he interviewed for a full time position at Lockheed Martin, he was pleasantly surprised, and was offered a position he didnt initially apply for–Manufacturing Engineer II. Jason believes he was offered a more advanced position, partly because of the experience I already had working with CNC machines, and partly because I showcased leadership skills leading a team of SuperUsers here at The Zahn Center. I really do believe the Zahn Center played a large role in preparing me for my interviewing process. Using the array of different machines, and always being in the shop or fabricating lab was exactly what I needed to become a competitive candidate for employment. Having lead a team of additive manufacturing SuperUsers allowed me to hone my leadership skills.He goes on to say, The Zahn Center helped me tailor my resume to stand out–I just didn't have a generic engineering resume, they helped me make it as detailed and lean as a professional resume should be. They also helped me create a portfolio to showcase my skillset in the different projects I have completed and achievements I have accomplished. Staff at the Zahn Center made sure that as part of the leadership development program they provide, they teach you how to properly manage a team and complete a product development project.Once Jason starts his new job, hell work with technicians to machine aluminum and titanium parts for transmission in helicopters. His advice to all students is to find a passion, become obsessed with it, learn everything there is to know about it, and master it! Until then, hell join us at the Zahn Center to help our lead engineer with projects over Winter Break. And in the Spring, well welcome a new cohort of SuperUsers eager to master their craft. Stay tuned for more news about the program, and about updates to our MakerLab coming soon! Wed, 20 Dec 2017 13:34:49 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22116 Zahn Startups Join EDCs ELab NYC https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/zahn-startups-join-edcs-elab-nyc You may remember Motion2Movement (formerly known as Active Hands), as the winner of the 2017 Kaylie Prize. Since then, the team has been working hard on a pilot program with Burke Rehabilitation Hospital here in New York. Now theyre embarking on a new journey! Theyve been accepted into the Bio & Health Tech Entrepreneurship Lab NYC (or ELab)s 6-month training and mentorship program for aspiring entrepreneurs in NYCs life sciences and healthcare technology community. ELabs program is designed to assist biotech, medtech, and life science innovators. Its comprised of a mini-MBA program during January, followed by monthly workshops from February to May, and concludes late June.Ralph Hertz of Motion2Movement spoke to me about the opportunity. By participating in ELab, the Motion2Movement team hopes to continue to build on what they learned at the Zahn Center, he said. The team also hopes to expand their network. To Ralph, meeting people in the industry has played a huge part in accelerating the ongoing process of learning. The team also hopes that, with ELabs help, they can have a more successful launch of their first generation general wellness therapy device, and have a broader network of care providers involved in the development of their second generation medical device.Another one of our Zahn alumni, Veripad, will also join ELabs program this year. After their win at MassChallenge, Veripads Bishoy Ghobryal attended the Merck KGaA X-Innovation Summit in Dubai (the trip sponsored by Merck KGaA) to speak on a Digital Health Panel amongst other promising startups. In early January, theyll head to Las Vegas to exhibit their product at CES 2018. The conference brings together developers of cutting edge consumer technologies.Well share updates about both Motion2Movement and Veripad as they complete ELabs program. ELab was launched by the Bloomberg Administration and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. You can find out more about their program here. Wed, 20 Dec 2017 12:29:15 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22115 Introducing the 2018 Startup Competition Cohort https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/introducing-2018-startup-competition-cohort We are thrilled to share the new Zahn Center Cohort of the 2018 Competitions! This year our process was more competitive than ever, and we were truly impressed by the quality and creativity of the ideas we received. We are looking forward to working with the new class of startups over the coming months as they tackle important problems with their entrepreneurial solutions.Over the past few weeks, weve worked with expert judges €“ from investors to successful entrepreneurs, educators to executives €“ to help select our entries. Zahn staff then held interviews with the top teams, and selected five semi-finalists and one alternate in each category. These 24 startups will compete for the Kaylie Hardware Prize, the Zahn Social Impact Prize, the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize, and the Zahn Technology Prize.Heres a sneak peek: Kaylie HardwareBrystech – an imaging device that makes breast cancer-screening more comfortableExostride – an exoskeletal knee augmentation to reduce workplace knee injuries and fatigueHappy Foot – an assistive device for those with gait disordersLucid Motion – a human-generated power device to fight muscle atrophyZIMNO – a sunscreen that uses the five senses to warn you when to re-applyAlternate: FreightTran – protective shoe soles for long boarders Zahn Social Impact:Bio-Bowl – an anaerobic digester that turns organic waste into fertilizer and renewable energyListen! – a hand-held audio device that teaches basic vocabulary and language structure for children in refugee campsSHIELD Enterprises – a platform for developing nations to encourage local commerce among diaspora communitiesteachxchange – a tool for educators that provides access to social emotional learning content for under-resourced  communities Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYCCakewalk – an app that connects college students with new friends via safe, reliable, publicly shared walking routesendWH – a platform that helps victims of workplace sexual harassment find resources, while also helping companies establish safer workplace environmentsFindJustice – a platform for organizers and activists to engage with each other and enact change within communitiesKhamis + Co – an app that connects like-minded individuals to travel together Zahn TechnologyMurmuration – a driver-focused intuitive taxi demand prediction modelPlugr – a centralized platform to connect soccer leagues, teams, and playersProprio – a platform to manage rental property unitsSkinno – an app to decipher skincare ingredients for consumersSprtlook – a PR app for athletesAlternate: Prime – a platform to help those with depression and anxiety by providing necessary support utilizing artificial intelligence We cant wait to begin an entrepreneurial journey with these fantastic teams. In early February we will kick off our Bootcamp, and well share updates of each teams progress throughout the semester. Youll get to know them as their ideas evolve. Join us in congratulating the 2018 Cohort by sharing on social media using #CCNYstartups. Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:56:40 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22113 Judges Choose 2018 Startup Competition Cohort https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/judges-choose-2018-startup-competition-cohort We couldnt have chosen our 2018 Startup Competition Cohort without the help of our expert judges — investors, entrepreneurs, public officials, educators, and CCNY alumni who took the time to read dozens of student applications, provide feedback, and score startups based on a variety of factors, including market value and innovation.A huge thank you to: Jack Abel, Namisha Bahl, Lisa Balter Saacks, Joe Barba, Marom Bikson, Gerardo Blumenkrantz, Claude Brathwaite, Art Brody, Elaine Chin, Yaroslav Chinskiy, Andrew Conde, Jared Day, Frank DeBernardis, Kate Debold, Sean Dhadialla, Haytham Elhawary, George Gerstman, Sahar Ghaheri, Jonathan Hakakian, Andrew Hapke, Tori Hay, Brian Heiman, Justin Hendrix, Michael Kruse, Ellie Li, Celia Lloyd, Josh Lucido, Abby Lyall, Marc Mantell, Peirui Mao, Thessy Mehrain, Katey Metzroth, Jim Miller, Howard Morgan, Dave Newman, Valerie Pholpituke, Jessica Quinn, Sage Ramadge, Bill Sappington, Adrienne Schmoeker, Michael Semegran, Amar Singh Rathor, William Snipes, Michael Sondak, Joe Spivack, Minerva Tantoco, Natalia Trujillo, Kim Wales, and Derrick Yeboah.Many of these judges will join us throughout the semester as expert advisors who will work with the teams to coach them through the development of their businesses and social ventures. If youd like to join them in supporting the new class of Zahn startups, please reach out to katherine@zahncenternyc.com . Our judges come from diverse backgrounds and represent startups, companies, and investors including (in no particular order): First Round Capital, Standard Chartered Bank, the Moxie Foundation, BNY Mellon, The Mayor's Office, Google, Wales Capital, Soundboard Angel Fund, Grand Central Tech, Secondmuse, RBC Capital Markets, Matter VC, NYC Media Lab, Mogul, Kinetic, dh studio, Civic Hall, Quake VC, The City College of New York, and more. Tue, 05 Dec 2017 12:53:53 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22114 Manhattan Borough Presidents Office Awards $500K to the Zahn Innovation Center https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/manhattan-borough-presidents-office-awards-500k-zahn-innovation-center The Zahn Center's MakerLab is getting an upgrade! In June, the Manhattan Borough Presidents Office awarded the MakerLab with $500,000 in capital funds. The award will enable us to dramatically improve our manufacturing offerings by adding short run manufacturing capabilities to the equipment in our MakerLab, a rapid prototyping facility designed for student entrepreneurs and the hardware startup community. The new equipment and improvements will bring lasting impact to CCNY and Harlem, more broadly. We are incredibly grateful to Borough President Gale A. Brewer and Matthew Washington, Deputy Borough President, for recognizing the value of technology by offering this award to the Zahn Center. Their generosity will enable our student startups to realize their visions sooner, said Lindsay Siegel, Executive Director.One of our goals as a startup incubator is to help student startups build prototypes, develop their products and refine their features, improve sales pitches, and negotiate the complicated realms of financing and intellectual property law. Since its founding, the Center has graduated 155 startups. Collectively, these startups have raised and earned more than $32 million in capital, and filed more than 75 provisional and full patents for their concepts.However, the initial costs of starting a business, especially a hardware-focused business, are high. Many entrepreneurs, including the student entrepreneurs at the Zahn Center, cannot front these startup costs. In 2016, 60% of CCNY students came from homes with an annual family income of $30,000 or less.Currently, our equipment is for learning and iterating on a single basic prototype. The next stage in the programs development is to have the appropriate equipment for our student startups to be able to manufacture their initial run of product. With this award, we will have the capability to do small runs of electronics and create plastic and metal encasements and parts for shelf ready products. This enables students to fulfill a Kickstarter campaign months ahead of the typical production schedule associated with most crowdfunded hardware startups. This rapid fulfillment of orders and the drastically reduced costs will allow student startups to proudly manufacture in the U.S. and get their businesses off the ground, said Devin Voorsanger, Technology Program Director of the Zahn Innovation Center.In addition to allowing the startups coming out of the Zahn Center to more easily bridge the gap between the theoretical and tangible aspects of running a business, the expanded capabilities in the lab will provide CCNY engineering students with experience in their chosen fields. CCNY Engineering students will be working to help fulfill prototyping and small batch manufacturing Kickstarter orders from the upper Manhattan community and surrounding area.These new services will also be available to community startups beginning their first steps in their journey as a company. This will make it significantly easier for startups in the Harlem community to launch and iterate their own hardware startups as they have a homegrown manufacturing and prototyping facility available to help them. CCNY has always been an important part of the Harlem community, and this is another way in which the college can partner with the local community to everyones benefit, added Siegel.I am thrilled to support the Zahn Innovation Center and assist in the creation of a prototyping hub in Harlem, led by student innovators said Manhattan Borough President Gale A Brewer. “I am proud to invest in a diverse group of students and local entrepreneurs as they build their startups and test their ideas in this lab of the future.For more information about our MakerLab's offerings, please contact Devin Voorsanger at devin@zahncenternyc.com . Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:57:31 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22112 Veripad Awarded $50,000 at MassChallenge https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/veripad-awarded-50000-masschallenge On Thursday evening, Veripad took home $50,000 at MassChallenge's annual awards ceremony in Boston. They competed with 127 other startups from around the country to earn a spot in the accelerator's Top 26, and were eventually selected as one of 16 startups to receive a piece of MassChallenge's $1 million cash prize.Veripad has come a long way form their start at the Zahn Center. After winning the 2016 Zahn Social Impact Prize, and completing our Accelerator Program, Veripad learned more about how to reach their customers in the Google Adopt-a-Startup program. From there, they joined the Merck Accelerator in Kenya, and conducted a pilot study with the Kenyan government in January 2017. After, the team went on to the Philippines to conduct another pilot with Americares.During their time at MassChallenge, Veripad was featured in stories by Forbes and The Guardian.MassChallenge is a non-profit organization with a mission to help startups win without taking equity. They envision a creative and inspired society in which everyone recognizes that they can define their future and is empowered to maximize their impact. MassChallenge is obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across any industry. The accelerator awards over $2M in equity-free cash prizes globally every year €“ all to help high-impact and high-potential startups win. We're so happy that Veripad could be part of such an amazing organization.To read more about MassChallenge's Boston awards and the other startups that won, check out the press release here. Tue, 07 Nov 2017 16:15:48 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22111 Six Startups Join Google Adopt-a-Startup Program https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/six-startups-join-google-adopt-startup-program We are very excited to announce that six Zahn startups (Active Hands, dawaCare, Function Cosmetics, nuravine, Ouvos, and Wrkbook) will participate in an Adopt-a-Startup program at Google. Over the next few months, Google mentors and startups will produce a marketing an customer acquisition strategy, with the results shared at a group presentation at Google in early December. Google mentors will help the startups define their KIPs, achieve set milestones, and utilize Google Analytics and Adwords.Each startup will work closely with two to three Google mentors. Below is a list of each startups mentors, especially chosen and paired to match the startups specific needs.Active Hands – Jason Stroot, Chadwick Kales, and Ally GotzdawaCare – Jason Leder and Justin NaboznaFunction Cosmetics – Jenna Hovel and Paul Younisnuravine – Alex Holz and Julianna GaudioOuvos – Dmitry Mazilo, Stephanie Hofmann, and Sahil KhannaWrkbook – Michael Sondak, Keith Butler, and Leeor Baskin Startups meet with their mentors at least once a week. Well share more about this program as we near the finale in December! Tue, 24 Oct 2017 09:35:48 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22109 Nestle SHIELD Hackathon Creates Innovative Ideas in Skin Health https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/nestle-shield-hackathon-creates-innovative-ideas-skin-health This semester we held one of our biggest hackathons yet! On Friday, October 6th, over 50 City College students competed in a hackathon hosted by Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD to create new innovations in skin health. Challenge topics included optimizing outcomes in skin health, quantifying skin wellness, creating medical devices for skin health, and skin health literacy. Although many hackathons require that students create an app or tech product, this hackathon was more open-ended. Students worked in multidisciplinary teams, and were inspired to create not only tech solutions and hardware devices, but educational marketing campaigns and nonprofit organizations as well. Because of the nature of this exciting hackathon, it brought together students and faculty from different undergraduate and graduate departments from across City College €“ including the School of Medicine and the departments of Branding and Integrated Communications, Computer Science, Business and Economics, Electronic Design and Multimedia, and Translational Medicine €“ to collaboratively dream up solutions to some of the biggest challenges in skin health. Faculty members from these various disciplines joined students at the SHIELD headquarters to help them refine their ideas and pitch decks.We were also fortunate to work with Nestlé SHIELD, a team of innovators eager to share their expertise with the next generation of leaders. Nestlé SHIELDs staff and broader community came together to offer mentor hours throughout the day, and coach students on topics ranging from branding to coding and finance. For Lindsay Siegel, our Executive Director, the opportunity to collaborate with SHIELDs Medical Director and Head of Medical Innovation, Dr. Warren Winkelman, himself a City College graduate, was a tremendous inspiration. We believe his dedication to his alma mater inspired some of the great ideas that came out of the hackathon, because the greatest gift is having someone believe in you.The ideas presented at the Hackathon did not disappoint. Out of the 13 teams that presented, judges chose two second place winners–one, a sunblock that develops creative ways to tell you its time to reapply; and two, environmentally friendly packaging for medications to be sent to natural disaster victims. They won $1,000 collectively. The first place team, who will receive $3,000 and a chance to collaborate with SHIELD to advance and develop their concept, developed an app that allows consumers to better understand whats in their skincare products.All thirteen teams that competed in the hackathon will receive fast-track status in our upcoming Startup Competition, meaning that if they apply, their applications will go straight to the judging round. Were excited to see if some of these teams pursue the competition so that we can keep you updated on their progress! For information about the application, visit zahncenternyc.com/apply Mon, 23 Oct 2017 15:20:29 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22110 Four Lessons from Entrepreneurship https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/four-lessons-entrepreneurship In the next month and a half, you'll be hearing a lot about our Annual Startup Competition as we call for applications for the 2018 cohort. A lot of you may be wondering, why should I apply to the Zahn Center's Startup Competition? What will it do for me? The answer, of course, is different for everyone. However, we hope to shed some light on why some of the entrepreneurs in our community applied in the first place, and what they got out of our program.In this blog you'll hear from Elizabeth Bitis, Co-Founder of FxN Cosmetics, a startup that competed in last year's competition in the Social Impact track, and was accepted into our Accelerator Program. She'll share the four life lessons she learned from entrepreneurship. I started experimenting with makeup in high school. It was a copious amount of heavy eyeliner; contour wasnt a thing back then and I had no idea how to create a wing. Fast forward to the beginning of college, a lot of YouTube videos, an excessive amount of trial and error, and I finally got the hang of it. After diving into the beauty industry, following the trends, experimenting with different things, I was hooked. It was literally a fantasy of mine that one day I would be like the YouTube stars and create my own line of makeup, and here I am three years later starting my own cosmetics line. I first heard about the Zahn Center through a mentor of mine that transferred from working for admissions to being part of the team at the center. Then my friend was part of one of the startups that was competing in the competition and I followed her journey through the adventures of entrepreneurship.During this time many people were affected by random slashings in the NYC area, including one of my friends from City College. Although we had drifted apart from the beginning of college, whenever I saw her she was a beam of light, always happy and cheerful. It was then that I got the idea of a foundation that would help her improve the appearance of her scar while still covering it up.It was definitely not an easy journey, however, I am beyond grateful for the support from the wonderful people at the Zahn Center. If I were to try to do this completely on my own, I would have given up before I even started.Along the way I learned some lessons that spread beyond entrepreneurship. Teamwork. Surround yourself with individuals that share your vision and are just as driven as you are. The attitude and the motivation around you really affect the way you work and grind. Your team must be encouraged and have an interest. There must be a flow, friendship, and it has to be fun. Of course it will be stressful but it has to be overall enjoyable. If you dread doing the things you have to do to get things done like meetings, pitching, brainstorming, and pivoting, then you will not get the most out of the experience. This is the backbone of your company. Each person has a job, has a responsibility that is crucial to the success of your company. It teaches you responsibility. Your work is no longer just a representation of you, but your team and your company. Support. Make sure you have support. I felt like giving up so many times.  I would think this will never work, this is pointless, and this wont go anywhere but I had so many people behind me pushing me, supporting me, encouraging me. Yes I can, and yes you can. The Zahn Center is your number one fan. They want to see you succeed; they will literally do anything and everything to help you. They were my most important support and helped me make connections that would later continue that support. Your friends and family are also extremely important during this time. You will have long nights, and early mornings to get things done, but when you have people empowering you, it makes it just a tad bit more bearable. I would brainstorm with my friends and get them to get other people to do interviews and trials as well. I would ask my mom who would then in turn ask her friends and so on. Your friends and family are your best networking system. Use it. Organization and Time Management. As college students this is something we constantly hear. To be honest I still dont apply this to my schoolwork, but when starting a business this is one of the most important things. Everything has to be in its place. Your calendar will be absolutely full with meetings, workshops, events and deadlines, and as harsh as it may sound, if you miss one of these things it could hinder your business ability to advance. One workshop that you forgot about could have helped you figure out a new way of obtaining customers, or a meeting you werent prepared for could mean that you lost a potential investor. You want to constantly work forward. You did a lot of work last week, thats great, but now do even more this week. You want to constantly meet those deadlines, those milestones, and most importantly those goals you set for yourself. There is no snail pace allowed in entrepreneurship. Confidence. My mentor, Namisha Bahl, VP of Marketing at Mogul, told me something that really was something I had to hear. Nobody will talk you up as much as you do yourself. You are your biggest fan and motivator. You have to believe in yourself. You will obviously have other people who will love what you are doing and believe in you, but in reality, if you dont believe in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? As a woman in business and STEM, the reality is I will be put down; I will be told my idea is not good enough, I will be told I am not good enough, but I will not give up. When you start building something you get a rush of empowerment. I definitely felt like I was doing something amazing, I was doing something that could possibly change peoples lives. I was meeting amazing people. I met with the CEO of Stowaway Cosmetics who solved the problem of finding the right-sized makeup, as well as the Senior Medical Director and Head of Medical Innovation for Nestle SHIELD. The amount of brilliance and encouragement from fellow entrepreneurs is immeasurable. Its like you are joining a family of invention and originality. I met with women and men who shared their stories with me and thought that my product could really help them, which just pushed me to keep going, get this business up and running, and try to help those people.My point is go for it. If you have an amazing idea to solve a problem that you think is important, create it. You will be faced with problems because nothing is perfect the first time around, however, you will be met with amazing support, ideas, people, opportunities, and satisfaction to figure it out. Do not wait for someone else to come up with it, do not wait for a job you might like, do not wait. Create it. Create something that can help people, create something that can change the world. Create that dream job youve always wanted, run your own business, be your own boss. It will not be something you regret. You will gain skills and experiences; you will create connections and opportunities for yourself and for others. I think the most important thing I gained out of this was a new sense of meaning as well as satisfaction with what Im doing and who I am.The only question left is what are you waiting for? If you're interested in applying, don't forget to check out zahncenternyc.com/apply. Thu, 05 Oct 2017 16:28:30 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22108 Hardware-focused Startups Join Futureworks NYC Incubator https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/hardware-focused-startups-join-futureworks-nyc-incubator Have you secured your ticket for our Accelerator Demo Day yet? If not, you'll miss out on some new things happening in the maker space.That's because half of the startups in our Summer Accelerator program are also part of the Futureworks NYC Incubator in the “Market Validation” cohort. As part of this cohort, startups work to understand their market fit, refine business plans, and explore funding options. Futureworks connects these teams to the Incubator's alumni and mentors, and also creates workshops and summits that are designed for startups in this stage. The following Zahn startups are part of Futureworks:Active Joints (previously Active Hands) – A quantified remote therapy device for hip and knee replacement therapy. They have successfully completed their efficacy trials at Burke Rehabilitation and are being courted by ElabNYC, Mt Sinai, and angel investors.Ouvos (previously Quark) – A situational awareness IoT device for cyclists that combines turn by turn directions with accelerometer data, road congestion data and a backup sensor to “score” routes for safety and comfort. Their solution allows for incorporation into self-driving car navigation data to make sure both the cyclists and the burgeoning automotive automation market can be as aware as possible about the vehicles that are on the road with them. They are getting ready to ramp up production for their Kickstarter campaign.Nuravine (previously SyStem) – An agtech startup with their first product locked down for distribution in 10% of the 2800 hydroponics stores serving their initial audience.Since the beginning of the summer, Futureworks has worked closely with each team to help them produce locally, recruit talent, streamline operations, tell their stories, and set them up to raise capital.You'll see how Active Joints, Ouvos, and Nuravine have progressed since then at tomorrow's Demo Day. Make sure you get your free ticket: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/zahn-center-accelerator-demo-day-tickets-3… Futureworks provides hardware startups and entrepreneurs with expert mentorship, a cohort of peers, workshops, and company showcase opportunities. Participating entrepreneurs also receive direct access to manufacturers, investors, production credits, and coworking spaces. Learn more about their incubator program here: http://futureworks.nyc/incubator/#toggle-id-3 Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:01:11 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22106 Why One Entrepreneur Had No Choice but the American Dream https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/why-one-entrepreneur-had-no-choice-american-dream Sometimes chasing the American Dream is the only option you have. The following is a reflection on entrepreneurship, as told by Cris Mercado, CCNY alumnus and founder of  KeyJargon, a free web app that connects college students and professionals with career opportunities. Cris will share more about his journey on a panel of entrepreneurs at our upcoming Accelerator Demo.  I had not choice but to become an entrepreneur, and startup life has served me well. Immigration issues left me with no options to get a decent job, so in 2014 I took the leap and formed a company called GrantAnswers. I wanted to build on my success in helping hundreds of underserved Black & Latino students in NYC ascend to college and earn $1.5 million in scholarships & grants. The problem was that I didnt know how run a startup. I was supposed to be an engineer coming out of high school, not an entrepreneur. No one in my family started their own business. I was a broke, first-generation entrepreneur.Whenever we feel lost, we often have no choice but to go home. CCNY is home for me, and I learned it had a new addition: The Zahn Center. Even better, it was offering money for a social entrepreneurship competition. So I practiced my video submission for the contest in a room beneath The Great Hall at CCNY. Weeks later, I was invited to the bootcamp to develop my idea and compete.One of my first tasks was to pitch my idea in front of the other entrepreneurs. I hated public speaking, but I had no choice. I had no choice but to hear feedback from mentors, Zahn Center staff, venture capitalists and fellow competitors. I was introduced to lean entrepreneurship methods, which forced me to go out and talk to strangers to validate my idea.The idea won a runner-up prize with some much-needed cash, but I soon realized I won something bigger:I won back some of the personal potential that was buried under years of poverty, housing insecurity & status as an unauthorized immigrant.It is no wonder that in just 2 years after having no choice but to start a business I have:Been featured in major outlets like The Wall Street Journal, NBC;Become active in immigrant rights as Ambassador & Innovation Council Member of FWD.us, an advocacy organization founded by tech leaders like Mark Zuckerberg;Been called into meetings with Members of Congress, and Presidential Candidates like Hillary Clinton, to contribute to immigration policy;Invited to keynote conferences & presentations across the countryI now run a free career platform KeyJargon, a free web app that connects college students and professionals with memberships to industry associations, career events, and high-profile jobs, internships & fellowships. It recently won a FUSE award, which is supported by luminaries like Univisions Jorge Ramos.In designing KeyJargon, the theme of no/little choice is still visible. We only list high-impact industry networks and career events. We also prime you to sign-in to access the high-impact jobs, internships, and fellowships we share. We also came up with a tagline, On My Terms, to empower our users to feel like the world has no choice but to pay attention to their skills, their values, and their dreams. We helped dozens of college students earn free memberships to professional associations, and even helped cover costs for CUNY students to travel to Las Vegas for a national convention where students secured job offers. Our partnerships have helped us provide career development for hundreds, including cohorts for NYCs Tech Talent Pipeline.And when I think of all the impact of KeyJargon, and the impact that entrepreneurship has had on my personal development, it all came about simply because I saw no other choice.In these times, and at this moment, I see no other choice but for you to unleash all the potential you have. Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:25:16 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22107 The Roller Coaster Ride that is Entrepreneurship https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/roller-coaster-ride-entrepreneurship Sometimes your future doesn't pan out as you expected (and sometimes you're surprised to learn that the unexpected is exactly what you needed). The following is a reflection on entrepreneurship, as told by Revital Schechter, a founding member of Gleam (a 2016 Zahn startup). Revital will share more about her journey on a panel of entrepreneurs at our upcoming Accelerator Demo.  The most common stories of successful entrepreneurs often start with anecdotes of their childhood. A story about how they started hustling at the age of 8, setting up well-organized garage sales and making hefty profits (in the eyes of a child), or how they were constantly tinkering with new inventions, or maybe how they hit it big with an eBay shop. As much as I would love to say I was that hustler 8-year-old, I wasnt. I did not even come close. Instead, I sat by my older brother as he tackled entrepreneurship in the early days of elementary school. I watched him grow into the CEO of his own startup while I was in high school, and I always thought this was the exact definition of an entrepreneur. So if you had asked me during my freshman year of college whether I considered myself an entrepreneur, I would have laughed and quickly replied no. In my eyes, I did not fit the bill of an entrepreneur – I did not have any inventions or products to offer. When I first heard about the Zahn Innovation Center during my freshman year, I was inspired and motivated but I made the mistake of not taking advantage of what was right at my fingertips. I believed that because I didnt have an idea or a solution for a problem, I was not an entrepreneur. Fast forward a few months later, my roommate brought up an idea that she had to help make mental health care more accessible. She was interested in applying to the Zahn Center and was putting together a team to apply to the annual venture competition. Without a second thought, I signed up and began an adventure with her that changed my life entirely.The next 2 years were the most thrilling, challenging, confusing, and memorable years I have ever had. I joined a team of strangers, got thrown into a cohort of brilliant and inspiring individuals, and made the Zahn Center my home. And so, Gleam was born. We were on a mission to use technology to make mental health care more accessible in low income communities by easing the burden on mental health workers.Looking back on it, I always find it difficult to condense what Ive learned from my journey with Gleam. There is so much that happened in a very brief period of time that boiling it down to 3 points may not do it justice. Nevertheless, here is a glimpse of what the entrepreneurial life is like:Problem Solving (to the max) – As with many startups, I was working on creating a solution that did not exist yet. This was not a textbook problem from one of my class assignments which had a step-by-step procedure and a clear formula. It was a daily challenge of working together to figure out what a solution could look like, how could we achieve it, and understanding if it would it make the impact we wanted it to have. This was unchartered territory and we were forced to think outside of the box and to push the limits of our creativity in order to create a product. Simultaneously, it was a flood of crash courses on finance, advertising, design, engineering, business development, and other various topics. We did not have the resources to hire experts in these fields – so we became the experts that our company needed. And for those days where we did not have the expertise we needed, we had an army of mentors and advisors and to support us.Roller Coaster – This is perhaps my favorite term to describe the startup life. It is filled with incredible highs – the launch of your product, the completion of beta testing, signing on your first client. But it is also filled with lows – scrapping the third iteration of your product, getting negative reviews, sleepless nights, and barely having money in your bank account. The greatest milestones you reach are memories that you will keep with you forever, and more importantly you will also remember the bad days. But its the hard times that are the most valuable experiences because that is what helps you grow and change as a person and as an entrepreneur.Friendship – Your team will quickly become your family. After spending so many hours every day with them and experiencing the wins and losses as your startup grows, you will never be closer with another group of people. My teammates were strangers to me in the beginning, but today they are my mentors, my inspiration and my confidants and my family. We have held each other up during the lowest points of our journey and celebrated together for every success. I was able to see each one of my teammates grow so much, and I have no words to express how proud of them I am.If you have ever thought about pursuing the startup life, do not wait another day. For those of you who are thinking about bringing your idea to life – go for it now. For those who were like me and do not have an idea for a product but still want to be in a startup – find that person with an idea and work with them. Talk to one another about your dream or a problem that you may have noticed in your community because its from these conversations that you may meet your partner in crime with whom youll build a great company.The moral of the story is that whether your startup becomes the next Facebook, or if it never reaches a single customer, youve succeeded. The experiences you will gain on this journey will carry you through both your professional and personal life. In the end, you will walk out of this having gained so many skills, friends, mentors, and enough memories to last a lifetime. Challenge your preconceived notions of what entrepreneurship is and go experience it for yourself. Tue, 12 Sep 2017 11:41:08 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22105 Six Startups Break into the Harlem Tech Scene at Upcoming Demo https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/six-startups-break-harlem-tech-scene-upcoming-demo As you may know, one of our goals at the Zahn Innovation Center is to prove product market fit and de-risk startups for potential investors, but also for the startups themselves. Zahn Center startups are all taught how to bootstrap their companies early on, so that they can focus 100% on their companies and solve real world problems.Examples of our method include one of our startups from last year, Veripad, who is a finalist in MassChallenge. Another one of the companies that has worked at the Zahn Center is StrongArm Technologies. They were recently featured in Forbes magazine. A third, Homer Logistics, recently raised $6.03 million, and was featured not only in WSJ, but CNBC and AlleyWatch. This is all to say that we have created a unique program that is working, and we want to get you involved.This year we will showcase the following companies at our Accelerator Demo on September 26th. These startups have gathered significant traction in the past 10 weeks: preorders, downloads, and completed efficacy trials. You can read more about each of them below. Each is eager to tell you more about how they can solve identified problems for you.Active Joints – A quantified remote therapy device for hip and knee replacement therapy. They have successfully completed their efficacy trials at Burke Rehabilitation and are being courted by ElabNYC, Mt Sinai, and angel investors.Wrkbook – A just-in-time employment market for contractors and trade laborers. They have successfully figured out the growth hack for supply and demand, and are rapidly expanding into multiple markets with a 600 employees per job listing ratio.Nuravine – An agtech startup with their first product locked down for distribution in 10% of the 2800 hydroponics stores serving their initial audience.dawaCare – A social impact startup helping hospitals in emerging countries to improve patient outcomes with an analog/digital solution that helps with patient follow up. To date in their first pilot study in St Victoria in Cameroon, they have increased patient return rate from an effective zero return rate to a whopping 40% return rate and are expanding into multiple distrcit hospitals in Cameroon.Fxn Cosmetics – A cosmetics startup creating makeup for trauma victims that covers and heals scars. They have early acceptance into Nestle SHIELD's skin health accelerator and are presently shipping out their first batch of product to their early sign ups.Cyker – A situational awareness IoT device for cyclists that combines turn by turn directions with accelerometer data, road congestion data and a backup sensor to “score” routes for safety and comfort. Their solution allows for incorporation into self-driving car navigation data to make sure both the cyclists and the burgeoning automotive automation market can be as aware as possible about the vehicles that are on the road with them. They have already been accepted into the EDC-funded Futureworks accelerator and are getting ready to ramp up production for their Kickstarter campaign.This Accelerator Demo will be taking place in the burgeoning tech scene in Harlem at The City College of New York on Tuesday, September 26th. The pitches will begin at 6:00pm, but doors will open as early as 4:30pm for a panel discussion on entrepreneurship featuring Zahn/CCNY alumni KeenHome, InYourClass, Veripad, Key Jargon, and Gleam.If you plan to join us, please RSVP at the following link. And don't hesitate to share with friends or colleagues who will find an event like this valuable.https://www.eventbrite.com/e/zahn-center-accelerator-demo-tickets-37168… Thu, 07 Sep 2017 11:56:31 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22104 New #bossgirls Program Bridges Gender Gap in Tech https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-bossgirls-program-bridges-gender-gap-tech Do you know who the #bossgirls are?Theyre the ten high school and college freshmen disrupting the norm this summer at the Zahn Center. As part of the womens entrepreneurship initiative sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, weve debuted a new program designed to introduce girls to entrepreneurship and innovative technology.This unique program combines our lean startup methodology bootcamp with elements of STEM. While theres a focus on entrepreneurship and developing business acumen, these students are also learning coding and complete prototyping workshops in our Maker Lab.Over the course of six weeks, the #bossgirls will team up to create tech-focused solutions for some of New York Citys greatest challenges including:Sustainability – one team wants to protect properties from mold & other symptoms of floodingEducation — these #bossgirls will inform middle and high school students of career opportunitiesAccessibility — this team's focus is on making the MTA more accessible for those with mobility challengesHealthcare — theyll tackle the spread of pathogens in hospitals and urgent care facilitiesCool, right?Yes, they receive mentorship from experts at Standard Chartered Bank, but they also have mentors within the startups at the Zahn Center and our Superuser (an apprenticeship opportunity out of our MakerLab) program. Best of all, theyre learning a human-centered design approach to social entrepreneurship, as well as conducting customer research, so that they can create solutions that New Yorkers really want. Its a collaborative effort that weaves together different disciplines, creating a curriculum that is both explorative and practical. In the end, we hope it helps to cultivate those unicorn-like ideas.Our #bossgirls hail from each of the five boroughs (plus Long Island and Northern New Jersey), and theyre very excited to make their mark Silicon Alley. On August 14th, theyll pitch their final projects to a panel of judges Shark Tank-style. Follow us day of on social media @ZahnCenterNYC for updates! Mon, 31 Jul 2017 14:07:28 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22103 Women Zahntrepreneurs Learn From Experts at ABI Innovation Summit https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/women-zahntrepreneurs-learn-experts-abi-innovation-summit As many of you know, one of our core values is supporting women founders through the Standard Chartered Women in Tech Incubator. Besides bringing prominent women speakers to the City College of New York, and establishing a competition built specifically for women-led teams, Standard Chartered helps us open up doors and networking opportunities for our women entrepreneurs. One of the recent examples of this was attending the Anita Borg Institute's 2nd Annual Women's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Summit here in New York.The Anita Borg Institute (ABI) for Women and Technology is a nonprofit organization founded by computer scientist Anita Borg. The institutes primary aim is to recruit, retain, and advance women in technology. The institutes most prominent program is the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference, the worlds largest gathering of women in computing. ABI was founded on the belief that women are vital to building technology that the world needs. It was their founder that said, “Around the world, women are not full partners in driving the creation of new technology that will define their lives. This is not good for women and not good for the world….Women need to assume their rightful place at the table creating the technology of the future.” Today, ABI works with women technologists in over 50 countries, and partners with leading academic institutions and Fortune 500 companies.The 2nd Annual Women's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Summit brought together women entrepreneurs, investors, professionals, students, and community members for workshops on topics ranging from how to manage conflict at work to a discussion about investment in women-led companies. Two of our own founders–Reylyn Roldan (of Gol) and Leila Hessam (of Enrich)–attended the summit and shared their thoughts.Both young women were especially inspired by the workshop on imposter syndrome, led by founder of the Collective of Us, Cyndie Spiegel. “The discussion around imposter syndrome was very powerful. It was incredible to hear that ‘fear is not real,' but only a feeling. As an entrepreneur, I know it's inevitable to not fear something, and that it does have physical effects (pit in your stomach, sweating, etc.), but that you can take action in spite of it. You can take that fear and leverage it, use it to your advantage.”Leila agreed. “As someone about to graduate from college, I feel like I'm in limbo. I don't know exactly what my next journey in life will be, and with that uncertainty comes a bit of fear.” Leila was impressed with the summit's ability to incorporate advice for all “levels.” She shared, “Sometimes I go to conferences and workshops and they're either tailored to students or professionals, not usually both. What I liked about this summit is that they incorporated a track for every type of person, whether you were a student looking to get into entrepreneurship or tech, or someone making a career change, this was the place for you.”Both young entrepreneurs also enjoyed listening to more specific discussions. Reylyn, who leads Gol, a social enterprise initiative aimed at alleviating the water crisis in the developing world, was excited to hear Anie Akpe. Her discussion about how to get into the social enterprise space was enlightening to Reylyn. “I really enjoyed how she talked about social impact,” said Reylyn. “She said ‘social innovation doesn't happen here, it happens in the third world.' That hit home for me. Often, we get caught up in our own notions of what others need, that we forget what the real problem is.”Reylyn was also impressed with Anie Akpe's ability to ask for exactly what she needed. She explained that when working for a social enterprise, you'll have to get creative about how to use your network to help your clients. Instead of asking for donations, she asks for skills–workshop leaders, finance help, etc.–which gets her more in the long run.For a full recap of the workshops and discussions at the summit, you can still watch the livestream here: https://livestream.com/internetsociety/weif17/videos  Mon, 17 Jul 2017 17:27:10 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22099 VERIPADs Latest Update: Beginnings at MassChallenge https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/veripads-latest-update-beginnings-masschallenge While the 2017 cohort is deep in our own Summer Accelerator Program, one of last years standouts, VERIPAD, began their journey at MassChallenge, the worlds largest Accelerator.  MassChallenge is branded as the most startup-friendly Accelerator on the planet. According to their website, theyre a non-profit organization on a mission to help startups win without taking equity. Since 2010, theyve accelerated 1,211 startups who have collectively raised $1.8B in funding, $700M in revenue, and created 60,000 jobs in MassChallenges five markets (Boston, Israel, Mexico, Switzerland, and the UK). While they dont focus on any specific industry or type of startup, the 128 selected to participate in their Boston Accelerator this summer are categorized into the following sectors: healthcare and life sciences; high tech; general, retail and consumer goods; social impact; and cleantech and energy.We sat down with VERIPADs Co-Founder/Chief Administrative Officer, Y-Lan Nguyen, about what the biotech startup has been up to since their time at the Merck Accelerator in Kenya.Zahn Center: Its so nice to get to sit down with you! The VERIPAD team has been working out of Zahn lately, but I feel like we barely get to catch up. Every time we do, VERIPAD has exciting news! So tell me about MassChallenge.Y-Lan Nguyen: I know! You always lose track of time when youre in a startup. We applied in March, and May is when we had the second round of judging in person. I remember, it was the day we came back from the Philippines, and our interview slot was at 7:30am in Boston. We had to take a bus at midnight the night before in order to get there. We pretty much got off the plane and onto a bus.ZC: Oh wow. Thats dedication. So how did you find out about MassChallenge and why did you decide to apply?YN: We found out about MassChallenge from Lindsay [Siegel, Executive Director of the Zahn Innovation Center]. At first, we werent sure of our own commitments for the summer, and didnt want to apply unless we were sure one of us could be there close to full time. I guess we figured wed just figure it out, and now here we are.ZC: So youre all headed to Boston for the summer?YN: Ill be there pretty much full time, and were trying to figure out if someone else can join me.ZC: Thats exciting! Your co-founders went to Kenya last summer, so I guess its a trade off? Speaking of…what have you been working on since you wrapped up the Merck Accelerator?YN: Since Kenya, weve been focused on partner and customer outreach. We started our pilot with Americares in the Philippines. We went to the office and trained the local staff on how to use our product. We also set up a post-market surveillance system for now. Theyll send anything suspicious to us to do more testing in the lab, and if it does turn out to be dangerous or counterfeit, we would be responsible for reporting it to the local authorities there.ZC: Thats incredible, Im so glad to hear that youre starting another pilot. Are you still active in Kenya?YN: Were still working on our partnerships in Kenya, and working with the national quality and control organizations there, plus their version of the FDA. We hope that well do a pilot with that organization soon too!ZC: Ive also heard youve been in other exciting meetings?YN: Weve been meeting a lot of people. Right now, I cant talk specifics, but were talking to some large pharmaceutical companies for possible collaborations Theyre looking to hear about the Philippines pilot. These companies have a global reach, which would be wonderful.ZC: Absolutely, that would help tremendously.YN: In the meantime, were going to a lot of conferences and doing presentations–its our best marketing practice right now because people in the industry get to hear about us first hand. Bishoy and Da Wi went to Pioneers Festival in Vienna and met a lot of great people there.ZC: It must get expensive to travel, although its necessary for what you do. How do you deal with that?YN: Its definitely difficult. For this instance in particular, Merck sponsored us. Were super grateful for that. For other conferences, we just have to make sure we allocate the funds. MassChallenge doesnt give any funding to the end, so it was tough to organize our finances for it, but some experiences are just worth it in the long run.ZC: Do you think youll apply to other programs in the future?YN: Were applying to a bunch of stuff for the Fall. MassChallenge goes until November, but the major events are in the summer, so well have more time to do other programs then. We recently presented at Yales Global Health and Innovation Conference–in the social impact track–so well continue to try to get into conferences like that. Its invaluable to be around other people in the industry.ZC: Absolutely. Im sure you learn so much from other people in the space. Im curious, though, anything youve learned so far from the Americares pilot?YN: For now Ive just observed some things. For example, the pharmacists tend to receive more education than the pharmacists in Kenya; theres just more education required before you become a pharmacist in the country. In some ways, that makes it easier to train the staff.ZC: So you expect to find a lot of counterfeit medications?YN: Were just in Manila for now, but were expecting the medications that come in for disaster relief in the more rural areas to be where the problems are. Well see. Theres always this hope that we dont find any, that everyone is getting the medication they deserve, but then they wouldnt need us.ZC: Haha, I know what you mean. At least youre there and helping to resolve this issue, though. That has to give you some hope.YN: It does. As a social impact company, were really just trying to create change and make people's lives better.ZC: You are. Trust me, you are. We'll share more updates on VERIPAD and other Zahn Center alumni soon. In the meantime, keep up with them on Instagram @veripad. Thu, 13 Jul 2017 13:16:20 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22102 How Futureworks is Creating Access to Advanced Manufacturing https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/how-futureworks-creating-access-advanced-manufacturing For the next ten months, were teaming up with Futureworks NYC to become a Futureworks Shop, and create programs that make advanced manufacturing more accessible to New Yorks entrepreneurs. Together with the NYCEDC, SecondMuse, Imagination in Space and our fellow Futureworks Shops throughout the city (go ahead and check €˜em out)–A/D/OBrooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator Bronx Innovation FactoryCollab Craftsman AveNEW INCNYDesignsVoodoo Manufacturing –were working to provide subsidized prototyping, production, coworking, and incubation for advanced manufacturing entrepreneurs. Futureworks Shops provides New Yorkers with prototyping and production credits, access to coworking opportunities, studio time, mentorship, and events across the city. At each of the Shops, youll find advanced manufacturing machinery, an engaged, supportive community, and expert leaders. Futureworks NYC is a key component of the Citys Industrial Action Plan to help emerging and existing manufacturers promote, adopt, and create advanced technologies and increase local production. To ensure these technologies are made accessible to all New Yorkers, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) created Futureworks NYC as a platform of shared resources from educational programming to access to equipment and space, and connections within the growing community.Throughout the next ten months, well participate in lunch meetings with our fellow “shops,” attend workshops, and host some of our own. Be sure to check our social media for updates within the Futureworks Shops community.If youre not already familiar with the prototyping services that we offer, you can check them out here. Fri, 07 Jul 2017 13:19:12 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22101 Investors, Mentors, Financial Experts, and Lawyers Propel Accelerator Startups https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/investors-mentors-financial-experts-and-lawyers-propel-accelerator-startups The seven startups in our Summer Accelerator are off to a solid start. Last week was a busy week! Each startup met with mentors who will guide them through tough decisions this summer. Many of the mentors are entrepreneurs themselves–some have even come through our program. We were lucky to have the VERIPAD team with us, Build on the Go, Localtarian, and more. Other mentors are CCNY alumni with years of experience in business and other related fields, like Frank Jones.Last Tuesday, startups also met with investors who have given them guidance as to what they might look for in a young startup. Representatives from Litchfield Capital, Ciel Capital, Soundboard Angel Fund, Elab, Microsoft, ScienceVest, and Techstars all met with the entrepreneurs one on one.That day, we also heard from Howard Morgan of First Round Capital and CCNY class of 1965. It's because of Howard Morgan's generosity that we're able to support the Accelerator Program, by providing each of the teams with a stipend so that they can forego summer jobs or other opportunities. We also heard from Zahn Center Board Chairman, CCNY alum and Chairman of Sandata Technologies, Bert Brodsky. Bert Brodsky shared his experiences as an entrepreneur himself with the cohort. On Wednesday, our founders met with legal consultants from Wilkie Farr & Gallagher, LLC, to discuss any legal concerns and learn how to draft contracts and other official documents.Finally, on Thursday, the startups met their BNY Mellon mentors. This is the second year that experts from BNY Mellon will work directly with our startups in the Accelerator. Their employees have volunteered their time to meet with our founders weekly to work on their financial projections. At the end of the Accelerator, each startup will present to BNY Mellon in a mini-competition.After startups met their mentors, we stayed at BNY Mellon to walk through a critical path workshop. The goal was to get all the “issues” out on paper so that each team could remove any road blocks keeping them from succeeding this summer.This week, startups settled into the first “normal” week of the Accelerator Program. They mostly work on their own at the Zahn Center, while attending workshops (on Sales, Marketing, Software, and Hardware). They also meet with their mentors from BNY Mellon and Wilkie Farr, as well as report weekly to their assigned Zahn Center staff mentor. We can't wait to update you throughout the summer on their progress. Thu, 22 Jun 2017 15:30:17 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22100 Meet the Startups in Our Accelerator https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/meet-startups-our-accelerator-0 We told you the excitement wouldnt stop at the Final Pitch! Today, were thrilled to announce the ten startups that will participate in our Summer Accelerator Program:SnapPitch: an electronic baseball strike-zone designed to improve pitching performance through data-driven progress trackingQuark: a device that enhances safety for cyclists Runr: an-campus delivery service for students, faculty, and staffWrkbook: a platform that connects contractors with skilled laborersdawaCare: a patient engagement service focusing on follow-up care in developing nationsUB Cream: makeup for trauma victims that covers and heals scarsSyStem: a computer garden that grows food without soil or harmful chemicalsEnrich : a website/app to help parents seamlessly find and rate after school programs for childrenActive Hands: a tracking device that assesses the movements of people with cerebral palsy and other neurological diseasesGol: customized water filtration solutions for underserved communities in the developing worldDuring the ten-week Accelerator, each startup will receive a $10,000 stipend so that at least two members from each team can dedicate 40 hours a week to the program. Startups will work towards individual milestones with specific end goals that could include acceptance into a top tier accelerator program or seed/angel round investment. Theyll receive access to expert mentors and will gain introductions to closed-door meetings with senior advisors, investors, and business partners specifically chosen to meet their needs.There will also be an educational component to the program in the form of daily workshops, as well as tailored consulting from Zahn staff. Startups will spend the summer conducting further market research and finishing their prototypes, all while developing a clearer understanding of their business from a financial perspective. Each team will receive individual help applying for grants, contracts, and other competitions. Experts from BNY Mellon, Wilkie Farr, and Google will mentor startups throughout the program.If you'd like to become a mentor for our Accelerator cohort, please fill out the form at the bottom of our Mentorship Page: http://www.zahncenternyc.com/mentorship/Well share their progress live on social media throughout the summer, so make sure you follow us @ZahnCenterNYC for updates! Wed, 24 May 2017 10:05:30 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22098 Meet this Years Winners https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/meet-years-winners We can't begin to summarize the incredible experience that was the 2017 Final Pitch Night. A special audience of one hundred guests watched in awe as eight startups gave it their all and pitched for the chance to win the grand prizes in each of the four categories. To us, everyone was a winner last night. And as our Director Lindsay Siegel put it, we revere our students and we find them all inspiring. They are the truest entrepreneurs because for them, it's never about the money, it's about the causes they're supporting, the problems they want to solve, the people they want to help, and the fact that this is their chance to prove themselves. This is their chance to have a voice.But, there can only be four grand prize winners. It is with great excitement that I announce the top startups in each category:Zahn Tech: Wrkbook, a platform that connects contractors with skilled laborers won the grand prize for this category, sponsored by the Moxie Foundation. The Wrkbook team includes William De Andrade, an undergrad pursuing a degree in Economics at CCNY; Yuk Kee Chang, a sophomore computer engineering major; and Eric Wiener, a senior at the High School for Math, Science and Engineering on City College's campus. William was inspired by his father, a local contractor, to develop Wrkbook. With $25,000, the team will be sure to finish development of their app and reach a broader customer base.Zahn Social Impact: SyStem, a computer garden that grows food without soil or harmful chemicals, won the grand prize of $25,000 for this category. The Zahn Social Impact prize is also sponsored by the Moxie Foundation, and supports social enterprises or ventures with environmental stewardship at their core. The SyStem team is made up of Adrian Logan and Alex Babich, both computer engineering students at CCNY. They consider SyStem the future of food, and are inspired by the current state of the environment to come up with smarter ways to grow food. We're excited to see how SyStem develops this summer!Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC: City LABscape, a hands-on indoor agriculture-based STEM education initiative won first place in this category and $25,000. The track, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, encourages women-led technology ventures to create solutions for issues specific to New York City. The City LABscape team is made up of Wei Zhang and Jorge Burgos, senior architecture students, as well as Sabrina Cohn, a sophomore studying environmental engineering. The prize money will help them reach more students, as they plan to pilot their program with more middle schools in the area. This summer, they also plan to test their prototype with families who homeschool their children.Kaylie Hardware:Active Hands, a monitoring device that enables patients to take the clinic home with them, won the Kaylie Hardware Prize for $50,000. This prize is an endowment sponsored by City College alum Harvey Kaylie, founder of Mini Circuits. The Active Hands team is made up of biomedical engineering students Amanda Bernstein, Ralph Hertz, Sam Tran, and Ankush Thakur; their team is rounded out by expert salesman Mark Hase. With $50,000, Active Hands will accelerate production of their prototype for an upcoming trial they plan to conduct with physical therapy patients this summer.These winning startups were chosen by four separate panels of elite judges, one for each track. Judges included Howard Morgan, Co-Founder of First Round Capital; Minerva Tantoco, former CTO of New York City and Advisor at Future Perfect Ventures; Jason Feifer, Editor-in-Cheif at Entrepreneur Magazine; Peter Zahn, President of the Moxie Foundation; and Bert Brodsky, distinguished alum and Owner of Sandata Technologies, Inc. Other expert judges included Gilda Barabino, Scott Cohen, Richard Kerby, Amar Rathor, Chris Reim, Alice Rodd O'Rourke, and Kimberly Yarnell.We are so thankful for those who joined us in supporting these outstanding startups last night (and for those who were there in spirit!). In the upcoming months, we'll work closely with these startups to maintain goals and meet specific milestones. We cannot wait to share their progress with you, but in the meantime, check back next week for some exciting news about our Summer Accelerator! Thu, 04 May 2017 17:36:08 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22097 Meet the Finalists https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/meet-finalists We're still in a flurry from yesterday's excitement at Demo Day! Hundreds of students, faculty, and community members came out to support CCNY startups by voting for their favorites and discovering new causes to get behind, testing out new apps, playing with prototypes, and learning how technology innovations can make our city a better place. Our CCNY entrepreneurs were hoarse from sharing their ideas with the audience, and reciting their elevator pitches all afternoon!While the fun was happening outside, our expert panel of judges carefully deliberated inside. By the end of the day, they'd decide the top two startups in each category to move on to the Final Pitch. As you've heard, the startups on display at Demo Day were part of the 2017 Zahn Innovation Center Competition cohort. They've been developing their ideas in a Lean Startup Bootcamp for the past semester, and yesterday's Demo Day marked the first of two events that will determine which teams win prize money totaling $150,000.The pressure was on. After much deliberation, the judges selected two teams from each of the four categories – Kaylie Hardware, Zahn Social Impact, Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC, and Zahn Technology tracks. These 8 finalist teams will pitch again in front of a select audience tomorrow, May 3rd at 6pm.Our 8 finalists are€¦Kaylie HardwareActive Hands – A tracking device that assesses the movements of people with cerebral palsy and other neurological diseases.SnapPitch – An electronic baseball strikezone designed to improve pitching performance through data-driven progress tracking. Zahn Social ImpactdawaCare – A patient engagement service focusing on follow-up care in developing nations.SyStem – A computer garden that grows food without soil or harmful chemicals. Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYCCity LABscape – Hands-on indoor agriculture-based STEM education.Enrich – A website/app to help parents seamlessly find and rate after school programs for children. Zahn TechnologyCyqlo – Cyqlo is a mobile guide for cyclists that provides them with the most convenient way to get around and explore, while ensuring their safety and comfort.Wrkbook – A platform that instantly connects contractors to skilled laborers. To support your team and find out who takes home the grand prizes, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@ZahnCenterNYC) on the evening of May 3rd. Well go backstage with the startups, and announce the winners by the end of the night. We'll also announce the winners that YOU selected for the Audience Choice Award, and the startups who will continue on in our Accelerator Program!If you missed the action at Demo Day, you can catch up on our Facebook page–we recorded some of it live! Tue, 02 May 2017 12:20:56 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22096 Why Social Impact is More Than a Donation https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/why-social-impact-more-donation With less than a week until Demo Day, Zahn startups are making last minute adjustments to prototypes, finalizing their pitch decks, and ordering stickers and t-shirts with their logos! All of the startups in the 2017 cohort cant wait to show you what theyve been working on this semester. From urban farming STEM education initiatives to regenerative makeup, the startups at Demo Day are sure to inspire.One team in particular is especially eager to share their mission with you. In this blog, meet Gol, a team of interdisciplinary students that have come together to create customized solutions for areas stricken with the water crisis. Theyre determined to improve water in areas afflicted by water contamination and water-related disease, and are seeking to partner with local and international NGOs who will help them create sustainable business models for these communities.The Gol team is made up of Rick Matthews and Reylyn Roldan, senior bio-medical engineering students; Noah Gross, a senior economics student; Joseph Chiu, a senior studying mechanical engineering; and Saif Choudhury, a senior english major. Rick, Reylyn, and Noah sat down with me to discuss what theyve learned over the course of the semester, and how empowerment can help solve some of the worlds most pressing issues.Reylyn Roldan: Ive been part of the Zahn Center for 3 years now, ever since sophomore year when I organized TEDxCUNY at CCNY. Lindsay helps me organize and host TEDx every year, and without her insight and her connections to great speakers, we wouldnt have had such successful events. The competitions were always in my radar, but this year Rick invited me to join him on an idea he had called Gol.Noah Gross: I first learned about the Zahn Center last semester when Devin came into my investment class. He made the idea of stopping by to share ideas sound really inviting, but I didnt have an idea of my own. Then Reylyn and Rick reached out to me because they needed an Economics student to help with their financial models. I liked the concept of working for a social impact venture, so I joined them.ZC: So Rick, it seems like you were the ring leader. How did you come up with Gol?Rick Matthews: Well, I was studying abroad and I was sitting at lunch talking about how the water there tasted different. And from there, we started talking about the global water crisis, or about as much as we new based on the news we read online. We started thinking about all of the problems that come with the water crisis, and initially applied to the competition with a solar powered washing machine that could be used in rural communities. We figured, health, sanitation, access to water, it all goes hand and hand and creates a never-ending cycle of issues.ZC: I remember when Gol was a washing machine…now youve definitely pivoted.RM: I think we did more than pivot. When we realized what social impact really meant, we decided to go all in and really solve this problem like a changemaker would. We didnt want to just create something. We wanted to have lasting impact. Now I think we identify was a team of interdisciplinary college students trying to find problems in the world relating to the water crisis. We want to take each community as a unique entity and tailor the solutions.ZC: Is there a specific community youre focusing on?RM: Were currently focusing on Bangladesh, which is pretty much the birthplace of water-related diseases, and reaching out to partners who work in that area. But were still learning about other countries. For example, Somalia has a horrible cholera outbreak right now. And other parts of Africa are struggling with famine and drought. Were trying to create a business model that can be adapted for each situation.ZC: Youve been reaching out to partners? Anyone in particular?RR: The Zahn Center has been doing a great job connecting us with organizations and mentors who work on social impact internationally. Weve met the leaders of the Cordes Foundation, and theyre helping us make contact with bigger organizations like Grameen Bank.RM: Yeah, the Zahn Center has been amazing in bringing mentors to us…its essential for us to talk to them and learn from their experiences. We heard Greg Van Kirk of Ashoka speak and Noah and I met with him just last week. He gave us some harsh criticism and really challenged us to think differently and approach the problem in a different way.NG: I really appreciate the constructive criticism here. Nothing is sugarcoated, theyll push us to tear down our own assumptions so that we can approach everything without bias. You really dont get that kind of tough love anywhere else.RM: Yeah, weve pivoted so much and weve come a long way, the feedback from mentors and Zahn staff is essential.ZC: So what exactly is Gol? Or what have you pivoted to?NG: We recognize a need for a portable water filtration system with a charcoal filter, but we dont see the sustainability (or innovation) in just creating a charcoal water filter for developing nations. We want to allow locals to develop the charcoal themselves, and create a charcoal market. Inspired by agriculture waste initiatives and microloans, we want to give groups of women the capacity to build a small kiln, and with that kiln, collect agriculture waste that can create charcoal. From there, they can sell that to water filter companies or users.RM: Its more than giving people water filters, its about having a greater impact in their lifestyle. Were empowering women to not only clean the water for their families, but create the material necessary for the filters. Using microloans (or solidarity loans) groups of women in local communities can work together to make a charcoal business. That in itself is sustainable, and it will drive the market.NG: Essentially, were sparking entrepreneurship within these communities.RM: Exactly–it supports economic growth in the community.RR: Its what sets us apart. Other organizations out there give communities filters and expect people to use it. We know thats just a temporary fix to the water crisis.RM: Were creating the solutions that help contain that fix. Its a living breathing solution, the people affected by the problem have to be involved in the solution.ZC: What youre talking about is true social impact.RM: Its ingenious.ZC: It really is. And its going to create so much impact in places that need it most. Do you have contacts in some of the countries you want to reach?RR: We definitely want to get on the ground and learn from the communities we hope to serve. We want to learn how they engage with each other and try to figure out how to simplify our solution.RM: One of our team members is going to Bangladesh this summer. Were establishing contacts there so he can get on the ground running. But its not a water filter thats going to Bangladesh, its our efforts that will create change there.ZC: Is that why you want to win on Demo Day? So you can get to Bangladesh?RR: Hahaha yeah, it would definitely help, but the competition isnt the end goal anymore. Weve fallen in love with these issues. This whole process drives us to think outside of the box. Its gotten to the point where we just want to make this happen. Weve come along way, and whether we win or lose, were going to keep going.RM: Im just excited to tackle the real problem. The Zahn Center has given us the opportunity to explore this problem, learn from it, and develop a solution backed by research. Weve been broken down–or, I guess challenged–since day one. Its a process, but were better off than when we started for sure.NG: We know that every step back comes with a couple steps forward…or maybe its the opposite.RM: This issue is complicated, but its social impact. Were empowering individuals to solve their own problems.RR: Were changing lives. Meet Gol, and learn more about their social impact initiative at Demo Day on May 1st outside of the NAC from 12-2pm! Thu, 27 Apr 2017 10:43:08 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22095 Experts at Google, Golden Seeds, First Round Capital, and More to Judge Demo Day https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/experts-google-golden-seeds-first-round-capital-and-more-judge-demo-day We always say to our startups: our job is to make the judges work of choosing winners on Demo Day impossible. No ones really sure whether that quote originated from Kesia or Devin (just to be clear–my vote is with Kesia), but we do know it sums up the time and effort, sweat and tears, each track chair and mentor puts into priming every one of our startups for Demo Day. Every year, the competition gets tighter and the judges deliberations get longer. This year, weve gathered a powerhouse team to evaluate the 2017 Cohort. Judges include investors, entrepreneurs, political leaders, and educators from top-tier organizations like Google, Golden Seeds, First Round Capital, Deloitte, the Manhattan Borough Presidents Office, and much more.Together, theyll consider how developed each teams product/service is, their pathway to long-term sustainability, and their go-to-market strategy. There are also specific requirements for each of the four categories, so weve assembled four separate panels of experts–one for each track–to evaluate the 18 teams.The Kaylie Hardware Prize was developed and sponsored by CCNY Alum Harvey Kaylie, Founder of Mini-Circuits. This category celebrates all things hardware, and qualified startups are building physical products that may or may not include a connected (smart) technology. This year, we chose judges with a vast knowledge of engineering. Some lead incubators and entrepreneurship programs throughout the city with a hardware-focus, and others are hardware startup founders themselves. They include:Katey Metzroth, Director, 2M Cities & Lead, Futureworks IncubatorMary Howard, Program Manager, eLab NYCJoe Barba, Director of Student Entrepreneurship & Engineering Professor, CCNYMichael Kim, CTO & Co-Founder, StrongArm Technologies, Inc.The Zahn Social Impact Prize is developed and sponsored by the Moxie Foundation. This category acts as a catalyst for the spread of social entrepreneurship on campus, and encourages students to develop a global perspective on impact. Startups in this category were challenged to build ventures with a sustainable revenue model, whose primary objective is social change or environmental stewardship. They may pursue either a nonprofit or for-profit model, and the judges are advisors and investors in the social impact, or they lead social impact initiatives at large organizations.Nate Wong, Social Impact Strategy Manager, DeloitteDean Morris, Program Director, West Harlem Development CorporationJessica Santana, Co-Founder, New York on TechJessica Feingold, Senior Development Manager, Kiva.orgThe Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC Prize is sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank as part of the Women in Technology Incubator at the Zahn Center. This year, the category celebrates the role of women in building Silicon Alley. Startups were challenged to leverage technology to address challenges in New York City. By nature, many of the startups in this category have a social impact mission at their core, and may consider nonprofit status in the future. This year's panel of judges is diverse in that it is made up of a politician, an entrepreneur, and an investor, but they are all New Yorkers dedicated to keeping their city on the cutting edge.Matthew Washington, Deputy Borough President, Office of the Manhattan Borough PresidentAileen Gemma Smith, CEO & Founder, Vizalytics Technology IncorporatedEmily Susskind, Managing Director, Golden Seeds LLCMarti Correa, Assistant Treasurer, GoodyearThe Zahn Technology Prize is also sponsored by the Moxie Foundation. This category celebrates all aspects of technology, in both software and traditional forms. Startups in this category were challenged to develop ventures that use technology to solve problems otherwise untouched. Their products include transformative new apps, web platforms, database tools, e-commerce sites, or a technological device. This year, we chose judges with a vast knowledge of the latest technologies. Some work directly in the tech field, while others have been long-time investors of technology ventures. They include:Lemu Coker, Open Innovation Partnerships Lead, VerizonScott Howard, Founder, Current Consulting & Fellow, Rubicon Venture CapitalDominic Le Claire, VP of Sales, Pica9Together, these judges will decide the fate of 18 startup teams, and decide the two finalists in each category–who will then pitch again on Wednesday, May 3rd for a chance at first and second place prizes totaling $150,000.But the judges won't be the only ones that have a say in the winners. YOU can choose the audience choice award winners by voting at Demo Day–May 1st at the City College of New York. Come out and support CCNY startups that day, and check out what has these judges so excited. More information can be found here.  Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:17:59 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22094 CCNY Startups Youll Want to Meet 2017 https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/ccny-startups-youll-want-meet-2017 Demo Day is just about a week away, and we hope you've been following some of our startups' stories on the blog. You've gone behind the scenes of Runr, dawaCare, Evo, Cyqlo, SnapPitch, SyStem, and Enrich–and aren't you dying to meet the entire 2017 cohort?We won't be able to share in depth interviews with them all (although there are a few more coming this week!), but you can get a sense for who will be at Demo Day by reading descriptions of all of your favorite CCNY startups below. Some of their names have changed, but they're still equally excited to share their prototypes, apps, and business models with you!What's your role? At Demo Day, you'll choose one team from each category to win the Audience Choice Award! The winning startups will receive $1,000 from your votes alone. So who will you “invest” in? Check out the makers soldering, welding, and 3D printing for the Kaylie Hardware Prize ($50K)!Active Hands – A tracking device that assesses the movements of people with cerebral palsy and other neurological diseases.SnapPitch – An electronic pitching target to help baseball/softball pitchers improve accuracy.5 Senses (was Stimulator, Inc.) – A toy synthesizer that allows children with special needs to stimulate brainwaves while playing.Quark (was Velo) – A device that enhances safety for cyclists. You'll get behind the causes the changemakers of the Zahn Social Impact Prize ($25K) are fighting for!dawaCare (was Camerhealth) – A patient engagement service focusing on follow-up care in developing nations.SyStem – A computer garden that grows food without soil or harmful chemicals.UB Cream – Makeup for trauma victims that covers and heals scars.Gol – A water filtration system for developing nations.Eneriva – A control system that monitors and optimizes energy for consumption. Which NYC-focused initiative of the Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC Prize ($25K) will you select?Enrich – A website/app to help parents seamlessly find and rate after school programs for children.Evo (was Interveen) – Digital mentorship for at-risk NYC students.City LABscape – Modular greenhouses that engage NYC students in STEM & urban farming. You won't believe what the coders of the Zahn Technology Prize ($25K) will have on display!Runr (was Vendr) – On-campus delivery service for students, faculty, and staff.Les Pain – An app that helps chronic pain patients complete exercise routines with a data-driven plan and gamification.Ment (was Taak) – An app that helps high school and college students build a career roadmap.Cyqlo – Curated and crowd-sourced biking routes that inspire cyclists to explore.Wrkbook – A platform that instantly connects contractors to skilled laborers.Cargo 53 (was Transtech) – An app that allows truckers to share delivery loads. So don't miss the fun. Demo Day is on May 1st from 12-2pm outside of the NAC at CCNY!  Sun, 23 Apr 2017 21:46:45 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22093 5 Lessons for Innovators https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/5-lessons-innovators The University Innovation Fellows create a culture of innovation on campus, and they want you to be a part of it. Read more about their recent trip to Silicon Valley for a UIF Meetup in the guest blog below, written by University Innovation Fellow, Kurt Dawiec. To give you all a bit of background, the University Innovation Fellows (UIF) is a global program that gives students across the world the necessary tools to bring change to their campus communities. The program was built as part of Stanford Universitys d.school, an institute built to nurture entrepreneurs and innovators by teaching methods of design and management. Simply put, UIF turns students into changemakers. Last year, Mahmoud Khedr, Chelsi Ampawa, and I took a training course built by some of the worlds greatest innovators and were eventually initiated as fellows. Recently, we attended a UIF Meetup in Silicon Valley where we worked with 300 other fellows from schools across the nation to master the changemakers toolkit. I had no idea how much it would change me…So heres the story. We were sponsored by the Zahn Innovation Center to represent our school as the first fellows from CCNY. During our training together, we developed a distinct identity shaped by the struggle most CCNY students face. Its difficult for us to get the most of our education when the University system is underfunded, when our peers dont spend time on campus because classes are sandwiched between work and commuting, and when the entrepreneurial ecosystem is limited. Combine those struggles with food insecurity, student homelessness, and low retention rates, and youve got our struggle.We were inspired to start a movement at CCNY that might address these issues. Yet, the more research we did, the more impossible our mission seemed. Would this trip to California give us the clarity and motivation we needed?The most beautiful thing that happened that week was realizing just how wrong and naïve we were. We would come back to New York City almost enlightened with a new set of ideals we could use to tackle practically any problem in the world. Its difficult to summarize everything we learned, so here are our main takeaways€¦1.) Innovation isnt an event, its a process.In the entrepreneurial space, you find many buzzwords, like innovation. Many people have interpretations of what the word innovation really means, but its all pretty redundant. Innovation cannot be defined because it is completely reliant on HOW you innovate.On the first day of the meetup, we went to Google HQ in Mountain View, CA. We were greeted by the founders of the UIF program as well as Googles Chief Innovation Evangelist (cool title, right?), Frederick G. Pferdt. 300 of us poured out of our busses and were greeted by a roaring applause from UIF and Google staff. The slew of high fives and cheers led us into a room where tables were whiteboards and there must have been a thousand markers, stickers, legos and pens scattered around the room. We opened with a giant rock paper scissors tournament, then started to engage in activities that made us closer to the people at our tables. We drew spaceships together, created new board games, and even shared our biggest fears. Our facilitators offered riveting and empowering talks, and we were treated with a deep panel discussion led by Google employees.Every element of our day contributed to innovation. Our day, WAS innovation. The team building, mindfulness, creative juices, and general elation we all felt heavily contributed to our ability to create. Innovation is the combination of different engagements that activate human connection and individual creativity. The process of sharing our biggest fears with our teammates made us feel more connected to each other. It was easier for us to get along and collaborate when we felt comfortable and safe around each other. The speakers made us think and reflect. We would take mindfulness breaks to focus on our own individual potential.The combination of private and public creativity is how Google taught us to innovate. There is no one eureka moment when youre trying to create something huge. Throughout the process of innovation, we reflect on where we are and how far we have come. The process can take as long as it needs. The best part is, whether your project is a failure or a success, in the end, it doesnt matter. You created something from nothing and were along for the ride. That will always be valuable.2.) Happy people change the world.It probably sounds simple. Thats because it is.We spend a lot of time learning technical and applicable things. We focus heavily on the people around us, but what about ourselves? A primary focus of our trip was focusing on our internal peace. What I genuinely enjoyed was its incorporation into our work.Including moments for emotional growth and healing in the workspace makes the experience much more inclusive, leading to amazing things. Achieving happiness doesnt have to take place solely at home. If we design our management styles around embracing our teammates flaws rather than subsidizing them to personal growth, we create something beautiful and productive.3.) Diversity is inviting someone to the party. Inclusion is asking them to dance.People thrive from diversity. Your group of friends is probably a great example. Any successful person wants to surround themselves with multifaceted people. As we choose the groups we immerse ourselves in, we must focus on variety, which is the catalyst of social learning.However, its more than just diversity. What about inclusion? If someone isnt an expert in something, or isnt familiar with a subject, the answer shouldnt be to leave them out of the decision making process. Including this individual in the process is a powerful tool in manufacturing a creative and effective plan.We are naturally inclined to work together. Every aspect of your project should include every person on your team. Building something beautiful, starts with as many opinions and criticisms as possible.Just like inclusiveness builds a strong team, it builds a strong sense of pride. Including the struggles and pains of everyone around you creates almost a collective human resilience. This trip has taught me that we are all a part of something such larger than ourselves.4.) Focus on the user, and all else will followIt begins with empathy.University Innovation Fellows are trained to apply the design thinking process to every problem. Its all about the problem, and less about the solution. Humera Fasihuddin, Co-Founder of UIF, teaches: If you have 1 hour to work on a project, spend 50 minutes on the problem, and 10 minutes on the solution. The first step in the process is to empathize with the person youre designing the solution for. Theres no point in creating something if there is no need for it.Throughout the week, we learned to divert most of our energy into learning about what the worlds missing. Whatever you produce is completely reliant on your user. Start with empathy. Identify the need, and success will follow.5.) We manufacture our own luck. Perhaps the most important part of a persons happiness is their ability to give themselves credit. By far, my biggest lesson learned was that luck is what we use to downplay our own accomplishments. You need to know that you are where you are today because youre worth it, youre valuable, youre an accomplished individual. Its almost insulting to believe that you got where you are today by sheer luck. We are products of our failures, but we are also products of our own successes.I want to give you credit for reading this blog. I want you to know that we are all capable of building great things. A poor self-image, not believing in ourselves, doubt, theyre all roadblocks.Like me, you have to believe that you are a superhero for change. Wear your cape. Thu, 20 Apr 2017 18:25:35 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22092 Why Three Women Want to Change the Way We View After School Programs https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/why-three-women-want-change-way-we-view-after-school-programs Demo Day is less than a two weeks away, and we cant wait to introduce you to all of the startups working towards the grand prizes of $150,000! While some of our startups are trying to solve problems across the world, some are focusing on issues right here in New York.I sat down with Enrich, a competitor in the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC track, to discuss how their app that helps parents find, rate, and book after school programs for their children, and why entrepreneurship is so exciting to them. The Enrich team is made up of Khadeeja Din, who graduated this past December from CCNY with a degree in computer science; Leila Hessam, a senior studying Applied Psychology & Economics; and Nafisa Nasher, a junior Psychology and Business Management major. On top of that, theyre a group of strong women ready to make their mark on the world–and ready to be a model for future generations of girls.Zahn Innovation Center: Im so happy to get to sit down with you all, especially during this hectic time right before Demo Day. Can you believe its less than two weeks away?Leila Hessam: Its really surreal. It wasnt that long ago that we were applying for the Zahn Center!ZC: I know, right? This semester has flown by. Speaking of your application…what made you apply to the Zahn Center in the first place?Khadeeja Din: Professor Grossberg led me to Zahn. I took his class in my final semester, where we were told to create a meaningful app that could solve a problem for someone. For the first time, I felt like I wasnt just creating something to get a grade, but I was creating something to solve an issue. When I thought of how difficult it is for parents to find enrichment programs for their children, I came up with Enrich.LH: I also discovered Zahn through a professor, Karen Langsam. At first I didnt have an idea to share, but I wanted to join a team to build my leadership skills. I made it my goal to do the Zahn Competition to better myself. I met Khadeeja and got so excited about the idea.Nafisa Nasher: For me, entrepreneurship runs in the family. My dads an entrepreneur, and I always pictured myself becoming my own boss, just like him. When Khadeeja told me about Enrich, I related to it and just wanted to get involved.ZC: Do you have a personal experience with this problem?NN: Definitely. I work at Kumon, and I see how afterschool programs can change a childs life. It truly upsets me to know that many kids dont get to experience these programs that will help them later on in life. I just want to make these more accessible.LH: I think its the same for me. I used to tutor, and Im passionate about educating youth.KD: Same. I used to work with the NYC Urban Debate League, where middle school students travel to take place in debates. These kids were SO GOOD at public speaking–a skill that most of us lack–and I just started to think, all kids need something like this. But for the three years I was there, it was always just the same kids participating. I started to wonder why other kids werent joining. Did they just not know about it?ZC: Is that what you found out from talking to customers?LH: Weve been talking to parents here in the city, and a lot of them tell us that if they knew about these programs, theyd enroll their kids. The current resources out there–pamphlets, lengthy internet searches–arent convenient for parents. They have to spend so much time searching for these programs, time they dont have.NN: Weve especially found that immigrant families are missing out at a higher rate. Its a combination things, like being new to the area and having a language barrier. They may need a resource that could translate information about these programs to them.LH: Psychologically, enrichment programs benefit children tremendously. But research shows that these programs are even more beneficial to children in lower income families. Typically, parents of lower income families work longer hours, and their children miss out on some of the extra learning that happens at home. They need afterschool or weekend programs.ZC: Are you looking to specifically bring these programs to lower income families?LH: We definitely want to reach everyone, but right now the African American and Hispanic families in our immediate area are our target market because were finding that these parents especially dont have the support they need to find these programs.ZC: And where do you see Enrich in the long term?KD: If its needed, we hope to expand across the globe. But right now its scary to picture ourselves on our own, outside of the Zahn Center.LH: Hahaha yeah, its really easy to get comfortable here because everyone around us is so supportive.NN: Being in a cohort with other startups is great. Were a big family that supports each other and gives each other feedback. The idea of entrepreneurship can be intimidating, youre starting something from scratch. But once you step out of your comfort zone–for us it was going to talk to potential customers–you start to grow and see the potential.KD: Entrepreneurship is work that doesnt feel like work. It feels like more, because were pursuing our passions. Everything, even the little things like putting together a pitch deck, feels more rewarding because theres some true purpose.LH: Were building a business incorporating so many different subjects and skills weve developed our entire lives. I feel like Im a psych student, but I still have a place in entrepreneurship. As a woman in business, I feel like theres especially so much to prove.ZC: Do you feel more pressure?LH: I feel like its bigger than us. I look at all the women Ive looked up to, all the role models out there, and I think that someday well be role models for others. Theres a little pressure that comes with that, but it makes you work extra hard.KD: It was hard for me pursuing computer science, because there werent many females in my field. I definitely want to change that. I want to be a role model for other girls. I never want a young girl to think that she doesnt belong, that she cant reach her full potential.ZC: I just realized that youre the only team at the Zahn Center made up solely of women. Wow! What you do you think about that?KD: Hahaha yeah we realized that recently too. Weve been thinking about growing our team, but weve been working so well together for now.LH: We always said wed look for a guy because diversity is important–it creates different thoughts–but well see!NN: Its definitely important to have a well-rounded team…but its pretty cool that were an all-women team. I kind of want to keep it that way, at least for now!ZC: Do you think it gives you a competitive edge for Demo Day?LH: I think the fact that were students–or recent grads–gives us all the competitive edge we need. Were fresh. Were excited. And we have nothing to lose.Check out Enrichs prototype at Demo Day, May 1st outside of the NAC from 12-2pm. You can vote for them as your favorite for an Audience Choice award worth $1,000! Wed, 19 Apr 2017 12:21:20 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22091 SyStem Pioneers the Future of Food with a Computer Garden https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/system-pioneers-future-food-computer-garden When I first met SyStem, a startup competing for the Zahn Social Impact prize, I asked them if they could grow a mango as if it was freshly picked in Haiti (feel free to dispute me, but Haitian mangoes are the best mangoes). After looking at me like I was crazy, they told me their kitchen garden computer would have to be big enough to grow a tree (oh, right, duh), but it could be done. Since then, Ive been fascinated by their cutting edge idea. I sat down with the SyStem team, made up of Adrian Logan, a junior computer engineering major; Alex Babich, a senior computer engineering major; and Dan Nelson, a consultant with years of startup experience, to learn more about this venture. The conversation quickly turned into a discussion about the intersection of technology and agriculture (Agtech), and how the way we grow food is rapidly changing.The Zahn Center: Having always wanted to open my own farm-to-table restaurant, Im pretty fascinated by this idea. How did it all get started?Alex Babich: Last semester, Adrian and I were working together on some other projects and we thought about joining the Zahn Competition. I had an idea for an app, Adrian wanted to do hardware, and he introduced me to this challenge out of MIT to build a food computer.Adrian Logan: Essentially, youd use technology to grow food instead of traditional methods. It allows you to grow food anywhere, regardless of soil, access to sunlight, etc. Its especially exciting for people in urban environments.ZC: And what attracted you to this food computer challenge?AB: There are so many huge problems in agriculture. Food is grown so far away from where its being consumed, or were consuming food much later than when its grown. This is a pain point for a lot of people–and its only going to get worse as available farmland is depleted–so we decided we wanted to try to solve it.AL: Seriously, when is the last time youve had a fruit or vegetable that tasted good? Im originally from upstate, so Ive always had the luxury of eating right off the vine. Now that I live in the city, I forget about the beauty of it…it just makes more sense to grown food where you are.ZC: Right, this brings me back to my mangoes. The mangoes at my fruit stand and grocery store just arent good. Its not like eating it right off the tree. Im all for that–but how do computers come into it?Dan Nelson: Theres a lot happening in the Agtech space. Bigger companies are using advanced technologies to grow food in urban areas. But smaller farms and other growers dont have the skills or money to do this. If we can provide custom solutions to smaller farms and growers, the opportunities could be endless.AL: Exactly. To me, theres a lot of smoke and mirrors right now–a lot of great ideas, visions, nice drawings and concepts. People have dreams of new ways of growing things, but there arent enough engineers in the space to make these dreams into realities. This is where we come in.DN: Whats interesting is that were trying to figure out how to rewire nature. Instead of the soil and sun, were using wires and code. If we can start to control variables like that, it would save so many farmers from losing crops due to unpredictable weather.ZC: Like Februarys super high temperatures.DN: Exactly. Global warming affects our food whether we like to admit it or not.AL: Plus, with technology like this, youre able to grow crops all year round.AB: Its better for the environment because itll take 80-90% less water.DN: And we can start growing upwards. If you stack computer gardens, youre adding an entirely new dimension to farming. Were adding cubic feet to the equation.ZC: It sounds like your solution will solve so many environmental issues!AL: And possibly social issues too. Were really excited about the opportunity to move gardens indoors. According to the NYC Housing Authority, the number one thing people want are community gardens or places to grow food. We want to connect these communities to resources they so desperately need.AB: I guess what were saying is, if we could create a product thats more sustainable than current farming techniques, and at the same time, help communities feed themselves and learn about healthy food, we would be thrilled.ZC: Is that your ultimate goal? Thats whats driving you?AL: That, and in the future, if all of our available farmland is depleted, this may be the only thing keeping us alive. Maybe in the distant future, people will be like Im glad those guys built that thing.ZC: Do you think thats what the future will look like?AB: By 2050, theres projected to be 9 billion people on Earth, with 80% living in urban centers. 95% of that population growth will be in developing countries. If, like projected, 80% of the available farming land is saturated, and 70% more food needs to be produced, were going to need different solutions. And this isnt even accounting for peoples evolving tastes. Not only will we need more food, were going to need to produce new and different foods as well.AL: There are so many horrible statistics about the year 2050, like well all be going to the beach in the Arctic and wont have any food.ZC: That sounds terrifying…AB: Yeah, pretty scary. We dont know if that doomsday is going to happen, but wouldnt it be good to be prepared? Or start creating innovations now?DN: The future of agriculture is so interesting…there are more and more people dedicating their time and energy into this field. While it may sound like some kind of magic, its a real science, and its young enough that we feel like we can still explore.ZC: Youre one of the pioneers?AL: I guess you could say that!AB: Weve learned so much in the past few months…weve been going to every lecture and meetup that we can. Its just really exciting for us.ZC: And you just competed in another competition, right?AL: Yeah! We won first place in the Clean-Tech track at the NYS Student Business semi-final competition. Were moving on to the final competition in Albany on April 28th–where the grand prize is $100K. Were super excited.AB: Were also establishing key partnerships with experts and entrepreneurs in the industry…its helping us gain traction.ZC: And youre collaborating with another team in the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC track, right?AL: Citylabscape! Yeah, theyre essentially our first customer. Were building them a customized food computer for K-12 students. Its so fun to collaborate with them–thats one aspect of this you cant get anywhere else but Zahn.ZC: Im really excited for you all–it sounds like youre making a lot of progress. Why do you think the community should come out and vote for you at Demo Day?DN: Because food is a concern for everyone, its a cause everyone can get behind.ZC: So, so true. Save your spot at Demo Day so that you can meet the SyStem team and check out their food computer IRL! In the meantime, you can check out their prototype on their Instagram page @zahnagtech Fri, 07 Apr 2017 12:21:48 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22090 CCNYs Pitcher Leads a Startup off the Field https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/ccnys-pitcher-leads-startup-field Some startups dream of changing the worlds social problems, some want to change the way we interact with the world, and others want to advance themselves. For SnapPitch, a startup competing for the Kaylie Hardware Prize, the best thing about the #startuplife is that you get to work on things youre most passionate about.Every single one of our startups has a unique story, and a unique reason they got involved with our program, but rarely is it so simple as wanting to help fellow baseball players. I sat down with the SnapPitch team–made up of Josef Bystrik, a student at the Sophie Davis School majoring in medicine and the pitcher on CCNY's baseball team; Andres Hinkey, a second year mechanical engineering student; and Dylan Kirdahy, an electrical engineering student–and talked about the importance of humility in entrepreneurship.The Zahn Center: So what brought you to the Zahn Center?Josef Bystrik: I first heard about the Zahn Center last Fall at the Maker Olympics kick off. At first, I was just interested in the workshops–I thought, wow, free education. I like learning about how things are built. For me, The Zahn Center is an opportunity to have a tangible education. Ive never learned anything thats directly applicable to how the world works. And once I experienced that here, it just kind of trapped me…in a good way…the atmosphere was something I was drawn to.Andres Hinkey: I went to a lot of Zahn events during the Fall, and I started making friends with other people who were going to them too. I met Josef at the welding workshop. We started SnapPitch for the Maker Olympics Hackathon, and won $1,000 for our club.ZC: It sounds like you were drawn to the Makerlab, the prototyping aspect?AH: Its definitely a place to just make things. But for me, the Zahn Center was where I made friends. I feel like the people I know on campus has doubled…its like a little family.JB: A lot of people will say Zahns like an exclusive club, and that you have to be a certain person to get involved with it. I think thats partly true, because the competition is a big commitment.ZC: Totally, the competition is a big commitment…what made you decide to go for it?AH: I think the day we won the Hackathon we were like wow, this is awesome and we got fast tracked to the interview round of the competition process, so we kind of just thought, Why not just work on SnapPitch for another semester? I think things just started falling into place.ZC: It was just the two of you then. How did you meet Dylan?AH: After we knew we were accepted into the competition, you guys put together a tabling session for all of us (the startups) to meet new members so that we could grow our team.JB: Dylan was there, and hadnt planned on joining a team, but after he heard our idea, he wanted in. He fell in love with it.AH: We were excited to have him because he worked on a startup before when he was in high school, so he has experience.JB: Yeah, the startup world is his thing. Its definitely his lifestyle.ZC: So Dylans in it for the #startuplife–hes excited about what it means to be an entrepreneur. Is that why both of you are here, Josef and Andres? What makes you so passionate about SnapPitch?JB: Ive been playing baseball since I was nine–Im the pitcher for CCNY now–and Id always been better than the average player…up until the end of high school. Thats when I started to plateau, I guess, and in order to get better, I had to spend a lot of extra time one-on-one with a coach. It was that extra one-on-one practice that made me better, and soon my performance improved.ZC: Is that how you came up with the idea?JB: It definitely inspired it. I thought, I want to make something that can help pitchers improve, with or without a personal coach or trainer.ZC: And Andres, are you also into baseball?AH: I dont play seriously like Josef does, but its always been the sport Ive been drawn to. I play pickup baseball, and play baseball with my little brother a lot. I like making things in general, so its just an added bonus that SnapPitch also involves one of my favorite hobbies.ZC: Is SnapPitch geared to players who play baseball recreationally? Or just for players who want to play at a collegiate or professional level?JB: SnapPitch is for a range of ball players. The appeal is that the device is for anyone who wants to become better, its not really marketed to a certain age or experience level. If the user has that motivation to get better, it can be valuable to them. Everyone has that what if I can make it big mentality at some point in their life. So, that might attract people to SnapPitch.ZC: I think even in entrepreneurship, that mentality is there too. Everyone wants to be on Shark Tank, everyone wonders if theyll be the next company to make it big, you know? It sounds like both of you have that mentality. Do you that gives you a competitive edge?JB: The competitive attitude is both healthy and unhealthy. Its easy to get sucked into the competition, but at the end of the day, this project is like our own little world and were all in it together. Really, its like were on our own little boat in a big ocean, just focusing on SnapPitch. The desire to be better than others isnt the strongest force thats driving us. Theres passion behind it.AH: Its just like in baseball, or as an athlete. You dont want to be an average pitcher, but its not because youre comparing yourself to anyone else. You want to be happy with your own performance on a personal level.ZC: Speaking of performance…it sounds like youve made a TON of progress on your prototype! Where are you at in the process?AH: Weve modified the one that we made at the Maker Olympics to be our proof of concept, and now were working on a full-scale prototype to demo with pitchers, and of course to show it off at Demo Day. (psst! Check it out below!)JB: We cant wait to get it out there and have people test it out. Were working with my old teams to test it. Working on this project has reconnected me with a lot of my old teams and coaches. When I went back to my high school to test it out, I ran into my old coach.AH: We keep learning more from meetings with mentors, and working here in the prototyping room, were really learning how we want to make our product user-focused.JB: Yeah, I think weve been reflecting a lot on what were learning from customer interviews. Its so important that we dont miss anything and get everyones opinion. The most valuable thing weve learned as part of this process is that we dont know everything.ZC: It sounds like you have such a humble outlook on your progress. Most entrepreneurs talk about how their startups are going to change the way we do things, and their downfall is that they dont listen to what their users are saying.JB: Im just looking forward to seeing someones eyes light up when they see the product and they know that theyre cared for. Of course theres part of me that gets excited by what SnapPitch could look like years from now as a company, what other products we could make for other sports. But for now, Im focused on making our first clients happy.AH: Exaclty. I want to know that something we all made is going to make one persons experience a little better. Itll be so cool to think wow, we made that. Thats the satisfaction were looking for.JB: Itll feel like weve left our mark. Don't miss meeting these team players on Demo Day, May 1st outside of the NAC. You can test SnapPitch for yourself! Wed, 05 Apr 2017 12:42:54 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22089 New Startup Cyqlo Connects Cyclists to Better Routes in NYC https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-startup-cyqlo-connects-cyclists-better-routes-nyc On May 1st youll meet this years crop of CCNY startups at our annual Demo Day on Monday, May 1st. Youll chat with the entrepreneurs who will have completed our Lean Startup Bootcamp, and get to vote for your favorites. But unless youre an avid cyclist, Cyqlo (a startup that helps you find biking routes in the city) might not immediately stand out to you.I sat down with the Cyqlo team–made up of seniors Michael Hendrickson, Haris Nadeem, Daniel Obi, John Spencer, and Junhua Wu–and talked about the role of entrepreneurship in their lives, and why theyre so excited to inspire New Yorkers to start biking. This team of best friends genuinely wants to give you all the freedom of two wheels. Learn more about Cyqlo in the interview below.The Zahn Center: So first of all, it seems like every team is looking for developers, and, well, you are all developers.Michael Hendrickson: Haha yeah all of us are computer science majors.Haris Nadeem: Well, Im computer science and math. You know, I can actually do what they all approximate.ZC: Haha, still, Cyqlo seems like a well-balanced team. How are you dividing up your roles on the team?John Spencer: Thats a good question. I think were all just working to make it as dope as we possibly can. You know, were still figuring out what were doing.MH: Yeah, the roles are pretty fluid right now.HN: Id say Im doing Finance for now since Im the Math guy.JS: And Mike is creating our voice on social media. Obis our rocket scientist.Daniel Obi: Haha and Juns our biking specialist. Hes our Google before Google. He knows all of the competitors, so we always check with him first.The Zahn Center: Haha so Jun, youre the cyclist? Was Cyqlo inspired by your love of biking?Junhua Wu: It was a project in one of our classes, but we definitely knew a bit about the market we wanted to serve.MH: Yeah, we had to come up with an idea for an app for Professor Grossbergs class last year. He really pushed us to think of an actual problem, and to focus on smaller markets. We thought of some medical apps, some apps for finding your stuff, and then eventually Jun suggested this.ZC: Did all of you meet in that class?DO: Weve all known each other for at least two years, weve taken different classes together.HN: And some of us did the RBC Capital Markets Fintech Hackathon together in the Fall.JS: Yeah, the Hackathon was the first event that we did together and it solidified our team, especially because we won.ZC: Is that what made you want to apply? Because you got fast tracked after winning, right?DO: I definitely planned on applying to the Zahn Competition before the Hackathon–Ive actually wanted to apply since my first semester here, back in 2014. I was waiting for the right time.MH: I think we knew that if we had something substantial to play with, and if would be a good fit for the competition, wed apply.DO: Professor Grossberg was pushing us to apply, and then after we won the Hackathon, we knew we had to.MH: Did we mention that we won the Hackathon?ZC: Hahaha congratulations on that win, really. I remember all of you coding for hours…and that was the day the internet broke, remember?DO: Haha thanks. What was incredible about that whole thing was that I had actually never heard of Fintech until the Hackathon. We just wanted to hack something.MH: Yeah, it was definitely a situation where we just kept saying yes to opportunities, and now here we are, creating this app to help people experience the freedom that riding a bike gives you.JW: A lot of people are afraid to bike in the city…its definitely our biggest barrier…but thats what were looking to change.MH: And for people who dont bike often, the fear is magnified. Cyqlo will provide a route for everyone. Well give you that freedom…that euphoric feeling…on two wheels.DO: Cycling is also a great way to explore. We want to empower New Yorkers to explore their own city again.ZC: It sounds like all of you are excited about this venture. What are you most looking forward to in the coming months?MH: We cant wait to get this into the hands of our customers. Weve been building it for them, so we really cant wait to get their feedback.DO: Im so excited to test it soon–we're going to do a Pizza Bike Tour in April.ZC: Pizza? That sounds like so much fun!MH: On April 15th we're leading a bike tour through the city that makes stops at pizza shops. So you'll eat pizza and burn it off. It's a great way to see the city from a different perspective…and sample pizza of course.HN: We're also really excited for Demo Day. To interact with the audience there, to show them what we've been working on.ZC: Do you think you'll win?JW: Of course, we're Cyqlo.DO: Haha, well the humble version of that is that we have the best team to execute in terms of programming experience–we have a lot of experience coding–our team is solid.ZC: But it's not all about winning?HN: Of course not. We feel like everyone has had an experience with cycling at sometime, and we just want to re-visit that, bring them back to that time. If you want to go back to that first time you got on a bike, check out Cyqlo's bike tour & check them out on Demo Day on May 1st outside of the NAC on CCNY's campus! Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:41:39 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22088 New CCNY Graduate Program Brings Social Entrepreneurship to the Classroom https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-ccny-graduate-program-brings-social-entrepreneurship-classroom We're excited to announce a new partnership with the Master's Program in Public Administration (MPA) to inspire social innovation at CCNY. Together we've launched a new Social Innovation Fellowship that offers graduate-level training along with opportunities to explore social entrepreneurship at the Zahn Center.The Social Innovation Fellowship is part of the MPAs new emphasis on social entrepreneurship. Its offered in conjunction with a new track which focuses on new ways of addressing social needs and social change, and its purpose is to create change makers across sectors. Students will adopt the track in their second semester; theyll take electives in social innovation and strategic communication, and also receive mentorship and internships from some of the citys leading social changemakers.In addition to the new curriculum, Fellows will develop social innovation projects with the Zahn Centers guidance, for consideration in our annual startup competition.Last week, we celebrated the launch of the Fellowship by honoring its first cohort, made up of students Allison Wen, Sumaira Khan, Amanda Reyes, and Jane Fang. Their ambitions are varied–from starting an NGO in Pakistan focused on domestic workers rights, to using tech to solve the international water crisis–and the Fellows want to create sustainable, transformative impact. We cant wait to help them start.For Mark Musell, Director of Public Management Programs, and Natalia Trujillo, Director of Operations and Innovation of the MPA Program, this partnership celebrates social entrepreneurship as a way of thinking and acting. We are proud to collaborate in building the movement of social entrepreneurship at CCNY.To learn more about this program, visit: https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/psm/tracks Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:16:20 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22087 How to Network Like a Pro https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/how-network-pro Do you dread going to conferences? Does striking up a conversation with strangers paralyze you with fear? A few weeks ago, we learned how to network effectively and confidently with Kim Wales, Founder of Wales Capital. Her workshop made us feel empowered to go after what we wanted, and taught us how to build lasting relationships.Dont worry. Weve got all of the takeaways here for you. Check out Kim Wales secrets and tips below.When you think about networking, you often dont consider how networking can improve your life overall:Networking can get you out of a mental rut–it changes the way you view yourself, and the problems youre trying to tackle.Networking enables you to make friends very quickly and increases your popularity.Networking helps you win people over (and influence them!).Networking can help you gain new clients.Networking can increase your earning power.Networking helps you to better execute on your actions.Networking helps you avoid complaints and arguments.Networking makes you a better speaker (and a more entertaining conversationalist).Networking helps your to arouse enthusiasm amongst our associates.But networking is hard, right? Not if you follow these tips:When networking, think about how you can help the individual rather than how they can help you.Build symbolic ties with people, don't just bring up small talk.When you go to a networking event you really want the individual to remember you. Listen to what they have to say, ask them questions. That'll make you memorable.In a closed environment, try to talk to everyone in the room. Move between individuals, introduce the person to a nearby individual to keep them busy, then move on to an individual you are really interested in talking to.Use techniques to feel comfortable–whether it's wearing your favorite shade of lipstick or doing breathing exercises, develop a strategy to make you feel powerful.Have a purpose. Know why you are there and what you want.Ooze confidence, and be deliberate in your thinking.Remember–the depth of your network is more important than the breadth of your network! Building lasting relationships.And follow up with your relationships, whether it's emails to catch up or monthly coffee meetings.Most importantly, BE YOURSELF! Expressing your true self turns awkwardness into charisma.We hope these tips help you feel like you can work a room. We'll have more sessions like this before the semester is over, so check our social media pages (@zahncenternyc) for more information. Thu, 09 Mar 2017 10:04:15 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22086 Women-led Startup Focuses on At-Risk Youth https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/women-led-startup-focuses-risk-youth Have you ever felt that you werent worthy of being where you are today? That for whatever reason–be it your age, your ethnicity, your race, your gender, your sexual orientation, or where you came from–you werent supposed to be succeeding? It might sound crazy, but a lot of people, especially young people, suffer this form of self-doubt. And it can be detrimental to their future. In our next Meet a CCNY Startup interview, Id like to introduce you to Interveen, a competitor in the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC track. Interveen is building a platform to help at-risk students manage stress and develop care, resilience, and healthy mindsets so that they graduate. Interveen is led by Sharese Mullan, a senior psychology major, and her team includes Jennifer Lafosse, a senior art studio major; Ono George, a recent grad with a degree in psychology, Leutrim Cahani, a mechanical engineering student; and Eric Tung,a chemical engineering student. You can meet them at Demo Day on May 1st, but in this special interview, Sharese tells why shes so passionate about this problem.The Zahn Center: I remember first reading your application to the Zahn Center and thinking, what an interesting problem. What led you to it?Sharese Mullan: I read the New York Times article Who Gets to Graduate? by Paul Tough in my Market Research class. The article focused on student dropout rates and the underlying causes. The single indicator of retention turned out to be the parents income, and it was found that students on the lower side of the socioeconomic status scale lacked traits that were necessary for success and degree completion.ZC: Traits? Like what?SM: The study found these students lacked skills centered around mindset. It was all about what students thought about their abilities, their sense of belonging on campus, and how they viewed their own intellect. They also lacked resilience–or how likely someone is to stay on track in the face of a failure or setback. Its something Im definitely familiar with, but I didnt know so many young people suffer from it.ZC: But youre so focused–you seem like a born leader. Youre telling me you struggled with the same type of mindset?SM: After I graduated high school, I didnt believe I had the ability to be successful in the areas I was most interested in, and I limited myself. When I completed culinary school, I left a job at a five star restaurant after only a half-day because I didnt believe I was skilled enough to work there.ZC: Oh wow, I would have never guessed.SM: Whats so incredible is that these mentalities can perpetuate themselves throughout a persons life-cycle and sabotage their efforts at success or realizing goals. I struggled with these mindsets a decade later when I began City College. Luckily, I sought help this time around and developed strong mentor relationships. In the process though, my GPA dropped from 4.0 to 3.7 because, out of fear of failing and proving myself inadequate, I kept dropping classes or performing below my abilities in subjects I was most interested in.ZC: I think so many students face that pressure, or fear of failure. Is there a word for this type of mindset?SM: Its called Faulty Lay Theory. It pretty much causes self-sabotaging behaviors. Im most passionate about helping other students correct how they think about their capabilities and potential so that they can build resilience, and fight these thoughts that cause them to experience self-doubt.ZC: So youre tackling a mental health problem? And one thats definitely under the radar.SM: Were still figuring out what Interveen is. Right now, were focusing on the problem, and trying to figure out what the best solution is. Ultimately, we want to develop a platform that builds community and support amongst at-risk students.ZC: Well isnt that what entrepreneurship is? For readers who arent part of our program, were all about the saying: Fall in love with the problem, not the solution. It seems like you've adopted that mindset!SM: Haha, Interveen is definitely in love with the problem. So far weve found out that students are mostly stressed about school work (or its the one thing they admit to being stressed about). We've also found that teachers are very open to curriculum that addresses mental health, but theyre dissatisfied with current school systems and structures that support mental health.ZC: It sounds like your team is doing a lot of customer interviews! What else are you all working on?SM: For sure! Right now, were splitting up the duties of collecting interviews; Ono is handling research; Eric and Jennifer are conducting product research; and Leutrim is our social media guru, he'll handle marketing.ZC: Sounds like you have a pretty stacked team backing this initiative. Do you think its the winning team?SM: Well I hope we win the competition! We want to win for everyone who thinks they cant win. I spent a decade hiding from trying new things, and winning would empower me to help deter others from making that same choice.ZC: Your team is truly and inspiration for young people who don't think they can succeed. I can't wait to find out how Interveen develops. To meet Sharese and the rest of the Interveen team, visit them on Demo Day & follow them on social media @interveennyc. Wed, 08 Mar 2017 13:00:09 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22085 New Zahn Startup Creates Innovation in Developing Worlds Healthcare https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-zahn-startup-creates-innovation-developing-worlds-healthcare Demo Day is rapidly approaching (May 1st!). In the meantime, wouldnt it be cool to get to know the CCNY startups who will be there? We think so. Allow me introduce you to dawaCare (formerly Camerhealth), a contender for the 2017 Zahn Social Impact Prize. dawaCare aims to improve healthcare in developing countries, with a focus in Cameroon. When you first meet the leaders of dawaCare–Manni & Danny–they seem like your average outgoing college student. But its not until you sit down with them, and hear the story behind dawaCare, that you realize theyre tackling a global issue.I sat down with the two behind this venture, Emmanuel (Manni) Pendi and Danny Tsoi. Manni & Danny come from different worlds with differing experiences, but together they make a dynamic duo. Manni has a Masters in Pharmaceutical Science and is pursuing a second degree in biomedical engineering. Hes worked for a startup company in the pharmaceutical industry, but this is his first time as a founder. Danny Tsoi is a freshman planning to study mechanical engineering, but he comes with 8 years of experience in telecommunications and IT, working for both corporate companies and the military.The Zahn Center: Wow. Both of you bring loads of experience…very different experiences. What roles will the two of you play on your team?Manni Pendi: Like in every startup, both of us do a little of everything…our responsibilities are very blended. I take the lead on legal and financial aspects, and Danny takes the lead on product. When it comes to customer development, we both share those responsibilities.ZC: And how did the two of you meet?MP: Zahn brought us together, right? I watched Hybridia and VERIPAD pitch last spring, and I also went to Demo Day. I had a vague idea, was inspired by some things happening at home in Cameroon, and knew that I wanted to create impact in my community. After Demo Day, I met with Lindsay and spoke with her about my idea. She always told me I can come in to talk if I needed to, and I met with her several times to refine the idea that is now dawaCare.Danny Tsoi: Zahn definitely brought us together. When I first started at CCNY, I saw someone apply for an internship at the Zahn Center. I applied, didnt get an offer, but I kept hanging around. I just wanted to get a feel for the place. Once I heard about the competition, I knew I wanted to compete, but my ideas were a little all over the place. Then I heard Manni pitch at Idea Jam. Once I knew it could scale, and we could help a lot of people, I wanted in.ZC: Im sure Manni told you the story about why he wanted to start dawaCare, right? The story always tears at my heartstrings.DT: Manni, you should tell the story. Its one of the stories that makes you want to change something, immediately.**Warning, the story may be graphic for some readers**MP: Well Im from Cameroon. And there was a big news story there. A woman was pregnant with twins and had high blood pressure. On the way to the hospital, the woman passed out. When she got there, hospital staff said she wasnt responsive and pronounced her dead. They pretty much told the womans sister to bring her to the mortuary. Can you imagine? The sister knew that even if her sister had passed, the babies might still have a chance at survival. She knew she needed to act fast, though, and there werent doctors around. She decided to take matters into her own hands, and made a big incision. She got one baby out alive, but unfortunately the baby didnt survive for more than a few minutes.DT: To put this in perspective, this happened in 2016 in an urban center in Cameroon. The woman took a taxi to the hospital like many women in Manhattan do. This could have happened anywhere. But in Cameroon, along with other developing countries, there are higher infant and maternal mortality rates than in the US. Its not about a lack of information, education, or equipment,  its about failed triage. So I wanted to find out how we could use tech to get to the root of the problem, and stop tragedies like this from happening.ZC: So dawaCare is an app for triage care?DT: Triage would require a lot of structural changes within Cameroons healthcare system. Right now, healthcare is barely accessible, and less than 1% of people in Cameroon have health insurance. So right now, we want to zone in on follow up care, which is crucial to primary care.MP: Doctors find it difficult to connect with patients for a follow up, and many patients go to the doctor once, get a diagnosis, and never come back to follow up.DT: If we help patients reach doctors, and doctors reach patients, we can improve the outcomes of primary care. Patients can take their healthcare into their own hands.ZC: Empower the patients. Empower the doctors. Its a great idea.DT: At the moment, we want to work in the clinic space. And on a grander scale, dawaCare aims to improve healthcare in developing nations.ZC: And why do you think the Zahn Centers competition is the place to accomplish this?DT: Zahn is the reason im still in school. I really believe in project-based learning, and Im excited to be on this mission with Manni.MP: I just want to impact peoples lives in a positive way, and I think the Zahn Center will help me do this.If this story inspired you, chat with dawaCare on social media @dawaCare, or visit them at Demo Day on May 1st! Tue, 07 Mar 2017 13:45:27 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22084 Entrepreneurship Student Club Plans Workshops at CCNY https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/entrepreneurship-student-club-plans-workshops-ccny One question we always get at the Zahn Center is how students can get involved with us, especially if they don't have a startup idea of their own. A great place to start is with the Entrepreneurship Student Club (ESC) on campus. Their mission is to build a community of innovation, inspiration, leadership, and collaboration. They believe that entrepreneurship stems from solving problems, and in unification and collaboration, entrepreneurs can solve many of those problems faster and more efficiently. I sat down with Raneem Elsayed, CFO and Events Director of ESC. She gave me the inside scoop about what the club is planning to do on campus this semester, and talked about what inspires her as an entrepreneurial thinker.   The Zahn Center: Tell me a little bit about how the Entrepreneurship Club was started and how you got involved.Raneem Elsayed: ESC was started last year. There was definitely a need for an entrepreneurship club on campus. When I heard about it, I was like of course we need this. To me, its a club that brings creative minds together, and I joined because that resonated with me.ZC: So, its a club for innovative students of all disciplines?RE: Exactly. Im not a business major, Im a history major. Someday, I want work in human resources, and maybe go to law school after that. I might have a startup–I actually have a secret entrepreneurial idea–but Ive always been interested in small business and learning the ins and outs of starting something from scratch. This club gives me an outlet to explore that, and explore other things Im interested in.Zahn: Like what?RE: Were hosting a lot of workshops on topics that you might not cover in the classroom. There will be workshops on freelancing, personal branding, coding, and leadership. I think all of these skills are important to learn, regardless of your career path.Zahn:  I completely agree. We have a saying at the Zahn Center–“The best skill to learn is how to be scrappy.” No matter what the economy is like, and no matter what obstacles life throws at you, if youre scrappy youll get through it.RE: Exactly. Most of those skills are timeless.Zahn: Is ESC hosting other events this semester?RE: Just last week we hosted Karim Abouelnaga, Founder and CEO of Practice Makes Perfect. It was really inspiring (and you can check out videos from it on our Facebook Page!). We want to host an entrepreneurship summit and possibly another big event at the end of the semester. Wed also like to put together some field trips to different companies, and bring companies here to recruit students.Zahn: What will the summit be about?RE: Last year, the theme was VR. It was techie and cool, but this year, we really want to highlight entrepreneurship in and of itself.Zahn: I think you are all off to a great start–your club must be growing, right?RE: We have about 15 active students and our E-Board, and over 100 on our mailing list. To me, its definitely growing to be more than a club. Were looking to build an agency under the club that would essentially hire students to put together marketing plans for local businesses. We want to be a resource for local businesses in the area.Zahn: Those are some big goals! Whats your role in that?RE: Im the CFO/Events Director of ESC, which is perfect because they go hand in hand. Im really excited to put all of these events together for CCNY students, and Ill be overseeing the clubs budget.Zahn: So how do other students get involved with ESC?RE: Well be tabling during club hours in the NAC every week, and they can definitely come see us there. These tabling sessions wont be your normal join our club type of thing. Theyll be what we like to call Workshops in Action. Well be doing mini-workshops so that you can learn something cool in between classes.If you're a City College student who is looking to create change within your community, be sure to catch up with Raneem and her team at their next tabling during club hours. Or check them out on social media @ccnyesc. Tue, 07 Mar 2017 12:19:55 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22083 Women Entrepreneurs at the Zahn Center Pave Way for Future https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/women-entrepreneurs-zahn-center-pave-way-future At the Zahn Center, we often celebrate the diversity of our students and their startup ideas. And each day, we witness how diversity creates innovation. But it was only two years ago that we realized, when it comes to gender, our Center wasnt as diverse as it could be. It was because of this realization that we launched an initiative with Standard Chartered Bank to address the gender gap in technology and entrepreneurship.Its clear that the future is female, and the female leaders of this growing network will serve as role models for the young girls of today. Some of these role models include Aashna Shah and Angela Choi, the female leaders of Gleam and Frip respectively. They both spoke with Standard Chartered CEO Torry Bernsten and Vasuki Shastry, Global Head, Public Affairs & Sustainability, among other senior leaders at a recent visit to the Zahn Center. Angela told the Standard Chartered team that it was because of her experiences in the Women+Tech4NYC competition that she is able to celebrate being a Millennial, minority woman.This year, the startups in the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC track are primarily focused on making education better for the next generation of New Yorkers. From rooftop gardens to mental health curriculum, Citylabscape, Interveen, and Enrich want to pave the way for a new era of education. They aim to use technology to help young boys and girls get equal access to STEM education, stress management, and enrichment programs. Founders of Citylabscape, Interveen, and Enrich shared their ideas with sponsors at Standard Chartered Bank earlier this month at the companys annual Chinese New Year celebration.Valerie Pholpituke, Director of Sustainability + Community Engagement of the Americas at Standard Chartered Bank was thrilled to welcome the 2017 Women+Tech4NYC teams to the annual Chinese New Year celebration. It was a great networking opportunity for the students, and the extended Standard Chartered team was very excited to learn more about how the startups plan to use technology to tackle NYC challenges.As we kickoff Womens History Month, well share more news about the female founders in programs. Look out for more information about these specific startups in the coming weeks, and be sure to come out and support them at Demo Day in May! Tue, 07 Mar 2017 12:03:15 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22082 Innovation Fellows Plan for Campus of Change https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/innovation-fellows-plan-campus-change Although many consider City College to be a commuter campus, theres a lot that goes on outside of classes. From Greek life to quidditch, CCNY is home to many clubs and organizations that allow students to explore their passions outside of the classroom. Today, were highlighting one that is near and dear to our hearts, the University Innovation Fellows Program.A few months ago, we announced that four City College students were named Innovation Fellows by Stanford Universitys d.school, as part of a global program that trains student leaders to create new opportunities for their peers to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and creativity.The Zahn Center nominated the candidates over the summer, and the fellows went through 6 weeks of vigorous training before presenting their strategies to transform the City College campus into a place for students, faculty, and staff to turn their big ideas into realities. They hope to spark collaboration and foster a spirit of creativity and problem solving by connecting students to entrepreneurs, introducing students to design thinking, and increasing awareness about entrepreneurial events throughout the city. As part of their mission, theyd like to have an entrepreneur in residence at CCNY, incorporate design thinking into the campus curricula, and establish more targeted career fairs. You can learn more about their big goals here.         The City College community is excited to foster the University Innovation Fellows program. Interim President Vince Boudreau attended their pinning ceremony last month, where UI Fellows Chelsi Ampawa, Kurt Dawiec, and Mahmoud Khedr read their manifesto, a promise to be agents of change at City College. You can listen to this manifesto below.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po02qN6EFOg#action=shareVideo can't be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: University Innovation Fellows Manifesto (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po02qN6EFOg#action=share)To learn more about the University Innovation Fellows Program, visit http://universityinnovationfellows.org/ Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:46:49 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22080 What Keeps Social Entrepreneurs Up at Night https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/what-keeps-social-entrepreneurs-night Have you ever thought about what keeps you up at night? Is there some fundamental problem youre dying to solve? A question about the world that hasnt been answered? Or is there something that you wish you could fix?For many entrepreneurs, the thing that keeps them up at night is usually what led them to entrepreneurship in the first place. And for Adrienne Schmoeker, Senior Project Manager of Open Innovation at the Mayors Office of Technology and Innovation, its what led her down the path of becoming an intrapreneur, or a person who creates change from within an existing corporation.Now, Adrienne leads innovation efforts at the office of the CTO of New York City and mentors young entrepreneurs at the Zahn Innovation Center. But when she first graduated from college as an Economics and Social Policy major, she wasnt quite sure where shed end up. One of her professors once asked her, What keeps you up at night? Since then, Adrienne has always asked herself how she can affect the worlds problems through business, startups, or government policy. Last month, she spoke to the students in our Fall Internship Program and heard about some of the ways theyre creating impact within the non-profit and social enterprise realm.As part of our program sponsored by BNY Mellon, we place fifteen students at social enterprises and non-profits throughout New York City during the Fall and Spring semesters. This marks the third year of this program–a program that has given students the chance to gain real-world career experience while also making lasting social impact. Some students have even secured fulltime positions after their internships.This semester, interns found jobs for newly emigrated people at the EDC, they helped inspire and train former convicts to become entrepreneurs at Defy Ventures, and they developed special programs for social entrepreneurs at Kiva and Echoing Green. For most of the students in the program, they got much more out of their internship than skills to put on their resume. I was constantly empowered to take initiative. Through coffees with different coworkers on an almost daily basis, Ive been able to build both my network as well as gained close personal friends, said Bryce Halley, intern at the EDC.Another student, Olga Anipchenko-Ulaj, got a new outlook on life: Through my internship at Defy, I realized that there is so much hope, so much love, and so much belief and appreciation in those individuals whom we as a society have historically stigmatized.At the Zahn Center, we cant stress enough how valuable internship experiences like this are, and were especially thankful for our sponsors at BNY Mellon for making it possible. Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:45:39 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22081 New Zahn Startup Discusses the Art of the Pivot https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-zahn-startup-discusses-art-pivot Update: Meet the Runr team at Demo Day on May 1st, 2017, from 2-12pm outside of the NAC!Yesterday, we welcomed all CCNY students back to campus. While many spent it getting in some well-deserved R&R, our students were hard at work getting a jumpstart on the Lean Startup Bootcamp. By the end of the semester, they'll learn the ins and outs of running a business. And of course, they'll each present their innovations to the City College community at Demo Day and compete for $150,000 in prizes at the Final Pitch.In the meantime, wouldn't it be cool to get to know them? We think so. Each week, we'll introduce you to one of the startups competing this year for these prizes in an interview. And although this blog seems long, it's a quick read!This week, let me introduce you to Runr (formerly Vendr), a contender for the 2017 Zahn Technology Prize. Like many of us at City College, the Runr team is really sick of delivery services like Seamless and Grubhub failing to properly serve campus (its not entirely their fault, we do have one single address for almost 10 blocks of buildings). For someone not familiar with campus, its very difficult to navigate, and usually requires the hungry patron meeting their delivery person on a corner at the edge of campus. Often I ask myself, if Im leaving the building, why am I ordering takeout anyway?Runr plans to solve this problem. They will create a hyper-local delivery service meant for campuses that allows college students to delivery to other college students. The great thing about their model is that it also creates an easy job for a student to pick up in between classes.The idea developed from their original idea, which was to bring more technology to food trucks and street vendors. Can we say pivot?I sat down with Mahmoud (Moody) Khedr, a sophomore applied psychology/economics major and the mastermind behind Runr and his team, made up of Kevin Navarra, a recent business and finance graduate (yes, of Migo and Frip fame), and Nashid Chowdury and Mikhail Foenko, juniors studying computer science and computer engineering respectively. We talked about how they got involved with Zahn, why they applied, and what they hope to get out of the program.Zahn: So€¦no food trucks, huh?MK: Haha, yeah, weve made a big pivot. Part of the plan is to focus on small business in general. Maybe the original Vendr will come to life eventually.Zahn: Cuz you know how much I love food trucks€¦MK: I do too! Thats how I came up with the idea. I eat a lot of halal, and I wondered why someone like Halal Guys made it big, and other street vendors dont ever expand to more than one cart. I talked to my halal guy, and realized that he was missing the technology he needed to expand. We wanted to bring technology to him and other vendors like him.KN: But we kept thinking of the problem and how wed execute it…wed have to get enough users to go the vendors…so instead we created more utility for delivery and connectivity.Zahn: How did you get involved in the project, Kevin?KN: Well I got to know Moody through Zahn, and we started bouncing ideas off of each other until we settled on Vendr.Zahn: I feel like a lot of people say oh I met them through Zahn (meaning the Zahn Center and its programs). How did you first get involved with the Zahn Center?KN: Zahn was an accident. I wanted to extra credit for my senior design class last year so I applied with Migo. But I got addicted. Migo didnt win, and we werent asked to join the Summer Accelerator, so I joined Frips team. I learned so much over the summer, from meeting with investors, building a bigger team, and raising funds. I had to do it again.NC: I also became involved with the Zahn Center by accident. As a freshman I was sitting in the library looking for programs to join on campus because I was very involved in High School and felt like I needed to stay that way. The guy sitting next to me saw what I was doing and told me to check out the Zahn Center, and thats how I got involved. I was an intern through their program, and Ive applied to the Competition with my own idea. When Moody told me about Vendr, I just had to get involved.Zahn: And Mikhail? How did you get involved?MF: I went to the Networking Session at the end of last semester, where we could meet the startups of the new cohort. This idea was the only idea that stuck out to me because it was realistic. The world is bringing technology to places where it didnt exist before. With Vendr, and now Runr, we can very quickly make a big impact. And if not, well pivot again.Zahn: And Moody, we all know you pretty much live here.MK: Yeah, I think I came to the Zahn Center after my freshman orientation. I applied to the internship program, and have since been a part of the Entrepreneurship Student Club and the University Innovation Fellows. Im finally a part of the competition now though.Zahn: Speaking of the competition, what are you most excited about?MK: Im pumped about getting customers, meeting mentors and investors, and working with the other startups. And learning how we can beat them€¦just kidding!MF: But seriously, weve been researching them.Zahn: I mean, do you think youre in a good place already?KN: Were pretty solid with the way were moving, were all motivated to keep going. But my biggest fear is not going fast enough. Weve been working pretty much full time schedules all winter.MF: Same, Im afraid of slowing down. And not having an idea to pivot to is scary. Theres no Plan B now.NC: I dont know, I always think, it doesnt matter if it works out the way that you want, so long as it works out.MK: Whoa.Zahn: Yeah, wow, thats a quote that belongs on a calendar. And its a perfect example of the entrepreneurial mindset. I personally think that a lot of CCNY students have the entrepreneurial mindset alive within them. I mean, youre literally called strivers at CCNY. What advice do you have for students on campus who may be hesitant about getting involved?KN: Im not sure everyone is cut out for it. You have to be open to change, and change makes a lot of people uncomfortable.MK: But a lot of people wont know if they like it unless they try it. And why not try it now?NC: When I was younger, I didnt want to be part of startup because I had this perception that they were lazy, worked out of their parents basement, and didnt make any money. I couldnt have been more wrong. Startups work a lot harder than what people give them credit for, and some people arent cut out for it. I certainly never thought Id do it.MF: Yeah, a lot of people arent open to it. They want the nice house, the 9-5. Do what makes you happy, but I dont want to do that.Zahn: Right. Definitely do what makes you happy, but youve gotta stay scrappy. Especially in todays world, you never know how the economy will tilt, and you have to be self-sufficient and able to make it work, no matter what.MK: What's your quote again, Nashid?NC: It doesnt matter if it works out the way that you want, so long as it works out.Exactly.We can't wait to see how Runr evolves, and we hope you'll keep following their story (along with the rest of our startups) on our social media pages. Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:55:35 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22079 Zahn-Google Adopt-A-Startup Program Awards 5 Startups https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/zahn-google-adopt-startup-program-awards-5-startups In September, we announced that five Zahn Startups (VERIPAD, Gleam, Frip, Komb, and DAPP) would participate in our first-ever Zahn-Google Adopt-a-Startup Program. Over the past few months, these startups have worked with Google mentors to develop content marketing strategies, cost-per-click keyword marketing strategies, KPI dashboards, as well as strong Google Analytics skills. On Friday, December 9th, they presented their new-found strategies in a culminating celebration at Google's offices in Chelsea.As always, the Google-adopted startups taught us much more than we expected. As it turns out, each of them not only learned digital marketing strategies, but also learned how to navigate near-crippling challenges. Whether it was a decision undergo a major pivot, or a breakdown of the core team, Zahn startups learned to work through these challenges with the help of Google mentors. Ultimately, their presentations proved that nothing can keep them from pursuing their passions.Pursuing a life-long passion is the reason Aashna Shah and her team reconsidered what their startup, Gleam, had developed into. She and Revital Schechter led the presentations on Friday with the debut of a new and improved platform, and the reasoning behind their pivot. After conducting market research with the help of Google, they learned that while their platform was performing well with privately practicing therapists, it was not meeting the diverse needs of therapists who cater to patients in the public mental health care system. Since Gleam's ultimate goal is to make mental health care accessible to all, Shah and her team realized that they needed to focus on their social impact mission, and design their platform around those in the public health care system.Moustafa Elshaabiny, Co-Founder of Frip, also credits his experience with Google mentors for their platform's re-design. On Friday, he admitted that their team was so caught up in all of the features they could provide on their platform, they weren't focusing on what the teachers actually needed. Frip is now cleaner than ever, with a teacher-centric focus. For Elshaabiny, it's this learning process that makes entrepreneurship so addicting. “Never in my life did I view failure as a good thing. Now, I see the value of failure as the truest learning experience you can receive.”Kingsley Obi, Founder of Komb, echoed his fellow entrepreneur's sentiment, admitting that if it weren't for his mentors, Komb might have fallen completely to the wayside. By the end of the summer, Kingsley's team had dismantled, and he was left as the sole operator of Komb. “Without my mentors, I don't know where Komb would be,” said Obi. Now, Komb is a fully functioning platform, gaining traction each day. Obi proudly announced that Komb has facilitated ten transactions since the re-vamp!While Google mentors helped the Komb platform come to life, they helped Ryan Morabito, Founder of DAPP, with a different kind of problem. By the end of the summer, DAPP was on the Appstore, and it had hundreds of downloads. But then, as Morabito said, “All of a sudden, it didn't. No one was downloading it anymore.” He pointed to a graph behind him that showed the sharp decline, and as time passed, he grew increasingly nervous that the application his team worked so hard to develop would become obsolete. His mentors helped him work against the clock to better understand his target market so that he could deliver the app into their hands.Y-Lan Nguyen of VERIPAD also said her experience with Google mentors helped her gain insight into their target markets. VERIPAD, a biotech company tackling the counterfeit drug crisis, will market their product to the developing world. Right now, members of the VERIPAD team are working on the ground in Kenya to understand their customer's needs.Google helped the US-based VERIPAD team interpret these findings and create a multi-level marketing plan. “The biggest challenge,” Y-Lan recalled, “is reaching all of our ‘customers.' Our customer is every single person along the pharmaceutical chain, from suppliers to patients. Google helped us define a plan to reach each one.”Each startup worked closely with two to three Google mentors, especially chosen and paired to match the startup's specific needs. Those mentors awarded each startup in the Zahn-Google Adopt-a-Startup Program $500 in Google AdWords credit. We'd like to thank Simon Croisetiere, Alex Cuzic,Rachel Ferman, Julianne Gaudio, Stephanie Hofmann, Alex Holz, Jason Leder, Tannis McKenna, Justin Nabozna, Oliver Pare, Jason Rosenblum, Amir Rouzrokh, Michael Sondak, and Jason Stroot. Tue, 20 Dec 2016 12:18:33 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22078 CCNY Alum Dr. Fenster Shares Career Advice for Young Professionals https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/ccny-alum-dr-fenster-shares-career-advice-young-professionals Many notable CCNY alumni visit the Zahn Center throughout the year, including Dr. Paul Fenster, '60. Dr. Fenster is a patent lawyer and expert in microelectronics. He was a full time professor of Electrical Engineering at City College of New York for 5 years, and has taught courses at Tel Aviv University, The Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa, The Weizmann Institute and was also a Visiting Professor of Physics in Medicine at Cornell University Medical School.Recently, he visited the Zahn Center and spoke with aspiring entrepreneurs on what it means to pursue their dreams. University Innovation Fellows Mahmoud Khedr and Rayna Penn learned useful career advice from Dr. Fenster and recorded this advice here.13 Professional Lessons we learned from CCNY Alum Dr. Fenster:1. Wake up every morning thinking, “Todays going to be an exciting day,” and then make it happen.You are the number one influencer in your life. When you realize that things dont happen to you, they happen with you, you will see that you are the sole decision maker in your life.2. Never go back to where you were.Let go of the past and move forward in life. You want to excel, not be held back. In Gary Vaynerchuks famous words, all that looking back is hurting your neck.”3. Be loyal and you will get loyal back.Loyalty is important in every aspect of life. However, be careful who you give your loyalty to, and always be selective with your time (the most sacred resource, ever). 4. Always take a job with people that you like and will like you.Youre only going to perform well at a job that youre happy at. Your job takes 8-10 hours of your life every, single day. You might as well spend those hours with people you like and who like you as well.  5. Never be afraid to make a mistake. Learn from it and make more mistakes.No one is perfect, we all make mistakes. Just dont keep making the same mistakes. Learn from them and grow.6. Build on your strengths and avoid weaknesses. Work on things that youre already good at.This is a major key to success. Trying to be good at everything will only hurt you. We are all different, and we have our own strengths and weaknesses. You have to find out what you are good at, and when you do, figure out how you can get better at it.7. Be willing to work hard.This is cliché, but hard work is greatly underestimated. It takes real grit, sweat, tears, and time to achieve great things, and you wont do that unless you truly work HARD. There is absolutely no shortcut to any great thing you want to achieve in life, you need to put in the hours.8. Always give credit where credit is due.This is especially important if you are starting a project, team, or company. Any good leader knows the importance of crediting your peers, employees, or colleagues. A “thank you” goes a long way.9. Think about when the time is right to ask for opportunities. Go when youre ready. Dont jump into things youre not prepared for.While sometimes you'll want to say yes to every exciting opportunity, you dont want to ever spread yourself too thin, but sometimes there will be once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you cant pass on.10. Get to know the people youre working with. People are more important than the idea.When you are building something, make sure you really LOVE the people you are working with because you will go through many hard times. The idea will change, the solution may not work any more–so you have to make sure the people that you are with actually care and are people you care about. 11. When youre trying to figure out what a person is doing and their goals, ask them why they're doing it. Keep asking ‘why' and go far with your answers.This is the key to hiring and finding great people for any team you are trying to build. You won't know how passionate someone is about a project until you ask them why.12. Anticipate problems.Always prepare in advance. When obstacles come up, they wont affect you as much since you made yourself ready for it.And, finally,13. Ideas are garbage without executionEveryone has ideas. However, ideas dont matter if you are not making them happen. Put your ideas to work and bring your vision to life!At the Zahn Center, we're all about learning. We believe that diverse viewpoints spur innovation. We'd like to thank Dr. Fenster for his support of the Zahn Center and for sharing his views and lessons he's learned throughout his life. Tue, 13 Dec 2016 13:22:00 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22077 Introducing the 2017 Zahn Startup Cohort https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/introducing-2017-zahn-startup-cohort We are thrilled to share the new Zahn Center Cohort of the 2016-17 Competitions! This year our process was more competitive than ever, and we were truly impressed by the quality and creativity of the ideas we received. We are looking forward to working with the new class of startups over the coming months as they tackle important problems with their entrepreneurial solutions!Over the past few weeks, weve worked with expert judges – from investors to successful entrepreneurs, educators to executives – to help select our entries. Zahn staff held interviews with the top teams in each category, and then chose five semi-finalists and one alternate to compete this year. Were very excited to announce the 2016-17 Zahn Startup Competition cohort. Heres a sneak peek:Kaylie HardwareActive Hands – A tracking device that assesses the movements of children with cerebral palsy and other diseases.Mind Body Freedom – A device that reduces tremors in people with neurological diseases such as Parkinson's.SnapPitch – An electronic pitching target to help young baseball/softball pitchers improve accuracy.Stimulator, Inc. – A toy synthesizer that allows children with special needs stimulate brainwaves while playing.Velo – A device that enhances safety for cyclists.Drains (alternate) – A device that drains surgical fluids, measures the amount, records data, and sends the information directly to doctors. Zahn Social Impact:Plan B Journalism – A website that curates art and science news to fuel guerrilla journalism.Camerhealth – An app that connects the people of Cameroon with actionable health information.ENERIVA – A control system that monitors and optimizes energy for consumption.Robo Farm System- A kitchen garden that allows everyday people to grow food without soil or harmful chemicals.U.B. Cream – Makeup that covers and treats scars for trauma victims. Gol (alternate) – An affordable, alternatively powered washing machine for developing nations. Zahn TechnologyCyqlo – Curated and crowd-sourced biking routes to inspire cyclists to explore their surroundings.Les Pain – An app that helps chronic pain patients complete exercise routines with a data-driven plan, an activity tracker, and gamification elements.Transtech – An app that allows truckers to share delivery loads.Vendr – A platform that connects hungry customers with mobile food vendors.Workbook – A platform that instantly connects individuals to manual laborers based on their schedule and skills.Taak (alternate) – An app that connects local businesses with high school and college students looking for part-time work. Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYCCitylabscapes – Modular greenhouses that engage NYC students in STEM & urban farming.Enrich – A website/app to help parents seamlessly find and rate enrichment programs for children.Intrveen – Digital mentorship for at-risk NYC students.Orgtech – A smart trash can for NYC streets that uses image processing to sort recyclables.TogetHER – An app that converts your fitness activity into donations for charities that help women gain access to education & business opportunities.Heart4Ears (alternate) – A device to cancel some noises and enhance others, controlling what you hear in noise-polluted environments.  We cant wait to begin an entrepreneurial journey with these fantastic teams. In late January we will kick off our Bootcamp, and well share updates of each teams progress throughout the semester. Youll get to know them as their ideas evolve. Join us in congratulating the 2016-2017 Cohort by sharing on social media using the hashtag zahtrepreneur. Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:29:24 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22075 Judges Choose 2017 Startup Cohort https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/judges-choose-2017-startup-cohort We couldnt have chosen our 2017 Startup Competition Cohort without the help of our expert judges — investors, entrepreneurs, public officials, educators, and CCNY alumni who took the time to read dozens of student applications, provide feedback, and score startups based on a variety of factors, including market value and innovation.A huge thank you to: Adrish Majumdar, Ahmed Mohamed, Ali Sadegh, Ali Nayyar, Amy Herskovitz, Andrew Hapke, Art Brody, Brendan Mee, Brian Heiman, Casey Pickett, Celia Lloyd, Christopher Reim, Claude Brathwaite, Dave Newman, Drew Aldrich, Elaine Chin, Frank DeBernardis, Gerardo Blumenkrantz, Glen Patterson, Gunjan Modha, Haytham Elhawary, Harvey Kaylie, Howard Morgan, Irwin Zahn, Jason Leder, Jenny Fielding, Jordan Diatlo, Joseph Jaffe, Karen Langsam, Kate Debold, Kim Wales, Lisa Bater Saacks, Marc Mantell, Michael Semegran, Michael Rosenfeld, Ramphis Castro, Ray Garcia, Rene Baston, Rolando Franco, Sahar Ghaheri, Sam Utne, Sean Dhadialla, Stephen Karafiol, Thessy Mehrain, and Valerie Pholpitkue.Our judges come from diverse backgrounds and represent startups, companies, and investors including CDVCA, Impact Hub, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of New York Mellon, Google, CCNY, the Moxie Foundation, Pearl Cohen, Fortitude Fund, Mini Circuits, First Round Capital, Sols, Jaffe Juice, Wales Capital, Techstars, and dh studio.Many of these judges will join us throughout the semester as expert advisors who will work with the teams to coach them through the development of their businesses and social ventures. If youd like to join them in supporting the new class of Zahn startups, please reach out to contact@zahncenternyc.com . Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:23:58 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22076 A Special Message From the Director of the Zahn Center https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/special-message-director-zahn-center We recently read a post by Alex Iskold from Techstars that echoes exactly the conversation we've been having at the Zahn Center about our commitment to our startups and the entrepreneurial community of CCNY, but before you check it out, keep reading.As we all experienced this past week, the world is unpredictable. But one thing is certain: entrepreneurs will thrive in any environment. The person who operates without fear, with extraordinary persistence and competence, who knows her strengths and sense of purpose — this individual of entrepreneurial spirit will succeed in the face of change or even resistance. Now, more than ever, the entrepreneur in us all must come forward as we sift through an unpredictable future.So we are doubling down on our support of entrepreneurs of past and future cohorts at CCNY. We know that the future of our economy, our planet and our country lies in the pursuit of our students passions. Through your innovation we can solve the most entrenched problems, empower the disenfranchised, equalize the playing field. And it is through the rich diversity of thought and perspective that is not unique to CCNY but celebrated here, we know you have the power to create real impact.Like Alex, we are doubling down. The Zahn Center is specifically re-committing ourselves to:Doing all we can to create a strong, diverse pipeline of entrepreneurs in NYCHelping our founders choose their optimal path and ensure they live up to their own expectationsConnecting our students to the best events, individuals and opportunities for their successMaking more personal time to coach and mentor our foundersSpeaking out publicly about the necessity of nurturing diversity in tech and social entrepreneurshipZahntrepreneurs set big hairy audacious goals and solve problems that matter, issues that are often overlooked and effect communities in need. It's an honor to be a part of that and foster innovation at City College.Its up to us all to build the future we want; a future that lives up to our most ambitious dreams and supports all people in this country with the tenacity to think big.Okay, now you can read Alex's post here!Come stop by. We're here for all of you.–Lindsay and the Zahn Team Wed, 16 Nov 2016 16:38:22 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22074 Students Empowered by Internships https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/students-empowered-internships A running joke amongst millennials is the excessive amount of experience you need to be qualified for an entry level position. It makes it frustrating for someone about to graduate college, who spent the last four years thinking they were preparing themselves for the real world, only to find out that it wasnt enough to land a job. Thats why we believe in giving students the opportunity to create hands on career experiences for themselves. This past summer, we placed 35 outstanding CCNY student interns at innovative companies throughout the city. They said NO to fetching coffee and making copies in a lifeless office, and YES to at companies like Alice Financial, Bloomberg, Jean Martin, and Old Orchard Capital Management; organizations like the NYC DOT and NYC Louis Stokes Alliance; and startups like EV-Box, GlossGenius, Kinetic, Mobile Health, panOpen, Per Scholas, PS Department, SHADE, Source3 and Tapt. Some even worked at Zahn startups like Komb and VERIPAD. Whether they were working in marketing or engineering, customer engagement or finance, interns played an important role in each of their positions. Some students assisted in the design of new products, others led social media efforts, and some conducted market research for startups in their earliest stages. Christina Tsangouri, a senior computer science major, developed an IOS app during her internship. The experience not only allowed her to develop new technical skills, but she practiced product management skills as well. I was given a lot of freedom, she said, which allowed her the confidence to make important decisions about the project on her own.Another student, Gavin Gratson, said that he had the most empowering experience at his internship. Others said that being able to work outside of my field of expertise or major was the best part of the program because it allowed them to diversify their skills set.In addition to gaining career experience, interns attended community building events spanning the course of the 10 weeks. These events allowed interns from all of the companies to meet new people, swap stories, and learn about the exciting work their peers were involved in. For Anna, the Internship Program Manager at the Zahn Innovation Center, this is the best part. Anyone can spend their summer working and gain new skills, but our students attend networking events, learn soft-skill development, and meet leaders in various industries. Ultimately, these €˜extra experiences make them much more marketable to employers when they graduate. Since the summer, another 15 students have begun internships at social enterprises and non-profits for the Fall semester. And were now accepting applications for the Spring semester. If you want to enrich your college experience, we suggest you apply now by visiting our website. Last semester, we received a record 400 applications–so the sooner, the better. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until mid-January. Visit zahncenternyc.com/internships for more specific information about the internship program and Spring placements! Feel free to email internship@zahncenternyc.com for any inquiries not answered on the Internship page. Tue, 15 Nov 2016 14:45:39 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22073 Golden Seeds, Future Perfect Ventures Share Investor Secrets https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/golden-seeds-future-perfect-ventures-share-investor-secrets “The future is already here, it's just not very evenly distributed.” Minerva Tantoco opened last week's “Women Investing in Women” Panel with this William Gibson quote, reminding us of the gender gap that still exists within entrepreneurship and investing. A gap that in 2016 is rather maddening. According to Entrepreneur magazine, women entrepreneurs control 30 percent of all small business and are responsible for $1.4 trillion in sales. However, female founders receive only 7 percent of available venture capital. For black women-led startups, these statistics are even worse. digitalundivided's #ProjectDiane found that although black women founders are the fatest growing group of entrepreneurs in the US, only 0.2% of venture capital went to this group.Why the gap? Some argue that VCs are just more likely to invest in male-led companies, plain and simple. Or, some point out that VCs are more likely to invest in founders that they connect with, founders that look like them. And when most VCs are men, the majority of investments go to men.Some women look to change this. Last Wednesday, we invited two female venture capitalists–Emily Susskind of Golden Seeds and Minerva Tantoco of Future Perfect Ventures–to share their secrets with an audience of women founders, students, teachers, investors, and coaches. They talked about what makes an investor interested in a venture, they discussed what they're interested in right now, and shared resources for founders and investors alike. The discussion was moderated by Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, a fierce advocate of building the technology sector in New York City. She revealed the challenges New York City believes can be solved with tech.Susskind and Tantoco revealed that now, more than ever, there is a ton of capital available to entrepreneurs. Founders need to know what investors are looking for to access it. One of the first things a VC looks for is a solid founding team. “A founding team is more preferable than a founding individual,” says Susskind. She also stressed the importance of showing your investor that his/her investment is going to help the startup meet an important milestone. Investors don't want to hear that their money is going to pay for a salary, but that it's going to expand the business. After sharing some of her experiences as an entrepreneur, Tantoco discussed the importance of understanding how to manage up. “As a founder, especially a young founder, you're going to need to manage people older and more experienced than you,” says Tantoco. She believes this is an important skill to show to investors as well.Tantoco went on to talk about how being a female entrepreneur is “a recognition now.” She encourages female founders to take advantage of the fact that being a female founder is “hot right now,” meaning that it's becoming popular to invest in under-represented sectors. Both Susskind and Tantoco also spoke about some of the industries that are trending right now, including Edtech, VR, and the intersection of fashion and technology. Gale A. Brewer believes that tech could be the answer to a lot of the city's civic and social issues, including mental health. But while each panelist excitedly spoke about popular trends in the startup world, they stressed that all entrepreneurs shouldn't get distracted. “Instead of being obsessed with what's hot right now, show VCs what's unique about you. Show them that this is the right time for your idea.”And don't worry, women venture capitalists are out there to hear your ideas. Amongst this growing network are our panelists hailing from Golden Seeds and Future Perfect Ventures. Here's a little bit about these organizations and the startups they support:Since 2005, Golden Seeds members €“ today over 275 strong €“ along with its venture funds, have invested over $70 million in more than 65 exciting women-led enterprises€¦and counting. Headquartered in New York City, Golden Seeds also has chapters in Boston, Silicon Valley, Southern California (SoCal) and Texas €“ and active members throughout the country.Future Perfect Ventures partners with entrepreneurs who share our core values and passion to create a better world. They invest early, working closely with founding teams and our network to help build the next generation of impactful technology companies. Some of their prior companies include SeatGeek, Grameen America, and TicketFly.At the Zahn Center, we're doing our part to support female founders. In 2015, the Standard Chartered Bank Women in Technology Incubator was established to provide specific resources for women entrepreneurs including mentorship and $30,000 in seed funding. Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:19:12 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22072 Gleam Receives $50,000 Grant from E4FC https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/gleam-receives-50000-grant-e4fc City College is one of the most diverse campuses in the nation. Likewise, our zahntrepreneurs are especially unique because of their diverse experiences. One such entrepreneur is Aashna Shah, founder of Gleam. Since struggling with depression in high school, Shah channeled her energy into a mission to help others live with mental illnesses. Recently, Shah was awarded with a prestigious grant for Gleam from Education for Fair Consideration (E4FC)s Fund for Undocumented Social Entrepreneurs. According to Shah, Undocumented, or €˜DACAmented, students are not often eligible for a lot of opportunities despite how qualified they are. Its amazing that E4FC is taking on this problem and supporting entrepreneurs.E4FC's Fund for Undocumented Social Entrepreneurs received 169 proposals from 222 undocumented young people, living in 26 different states and hailing from 32 countries of origin. Shah believes this incredible response shows how much undocumented entrepreneurs have to offer to the communities that often exclude them. E4FC selected five winning projects, and over the next year, FUSE will disburse $250,000 in grants and provide these entrepreneurs the mentorship, coaching, and support they need for their projects to succeed. Gleam, an online platform helping mental health professionals optimize the treatment they provide, will receive $50,000. Gleam not only allows therapists the ability to monitor patient progress, but it gives patients a secure digital platform to practice their therapeutic exercises, allowing them to stay connected to the recovery process at all times. Its main goal is to improve mental health care in lower income communities by making it more readily available. For Shah, The most exciting thing about Gleam is the opportunity to create change and help a population that so often gets overlooked.The FUSE Grant will help Gleam reach those who cant afford proper mental health care at clinics and shelters. With the money, theyll be able to make their platform more robust with new features, and meet mental health professionals at conferences across the country. You can help Shah & Gleam help those who need it most, and improve the quality of life for so many by sharing their platform at gleamtherapy.com. Tue, 01 Nov 2016 14:26:53 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22071 7 Reasons to Apply to the Zahn Competition https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/7-reasons-apply-zahn-competition Hey CCNY, we want to hear your BIG IDEAS, so submit them into our competition before it's too late (deadline is 11/13!). What are you waiting for?Plus, we just made it easier than ever to apply,You no longer need a complete team to apply! We realized that the application was asking you to write wayyyy too much–so we shortened the questions 🙂If that doesn't convince you, maybe these 7 other reasons will: 1. You can win up to $50,000. Seriously.2. If ya wanna find team members, we've got your back… just look up “Zahn Center Networking” on facebook!3. You can get independent study credit for next semester's bootcamp4. Your mentor can be anyone who will hold you accountable… like your grandma 😀5. You can be fast tracked if you apply now!6. You can apply with as many ideas as you like7. When are you ever going to do something like this again?! #liveinthemomentDeadline is November 13th. Last info session is November 9th. Just do ittttt — zahncenternyc.com/apply Tue, 01 Nov 2016 13:49:17 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22070 Maker Olympics concludes with Hardware Hackathon https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/maker-olympics-concludes-hardware-hackathon In September, we kicked off the Maker Olympics, a series of workshops designed to give you the tools needed to create physical products. The Maker Olympics included tons of fun activities ranging from CAD Design, 3D Printing, Soldering, and more. Unfortunately, the Maker Olympics is coming to a close and while were sad to see it go, we have something super exciting to wrap it up.Drum roll please….the Maker Olympics will conclude in an awesome 48-hour Hackathon this weekend! Starting at 9am this Saturday, November 5th, participants will be able to enjoy mini-workshops as well as actually make and present a physical product to a panel of esteemed judges.If you didnt attend any of the Maker Olympics workshops – fear not! While the workshops were intended to prepare you for the hackathon (and gave those who did an extra edge) you absolutely did not need to attend them to participate in this hackathon! Just note that the hackathon is team based, with a minimum of two members per team, and you can work on any project you want as long as it is a physical prototype! (If you dont have a team, we can match you with team members on the spot).In addition to the fun, there will be $$ prizes for clubs as well as individuals. The prizes arent mutually exclusive, which means you can be part of a club and win an individual prize or vice versa. The best part about attending the Hackathon? You automatically get fast track access to the 2017 Startup Competition!!! And we dont think it gets that much better than that…You can register here anytime before this Saturday, November 5th at 9am. Get on it!For all the rules of the Hardware Hackathon, visit zahncenternyc.com/maker-olympics or feel free to email Aulio ( aulio@zahncenternyc.com ).See you there!! Mon, 31 Oct 2016 17:36:28 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22069 Final 2017 Venture Competition Info Session https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/final-2017-venture-competition-info-session Do you want to create an app? Or build a physical product? What about making the world a better place? Got any ideas that will improve New York City? If youve got a big idea, we want you to submit it to this years startup competition. With our help you can turn your wild dreams into reality!The application period is quickly coming to a close though so make sure you join us for our very last information session. Come learn more about the Zahn Center, our programs, and how to apply to the competition! Finding a team may seem difficult, so use this as an opportunity to network with other students and do just that! If you already know about the application process but still have questions feel free to join us and ask them!The info session will be in our Marshak space Rm 052 (basement of the library) from 12:15PM – 1:45PM on Wednesday, November 9th. Don't forget the Application deadline is November 13th! We cant wait to see you there! Mon, 31 Oct 2016 17:20:49 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22068 24-hr Hackathon Sparks Innovative Fintech Solutions https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/24-hr-hackathon-sparks-innovative-fintech-solutions Last Thursday and Friday, October 20th-21st, we hosted a sold out Fintech Hackathon sponsored by RBC Capital Markets. Over 50 computer science and economics/business students participated in the 24-hr hackathon where they used technology to solve problems in the finance industry. Students were presented with three challenges from RBC Capital Markets. Over the course of 24 hours, students split into 12 teams and explored one of these challenges with varying levels of difficulty. At the end of 24 hours–and an all-nighter–teams presented their ideas for the chance to win a total of $4,000 in prizes! The events turnout was tremendous, and the energy in the room was unmatched. If we had to choose one word to describe our whirlwind Hackathon it would be €˜inspiring. The energy and excitement in the room was palpable and my colleagues and I were deeply impressed by the level of creativity and sophistication in each solution. RBC Capital Markets is committed to spearheading innovation and working with the next generation of brilliant thinkers and coders, commented Jeremy Sonnenburg, Head of Technology at RBC Capital Markets.Solutions born at the Hackathon included a chatbot application to interact with users and provide answers to questions on financial reports such as quarterly and annual SEC filings. This idea was designed by SAAM, a team made up of both coders and graduate economics students. Their program won third place (and bragging rights!), and implements natural language processing to determine the context of the question asked and correlates that with the information that needs to be provided. A second place prize of $1,000 went to Team Awesome. They designed a financial search engine with the intention of querying live data. This was designed to reduce the time RBC Capital's data analytics team spends searching for financial data. The search engine is designed to take requests using a pseudo Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithm. This algorithm takes the string queries and analyzes them as regular expressions. When a parameter that matches the query is found, it returns the appropriate answer.Finally, first place and $3,000 went to Cycloq, made up of Michael Hendrickson (Coder), Haris Nadeem (Business), Daniel Obi (Coder), John Spencer (Coder), and Samuel Quintana (Coder).       Their idea has three components: a web app, a privileged user database, and a word-filter dictionary. The web app included an email client and an admin interface where employees send emails via a client interface that informs them if their email is flagged. Admins would have access to view emails that were flagged and view the reason or words which triggered the email to be flagged. Cycloq used 500,000 Enron emails and a natural language processing toolkit to form their list of trigger words. In the future, the team hopes to add a certain level of complexity to the filters by implementing weights on the keywords and incorporate a machine learning algorithm into the system to maintain and optimize the filter list.At the Zahn Center, we hear a lot of great ideas on a regular basis, but we rarely get to watch how solutions come to life in real time. Entrepreneurship was alive that day, said Devin Voorsanger, Program Director of Technology Entrepreneurship at the Zahn Innovation Center. We strive to make sure City College students stay on the cutting edge; thats why bringing a Fintech Hackathon to campus was important to us. If we can bring together two prominent departments on campus–Economics and Computer Science–to spark innovation, then weve fulfilled our mission.  Mon, 31 Oct 2016 14:04:40 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22067 4 CCNY Students Named Innovation Fellows https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/4-ccny-students-named-innovation-fellows Were thrilled to announce that four City College students have been named University Innovation Fellows by Stanford Universitys d.school. This global program trains student leaders to create new opportunities for their peers to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and creativity. The Zahn Center nominated the candidates over the summer, and after 6 weeks of rigorous training, last week the following students earned their fellowship: Chelsi Ampawa, a senior; Kurt Dawiec, sophomore on his way to a major in physics; and Mahmoud Khedr and Rayna Penn, sophomore business students. The Fellows are ambitious and ready to execute on some big ideas. They envision a campus where every major and every person from every walk of life can make their idea a reality. They are excited to spark collaboration and foster a spirit of creativity and problem solving amongst the student body.Our fellows are incredibly excited to begin their mission. According to Kurt, “The UIF training has opened my eyes to the workings of CCNY and just how much impact a student can have on his school. I hope to become a catalyst for change and inspire other students to do the same.Mahmoud, who also leads the Entrepreneurship Student Club on campus, states becoming University Innovation Fellows is a phenomenal milestone and achievement, but it's just the start for us–the real work begins now. We are looking forward to igniting, empowering, and uniting the community through our initiatives. And we won't be doing any of this work alone–we will need as much help as possible.The Zahn Center is proud to support this important work, and we hope other members of the CCNY community will join us as well.Learn more about the Fellows and their priorities here. Mon, 31 Oct 2016 13:42:16 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22066 Volunteer Opportunity at The Hatchery https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/volunteer-opportunity-hatchery Got a little time on October 26th? Looking for volunteer hours? Want to help a bunch of Venture Capitalists connect with over 100 startup companies? We've got a deal for you.On October 26, 2016, from 5PM to 8PM, the Zahn Innovation Center and The Hatchery will partner for a Hatch Match event.  It will take place in the Great Hall on the campus of the City College of New York.A Hatch Match works like a speed date.  A group of investors will come ready to hear 5-minutes pitches from companies with minimally viable products, some traction in their market, and a willingness to draw partners into their concepts.   Companies interested in pitching to them sign up and make their case.  After 5 minutes, the businesses out and let other companies have present.Volunteers are needed for registration and moving companies between pitches. Interested? Contact Andy Holtz at andy@zahncenternyc.com by this Thursday, 10/10! Tue, 18 Oct 2016 13:47:57 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22065 Women Venture Capitalists Hold Panel Discussion at CCNY https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/women-venture-capitalists-hold-panel-discussion-ccny As a female founder, sometimes its especially difficult to raise capital. At our panel event on November 2nd, Emily Susskind of Golden Seeds and Minerva Tantoco of Future Perfect Ventures will discuss how leading women VCs are creating a network of female entrepreneurs and investors. The discussion will be moderated by Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer.This panel will remove the mystique around raising funds, it will talk about the different rounds, and discuss how to pitch to different investors. You'll also learn how the best VCs find golden opportunities.This event is in high demand, so please register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-investing-in-women-panel-tickets-286…Details: Tuesday, November 2nd, Doors at 5:30pm, Program at 6pm w/ a reception to follow. Event is located at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center at CCNY. Mon, 17 Oct 2016 13:46:29 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22064 Fintech Hackathon Offers Students $4,000 https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/fintech-hackathon-offers-students-4000 In one week, we'll host a Fintech Hackathon sponsored by RBC Capital Markets. Yesterday, forty competitors gathered for an info session to build their teams and learn more about the challenges they'll address. The Fintech Hackathon was designed to create innovative technological solutions within the financial sector. It will bring together students from a variety of different disciplines, including computer science and economics. With the help of expert mentors in the both software engineering and business fields, student teams will design projects for these three “secret” challenges.Not only will students gain hands-on experience, but they'll meet RBC recruiters looking for young talent. Plus, the winning team will go home with a $4,000 prize!“We're especially excited about the Fintech Hackathon because it's a field we haven't focused on before,” said Devin Voorsanger, Program Director of Technology Entrepreneurship at the Zahn Center. “Fintech is huge right now, and we want City College students to share their expertise in this sector. We hope a hackathon at the convergence of tech and finance creates the kind of disruptive change the industry needs.”If you're interested in competing, learn more on the Fintech Hackathon page. And don't forget to register! The Launch Party (where you'll get swag!) will take place next Thursday night (October 2oth).  Fri, 14 Oct 2016 13:54:51 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22063 Sophia Sunwoo Shares Views on Millennials in #Socent https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/sophia-sunwoo-shares-views-millennials-socent Yesterday, Sophia Sunwoo, CEO/Founder of Water Collective, shared her story with us in an intimate conversation. In 2016, Sunwoo was named a leading force in Social Entrepreneurship on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list for Water Collective's work in developing nations like Cameroon. She spoke about the struggles of social entrepreneurship and the role Millennials play in the world of #socent.Sunwoo's journey to social entrepreneurship was unique. She started her career in the fashion industry with a startup that created band t-shirts and apparel especially designed for women, worn by celebrity clientele like Miley Cyrus and Katey Perry. After selling the company at the age of 22, Sunwoo moved onto other roles. Soon, she was approached by a friend about a project he wanted to start to bring clean water to the developing world, and Water Collective was born. And while she has accomplished at a young age, none of it came without the hustle of a true entrepreneur.Sunwoo and her team ran into many challenges when building Water Collective, including unforeseen logistical challenges, like the muddy, unpaved roads in the countries they serve. To Sunwoo, each challenge is part of the price of entrepreneurship, and there's nothing you can really do to prepare for them, except understand your mission. “When it comes to building a startup, it's never going to be a perfect formula. As an entrepreneur, you have the power to mold it. You can decide what your company looks like,” says Sunwoo. She urges entrepreneurs to trust in themselves. “We kept trying all these things that people in our industry said would work, but when it came down to it, they didn't work,” said Sunwoo.It wasn't only the confidence in herself and her mission that allowed Sunwoo and Water Collective to keep moving. She recalls that when Obama assumed office with his “Change” campaign, the political environment was encouraging for changemakers. Everyone believed that widespread change was possible. “As social entrepreneurs, it's important to build ventures in a political landscape that fosters innovation.” Today, the political landscape is much different, but widespread change couldn't be more critical.Sunwoo believes that Millennials have an even stronger toolbox for creating change. “Millennials are getting an international education from social media,” said Sunwoo, and because they always know what's going on, they are even more motivated to create change. “Millennials are growing up in an environment where they have access to instant information. That gives me hope.” She also believes that the Millennial career outlook is a beautiful thing for social entrepreneurship. “Millennials are learning to honor the evolution of their careers,” and they're more likely to find a career that is both intellectually stimulating and satisfies their souls. “They think about their careers on a macro level, and how they can help the world,” said Sunwoo, which creates global change. Water Collective is an international nonprofit that secures life-lasting clean water for rural communities in Africa and India. The organization was founded in 2011 to resolve the shortcomings of clean water access in the developing world, where 40% of water points are not working at any given time. To learn more, visit http://www.thewatercollective.org/ Fri, 14 Oct 2016 11:46:05 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22062 Maker Olympics Program Builds on Hardware Skills https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/maker-olympics-program-builds-hardware-skills This Fall we launched a new program called “Maker Olympics.” Essentially, it's a semester-long series of exciting design, hardware, and presentation workshops culminating in a November Hardware Hackathon. The workshops are designed to introduce students to design and hardware concepts, build upon existing knowledge and expertise, and prepare them for the Hardware Hackathon and/or entrance into the 2017 Zahn Startup Competition.Maker Olympics is the brain-child of Zahn team members Devin Voorsanger and Aulio Diaz, and is a huge hit on campus (almost all of the workshops below are sold out!). Diaz, a former Kaylie Prize competitor, realized that his engineering classes were teaching him a lot, but he lacked the confidence needed to manufacture a complete prototype. During his time in the competition, he also noticed he was missing key skills, like presentation skills, needed to successfully pitch his idea. “‘Maker Olympics was established to not only celebrate hardware and let CCNY students explore our prototyping equipment, but to give students the tools they need to fill in the gaps so they can be the best makers possible,” said Diaz. “I was surprised last semester how many students from non-engineering backgrounds were interested in some of these skills like arduino, 3D printing and soldering. They just didn't realize how easy is to learn how to use these tools.”The team hopes that by introducing makers to the Center's prototyping tools and the support of staff, students will feel more confident turning their ideas into entrepreneurial ventures. To learn more about Maker Olympics, check out the Maker Olympics page on our website. Below is a complete list of our workshops.Workshops include:ArduinoIntro to CAD DesignPhotoshop & IllustratorProduct Design/DFM/Patent SearchPresentation (Public Speaking/PowerPoint)3D Printing & LasercuttingSolderingWeldingQuestions? Email aulio@zahncenternyc.com . Tue, 11 Oct 2016 12:41:46 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22060 Google Adopts Zahn Startups https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/google-adopts-zahn-startups We are very excited to announce that five Zahn startups (Veripad, Gleam, Frip, Komb, and DAPP) will participate in an “Adopt-a-Startup” program at Google. Over the next few months, Google mentors and startups will produce a marketing and customer acquisition strategy, with the results shared at a group meeting at Google in early December. Google mentors will help the startups develop a Content Marketing Strategy, a Cost-per-Click Keyword Marketing Strategy, and a KPI dashboard, as well as strong Google Analytics skills.Each startup will work closely with two to three Google mentors. Below is a list of each startup's mentors, especially chosen and paired to match the startup's specific needs.VeriPAD – Jason Leder, Justin Nabozna, and Amir RouzrokhGleam – Tannis McKenna, Simon Croisetiere, and Oliver PareFrip – Alex Holz and Jason StrootKomb – Jason Rosenblum, Rachel Ferman, and Michael SondakDAPP – Stephanie Hofmann, Julianne Gaudio, and Alex Cuzic“We are excited for our Zahn Startups to begin their journey with their Google mentors,” said Lindsay Siegel, Executive Director of the Zahn Innovation Center. “It is a fantastic opportunity for our early stage companies and we hope a rewarding experience for the mentors as well.” Tue, 11 Oct 2016 12:41:03 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22059 VeriPAD Joins Accelerator in Kenya https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/veripad-joins-accelerator-kenya VeriPAD, winner of the 2016 Zahn Social Impact Prize, has come a long way since Demo Day. After spending the summer in our Accelerator Program, VeriPAD announced they will spend the next three months in the Merck KGaA Accelerator in Nairobi, Kenya. The program offers funding, as well as mentorship and technical support for budding entrepreneurs in Africa. It will also allow them to reach their target market directly.VeriPAD aims to tackle the counterfeit drug crisis in the developing world. By combining an easy-to-use app with a Paper Analytical Device (PAD), VeriPAD gives doctors, pharmacists, and patients confidence knowing whether the drugs they're taking are real or counterfeit.VeriPAD co-founders Bishoy Ghobryal (CEO) and Da Wi Shin (CFO) started VeriPAD as part of their senior design project for biomedical engineering. Ghobryal discovered a need for the product while traveling to visit family in Egypt. During these visits, he'd bring suitcases full of common medications we take for granted–medications his family would otherwise purchase without assurance of their validity. By collaborating with a researcher at Notre Dame, they took the current PAD technology a step further, knowing that they needed to bring this assurance straight to the average consumer. During the Zahn Accelerator Program, VeriPAD conducted market research in Kenya and strengthened their team by adding Y-Lin Nguyen, COO and chief of their marketing efforts. Nguyen thanks the Zahn Social Impact Prize for kickstarting their efforts and giving them a sense of validation. However, it's the team's tireless work that brought them to the prestigious Merck Program.In Nairobi, the VeriPAD team is focused on researching the local market and testing their product, while also attending workshops to improve their business plan and customer acquisition. They aim to launch to in Kenya this January.Learn more at veripad.co and follow them on social media @veripad Tue, 11 Oct 2016 12:40:09 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22061 Idea Jam Sparks Creative Ideas for Worlds Challenges https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/idea-jam-sparks-creative-ideas-worlds-challenges Last Friday, September 30th, the Zahn Innovation Center hosted it's second-annual Idea Jam, a day-long ideation session meant to challenge students to create innovative solutions for local, global, and everyday issues. Students were presented with broad challenges including clean energy, clean water, the hunger crisis, global internet access, tech & data literacy, affordable education, human rights, foster care, sustaining the arts, and migraine management that were submitted to us by local and state government stakeholders. OpenBox, a design and innovation consultancy, led Idea Jam by introducing students to the process of design thinking.City College students from a variety of different majors and disciplines including psychology, english, math, biology, engineering, education, marketing, public administration, and computer science establish creative solutions for the complex issues presented to them at Idea Jam. These are some of the ideas that were born:1.) An ergonomically-sound chair/desk so that all students in school, regardless of size or physical circumstance, can better focus on learning.2.) A kit with a tablet, VR headset, and Little Bits to teach STEM skills. Those with the Creator's Box can play with the items and learn how to code, etc. to teach STEM skills.3.) A smart trashcan that will help you learn how to recycle, will compost trash, and will collect data about the kinds of trash collected in certain areas.4.) A peer-to-peer mentorship program for those in the foster care system.5.) Vertical gardens that will grow on rooftops to properly feed the community.6.) An app that helps individuals with chronic migraines track and manage triggers, while also putting the power into the hands of the consumer when it comes to medicine (patients can leave reviews about the medicine they're taking, etc.). It will also come with an air sensor to attach to your phone that will alert you when the air that you're breathing will trigger you so that you can get out of there before an attack comes on.7.) A system for applied sociology to face human rights issues. It will combine a skype-like technology with VR to literally allow you to walk in someone else's shoes. First, they plan on using it in the classrooms to allow students to learn about different cultures first-hand. The program will automatically translate languages, so you'll be able to speak to anyone. Then, it will be used for an immersive sensitivity training experience.We'd like to especially thank those who addressed our students on Friday and submitted challenges including Adrienne Schmoeker, Senior Project Manager, Open Innovation at the Mayor's Office of Technology and Innovation; Matthew Washington, Deputy Borough President, Manhattan Borough; and Rebecca Shumlin, Digital Strategist, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. We'd also like to thank the expert mentors who coached students throughout the day including Standard Chartered Bank mentors Valerie Pholpituke, Mini Roy, and Armando Tello; Zahn Catalysts & Associates Karen Langsam, Celia Lloyd, Glen Patterson, Anasa Scott, and Natalia Trujillo Bolanos; and OpenBox experts Casey James, Amanda Ostrove, Carly O'Callaghan, and Nu Goteh. Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:41:49 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22058 Its All Happening… https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/its-all-happening Welcome back, CCNY! Weve missed you! While youve been gone, the team at the Zahn Center has been planning some pretty awesome stuff for you guys (if we do say so ourselves). Whether you want to meet new friends at movie nights and open mics, discuss ideas and solve social issues at Idea Jam and our speaker series, OR test your technical skills at our Maker Olympics, youll find something just for you this semester. Here's a link to our full calendar, but youll want to join us at the Competition Kickoff Party next Thursday, September 8th from 12-2pm!Let us know you're coming & share the link with your friends: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/zahn-center-competition-kickoff-tickets-27…  Wed, 07 Sep 2016 13:50:15 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22057 Accelerator Startups Pitch to Investors at RISE New York https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/accelerator-startups-pitch-investors-rise-new-york After ten weeks of hard work, the 2016 Accelerator cohort finished the program with flare. Seven startups presented their prototypes, debuted their web platforms and apps, and pitched their business plans to a room of one hundred stakeholders and investors at a final Demo Day at RISE New York on August 15th.Gleam, Frip, Kanic, DAPP, Komb, StreetLabs, and VeriPAD had the opportunity to network with investors afterwards and meet one on one with them.For a full recap of the night, check out this article by US News & World Report. You can also enjoy this introduction video. Mon, 29 Aug 2016 12:18:11 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22056 What a Zahn Internship Can Do For You https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/what-zahn-internship-can-do-you You've seen the memes. “We're looking for a 22-year-old with 35 years of career experience.” In today's world, it's getting harder and harder for Millennials (the largest cohort to ever enter the workforce) to land jobs after graduation. That's why it's so important for students to get career experience while they're in school, so that when they leave, they have those “2-3 years of experience” under their belt.That's why we believe in the power of PAID internships. This year, we'll place close to 80 students at internships throughout the city. In the Fall and Spring alone, we have 30 open internship positions at social enterprises and non-profits like Echoing Green, B Lab, Kiva, Impact Squared, Alexapath, Her Agenda, Per Scholas, Shade, and the Mayor's Office! The positions range from communications and marketing, engineering, graphic design, community development, and business development. One even allows you to be the company's official Instagram-mer.Applications are now open. Hurry, because they close September 9th.And it gets even better. If you apply to the Zahn Innovation Centers Fall Internship Program now AND apply for an internship at DoSomething.org (one of our partners), you'll be fast-tracked for an interview with them. Don't wait. Deadline for this opportunity is August 11th.Questions about the program? Email internships@zahncenternyc.com   Fri, 05 Aug 2016 12:48:31 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22055 Eight Top Startups on Display at Demo Day https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/eight-top-startups-display-demo-day We like to say there are no dog days of summer at the Zahn Center, and the past few weeks have been a whirlwind. Eight startups in our Accelerator Program have been working relentlessly to launch their prototypes, apps, and web platforms. On August 15th, they'll be on display at the Accelerator Demo Day to pitch to potential investors.Here's a little more about each of the eight teams and the progress they've made:Applied Motions: A wearable/app for runners that not only acts as a personal running coach, but provides biofeedback to prevent injury. The Applied Motions team has launched a pre-alpha version of their product that they're testing with their first set of brand advocates. Check out their website!DAPP – A mobile application that connects groups of friends so they can hang out and have spontaneous fun. The DAPP team has launched several BETA versions of their app to beta testers. By the end of the summer, they'll have a full-fledged version of DAPP for IOS and Android. Here's the website.Frip – An app that helps K-12 teachers find, plan, and organize curated school trips in NYC. Frip has grown their core team over the past several weeks, while also building their beta version and testing with early adopters. They're gaining more partnerships with venues, too.Gleam – A web platform connecting therapists with their clients in between visits. Gleam released round 3 of its Pilot Program today, the third beta version that a select group of therapists has worked with. They're pleased with the feedback they're receiving, and glad to be signing up more and more beta testers every week!Kanic (formerly Favor) – A valet app for simplifying car maintenance and repairs. Kanic is currently building their app, an Uber for Mechanics, and establishing connections with both mechanics and users.Komb –An on-demand app and web platform connecting clients with hairstylists instantaneously. Komb has taken to the streets with their fun Instagram/Vlog campaign to bring more stylists on board! They'll test their beta this summer while they work on adding more features to the app.StreetLabs – A smarter system for NYC's roads, allowing the DOT to make faster and more efficient repairs. StreetLabs has finished their prototype and has conducted several pilot studies within Harlem.VeriPAD – A technology for low and middle income countries that authenticates medications. VeriPAD is a force to be reckoned with (they're 17+ strong!). The team has traveled to Kenya to establish partnerships with leading NGOs and test their product with real-life customers. Their app will be ready by the end of the summer.If you'd like to meet these incredible teams, join us for the Accelerator Demo Day on Monday, August 15th at Rise New York (24 West 24th St, New York, NY 10010). Please email katherine@zahncenternyc.com for a formal invitation.Rise New York is part of a global community of the worlds brightest thinkers and doers creating the future of financial technology. We listen, nurture and oxygenate through our international network of Rise spaces, and connect, co-create, and scale innovation, in partnership with Barclays. Rise New York also houses a world-class event space and is home to the U.S. cohort of the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars. Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:20:56 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22054 #UnitedStateofWomen https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/unitedstateofwomen In this blog, Kesia Hudson, our Program Manager for Women's Entrepreneurship, reflects on her experiences at the United State of Women Summit. 5,000 strong!  That was the number of women (and a few men!)  gathered for the first-ever United State of Women Summit. And I had the honor of attending as a Nominated Changemaker!I didnt know what to expect when I walked into the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on June 14th. The Summit, convened by the White House, brought together thousands of people working to change tomorrow for the #StateofWomen. Speakers included President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Oprah Winfrey, Mariska Hargitay, Amy Poehler, Warren Buffet, Lilly Ledbetter, Reshma Saujani, Mikaila Ulmer, and Orruba Almansour, CCNY's 2016 Salutatorian. Throughout the day,  leaders and advocates addressed six thematic pillars: economic empowerment, health & wellness, educational opportunity, violence against women, entrepreneurship & innovation, and leadership & civic engagement. There were so many wonderful speeches. Here are some of the memorable quotes from discussions on entrepreneurship.“I am a small business owner, and we are the engines of the economy. We create jobs and save neighborhoods and do whatever needs to be done,” said Carla Walker-Miller, President and CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services, LLC.Entrepreneurship is this powerful force to lift people out of poverty, said Maria Contreras-Sweet of the US Small Business Association.It is easier to live with failure, instead of what if. What if scares me, said Lisa Price, Founder, Carol's Daughter.According to the Small Business Association, women are 1.7 times more likely than men to create social ventures. Between 2008 and 2018, women will account for more than half of the increase in labor force growth. We had a phenomenal treat — the President and Vice President made special appearances!Vice President Joe Biden spoke at length on his untiring efforts to address violence against women. Writing the Violence Against Women Act has been one of my proudest accomplishments. And I know that the particular blend of intellectual horsepower and passion in this room today can only mean one thing: Good things will happen. Change is coming.He and the President shared these sentiments regarding gender equality.“I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like,” said President Barack Obama.“Our country is not just all about the Benjamins€”its about the Tubmans, too. We need all our young people to know that Clara Barton and Lucretia Mott and Sojourner Truth and Eleanor Roosevelt and Dorothy Height, those arent just for Womens History Month. Theyre the authors of our history, women who shaped their destiny.”Vice President Joe Biden emphatically stated,  “Every single solitary thing a man can do, a woman can do.”I cant argue with that. And if that wasnt enough, we shared an special moment with First Lady Michelle Obama and Opray Winfrey! It was a casual, yet  intimate conversation about Michelle Obama defining the role of First Lady for herself, being a mother/wife/lawyer, and advocating for girls and women. The work that we are doing on girls education is something I will do for the rest of my life, said First Lady Michelle Obama. The work always continues. We are never done. We can never be complacent and think that we have arrived. We have seen how quickly things can be taken away.Oprah concluded the conversation with a beautiful Maya Angelou quote, You make me proud to spell my name, W-O-M-A-N.Yes! We are proud, indeed! There were so many inspirational remarks; far too many to capture here. I'm pleased the work we are doing at the Standard Chartered Women in Technology Incubator, within the Zahn Innovation Center – launching women-led startups, providing founders with invaluable training and access to capital, encouraging young women to explore STEM-based opportunities – is in alignment with the Summits mission.What a joy it was to attend The Summit as a Nominated Changemaker! Im committed to #stateofwomen and will continue my efforts to create the next movement of women founders. Want to show your support? Join the movement today.  Tue, 12 Jul 2016 13:16:51 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22053 Homer Logistics, GlossGenius and Kinetic Talk Money, Management, and More https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/homer-logistics-glossgenius-and-kinetic-talk-money-management-and-more Most of my first internship was spent in a dark closet, filing documents that were older than I was. It was a checkmark on my resume, a job to prove that I had “office experience,” and while I learned more than I expected, it certainly didn't inspire me to create change for that organization.Zahn interns, on the other hand, are encouraged from the start to become intrapreneurs at the startups, social enterprises, or innovative companies they work for. Often, they'll own a specific project for the summer, like perfecting a prototype, re-branding the company, or researching market trends. So not only do Zahn interns gain “office experience” and build upon their current skill set, but they learn invaluable lessons in leadership, problem solving, creativity, and passion.That's why we think it's important for students in the Summer Internship Program to hear from young founders. Because entrepreneurship is a way of life, a mindset, and you don't necessarily have to start your own company to be an entrepreneur.Yesterday, we invited Zahn alum Adam Price, founder of Homer Logistics; former Zahn Director Haytham Elhawary, founder of Kinetic; and Zahn internship partner Danielle Cohen-Shohet, founder of GlossGenius to speak on a panel about what it means to be an entrepreneur, and why entrepreneurship comes in many different shapes and sizes.Adam admits that he always had an entrepreneurial mind. Whether he was trying to rent iPads to cars waiting to cross the US/Mexico border or mobilizing a lawnmowing empire, he had dreamed of creating change since a young age. But he went on to college, studied aerospace engineering, and received job offers at prestigious companies. He decided to work for a smaller firm, which, he says, was the best decision he made. It allowed him to see the many aspects that go into running a business, and eventually led him to his own entrepreneurial venture.“I've learned more in the past few years of running a startup than I would have in any graduate school,” said Adam. “One of the most important things I've learned is how to manage people.” And Adam needs to manage a lot of people. Homer, a third party logistics provider in the restaurant industry, replaces the need for restaurants to manage an internal delivery team and allows them to specialize solely on what they do best, cooking great food. Homer combines custom software with cutting-edge operations to create the most efficient delivery solution available. Their workforce has grown rapidly from a just a few friends on bikes to an army of 300+ delivery personnel.Danielle took the opportunity to learn about more than just what she was working on day-to-day, as her previous work experiences at a major firm also taught her how she wanted to build strong management processes for her own company. “I learned a lot of industry-specific knowledge, but I also walked away having learned a lot about managing people, something I can use in any industry”. When she left, she went back to an old love, coding, and discovered the idea for GlossGenius, a personal assistant app for your beauty business. “My advice to everyone is to go after what you want to do,” said Danielle. “Don't worry about barriers to entry, everyone has those. Find your niche sector of the market and build your business there.”Haytham Elhawary wasn't worried about barriers to entry when he broke into the human performance equipment realm, especially since it's a relatively new field. Kinetic builds wearable devices to reduce the incidence of injuries in industrial workers. “We think of these workers as the backbone of our economy. When they are injured, businesses are injured, families are injured, and the economy is injured,” said Haytham. Starting a business was one of the best experiences he's ever had, but he realizes that it might not have ended up that way. “When I started, I just wanted to start a company,” said Haytham, “in hindsight, I realized that you shouldn't be obsessed with starting a company. Instead, become obsessed with solving a problem and see where that takes you.”We're excited to see where this summer takes our Zahn interns — dare we call them “innovaterns” — and will keep you updated with their stories and progress. Thu, 23 Jun 2016 10:45:48 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22052 Mayors Office of Technology and Innovation Meets with Startups https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/mayors-office-technology-and-innovation-meets-startups One of the toughest battles entrepreneurs face is finding people who will believe in them, and convincing the world that what they've created, the change they've envisioned, really matters. Thankfully, our startups are supported by sponsors, mentors, and partners who wholeheartedly believe in their missions. These supporters give our startups time, advice, investments, and other resources to help them succeed. One of these supporters is the New York City's Mayor's Office of Technology and Innovation.Friday, Minerva Tantoco, New York City's CTO, invited Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC startups StreetLabs and Frip to City Hall for a tour and special meeting with the Mayor's Office of Technology and Innovation. Not only did they experience a day in the life of the change-makers at the heart of New York City's government, but they pitched their ideas in Ms. Tantoco's staff meeting.Minerva Tantoco has been a supporter of the Zahn Center's startups since she appeared at Idea Jam4NYC, a hackathon event, in October. Idea Jam inspired the theme for this year's Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC competition track, which challenged students to develop technological innovations that would solve New York City's civic and social issues. Senior Project Manager at the Mayor's Office of Technology and Innovation, Adrienne Schmoeker, mentored several of our startups throughout the competition. Ms. Tantoco returned to the Center to give the keynote address at the Final Pitch Night, where StreetLabs and Frip competed for grand prizes totaling $150,000.Entrepreneurship is a key pathway to success in the innovation economy, and all New Yorkers deserve that opportunity. Its great to see that the competition focused on using tech to improve urban life. I was super-impressed with the winning teams, Frip and StreetLabs. Their creative problem solving and top-notch pitching skills are a credit to the training and mentorship being provided by the Zahn Innovation Center,” said Minerva Tantoco.It's no wonder why New York City's first CTO backs other innovators, especially women in tech. As a woman who influences the STEM field, she acts as a role model and inspiration to our own women in tech. “We've researched the gender disparity in STEM and it is an exciting feeling knowing Standard Chartered and the Zahn Center are making efforts to introduce more women in tech and in leadership positions. Meeting and presenting to Minerva Tantoco and her staff members was really an amazing moment that we will never forget,” said Frip.Frip's app allows K-12 teachers to find, plan, and organize field trips so that students get a more well-rounded education, while simultaneously promoting the many hidden cultural gems NYC has to offer. “New York City is a city where the new and the old converge in harmony,” said the Frip team, “and Frip aims to highlight that.” This summer, they'll launch their beta version to test with teachers before release in the Fall.For StreetLabs, the most rewarding part of the visit was meeting Minerva Tantoco herself, and getting a chance to pitch their idea to her. “It felt amazing to share StreetLabs with a room full of people who believed in our idea as much as we did. We feel very motivated to work harder on our technology so we can provide something meaningful for our city,” said the StreetLabs team. They have developed a smarter system for New York City's roads that will detect potholes, allowing municipalities to make faster and more efficient repairs. This summer, they'll finish their prototype and begin pilot studies.The Mayor's Office of Technology and Innovation, Standard Chartered, and the Zahn Innovation Center are excited to watch these startups grow. “The visit to City Hall and the opportunity to pitch to the Mayors Office of Technology and Innovation was an incredible experience for our Women+Tech4NYC startups. We are grateful to the CTO and her team for such a unique learning experience. This collaborative effort offers yet another great platform to develop the right skills, knowledge and experience to enhance the position of women in tech and entrepreneurship in New York City,” said Valerie Pholpituke, Director of Sustainability and Community Engagement for the Americas at Standard Chartered.“The engagement of the Mayor's Office of Technology and Innovation with the Zahn Innovation Center has been invaluable. Our startups have benefited from their mentorship and insight into New York City's growing tech sector. The CTO and Adrienne Schmoeker have especially inspired our women founders to make their mark on Silicon Alley,” said Kesia Hudson, Program Manager for Women's Entrepreneurship at the Zahn Innovation Center. To learn more about StreetLabs and Frip, visit our previous blog post. Wed, 22 Jun 2016 10:48:27 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22051 Spotlight: StreetLabs and Frip https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/spotlight-streetlabs-and-frip This marks the second in a new blog series, “Spotlight,” where we'll give you a sense of what makes a Zahntrepreneur. In this blog, you'll meet Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC finalists StreetLabs and Frip.If you're a driver in the city, potholes are your car's worst nightmare. But StreetLabs believes that even New York's average commuter is affected by potholes. Have you ever stepped in a puddle that you thought was shallow and ended up being a four-inch deep pothole full of who knows what? Day ruined. StreetLabs is creating a smarter system for NYCs roads, allowing the DOT to make faster and more efficient repairs. Their technology monitors the conditions of roads, alerting the DOT to when potholes are forming so that the city knows when to fix them. The data collected from their device will also allow the military to fix roads caused by their equipment in foreign countries, or companies like Google could incorporate the information into existing technologies and apps.The StreetLabs team came up with the idea at October's Idea Jam4NYC. The event gathered college students to solve New York City's civic and social issues. Ahsin Sabbir and Peter Geras met at the event and quickly brought on Jaweria Afreen and Christina Moawad to help make StreetLabs complete. All four members graduated this May with degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Mathematics. As the Grand Prize winner of the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize, they'll use the $25,000 to begin pilot testing in Harlem. They'll also participate in our Summer Accelerator Program.The StreetLabs, like many of our Zahntrepreneurs, absolutely kill it in the classroom. Christina had the second highest GPA in her department. But they're also friendly and social. StreetLabs' members were already friends with OnPointe and Hybridia before they came to the Zahn Center, and are responsible for the great community we have this year! Fun fact: Ahsin built a car as his senior design project. I see where the obsession with getting rid of potholes comes from….While StreetLabs was inspired by a problem in New York City, Frip was inspired by all of the good things about our city. The Frip team believes all students should go on field trips to the city's best landmarks, museums, and businesses as a way to expand their knowledge outside of the classroom. Unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly difficult for teachers to plan field trips. Many teachers spend hours of their free time planning field trips, only to find that either the venue didn't work out, or the principal didn't accept it. That's why Frip developed a platform that makes it easy for teachers to find, plan, book, and organize field trips in the city. Frip is not just a new innovation, it's a necessary resource for modern teachers.From the start, Frip built a well-balanced team. The idea is the brainchild of kindergarten teacher and CCNY alum Angela Choi and Moustafa Elshaabiny, a recent Computer Science grad. They recruited Karina Ortiz, an Anthropology major and Hank Lin, a graduate student in CCNY's BIC Program. Since beginning the Accelerator, they've added Kevin Navarra (formerly from Migo!), a Management/Economics major. Together, they make up a dynamic team ready to use the $5,000 they won as runner up in the Zahn Technology Prize to develop their web platform and app to test with teachers and venues this summer!Frip is an incredibly friendly and outgoing team. Naturally, they all love to go on field trips, so you'll often find them at various events and attractions throughout the city. They manage to keep their company's culture strong by having team dinners and tea sessions (yes, they're tea people). Fun fact: Angela secured a partnership with Patagonia (who doesn't do field trips) while buying a jacket. Talk about a saleswoman! You'll hear more about these two teams soon. Tomorrow, they'll visit the Mayor's Office of Technology and Innovation to have a meeting with Minerva Tantoco and the rest of her team. Thu, 16 Jun 2016 10:17:38 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22048 Harvey Kaylie Shares Advice with Zahntrepreneurs https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/harvey-kaylie-shares-advice-zahntrepreneurs Last week, startups that competed for the Kaylie Prize visited their sponsor, Harvey Kaylie at his companys headquarters in Brighton Beach. Grand Prize Winner Applied Motions, Second Place Winner UpWalk, and semi-finalists Migo and OnPointe pitched to Mr. Kaylie and toured the Mini-Circuits office for the first time.For these startups, meeting Mr. Kaylie in person at his own company was inspiring. “Its one thing to meet Harvey Kaylie in person at City College, but its a whole new experience to see what kind of company he built from ground up. Hes an example of a successful entrepreneur and it is inspirational to see his company up-close and witness what he has accomplished, said Bhaskar Paneri, winner of the 2013 Kaylie Prize and advisor to the current Kaylie cohort.Harvey Kaylie established the Kaylie Prize for Entrepreneurship in 2010 through an endowment. Then, the prize was meant to encourage entrepreneurship amongst students at CCNYs Grove School of Engineering. Now, the prize is one of four Zahn competition categories. While it still attracts engineers looking to commercialize hardware inventions, these inventions have become increasingly diverse. This year, the theme of the Kaylie Prize was connected devices, so that students explored the world of IoT.For Migo, competing for the Kaylie Prize allowed them to grow not only as a company, but as individuals. Kevin Navarra, Founder of Migo, said, We greatly appreciate Harvey Kaylie seeing the potential in us and providing us with the tools we need. The experience of visiting his company showed us that, from humble beginnings, we too can shape the world around us. We hope to make him proud with our accomplishments and look forward to being part of building the future.The visit gave each startup the opportunity to thank Mr. Kaylie not only for his generous endowment, but for the opportunity to explore the cross between engineering and business. For Jose Jimenez, Founder of Applied Motions, the biggest takeaway was learning that success depends on both innovation and working within the achievable.Mr. Kaylie is President and Founder of Mini-Circuits, a Brooklyn-based RF and microwave electronic components design, manufacture and distribution company. Established in 1969, the company is a global leader in RF, IF, and microwave components for commercial, industrial, space, and military applications. Kaylie is a proud alum of City College. Wed, 08 Jun 2016 11:31:04 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22050 Patrick Sullivan Kicks Off Internship Program https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/patrick-sullivan-kicks-internship-program Next week marks the kickoff of our Summer Internship Program. Thirty CCNY students will begin life-changing internships at companies and startups like Crowd Bureau, Bloomberg, Source3, SHADE, Kinetic, and the New York City DOT.Patrick Sullivan, founder of Source3, gave a special presentation to start the program. Patrick is a serial entrepreneur and investor who is deeply passionate about the start-up community. He co-founded RightsFlow, an enterprise music licensing and royalty company acquired by Google in 2011. He has built businesses that have generated billions of dollars in revenue through out his career. Patrick has held senior executive positions over his 20 year career including positions at The Orchard, eMusic, National Music Publishers Association, & The Harry Fox Agency. He also founded and manages VanHam Ventures, an angel fund focused on early stage NYC-based technology start-ups. He is a mentor and frequent lecturer for TechStars, IMPACT, DreamIt, Google IO, Google for Entrepreneurs, Cornell Tech and his alma mater NYU.Students in the program will have other opportunities to meet founders throughout the summer. Anna Hutcheson, our Internship Program Manager, has also created opportunities for students to develop soft skills necessary for the workplace.In his discussion, Patrick encouraged students to find a job that satisfies your passions. “If you're passionate about what you do,” he said, “it will lead you to new experiences, talent, and information.”Many of the students who participated in last year's programs discovered unknown passions in their internships, and not only acquired new skills, but learned about themselves. Zahn Internship Program alums Anita Khabir and Engjell Latollari came back to speak to the new internship cohort about their own experiences. Both Anita and Engjell went into their internships not knowing what to expect, but came out of them with heightened focus. Like most college students, they wanted to secure a full-time job after graduation. “I knew early on that I wanted to work at Echoing Green full time, so I made it a priority to become part of their culture, and do more than just an intern would do,” said Engjell. Anita said, “Because of the Zahn Center, I am where I am today.” We hope that all students in the program experience her success and happiness. Thu, 02 Jun 2016 13:16:44 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22049 EmoTrain to Present at CVPR in Las Vegas https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/emotrain-present-cvpr-las-vegas EmoTrain will present at the 29th IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) at the Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas from June 26th-July 1st. CVPR is the premier annual computer vision event comprising of a main conference with presentations, interactive sessions, plenary talks, demos, exhibitions, and social functions, and also 29 workshops and 22 short tutorials. The event gathers students, academics, and industry researchers from all over the world, and is sponsored by leaders in the field of artificial intelligence like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft.EmoTrain, a startup that competed in the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Competition, will present their award-winning prototype for a sophisticated facial recognition software. They've created a game that uses artificial intelligence to teach people with Autism how to display emotional responses and respond to others' emotions with empathy. With every user, EmoTrain's technology becomes smarter and smarter. The team expects that the software will become so good at identifying emotions on people's faces that the government would be able to use the software to prevent acts of violence or terrorism.The EmoTrain team consists of CCNY students Farnaz Abtahi (pursuing her PhD in Computer Science), Wei Li (pursuing his PhD in Electrical Engineering), and Christina Tsangouri (a junior Computer Science major). We'll be cheering them on every step of the way. Wed, 01 Jun 2016 14:00:15 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22047 Spotlight: Hybridia and Komb https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/spotlight-hybridia-and-komb Everyday, I leave work incredibly inspired by the students in our programs. Although they might not realize it, they're really the ones doing the teaching. The truth is, we don't use the term “zahntrepreneurs” to be cute. Our students are truly a special breed (I don't know of other college students who would rather be making cold calls to future business partners than enjoying a sunny day). To give you a sense of what makes a Zahntrepreneur, we're introducing a series of startup spotlights. In this blog, you'll meet Zahn Technology Prize finalists Hybridia and Komb.Hybridia is creating a tool to reinvent the way laparoscopic surgery is performed. Have you heard of the da Vinci machine? It's a large, two million dollar machine that performs minimally invasive robotic surgery. It's an incredible device, but it's not affordable, and as a result, only a few hospitals in the country have one. The Hybridia team has created a smaller, cost-efficient tool doctors can use to perform minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. Their tool will bring this life-changing technology to many more hospitals, and it will save many more lives.The Hybridia team has been working on this idea for four years as a part of their Biomedical Engineering classes. Mohamed Aboseria, Pryanka Bawa, and Zeyad Saleh are all seniors Biomedical Engineering, and plan to pursue fellowships and grad school while working on Hybridia. They're proof that you don't have to abandon your dreams of becoming a doctor to pursue your startup (you just have to work very hard). As the Grand Prize winner of the Zahn Technology Prize, the Zahn Technology Audience Choice Award winner, and a winner of the CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise, they'll use a whopping $31,000 to miniaturize their prototype and start testing it in hospitals in New York City. They'll also participate in our Summer Accelerator Program.Outside of school, the Hybridia team stays active. They're a friendly team who's known for making the phrase “suh, dude?” a widely understood greeting at the Zahn Center. (Don't worry, I didn't know what it meant at first, either.) Fun fact: Zeyad's family owns Moe's Doughs, a popular donut shop in Brooklyn famous for its rainbow donuts. (They're also responsible for my pre-Demo Day weight gain.)While Komb hasn't been developing its prototype for four years, the team has been developing their impeccable style for much longer. The need to keep up with evolving trends is what inspired Kingsley Obi to create Komb, an app and web platform connecting clients with hairstylists on-demand. If you're someone who changes their hairstyles often, and also hates waiting, this platform is crucial for you. To the Komb team, it just makes sense to apply the philosophy of the sharing economy to the hairstyling world. Not only does it allow customers to quickly schedule and keep track of appointments, but it allows hairstylists to become entrepreneurs, using the platform to create lasting relationships with clients.Komb's team boasts of technical and business experience. Co-Founders Kingsley Obi and Mohamed Gueye are both Computer Science majors, while Director of Marketing, Senami Atinkpahoun, studies both Advertising/Public Relations and Business Management. Together, they make up a dynamic team ready to use the $5,000 they won as runner up in the Zahn Technology Prize to develop their web platform and app. This summer, they'll participate in our Accelerator Program.Kingsley and Senami are known in the Zahn Center for their unique personal styles. Kingsley keeps it colorful with African-inspired prints, while Senami has an edgy, modern look inspired by her style icon, Sia. Fun fact: Kingsley is no stranger to the sharing economy. He's an avid AirBnb-er and also a Lyft driver. Wed, 01 Jun 2016 10:13:00 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22046 Meet the Startups in Our Accelerator! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/meet-startups-our-accelerator We told you the excitement wouldn't stop at the Final Pitch! Today, we're thrilled to announce the ten startups that will participate in our Accelerator Program this summer.Applied Motions – Wearables that collect biofeedback data to increase strength and agility while preventing injury.DAPP – A mobile application that connects groups of friends so they can hang out and have spontaneous fun.Favor – A valet app for simplifying car maintenance and repairs.Frip – An app that helps K-12 teachers find, plan, and organize curated school trips in NYC.Gleam – A web platform connecting therapists with their clients in between visits.Hybridia – A tool to reinvent the way laparoscopic surgery is performed.Komb -An on-demand app and web platform connecting clients with hairstylists instantaneously.Plugin Blocks -hands-on educational electronics kits with a customized curriculum aimed to assist teachers, engage students, and develop practical STEM knowledge.StreetLabs – A smarter system for NYC's roads, allowing the DOT to make faster and more efficient repairs.VeriPAD – A technology for low and middle income countries that authenticates medications.The Accelerator is a ten week program, and each startup will receive a $10,000 stipend so that at least two members from each team can dedicate 40 hours a week to the program. Startups will work towards individual milestones with specific end goals that could include acceptance into a top tier accelerator program or seed/angel round investment. In the first week alone, each startup will incorporate itself (or file for a non-profit status). They'll receive weekly access to investors during Friday “social hours,” and will gain introductions to closed-door meetings with senior advisors, investors, and business partners specifically chosen to meet their needs.There will also be an educational component to the program, as well as tailored consulting from Zahn staff. Startups will spend the summer conducting further market research and finishing their prototypes, all while developing a full business plan. Each team will receive individual help applying for grants, contracts, and other competitions. Experts from BNY Mellon and Google will mentor startups throughout the program.We're excited to begin the next journey with these startups, and look forward to sharing their progress with you. Check our blog and social media for more updates! Tue, 31 May 2016 11:19:24 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22045 IN2NYC Program Launches at the Zahn Center https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/in2nyc-program-launches-zahn-center Alicia Glen, New York City's Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Impact; Maria Torres-Springer, President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC); President Lisa Staiano-Coico, President of the City College of New York (CCNY); and Ann Kirschner, Special Assistant to the Chancellor of the City University of New York (CUNY) visited the Zahn Innovation Center today to launch the International Innovators Initiative (IN2NYC). The Mayor's Office and IN2NYC visited to highlight the Zahn Innovation Center's involvement as a partner in the program and kickoff the application process.IN2NYC is designed to help international entrepreneurs access uncapped H1-B visas so they can create jobs in the United States. The program was created by the NYCEDC in partnership with CUNY, and the Zahn Center will pilot the program. The international entrepreneurs that are brought into the Zahn Center will support the mission of CCNY by contributing to academic research, holding office hours, providing students with internship and employment opportunities, and serving as mentors.“New York has had such an extraordinary history of being a beacon for immigrants, so what better way to connect all the dots and establish a program that allows international entrepreneurs to locate their business on a CUNY campus, work with faculty, work with students, be able to really collaborate with them. At the same time, because all of the entrepreneurs will be located at campuses across all of the five boroughs at the seven participating campuses, were facilitating local economic development,” said Maria Torres-Springer.The mission of IN2NYC aligns perfectly with the spirit of CCNY, a campus made up largely of immigrants, children of immigrants, and students who are the first in their family to attend college. Our own entrepreneurs are originally from all over the globe, but they are doing their part to create businesses right here in Harlem.As President Coico said today, “You will never find more innovators than you will find here.”Ms. Glen and Ms. Torres-Springer spoke with Zahn Center startups Gleam, Hybridia, and StreetLabs, and learned how their technologies will improve New York City and create lasting social impact.IN2NYC is a key effort of the de Blasio administration to foster entrepreneurship in all five boroughs. The IN2NYC program is projected to create more than 700 jobs for New Yorkers in its first three years alone. One of the things Mayor de Blasio made such a huge priority once he was elected was to link our fantastic public institutions of higher learning with the whole innovation economy, said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. At the Zahn Center, we're very excited to be a part of that future growth.IN2NYC is now accepting applications. For more information and to apply, go to www.in2.nyc. Mon, 23 May 2016 12:13:39 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22044 New Video! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-video We don't know about you all, but we're still riding high on the positive energy from last week's final events. We are in complete awe of our zahntrepreneurs…and so is the rest of the community! Check out some of the things we heard from our special guests who attended our events last week:“I drank the Zahn Kool-Aid, it tastes great and I want some more! Please consider me a friend to the program and call on me if you think there is any way that I can be helpful.” – Matthew Washington “I was blown away with the poise of the students delivering their pitches and the commitment to the causes they support and turned them into businesses.” – Marilyn Wagner“Congratulations to all of the entrepreneurs at the Zahn Center and your inspiring work to build the future of NYC tech!” – the New York City Mayor's Office of Tech+InnovationLet's not forget about the most important voices in our community, our very own zahntrepreneurs. We've been humbled by their amazing feedback throughout the program, and this video captures why our students think “you can't get this in the classroom.” Watch the full clip below.https://vimeo.com/166856208Video can't be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Zahn Innovation Center 2016 Venture Competition (https://vimeo.com/166856208) Mon, 16 May 2016 16:26:07 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22043 $150K in Prizes Awarded to CCNY Startups https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/150k-prizes-awarded-ccny-startups We're still glowing from the excitement of last night's Final Pitch.  The caliber of startups in the Zahn Center's program this year was extraordinary, and those who pitched at the Final were best of the best. They've already received invitations to Techstars and have been encouraged to apply for Echoing Green Fellowships. Congratulations to all who presented last night. The audience was inspired by your vision for innovations that will make this world a better place.I'm pleased to announce this year's Grand Prize winners:Zahn Social Impact Prize Winner ($25,000)VeriPAD €“ A technology for low and middle income countries that authenticates medications. VeriPAD will use their prize money to finish development of their app and begin piloting their technology with health centers and pharmacies in developing countries. They'll test their product in Kenya and Lebanon in the coming months.Zahn Technology Prize Winner ($25,000)Hybridia €“ A tool to reinvent the way laparoscopic surgery is performed. The Hybridia team has been working on this idea for four years as a part of their biomedical engineering classes. They'll use the $25,000 to miniaturize their prototype and start testing it in hospitals in New York City.Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize Winner ($25,000)StreetLabs €“ A smarter technology for monitoring NYCs roads, allowing the Department of Transportation to make faster and more efficient repairs. StreetLabs has already established connections with NYC's DOT. They'll use their winnings to develop their prototype and test it in Upper Manhattan, as they become a future force in Silicon Alley.Kaylie Connected Devices Prize Winner ($50,000)Applied Motions €“ A wearable that use biofeedback to increase athletic performance while preventing injury. Applied Motions has already generated pre-sales of their sleek product and will use the $50,000 prize for manufacturing and testing.The second place startups in each category will receive $5,000 each to develop their businesses. The second place winners are:Zahn Social Impact – Rural Ignition €“ An affordable clean cookstove tackling the health, environmental and safety concerns faced by millions in developing nations.Zahn Technology – Komb €“ An app and web-platform connecting clients with on-demand hairstylists.Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC – Frip €“ An app that helps K-12 teachers find, plan, and organize curated school trips in NYC.Kaylie Connected Hardware – Upwalk €“ A smart walker that encourages better posture, helping seniors avoid pain and discomfort.Finally, we'd like to announce the Audience Choice Award winners from Monday's Demo Day. Every attendee at Demo Day voted for their favorite startup in each of the four categories. These are the startups that won over the crowd with their creativity and charisma, earning $1,000 awards:Zahn Social Impact – HandyNYCZahn Technology – HybridiaStandard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC – FripKaylie Connected Hardware – Applied MotionsWe'd like to thank everyone who participated in Demo Day and the Final Pitch, especially our fearless judges (we know our impressive startups made their job very difficult). Judges at the Final Pitch included Adetola Abiade, Gilda Barabino, Bert Brodsky, Elaine Chin, Joseph Jaffe, Howard Morgan, Angie Muller, Keno Sadler, Geri Stengel, Marilyn Wagner, Peter Zahn, and Ari Zoldan. We'd also like to extend a special thank you to our guest speakers last night, who not only encouraged each startup to give winning presentations, but inspired them to take ownership of their status as changemakers. Speakers last night included NYC's CTO Minerva Tantoco; CCNY President Lisa Staiano-Coico; our sponsors, Peter Zahn, President of the Moxie Foundation, and Julio Rojas, CEO of the Americas, Standard Chartered Bank; and last year's grand prize winner, Shawn Augustine, CEO of Build on the Go.The four grand prize winners will receive an automatic spot in our Accelerator Program. This summer, they'll work full-time to delve deeper into aspects of their startups and meet specific milestones carved out for them. We'll share more about this program soon! This summer we'll also expand our reach internationally through our participation in the International Innovators Initiative, which allows foreign entrepreneurs the opportunity to locate, expand, or move their businesses to New York City. To learn more, check out http://www.in2.nyc/ccny/ Fri, 13 May 2016 16:07:25 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22042 Startups Shine at Demo Day https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/startups-shine-demo-day Yesterday 650 students, faculty and community members discovered the “next big thing” at the Zahn Innovation Center's fourth annual Demo Day, where 90 student entrepreneurs from the City College of New York shared their startups. It was a beautiful day to learn about the Internet of Things, test out new apps, play with social entrepreneurship prototypes, and see how technology innovations can make our city a better place.These student entrepreneurs are part of the current Zahn Innovation Center competition cohort and have been developing their ideas in an Lean Startup Bootcamp for the past semester. Monday's Demo Day marked the first of two events that will determine which teams win prize money totaling $140,000. Every one of our startups has a unique idea with a lot of passion behind it, and they all deserve huge congratulations. Our judges had to make difficult decisions yesterday €” the competition was fierce!After much deliberation, the judges selected two teams from each of the four competition categories – Kaylie Connected Hardware, Zahn Technology, Zahn Social Innovation, and Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC. These 8 finalist teams will pitch again in front of a select audience on Thursday, May 12th at 6pm. To support your team and find out who takes home the grand prizes, join us for a private stream of the event in the Zahn Center @Marshak rm 052 (there will be snacks). Well also announce the winners of the Audience Choice Award at that time.Our 8 finalists are€¦Kaylie Connected HardwareUpwalk €“ A smart walker that encourages better posture, helping seniors avoid pain and discomfort.Applied Motions €“ Wearables that combine biofeedback and gamification to increase strength and agility while rehabilitating and preventing injury. Zahn TechnologyHybridia €“ A tool to reinvent the way laparoscopic surgery is performed.Komb €“ A scheduling app and web-platform connecting clients with hairstylists instantaneously. Zahn Social ImpactVeriPAD €“ A technology for low and middle income countries that determines if medications are counterfeit.Rural Ignition €“ An affordable clean cookstove for Sri Lanka tackling the health, environmental and safety concerns faced by millions. Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYCStreetLabs €“ A smarter system for NYCs roads, allowing the DOT to make faster and more efficient repairs.Frip €“ An app that helps K-12 teachers find, plan, and organize curated school trips in NYC. Wed like to thank our awesome judges who generously gave their time on Monday to listen to our students pitches! Thank you Michael Beresik, Ramphis Castro, Ray Garcia, Sahar Ghaheri, Jennifer Jones, Jason Leder, Katey Metzroth, Ulas Neftci, Dave Newman, Chris Reim, Anasa Scott, Bill Snipes, and Matthew Washington. Tue, 10 May 2016 12:33:07 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22041 Discover Silicon Alleys Women in Tech at Demo Day https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/discover-silicon-alleys-women-tech-demo-day Why should California get all the credit? Silicon Alley is happening right here in New York City–a movement to develop new technologies and base tech startups in the five boroughs. Some of our startups will lead this movement…and better yet, they're all founded by women.If this excites you, then youll want to check out the startups competing for the Standard Chartered Women+Tech4NYC Prize on Demo Day. Theyre ready to show you how they're solving New York City's civic issues with awesome technologies.Be sure to check out teams like:Gleam €“ 1 in 5 New Yorkers suffer from a mental disease. Learn how Gleam's online platform helps therapists treat their patients more efficiently.EmoTrain €“ If you or someone you love has Autism, you know how difficult it is for them to communicate. EmoTrain's facial recognition software will help these individuals learn how to express emotions & display empathetic responses.StreetLabs €“ New York City spends millions of dollars repairing potholes. Check out how StreetLabs will put an end to road repair (or at least make it more efficient).Frip €“ Designing a creative field trip becomes fun again with Frip.Duck Soup €“ Learning a new language can be easy as Duck Soup!You can even vote for your favorite. See you on Monday, May 9th? RSVP here. Fri, 06 May 2016 10:28:22 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22040 Discover the Next Big Technology at Demo Day https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/discover-next-big-technology-demo-day Are you a techie who loves to geek out? Are you the first of your friends to download the latest app? Then youll want to check out the startups competing for the Zahn Technology Prize on Demo Day. Theyre ready to dapp you up (someone please tell me what that means!) and share their cool inventions and apps with you.Be sure to check out teams like:Hybridia €“ They're going to save so many more lives with their affordable device for laparoscopic surgery.Class Lit €“ This app connects students to resources and makes learning so lit.The Sous Chef €“ You can end instant noodle dinners with this awesome app.DAPP €“ They're making spontaneous social connections less uncomfortable. Dapp up!Komb €“ Some say it's the Uber for hairstylists. Others say they're empowering local entrepreneurs.C~Flow €“ Course management systems need an update. C~Flow's got the answer.Favor €“ They're bringing mechanics to you so that an oil change doesn't kill your Saturday.You can even vote for your favorite. See you on Monday, May 9th? RSVP here so we know you're coming: http://bit.ly/ZahnCenterDemoDay Thu, 05 May 2016 09:23:17 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22039 Discover the Next Big Social Innovation at Demo Day https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/discover-next-big-social-innovation-demo-day Are you the first to volunteer for a service trip or sign up for an international policy class? Do you love to learn about new cultures and discuss environmental or economic issues? Then youll want to check out the startups competing for the Zahn Social Impact Prize on Demo Day. Theyre ready to tackle the world's toughest social issues with cool innovations.Be sure to check out teams like:HandyNYC – This team combines a Tom's model with STEM education. What could be more handy?Veripad – You'd be shocked to know how many counterfeit prescription drugs are sold in third world countries. Veripad is giving consumers the power to check their medications with an easy-to-use software.EZ Adapt – Since moving sidewalks haven't been created yet, EZ Adapt is creating a line of products to make it easier for people in wheelchairs to get around.Rural Igntion – Take a trip to Sri Lanka on Demo Day, where Rural Ignition is protecting the community from harsh cooking fumes. Wavergy – I mean, come on, the name says it all. They're capturing energy from waves and it's totally radical, dude.You can even vote for your favorite. See you on Monday, May 9th? RSVP here: http://bit.ly/ZahnCenterDemoDay Wed, 04 May 2016 15:50:37 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22038 Discover the Internet of Things at Demo Day https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/discover-internet-things-demo-day Have you been dreaming about having a Smart House since 1999? (Yeah, we just threw it back to the Disney Channel.) Then you'll want to check out the startups competing for the Kaylie Connected Hardware Prize on Demo Day. They're ready to show off smart inventions that'll make Alexa seem so last year.Be sure to check out teams like:OnPointe – Their device will not only prevent dancers' injuries, but it will teach dancers how to improve their form.Notifier – Looking to protect the things that are most valuable to you? The Notifier has your back.Migo – They're designing a sleek smart-closet that will dry clean your clothes in the time it takes you to make your morning coffee.Plugin Blocks – How can we engage more students in the STEM fields? By making learning more interactive, of course. That's what Plugin Blocks intends to do with their prototype.UpWalk – Baby Boomers are getting older, and UpWalk will tap into this soon-to-be-huge market. Check out their smart-walker at Demo Day!Applied Motions – Like OnPointe, their device will prevent sports-related injuries, but it will also collect invaluable data. Like Google. Have we caught your attention?You can even vote for your favorite. See you on Monday, May 9th? RSVP here: http://bit.ly/ZahnCenterDemoDay  Tue, 03 May 2016 15:45:52 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22037 Minerva Tantoco to Kick Off Final Pitch Night https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/minerva-tantoco-kick-final-pitch-night For many of the student founders in our competition, the startups they've cultivated during this year's Lean Startup Bootcamp began as lifelong passions or problems they've dedicated themselves to solving. In just one week, these passions will be put on display to the general public at our annual Demo Day. The City College and Harlem community will celebrate the work of 24 startups competing for $140,000 in categories ranging from connected hardware to social impact. Audience members will play with prototypes and learn about technologies that will change the way we live, but behind the scenes, a select panel of judges will decide only eight teams eligible for competing for the grand prizes.On Thursday, May 12th those eight teams (two from each of the four categories) will present their startups to investors at our Final Pitch Night. Judges will award grand and second place prizes totaling $140,000 that night, which is game-changing seed capital for our students. “This is what it all comes down to,” says Lindsay Siegel, Executive Director of the Zahn Innovation Center, “the Final Pitch. The money will turn prototypes into sell-able units, wireframes into fully developed apps, and dreams into realities.”Of course, it's not all about the money. What Demo Day and the Final Pitch really do is give student founders the opportunity to share their passions with a broader audience. Minerva Tantoco, New York City's first CTO, will give the keynote address on May 12th, and inspire founders to continue working towards launch even if they don't win the prize money. She's previously met with our students, and encouraged them to pursue every idea as if it's going to be the next big thing. At the Standard Chartered-sponsored Idea Jam 4NYC last October, she said, “The technology you're creating today will someday be an everyday technology that helps people.”That's a motto that teams like Gleam, a semi-finalist in the Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC competition live by each day. They know that even if they don't win the grand prize, they're still going to be committed to their idea. Learn more about their passion for using technology to inspire social change in the video below.https://youtu.be/pIEMarnnAfUVideo can't be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Gleam – Demo Day Promo Video (https://youtu.be/pIEMarnnAfU)Want to meet all of our startups? Discover the next big thing at Demo Day and celebrate the future's leading entrepreneurs with us next week on Monday, May 9th (RSVP here). The Final Pitch on Thursday, May 12th, is an invitation-only event. To find out more, email katherine@zahncenternyc.com . Mon, 02 May 2016 12:10:50 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22036 Interns in BNY Mellon Program Create Impressive Impact https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/interns-bny-mellon-program-create-impressive-impact Last week marked the end of another successful internship program! Thanks to the generous sponsorship from BNY Mellon, the Zahn Center placed students in paid internships with the following social enterprises and nonprofits:Echoing GreenBridges VenturesB Lab CorpGlobal Futures GroupImpact HubEV BoxShadeDuro UASBusiness Initiative Corporation Of New YorkLe Sel FoundationEvery internship position offered a diverse experience for the specific student, from marketing to engineering. Last week, each intern shared what they learned throughout the semester and presented the projects they worked on. Not only did they each own a special project, but they learned a lot about themselves and their place in the “working world.” Anika Islam, intern at B Lab, said, “I saw that companies can and should stand for something more than the bottom line. This is a value I intend to bring to every team and organization I go on to join.”Employers were equally satisfied with the internships this year. “Working with Anika and the Zahn Center was a blessing,” said Jennifer Warden of B Lab. She was also impressed by the presentations and passion she witnessed at the final event, like BNY Mellon's Andrew Conde, who said “It was a truly inspiring evening.” Several employers were so impressed by the City College students in our program that they rehired their interns from last semester. Kate Hayes of Echoing Green said, “We absolutely love our partnership with the Zahn Innovation Center, and hope to continue working with your interns in the future.”Possibly the most exciting thing about last week's event was learning that one of Echoing Green's interns, Engell Latollari, was officially offered a full-time position upon his graduation! “In today's world, it's stressful enough for students to find jobs, let alone jobs they love. Seeing Engell's smile and knowing that he's so happy to have his ‘dream job' is incredibly rewarding to us at the Zahn Center,” said Anna Hutcheson, Internship Program Manager at the Zahn Innovation Center.Anna and the rest of the Zahn Team can't wait to meet the next cohort of summer interns. Look for a blog coming soon to learn more about their exciting placements! Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:28:44 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22035 Diversity Creates Innovation https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/diversity-creates-innovation Diversity creates innovation. Darlene Gillard Jones, a founding member at digitalundivided, shared this thought on Monday, April 18th amongst other female leaders at the Zahn Innovation Centers panel event, Decoding the Gender Divide. This quote seems obvious to any changemaker or entrepreneur, but facts show that gender diversity simply doesnt exist in STEM fields where disruptive innovation is essential to progress. Women represent only 24% of STEM fields, and theres significantly more disparity when it comes to minority women. Thats why the Zahn Innovation Center in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank put together a panel of powerful female entrepreneurs and professionals from organizations like Girls Who Code, digitalundivided, Black Girls Code, ScriptEd, Connect With STEM and In Your Corner. These women leaders Leah Gilliam, Darlene Gillard Jones, Bea Arthur, Calena Jamieson, Tashay Green and Sabriya Stukes shared their own stories, mantras for success, and discussed how they encourage young women to enter the STEM fields.One of the main reasons women dont enter or stay in STEM fields is because they feel like the other. When there arent female role models already in the field, young girls have trouble seeing themselves there. As Bea Arthur said, You cant be what you cant see. Many of the women on our panel became those role models for the young girls they work with, just like many of the young women in the audience are becoming role models for the next generation. One City College of New York student described that she often feels out of place in her field; as one of a handful of female computer science majors, she was inspired and filled with hope by the panel. Others were enlightened by the overall conversation, believing it was well overdue. Another CCNY student said, We often dont stop to have these real conversations with no filters. Im glad we got to have this conversation with everyone in the room.For Leah Gilliam of Girls Who Code, having everyone involved in this discussion is key. She stresses the importance of building up allies as you go, and knowing those allies wont always look like you.At the Zahn Innovation Center, we believe that were fostering a community of changemakers, the next group of global leaders, says Kesia Hudson, Program Manager of Womens Entrepreneurship at the Zahn Innovation Center at CCNY. Hudson knows how important it is to support these changemakers in their entrepreneurial journey, and creates programs to specifically support women entrepreneurs as part of the Standard Chartered Bank Women in Technology Incubator. Mon, 25 Apr 2016 10:47:34 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22034 Panel will De-Code the Gender Divide https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/panel-will-de-code-gender-divide While opportunities in the STEM field rapidly increase, the entire field remains unbalanced when it comes to gender diversity. Learn about the causes and consequences of the gender gap within the technology sector, how it has shaped the experiences of female entrepreneurs, and most importantly, what corrective actions organizations are taking to close the gap. Join us for an unprecedented panel event: Standard Chartered Presents: Decoding the Gender Divideft. Darlene Gillard (digitalundivided), Leah Gilliam (Girls Who Code),Tashay Green (ScriptED), Calena Jamieson (Black Girls Code), and Sabriya Stukes (ConnectWithSTEM)moderated by Bea Arthur (InYourCorner)Reserve your ticket by RSVP -ing!Sponsored by:  Leah Gilliam is the VP of Education, Strategy & Innovation at Girls Who Code. In her almost twenty years in the field, Gilliam has channeled her life-long fascination with systems and how things work into a diverse career at the intersection of learning and technology. Gilliam has consistently focused on issues of equity, opportunity, and participation€”whether launching a game-design laboratory in a NYC public school, lecturing on art and technology as a tenured professor at Bard College, or helping to embed and spread new tools and practices at Mozilla Foundation. She credits her socially engaged journalist mother and her avant-garde painter father with her early introduction to political thought and creativity.Darlene Gillard is one of the founding members, a Partner and the Partnership Director, Community & Events, digitalundivided (DID) a company that invests in the success of Black and Latina women tech Founders by providing them with the tools to build and scale high growth companies. At DID, Darlene leads all community partnerships, press relations, special projects and events; and was the force behind the organizations signature program, #FOCUS100. Darlene has more than 20 years of diversified experience managing large-scale projects for brands like eBay, BlogHer, and the International Downtown Association. As a special projects manager and senior edior at Essence Magazine, Darlene oversaw and participated in the development of key ventures and events for the Time, Inc.-owned brand including the Essence Music Festival. She has held editorial and leadership positions at several  women-focused media companies, such as Womens Wear Daily, W, and Elle Magazine and is the founder of Gillard Jones Agency, an event-planning, management and consulting firm.Calena Jamieson is the East Coast Program Manager for Black Girls CODE, a nonprofit working to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology. Prior to joining the Black Girls CODE team, she served as a lead volunteer for their New York City chapter.Tashay Green is a Program Manager at ScriptEd. After graduating from Howard University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Tashay became certified to teach through The New Teacher Project in the District of Columbia. In Washington D.C., she taught high school biology and conceptual physics before relocating to New York City. In New York City she continued to teach high school science until joining ScriptEd as a Program Manager. Tashay is deeply passionate about education and committed to achieving equity in the sciences for those that have been historically underserved.Sabriya Stukes is a trained microbiologist, a one-time science podcaster, a burgeoning science communicator and fierce supporter of all things STEM. She is actively involved in many organizations and committees that help to increase diversity and awareness in the science fields for women and underrepresented minority communities. She is the acting editor for Women in Science News for the Scientista Foundation, and was once a writing intern for the Einstein Department of Communications and Public Affairs Office. As the Director of Science Events for the Minority Graduate Student Association (MGSN), she helps to organize career and professional development workshops, along with special events geared towards the NYC graduate community. She is the co-founder of the science outreach organization Connect With STEM; she created this program to increase the visibility of STEM professions as well as the types of people doing these jobs to high school students in the NYC area. She recently earned her doctoral degree in Biomedical Sciences at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Arturo Casadevall researching the mechanisms behind the host-pathogen interactions between macrophages and the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. She is now working at City College as the Assistant Director for the newly established Masters of Translational Research program. This innovative program aims to bridge science, engineering and entrepreneurship together to teach students from diverse academic backgrounds the foundation and expertise needed to produce practical solutions for health.Called €œinnovative and inspiring by the American Counseling Association, licensed therapist and entrepreneur Bea Arthur has become a leader in the field of mental health care and telemedicine. With the goal of transforming traditional therapy into a more affordable and approachable experience, she created In Your Corner which provides instant, expert support when you need it. The Columbia University alum and TEDx speaker has been featured in Elle, MTV, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, VentureBeat, NPR, and CNN. She was also named part of the New Guard of women in tech by Marie Claire magazine, an Entrepreneur to Bet on by Newsweek, as well as a frequent contributor on Fox & Friends. Bea is also the first African American woman to be accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program, and is the co-host and co-producer of new YouTube series You’re Not Crazy!  Sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank & hosted by the Zahn Innovation Center.Questions? Email katherine@zahncenternyc.com Mon, 04 Apr 2016 18:43:54 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22032 Who Will You Vote for at Demo Day? https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/who-will-you-vote-demo-day Its that time of year again! Are you ready to kick off Lavender Week with our 2016 cohort?Monday, May 9th from 12-3pm.The Annual Zahn Center Demo Day Expo celebrates the startup teams that have completed our Lean Startup Bootcamp Program, and gives them a chance to show off their business models and prototypes to the general public. During this exciting event, teams will pitch to a panel of judges who will decide the eight teams that will move on to the Final Pitch on Thursday, May 12th. Those eight teams will compete for grand prizes ranging from $25,000-50,000!This year, twenty-five talented teams competing for the Kaylie Connected Hardware Prize, Zahn Social Impact Prize, Zahn Technology Prize and Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC Prize will present their ideas to an audience of over 500 supporters. Join us at this exciting event and see how entrepreneurs born and bred at CCNY are changing the way we learn, work, play, and think about our mental, physical and environmental health.Whats your role? As an audience, you will determine our four Audience Choice Award winners (a $1,000 prize each!).There will also be fun raffles, giveaways, and activities that coincide with Lavender Week at CCNY, essentially our school's spirit week.Who will you vote for? Check out an updated list of our teams here.To learn more about our Zahntrepreneurs, be sure to follow us on social media. They've prepared promo videos for you that we'll share over the next month. Mon, 04 Apr 2016 12:16:37 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22030 New Names, Some Pivots, Same Awesome Teams https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-names-some-pivots-same-awesome-teams As our 2016 cohort gets ready for its premiere event (Demo Day!), we wanted to update you on their progress. Some teams have stuck with the same idea, but changed their names, while others have completely pivoted. Check out the updated list below so you know who to visit at Demo Day.Kaylie Connected Hardware PrizeUpwalk €“ A smart walker that encourages better posture, helping seniors avoid pain and discomfort.Migo €“ A smart closet that cleans, de-wrinkles, and stores your clothes.The Notifier €“ A sleek, noninvasive security device that sends alerts to your phone in real time.Applied Motions €“ Wearables that combine biofeedback and gamification to increase strength and agility while rehabilitating and preventing injury.PluginBlocks €“ Educational electronics kits to help high school and college students develop STEM knowledge.On Pointe €“ A wearable device to prevent injuries and provide guidance for dancers. Standard Chartered WOMEN + TECH4NYC PrizeGleam €“ An interactive, affordable online platform for New Yorkers overcoming depression.EmoTrain €“ A revolutionary gaming experience working to redefine what it means to live with Autism Spectrum Disorder.StreetLabs (formerly StreetScan) €“ A smarter system for NYCs roads, allowing the DOT to make faster and more efficient repairs.Frip (formerly Sensei) €“ An app that helps K-12 teachers find, plan, and organize curated school trips in NYC.Duck Soup €“ An app helping ESL learners memorize new vocabulary through gamification. Zahn Social Impact PrizeVeriPAD €“ A technology for low and middle income countries that determines if medications are counterfeit.Wavergy €“ A new type of sustainable energy capture designed harnessing the constant motion of waves.CareTV €“ A media resource to help people with dementia remain safe in their homes.HandyNYC €“ A nonprofit organization that provides middle and high school STEM education while connecting New Yorkers to give amputees a helping hand.Rural Ignition (formerly EZ Chimney) €“ An affordable clean cookstove for Sri Lanka tackling the health, environmental and safety concerns faced by millions.BIS (Building Integrated Screen) – A sustainable screen designed to revitalize and improve the quality of life for people in hot/arid climates.EZ Adapt Ramps – Adaptive equipment to improve independence for people with disabilities. Zahn Technology PrizeHybridia €“ A tool to reinvent the way laparoscopic surgery is performed.Class Lit (formerly TutorX) €“ An app to find your perfect tutor, anytime, anywhere.The Sous Chef €“ An app that turns your phone into your personal sous chef.Squad Out €“ An app that allows friends to connect with each other for spontaneous social connectivity.Komb €“ A scheduling app and web-platform connecting clients with hairstylists instantaneously.C~Flow €“ A revolutionary class planning and course management software that will streamline all aspects of a college experience.Alternate: Favor €“ A valet app for simplifying car maintenance and repairs. Mon, 04 Apr 2016 12:04:51 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22033 Zahntrepreneurs Present at NEBEC and RoboUniverse https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/zahntrepreneurs-present-nebec-and-robouniverse As we've mentioned before, this year's cohort is especially engaged in the larger entrepreneurial community. We'd like to take a minute to highlight two of our teams, Hybridia and Applied Motions, who will pitch their ideas at the Northeast Bioengineering Conference (NEBEC) and RoboUniverse respectively.Hybridia, a semi-finalist in the Zahn Technology Track, will present their venture at the Northeast Bioengineering Conference (NEBEC), an annual event associated with the Biomedical Engineering Society. The first day of the 3-day conference is dedicated to students and includes several career exploration panels, and a chance to network with industry leaders, as well as an undergraduate design competition. Hybridia was chosen to present in this competition after submitting an abstract that explained its problem, solution, market and commercialization plans. On April 5th, the Hybridia team will present a poster to a panel of judges as well as other conference attendees at Binghamton University, the host institution for the 42nd Annual NEBEC.Hybridia focuses on laparoscopy, a type of minimally invasive surgical technique. After interviewing several surgeons and patients, the team realized that there is a huge need for a laparoscopic surgical tool that can articulate in different degrees of freedom. Hybridia is focused on creating a tool that combines the articulation of costly robotic systems. The team will apply that technology to current laparoscopic surgical tools. Their hopes for the NEBEC? “Winning would be amazing of course,” said the team, “but we think the experience in general is just a great opportunity. We hope that we can make our department and the Zahn Center proud by representing the quality of work coming out of CCNY.”Applied Motions, a semi-finalist in the Kaylie Connected Hardware Track, will present their venture at RoboUniverse on April 11th. RoboUniverse is a robot technology end user conference and exposition, featuring an array of business professionals, industry practitioners and robotics solutions providers. RoboUniverse events are all about Modern Robotics €“ mobile service robots, collaborative robots, drones and cognitive intelligence (AI), and the intersection between IoT & Robotics. The conference features leaders and experts on the robotics revolution who provide insights into market and technology trends that are creating business opportunities and changing the way we work, learn, and live. Our goal is to provide education and actionable intelligence for our attendees.Applied Motions will create wearables that combine biofeedback and gamification to increase strength and agility while rehabilitating and preventing injury. The data collected will be useful for a variety of industries.Show your support for both Hybridia and Applied Motions by wishing them luck and visiting them at Demo Day in May. Mon, 04 Apr 2016 11:53:48 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22031 Arun Sundararajan and the Sharing Economy https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/arun-sundararajan-and-sharing-economy On Thursday, March 17th, economist and author of The Sharing Economy, Arun Sundararajan, discussed how crowd-based capitalism is changing the future of work and economic growth. He talked about how platforms like Uber are leading a new era of peer-to-peer businesses, and its changing the way our world works. According to Arun, were at a crossroads between a market-based economy and an organization-based economy. Its called the sharing economy.Most of us use platforms like Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Airbnb and Zocdoc without thinking about how theyve changed the way we travel, get things done and get well. These peer-to-peer platforms combine the simplicity of a market-based exchange with the comfort factor we feel in doing business with a larger, respected organization. Essentially, the sharing economy is bringing human connectivity back to economics. Over the 20th century, the organizations we built stripped out everyday interactions and the connections that should have been made. In the sharing economy, the product or service being exchanged is irrelevant; its more about the relationship being built in the process.Some of the teams in our current cohort will use the Uber model to fit right into the sharing economy. Teams like Komb, Favor and ClassLit (formerly TutorX) bring stylists, mechanics and tutors straight to consumers, saving time and money. While this model is obviously convenient for consumers, it also allows skilled workers the ability to make more commission. Aruns research concludes that skilled workers wages in the sharing economy were better than those who worked outside of the sharing economy. Thats why he believes over half of the US workforce will be freelancers by the year 2036.So are there pitfalls in this type of exchange? During the discussion, many students brought up the fact that the sharing economy could compound inequality; ie., if you cant afford a car, you cant be an Uber driver. But Arun believes the sharing economy actually tends to do the opposite. Take Airbnb for example. People hosting on Airbnb usually start because theyre in financial stress or could use extra money. And those renting on Airbnb are taking vacations they wouldnt normally afford. Although the sharing economy doesnt engage the very rich or the very poor, it does level the playing field for those who fall in the middle of these two groups.Ultimately, the sharing economy will completely change our world. Not only will it affect business as we know it, but itll change the way we do everything, from seeking healthcare to exchanging money. At the Zahn Center, were encourage students to stay on the cutting edge. Were excited that many teams in our current cohort have chosen to work with a peer-to-peer business model. To learn more about those teams, visit them on Demo Day. Mon, 28 Mar 2016 15:16:05 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22029 TEDxCUNYSalon at CCNY: The Evolution of Entrepreneurship https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/tedxcunysalon-ccny-evolution-entrepreneurship  TEDxCUNY is back again with a Salon focusing on the importance of building a community of students from different disciplines. The Evolution of Entrepreneurship will discuss how entrepreneurship promotes diversity, and how diversity is translated in a workplace environment.Speakers include:Bea Arthur – Founder/CEO of In Your CornerDarren Norris – ArchitectCrae Sosa – Software Engineer at Homer LogisticsNabeel Alamgir – CEO of TAPT & Marketing Director of BareburgerIn collaboration with the Entrepreneurship Student Club at CCNY, join us on Tuesday, March 22nd from 12:30PM-3PM in the Zahn Center at Marshak. Refreshments will be served! To learn more about the Ted Talk or to RSVP, check out the Eventbrite page here. Limited seats are available. What is a TEDxCUNYSalon?A TEDxCUNYSalon is a smaller TEDx event which is meant to keep TEDxCUNY alive throughout the year. A few talks are viewed, a few live speakers can speak, and conversations are encouraged between the talks. These events are a chance to bring a campus together, and to talk about topics that will engage its students. Fri, 11 Mar 2016 14:45:20 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22027 Entrepreneurship Secrets from Bert Brodsky and Kim Wales https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/entrepreneurship-secrets-bert-brodsky-and-kim-wales If you missed Tuesdays Fireside Chat with legendary Bert Brodsky and Kim Wales, you missed a fascinating conversation about what it means to be an entrepreneur (and a few stories we cant even share online!). Both of our guests speakers delved into their pasts, sharing intimate details about their journey to success. Their stories gave students a roadmap to running a killer business, and theres no way we could summarize all of their great advice, so here are some of the conversations best takeaways: Entrepreneurs are born. When both Bert and Kim look back on their childhoods, they see clear indications that they would grow up to be entrepreneurs (or at least, unconventional people). At ten, Bert was collecting bottles on the beach to trade in for cash. He quickly realized that if he paid younger kids a portion of the profit to do the work, he could collect more bottles and make an even bigger profit. Kim admits that sharing a room with her three sisters taught her how to negotiate and get the things she needed. This same entrepreneurial attitude came in handy when she wanted to get a job at Chuck E. Cheese. Too young to legally work, Kim simply doctored her birth certificate so she could land the job. Simply put, both of our guest speakers agree, Entrepreneurship is either in you or its not. Its that part of you that goes after what you want because you know that no one is going to hand it to you.Success is creating opportunities for yourself. When asked about their secrets to success, Bert and Kim said different things, but both agreed that its all about making an existing opportunity work for you. Much of Bert Brodskys success comes from creating a space for himself in big industries. If you can break into the biggest industry and snag just a small portion of the market, youre set. Kim Wales finds opportunities in the legal system. When the JOBS Act was created, she saw an opportunity for a business. She says, Opportunities are embedded in the law, you just have to find them and make them work for you. Both agree that as an entrepreneur, the key to staying above the fray is executing others ideas much better than they can.Sleep when youre dead. So maybe we shouldnt be advertising this one…but weve noticed a trend: entrepreneurs barely sleep. Kim and Bert often sacrifice sleep for the sake of their businesses. Both get by on just a few hours a night, and believe in the power of short naps, nuts and apples, and diet coke. When they do sleep, they sleep soundly and without fear of failure, because they know failure isnt a bad thing; it brings opportunity.To participate in more events like this, check our calendar. Save the date for our next panel event on April 18th. Fri, 11 Mar 2016 14:31:57 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22028 Learn How Uber is Changing the Future of Work https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/learn-how-uber-changing-future-work Sharing isnt new. Giving someone a ride, having a guest in your spare room, running errands for someone, participating in a supper club€”these are not revolutionary concepts. What is new, in the sharing economy, is that you are not helping a friend for free; you are providing these services to a stranger for money. Learn how platforms like Uber and TaskRabbit are creating economic growth and changing the future of work.Arun Sundararajan is a Professor and the Robert L. & Dale Atkins Rosen Faculty Fellow at New York Universitys Stern School of Business, and he heads the NYU Social Cities Initiative. A recognized authority on the sharing economy, he has published op-eds and commentary in Time, the New Yorker, the New York Times, Wired,Le Monde, Harvard Business Review, and the Financial Times. He is the author of The Sharing Economy (MIT Press, May 2016). Recent speaking engagements include the World Economic Forum in Davos, the World Government Summit in Dubai, and SXSW in Austin, TX.Maria Binz-Scharf is an Associate Professor of Management in the Department of Economics and Business at CCNY. Her research investigates how individuals create and use networks to get work done in the knowledge economy.Join us for a Fireside Chat with Arun Sundararajan, Thursday, March 17th in the Zahn Center @Marshak from 5-7pm. Refreshments will be served. Wed, 09 Mar 2016 11:33:32 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22026 Zahntrepreneurs Compete in CUNY SmartPitch https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/zahntrepreneurs-compete-cuny-smartpitch Several of our Zahntrepreneurs will compete in the CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise SmartPitch Challenge this year. SmartPitch is an ideation competition open to all matriculating CUNY students. The challenge encourages students to develop their business idea through a three phase program, workshops, and a network of mentors. SmartPitch provides an online community, in-person workshops, and events to support competitors along the way. This year, there is $30,000 in cash prizes available.Our 2016 cohort teams competing in SmartPitch include Applied Motions, C~Flow, Favor, Hybridia, Migo, the Notifier, SquadOut, StreetScan and UpWalk. Atlete, a team in our incubator, will also compete. We can't wait to update you about their progress in this competition. We'll be rooting for them the whole way! Wed, 09 Mar 2016 10:14:51 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22025 Students Visit Google, Standard Chartered and Impact Hub NYC https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/students-visit-google-standard-chartered-and-impact-hub-nyc This year's startup cohort is made up of incredibly unique ideas, but all 28 teams have one thing in common–they're attempting to disrupt the status quo and change the world for the better. Each team will develop an innovative product or service that will change the way certain industries, or communities, operate. So they'll not only need to focus on their businesses, but they'll need to learn how to portray themselves as leaders of innovation. Who better to learn from than leaders of innovation at Google, Standard Chartered Bank and Impact Hub NYC? Last week, our Zahntrepreneurs visited these organizations to participate in workshops and learn from experts who have positioned themselves as innovators in their fields.On Thursday, the teams competing for the Kaylie Connected Hardware Prize visited Google to learn how their products can play a role in the “Internet of Things” sphere. Some teams, like Applied Motions, are developing technology that will gather important data. Experts at Google helped Applied Motions determine how to make this data easily accessible and beneficial. Other teams, like UpWalk and Migo, will introduce smart hardware to low-tech fields. UpWalk, a smart walker, will transform the way the elderly move; and Migo is a smart closet that allows you to dry clean your clothes at home in under ten minutes. The workshop at Google helped them better understand how to introduce their products and compete with existing technology.The next day, teams competing for the Zahn Social Impact Prize met social entrepreneurs at Impact Hub NYC. They had a chance to explore the coworking spaces there and learn what services an organization like Impact Hub provides to its members. Afterwards, teams pitched their ideas and were given feedback. For Handy NYC, a team with the dual mission of bringing 3D-printed prosthetics to the developing world while also teaching STEM to local students, this exercise was incredibly helpful.During the same time, teams competing for both the Zahn Technology and Standard Chartered Women + Tech4NYC prizes visited Standard Chartered Bank for a business development workshop and pitch practice. Experts taught teams what a business plan will look like at a later stage in their development, and teams worked on their SWOT analyses. After a quick tour, teams broke out into groups and pitched their ideas to individual mentors. They also got a chance to pitch to other teams in their cohort, something that is becoming increasingly the norm around our centers. Our teams love giving each other feedback, and getting feedback from experts. Gleam, Proxie (previously Share) and Frip (previously Sensei) pitched to Standard Chartered's Global Head of Public Affairs and Sustainability, Vasuki Shastry.We owe a big thank you to Google, Standard Chartered and Impact Hub NYC for hosting us last week and sharing their knowledge with us. For pictures from these site visits, check out our Instagram!   Wed, 02 Mar 2016 20:55:10 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22024 Investors Share Secrets to Success https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/investors-share-secrets-success On February 9th, some of NYCs leading investment experts joined us for a panel event, How to Fund Your Startup, where they shared tips for raising startup capital. Panelists included Jaishan Wu of DormRoomFund, an organization that invests specifically in student-run startups; John Vaskis of IndieGoGo, the popular global crowdfunding space; Jonathan Hakakian of SoundBoard Angel Fund, a group of 30+ angel investors; and Christopher Reim of the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance (CDVCA), a network for social impact investing. The panel was moderated by award-winning journalist and author of Locavesting, Amy Cortese. She is an expert on local, citizen-led investment practices. Together, the team of five experts shared their wealth of knowledge and offered resources to our Zahntrepreneurs and other CCNY students in attendance.Many of our Zahntrepreneurs are still operating in an ideation stage, or are still experimenting with prototypes. Still, they need to learn if and when they need to start raising capital. The first step is identifying the motivation behind the company, or envisioning where you want your company end up. Some investors want to see an immediate return on investment, others want to be part of the next 500-person company; you should be clear about whether youre going to build & sell or build & stay. Before raising capital, entrepreneurs need to know how their business is going to make money, and also have a structure for operational processes. For product-focused businesses, you must figure out the entire manufacturing chain before seeking capital; you never want to be in a situation where you cant fulfill orders.  When its time to seek investments, entrepreneurs have many options. They can look to traditional venture capitalists, who usually invest in startups after theyve already received a few rounds of funding. Angel investors will go in earlier and invest in the seed-level funding stage. However, most venture capitalists and angel investors are interested in making the most out of their return; they need to see an eventual exit. Another option for startups is crowdfunding, where the common public invests in a startup. When it comes to crowdfunding, B2C ventures with a tangible product tend to do better than B2B ventures. Finally, startups can also go after peer investments.Our panelists also talked about the role of social businesses in the investment space. To many investors, social impact enhances the value of a business. The idea of social impact is to attract private money into public objectives, said Chris Reim. Social impact makes your business better.So where do our Zahntrepreneurs start when it comes to seeking investments? They should start building a strong team. Jonathan Hakakian reminded us, At the end of the day, were trying to help entrepreneurs start businesses. You know You dont want to fund someones business if you dont want to talk to them. Build the relationship like you would with any other relationship, it takes time, its long term thing.For more advice from leading investors, join us next week for an intimate discussion with philanthropist and entrepreneur, Bert Brodsky. Hell talk about how he transformed the healthcare industry as a regular kid from the Bronx. The discussion will be led by Kim Wales, an expert in crowdfunding. RSVP today. Wed, 02 Mar 2016 17:36:53 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22023 New IN2NYC Program Brings International Entrepreneurs to Zahn Center https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/new-in2nyc-program-brings-international-entrepreneurs-zahn-center We are excited to announce our role as a host in the International Innovators Initiative (IN2NYC), a program designed to help international entrepreneurs access visas so they can create jobs in the United States. The program was created by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY). The Zahn Innovation Center, a program of the City College Fund, will pilot this program at City College this year before implementing at six other incubators at partnering CUNY schools (Baruch College, LaGuardia Community College, Lehman College, Medgar Evers College, Queens College and the College of Staten Island).IN2NYC aligns with the de Blasio administration's efforts to foster entrepreneurship in all five boroughs.This is a win for our universities, our working people and our citys ability to compete on the global stage. We are making sure New York City remains a magnet for the worlds top talent, and putting New Yorkers to work at the technology and engineering firms of tomorrow, said Mayor Bill de Blasio.The IN2NYC program is projected to help 80 entrepreneurs gain access to the visas they need to grow businesses in New York City, and also create more than 700 jobs for New Yorkers in its first three years. The international entrepreneurs will make their partnering incubator the headquarters for their business, and also commit themselves to supporting the mission of the partner school by contributing to academic research, developing curricula, providing students with internship and employment opportunities, or serving as mentors. NYCEDC will begin accepting applications for IN2NYC this spring, with the first group of entrepreneurs expected to be in place by the fall. For more information, go to www.in2.nyc.We are especially enthusiastic about piloting this program because it fits so nicely into our efforts to bolster CCNY's already distinct diversity by celebrating international talent. The Zahn Innovation Center and the City College of New York look forward to partnering with the New York City Economic Development Corporation to implement the IN2NYC program, said Joseph Barba, Director of Student Entrepreneurship, City College of New York.  IN2NYC will promote NYC economic development by attracting foreign entrepreneurs to the city and provide support for the innovation and entrepreneurial education at the City College and the City University of New York.To read more about this announcement, visit the New York Times. Mon, 22 Feb 2016 10:00:35 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22022 Bert Brodsky and Kim Wales to Share Advice https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/bert-brodsky-and-kim-wales-share-advice Do you want to start your own company one day?Being an entrepreneur is tough, and making it in the big city is even tougher. Learn what it takes to not only survive, but thrive in the startup world from NYCs leading entrepreneur and investor, Bert Brodsky. Youll have a chance to hear his personal stories and receive coveted advice in an intimate fireside chat moderated by crowdfunding expert and entrepreneur, Kim Wales. You wont want to miss this riveting discussion! RSVP today.Details: Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 at 12:15pm in Shepard Hall rm 107 at the City College of New YorkBert Brodsky is a leading entrepreneur, and an active philanthropist and member of the community. Mr. Brodskys entrepreneurship was evident as far back as 1970. At that time, he founded his first company, Medical Arts Office Services, Inc., a bookkeeping service for hospital-based physicians. This business became the forerunner of what is today known as Sandata Technologies, LLC, one of the nations premier providers of advanced computer, telephony and internet-based technologies for the healthcare industry. (taken from bio)Kim Wales is a thought leader in the crowdfunding industry. Kims 17 years of domestic and international banking experience spans Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Private Banking, Cash Management, Fund Administration, Restructuring and Turnarounds, Business Development, Product Launches and Technology Implementations. She is the Founder & CEO of Wales Capital. (taken from bio) Wed, 17 Feb 2016 10:44:15 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22021 Leaning on LinkedIn https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/leaning-linkedin Our first Bootcamp session of 2016 was packed with eager Zahntrepreneurs who wanted to learn how to be powerful networkers and build company advocates. Brian Wilson, President of DuroUAS, led the first half of the session. He believes that creating a network starts online, and gave us some great tips for utilizing LinkedIn:The first impression of you is your LinkedIn picture, so make sure your picture is professional, clearly shows your face, and fills the entire LinkedIn box.The second impression is your title. Your title should reflect your current role (ie, Founder of Awesome App). And generally, titles should be powerful and use active words (ie, Dynamic Communicator seeking Marketing Internship).Next, make sure your About me not only summarizes your skills and expertise, but describes the role you play at your current company. Focus on the here and now.You should list your past work experiences and write powerful descriptions of your responsibilities and projects (again, use exciting action verbs!).Theres also space to include your accolades, languages, volunteer experiences, and things you care about. Remember, you want to look human, so tell us about your passions.If you write a blog, you can publish those posts on LinkedIn too.Endorsements look great–and you definitely want to get as many endorsements as possible–but recommendations are better. Ask your professors and past employers to write recommendations for you. Finally, build your network. Start with the people you know: CCNY students, classmates, etc. When asking to connect, personalize your request instead of using LinkedIns built in message.When its time to build their network, our Zahntrepreneurs will need to make specific asks to future partners. In our next blog, well share how to connect with those partners and build a team of advocates. Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:54:50 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22020 Bootcamp Weekend Retreat Recap https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/bootcamp-weekend-retreat-recap This past weekend our Zahntrepreneurs began their Lean Startup Bootcamp journey with a two-day retreat at General Assembly's coworking space in the Flatiron District. The weekend was jam-packed with fun workshops, break-out sessions, team building exercises and tons of pitch practice. Here's a quick recap.On Saturday, Zahn Prize Alum Shawn Augustine welcomed the 2016 cohort with an inspirational speech. He spoke about the importance of the pivot, and reminded teams to take advantage of every opportunity afforded to them. Then, the cohort took the opportunity to network across tracks by competing in the Spaghetti Marshmallow Challenge (the winning team built a 26.5 inch tower!). It was awesome to see the teams mingling with each other. Check out these action shots!Later that afternoon, representatives of Standard Chartered Bank led a Team Dynamics Workshop, where our semi-finalists learned how to manage a team of peers. They practiced good management techniques by acting out conflict scenarios. Afterwards, Lindsay, Kesia and Professor Punit Arora led a discussion on value proposition. For the rest of the afternoon, teams worked on defining their value propositions and creating pitches to surround it.That Sunday, teams arrived early to hear from alum Carrie Fils-Aime talk about her Zahn experience. They then dove right into a fun, creative prototyping workshop led by Lee-Sean Huang. Teams were challenged to completely re-think their prototypes, user experience models, or wireframes and instead, expressed the story and passion behind their ideas using construction paper, pipe cleaners, and other random objects. You'll want to see some of their creative “prototypes” on our Instagram.After a morning of creating, the afternoon was dedicated to presenting. Amy Fowkes led a storytelling workshop where teams got the chance to learn invaluable presentation skills. Then, they put these skills to the test and presented 3-minute pitches to the entire cohort.We cannot express how thrilled we are to work with this group of bright, eager, creative individuals. And we're so happy to learn that they're already making so much progress. Take it from PluginBlocks, who looked at this weekend as an opportunity to re-evaluate and grow:“To be honest, we hated the idea of giving up our weekend. However, we had fun and we appreciated the learning experience. This event made us change our approach; after learning some new facts about the competition and our strong competitors, the importance of the presentational skills–both personal (body language) and design aspect–and most importantly, the trust equation. Initially, we cared more about our product/idea, but now we know it's as important to care about the team structure (as we learned from Standard Chartered's presentation) and also to come up with a solid plan.” Thu, 04 Feb 2016 15:54:55 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22019 Students Deliver for Social Enterprises in BNY Mellon Program https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/students-deliver-social-enterprises-bny-mellon-program On Tuesday, January 19th, we closed out our Fall Internship Program with a finale event. The BNY Mellon-sponsored Fall Program matched 12 student interns with nonprofits and social enterprises throughout the city, including organizations like Echoing Green, Bridges Ventures and B Lab.  Four of these students will continue their internships into the Spring Semester, and for another student, her internship became a job! During the finale, each student presented on their internship experience. For many, these internships gave them their first opportunity to take ownership of a large project and make an impact on a deserving community. Some students led marketing and social media campaigns, some interacted with clients as community managers, and others put their classroom knowledge and tech skills to the test as engineers or software and app developers.This semesters internship program was made possible through a sponsorship from BNY Mellon. Bill Sappington, Kate Debold, Adetola Abiade and Andrew Conde represented the bank at the event, and they  mingled and networked with students before and after the program. Before our students presented, the representatives from BNY Mellon led a quick, spontaneous panel discussion where they shared their career experiences. They shared valuable advice with our students like, Networking is key. Andrew Conde further explained, Keep in touch with your colleagues, classmates and professors. Staying connected with them after college will definitely be crucial to your career.BNY Mellon will sponsor another eleven students for the Spring Semester (placements will be announced soon!). The Zahn Center is currently accepting applications for the Summer Internship Program. There are 50 spots available at various social enterprises, nonprofits, tech startups and innovative companies. Application deadline is March 7th…but dont wait to apply to the program that just might change your life. For more information and questions, reach out to our wonderful Internship Program Manager, Anna Hutcheson ( anna@zahncenternyc.com ). Tue, 02 Feb 2016 12:21:52 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22018 What are Investors Looking For? https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/what-are-investors-looking How to Fund A Startup: There are an abundance of options for startups looking to get the funds they need to kickstart their activities. Not every entrepreneur should turn first to a venture capitalist for money. Join us for a thought provoking panel on how startups get their start, from crowd-funding to peer investors, angels to impact investors. This session will leave you with a sense of the wide array of funding options and actionable steps to help you find the startup capital to match your needs.Panelists include:Jonathan Hakakian, SoundBoard AngelsJiashan Wu, Dorm Room FundJohn Vaskis, IndieGogoChris Reim, Community Development Venture Capital AllianceModerated by Amy Cortese, award-winning journalist from the NY Times, Business Week, The Daily News, and more RSVP!Details: Tuesday, February 9th from 12:15-1:45pm in Shepard Hall rm 107 at the City College of New York. Thu, 28 Jan 2016 12:00:37 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22017 Hang Out, Swap Ideas, Eat Pizza! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/hang-out-swap-ideas-eat-pizza When we ask students, “What do you need from the Zahn Center?”, most simply say they need a place to hang out with like-minded individuals. So this semester we've created opportunities to do just that.Every other Friday during lunch, all students and faculty are welcome to join us in the Zahn Center @Steinman (Rm B20) for a pizza social. You can hang out, swap ideas, and eat pizza. At each pizza social, four of our 2016 teams will practice pitching. You can hear their awesome ideas as they develop, and even offer feedback.Join the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1500458770262187/permalink/150045878359…We can't wait to see you there! Thu, 28 Jan 2016 11:24:58 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22016 Goodbye Fall Interns! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/goodbye-fall-interns The end of the fall semester also means the end of our Fall Internship Program, and as our interns approach the end of their experience, we wanted to take a moment to reflect.Thanks to the generous sponsorship from BNY Mellon, the Zahn Center placed students in paid internships with the following social enterprises and nonprofits:Blue Ridge Labs & The Robin Hood FoundationEchoing GreenBridges VenturesB Lab CorpClearGrid at NYC ACREGlobal Futures GroupBandwagon at NYC ACREDuro UASBusiness Initiative Corporation Of New YorkAmerica SCORES New YorkOrpheus Chamber OrchestraThe positions offered a good diversity of roles, from marketing to tech. We asked both interns and employers to tell us about how the semester went and were very pleased to find that the experience was satisfying and rewarding for all involved.Here's what some of our employers had to say about their interns:“[She] is doing phenomenally and in my opinion is showing signs of a true future leader. She has a prodigious work ethic and been able to handle everything weve asked of her, and is already managing a small staff in her department.” – Gabriel Foreman, Duro UAS“Its really fantastic (and pretty rare) to have an intern who you can trust to do real work, and [he] has proven himself over and over again.”  – Alexandra Smith, Echoing Green“I cannot convey in words just how happy we are with both [of our interns]. Put simply, aside from the learnings that come from an internship, their positivity and integration into our culture and team has made them such a joy to engage with.” – Dianalynn Bodero, Echoing Green“[She] is the first Marketer we have had of that caliber and she is doing a wonderful job.” – Madeline Marquez, BICNYAnd here is what some of our interns found to be most satisfying about their internships:“The most satisfying element of the internship was the interactions with the multitude of individuals from numerous backgrounds.”“The opportunity to do real and important work for the company, as opposed to the simple time killing labor conducted during most internships.”“Feeling like I had the freedom to decide how to complete the tasks given to me and freedom to develop marketing plans as I saw fit.”“All of the staff members know my name and are very welcoming. Also, the work is interesting as I am learning new material and honing important skills in the financial services sector.”The goal of this program is to prepare CCNY students for their graduation by showing them what it's like to be a valued member of an organization.Our interns can step into the job market knowing that they have been given a competitive edge, and that they can present themselves as experienced candidates to employers. They have felt both the weight and privilege of responsibility, and they're ready for more.And it's time to find our next batch of interns, so we are currently accepting applications for the PAID Spring Internship Program. If you want to gain valuable experience at a social enterprise, apply now! The deadline is 1/15. Tue, 22 Dec 2015 13:01:19 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22014 Entrepreneurship Spreads at CCNY https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/entrepreneurship-spreads-ccny At the Zahn Center we believe that entrepreneurship is a mindset, and that everyone has the mindset within them. Each person has the ability to question the status quo, create change, and adapt with creativity and innovation. Being an entrepreneur, to us, means that you're never satisfied, and you're always fighting to make this world a better place for all.But this entrepreneurial mindset must be cultivated in an environment that supports questioning and creativity. That's why we were so excited to have worked with so many professors in a variety of different disciplines this semester! Students at CCNY were able to explore the concept of entrepreneurship as it relates to business, design, social impact, gender studies, and engineering, and we think many of them caught the bug.Professor Punit Arora's Entrepreneurship class spent the semester exploring what it means to turn your dreams into a sustainable venture. His class worked in groups to create business plans for a variety of different projects. All of the students in this class applied to our venture competitions with these final projects, and a few groups made it into our final 28. One of these teams is working to verify counterfeit drugs.The Zahn Center sponsored a course in the Electronic Design and Multimedia program for the second year to help designers explore the path of entrepreneurship. Adjunct Professor Yvette Francis taught the course this Fall, in which students developed their startup ideas, explored the design and technical elements of each, and conducted extensive research on their innovation and market.Professor Anasa Scott exposed CCNY students to the world of social impact in her environmental social entrepreneurship course this semester. Students explored how entrepreneurship and business can create social change. It's no surprise that so many of our entries this year had a social aspect to them, and so many of our students were thinking globally about issues.This semester, as part of our partnership with Standard Chartered Bank, we hired Kim Wales to expose CCNY students to entrepreneurship with a gender and diversity lens. Her students learned about the history of women's entrepreneurship and explored what it means to be a female entrepreneur today. As a semester-long project, her students created a business plan and presented it as a final. Several students applied to our venture competitions with these projects, including an online platform to help parents babysit for each other and a social entrepreneurship enterprise for coffee farmers.We are so excited that so many students not only explored what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset, and that so many of them caught the entrepreneurship bug and decided to pursue their ideas and dreams as ventures. We hope that CCNY students incorporate this kind of innovative thinking into their entire lives, so we partnered with Engineering 101 classes to bring design-thinking and ideation into their classrooms. We brought in Gareth Miles of the Rise Group, who led ideation workshops for the last few weeks of the semester. Students gained valuable skills, and we hope they continue to think creatively, ask questions, and come up with positive solutions. Mon, 21 Dec 2015 11:03:53 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22015 Bootcamp Excitement Builds https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/bootcamp-excitement-builds On Tuesday we welcomed our new cohort into our Zahn family and transitioned last year's cohort into their role as alumni. To us, it was a celebration of our changemakers, whether they are just beginning their entrepreneurial journey, or they're ready to go out and share their impact with the rest of the world.During our alumni breakfast we acknowledged our students' accomplishments and spoke about the challenges our young entrepreneurs faced (and overcame!) during their bootcamp. As a commemoration of their time with us, we presented our new alumni with a special trophy, designed by our lead Engineer, Aulio Diaz and our Office Manager/resident artist, Steven Monzon. The trophy represents their journey from a Zahn Center changemaker to an entrepreneur of the world, and reminds them that they started that journey in NYC. Check out pictures on our Instagram page.That afternoon, we kicked off our bootcamp by gathering our new cohort together as a large group. They mingled with each other and learned more about the program, and in the spirit of co-working, each of the four competition tracks created a unique mascot that represented their track's overall mission. Every team also presented their challenge statement, and explained what key issue their idea would address.As a surprise, we invited Bea Arthur, Founder of In Your Corner. Called innovative and inspiring by the American Counseling Association, licensed therapist and entrepreneur Bea Arthur has become a leader in the field of mental health care and telemedicine. With the goal of transforming traditional therapy into a more affordable and approachable experience, she created In Your Corner which provides instant, expert support when you need it. The Columbia University alum has worked with a variety of demographics including addicts in recovery, couples in crisis, and survivors of domestic violence. Her passion for self-care led her to start two wellness-based businesses and a thriving private practice all before the age of 30. She has been featured in Elle, MTV, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, VentureBeat, NPR, and CNN; and was also named part of the New Guard of women in tech by Marie Claire magazine as well as an entrepreneur to bet on by Newsweek. Arthur is also the first black female CEO from the US to be accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program.Our new cohort was inspired by Bea Arthur's story. She encouraged them to be fearless, collaborative, and patient as they develop their business ideas.But our students will be developing much more than business ideas over the next few months, they will be solving relevant problems with unprecedented passion. Fri, 11 Dec 2015 14:37:52 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22012 Thank you to our Judges https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/thank-you-our-judges We couldn't have picked such an awesome batch of semi-finalist teams without the help of our judges–57 investors, entrepreneurs, public officials, educators, and CCNY alumni who took time out of their busy schedules to read student applications, provide feedback, and score the teams based on a variety of factors, including market value and innovation.Thank you to Adrish Majumdar, Alec Stern, Ali Nayyar, Anasa Scott, Andrew Hapke, Betty Huang, Bill Sappington, Bita Goldman, Brendan Mee, Brian Heiman, Casey Pickett, Celia Lloyd, Chris Reim, Claude Brathwaite, Derrick Yeboah, Drew Aldrich, Elaine Kallenbach, Eric Lima, Fabiola Salman, Frank DeBernadis, George Abraham, Haytham Elhawary, Howard Morgan, Jenn Byrne, Jeremy Schwartz, Jim Miller, John Lanahan, Jonathan Chin, Jonathan Hakakian, Julio Corredor, Justin Hendrix, Karen Stone, Kim Folsom, Kim Wales, Krishna Gullapalli, Lauren Van Heerden, Lindsay Greene, Lisa Balter Saacks, Lou Anne Flanders, Marc Mantell, Maria Binz Scharf, Marsha Yuan, Megan Nesbeth, Monica Dean, Noa Gafney, Paul Canetti, Punit Arora, Ray Garcia, Rene Baston, Sahar Ghaheri, Sam Utne, Shawn Pelsinger, Shawn Cheng, Todd Barish, Valerie Pholpituke, and William Snipes for sharing your expertise with us!Our judges represented the following companies and organizations: AT Kearney, AXA Strategic Ventures, Baruch College, BNY Mellon, Brookstone, CCNY, CDVCA, Constant Contact, Converse, Cooper Union, CUNY, CUNY Incubator, Etsy, First Round Capital, General Assembly, Gust, Impact Hub NYC, Impact Squared, Indicate Media, Kinetic, Knoll, Launch Captial, Mayor Di Blasio's Office, Maz Digital, Minz, Nascent Enterprises, NYC Media Lab, Palladium, Partnership for NYC, Pearl Cohen, Pfizer, PHD Worldwide, PS Department, Quantum, Quesnay Inc., Reel Qualified, Rhodium Strategies, Standard Chartered Bank, Soundboard Angel Investors, the State of Connecticut, Sullivan Cromwell, Vayner Media, and Wales Capital.We're looking forward to working with these partners throughout the Bootcamp and beyond. Fri, 11 Dec 2015 10:49:39 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22013 Introducing our New Cohort https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/introducing-our-new-cohort If youve been following us this semester, you know that weve spent months collecting applications for our 2015-16 Competitions. This year we received 99 entries, and we were astounded by the quality and creativity of every idea. Overall, we received many entries that had a social entrepreneurship aspect, and we learned that CCNY students are invested in creating change both locally and globally. Over the past few weeks, weve worked with outside judges to narrow down our entries. Zahn staff held personal interviews with the top 10 teams in each category, and then chose six semi-finalists and one alternate to create our biggest cohort yet. Were very excited to announce the 2015-16 Zahn Venture Competition cohort. Heres a sneak peek:Kaylie Connected Hardware PrizeUpwalk – A smart walker that encourages better posture, helping seniors avoid pain and discomfort.Migo – A smart closet that cleans, de-wrinkles, and stores your clothes.The Notifier – A sleek, noninvasive security device that sends alerts to your phone in real time.Applied Motions – A hand exercise device that combines biofeedback and gamification to increase strength and agility while rehabilitating and preventing injury.PluginBlocks – Educational electronics kits to help high school and college students develop STEM knowledge.On Pointe – A wearable device to prevent injuries and provide guidance for dancers.Alternate: Powersol – A smarter solar umbrella that protects you from the sun and charges your electronic devices. Standard Chartered WOMEN + TECH4NYC PrizeGleam – An interactive, affordable online platform for New Yorkers overcoming depression.EmoTrain – A revolutionary gaming experience working to redefine what it means to live with Autism Spectrum Disorder.#BallotMatters – An issue-focused guide to local NYC elections allowing users to vote confidently.StreetScan – A smarter system for NYCs roads, allowing the DOT to make faster and more efficient repairs.Share – A platform that makes hyper-local charitable giving easier than ever.Sensei – An application that helps K-12 teachers find, plan, and organize curated school trips in NYC.Alternate: Duck Soup – An application helping ESL learners memorize new vocabulary through gamification. Zahn Social Impact PrizeVeriPAD – A technology for low and middle income countries that determines if medications are counterfeit.Modular Lattice Wave Energy Converter – A new type of green energy designed that captures the constant motion of waves.CareTV – A media resource to help people with dementia remain safe in their homes.Handy NYC – A nonprofit organization that provides middle and high school STEM education while connecting New Yorkers to give amputees a helping hand.Building-Integrated Screen – A sustainable screen designed to revitalize and improve the quality of life for people in hot/arid climates.EZ Adapt Ramps – Adaptive equipment to improve independence for people with disabilities.Alternate: EZ Chimney – An inexpensive, portable ventilating system to solve indoor pollution in developing countries. Zahn Technology PrizeHybridia – A tool to reinvent the way laparoscopic surgery is performed.TutorX Technologies – An app to find your perfect tutor, anytime, anywhere.The Sous Chef – An app that turns your phone into your personal sous chef.Squad Out – An app that allows friends to connect with each other for spontaneous social connectivity.Komb – A scheduling app and web-platform connecting clients with barbers and hairstylists instantaneously.C~Flow – A revolutionary class planning and course management software that will streamline all aspects of your college experience.Alternate: Favor – An app that turns the world into your personal assistant.  We cant wait to begin an entrepreneurial journey with these fantastic teams. In late January we will kick off our Bootcamp, and well share updates of each teams progress throughout the semester. Youll get to know them as their ideas evolve. Join us in congratulating the 2015-2016 Cohort! In this picture: The StreetScan team meets each other for the first time and creates their idea at October's Idea Jam 4NYC. Mon, 07 Dec 2015 15:21:34 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22011 Social Entrepreneurship Speaker Series: Measuring Success https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/social-entrepreneurship-speaker-series-measuring-success How do you know when social programs work? We're hosting a panel about how to measure your success. Learn valuable tactics for gauging your impact!Thursday, December 3rd, 6-8pm, Shepard Hall, Room 107.Speakers:Amanda Kizer, MA, Analytics Associate with the B Analytics-Measure What Matters team at B Lab. Amanda helps managers measure, benchmark, and report the social and environmental impact of companies.Nicole Lavan, PhD, Director of Research, Policy and Evaluation for the Bronx community-based organization, WHEDco. Nicole has over ten years of experience designing and managing program research and data.George Mitchell, PhD, CCNY Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the Colin Powell School and a leading expert on evaluation and effectiveness in the social sector.Triada Stampas, MPA, Vice President for Research and Public Affairs, Food Bank for New York City.Diana Strumbos, PhD Candidate, Director of Research and Evaluation for CUNY's ground-breaking Accelerated Study in Associate Programs. Mon, 09 Nov 2015 16:11:46 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22010 SCWE Speaker Series: Alternative Ways to Raise Capital https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/scwe-speaker-series-alternative-ways-raise-capital The next installment in our Standard Chartered Women Entrepreneurs' Speaker Series will be a panel on alternative ways to raise capital. It will be held on Wednesday, November 11th, from 5:30-6:30pm in Shepard Hall room 107.The panel will discuss how enterprises can finance their companies using alternative funding mechanism such as rewards, donation, and crowdfunding. They will also consider how policy reform through The JOBS Act has created opportunity for issuers and investors by leveraging equity and debt crowdfunding.Moderator  Geri StengelGeri Stengel is founder and president of Ventureneer, a content marketing, marketing research, and education company that helps companies reach small businesses. As a writer (author of Forget the Glass Ceiling: Building Your Business Without One and Stand Out In the Crowd: How Women (and Men) Benefit From Equity Crowdfunding, Forbes contributor writing about the success factor of women entrepreneurs, and QuickBooks contributor writing about finance), consultant, teacher (Kauffman FastTrac facilitator and former adjunct professor at The New School) and speaker, Geri has helped thousands of entrepreneurs take their vision to reality, develop their business plan, and learn the strategies and tactics they need to grow their businesses.Panelists:Douglas S. Ellenoff  Recognized as a thought leader and expert on the nuanced legalities of the JOBS Act, Douglas S. Ellenoff, a member of the firm of Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP, has been a key representative and advocate for the industry and has actively engaged with the SEC to discuss many aspects of the proposed new law. Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP is the leading law firm serving the securities crowdfunding industry and is one of the top IPO law firms in the US. EG&S has pioneered several alternative finance programs, including SPACs, Registered Directs, PIPEs and Reverse Mergers. Additionally, EG&S is working with securities professionals internationally to assist them with shaping smart legislation to foster investment crowdfunding in their jurisdictions. EG&S is actively engaged with clients in the crowdfunding industry, including funding portals, broker-dealers, technology solution providers, software developers, investors and entrepreneurs. Julia MaltbyJulia serves as the Director of Business Development at Plum Alley, a tech platform that helps entrepreneurs raise funds via crowdfunding and increases the base of individuals that invest in female founded companies. For the last year Julia has headed all of the campaigns on Plum Alley, providing over one hundred entrepreneurs with expert advice on how to best set up their companies for successful crowdfunding campaigns and additional capital raises down the line. Julia additionally speaks frequently at events on topics such as startups, raising capital, and women in tech. Prior to joining the Plum Alley team, Julia served as the Director of Operations at R.E.A.L Skills Network Inc., a teachers assistant at the International Center of Photography, and a gallery manager at Mountain Fold Gallery. Julia earned her BA from Vassar College. Kim WalesKim Wales is the Founder and CEO of Wales Capital and CrowdBureau. Wales Capital is a leading strategy, risk management, and regulatory compliance €“ consulting firm focusing primarily on policy reform such as the JOBS Act (equity/ debt based securities crowdfunding) across the financial services, real estate, consumer product and IT industries. CrowdBureau provides an unbiased and transparent view into P2P Lending and small-medium enterprise (SME) and emerging growth company (EGC) market analysis, ratings, research, and portfolio tools. The firm serves investors, emerging growth businesses and platforms by providing a centralized hub for real-time private public securities.    Mon, 09 Nov 2015 13:51:58 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22009 If Not You, Then Who? Our panel of Female Founders. https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/if-not-you-then-who-our-panel-female-founders If Not You, Then Who? Its a question that invokes the entrepreneurial spirit–the idea of taking it upon yourself to solve a problem that hasnt been solved yet. That initiative and drive is something shared amongst all of the inspiring women who spoke at our panel of #FemaleFounders. We got to hear firsthand each speakers individual approach to success. Our panelists included Kelechi Anyadiegwu, founder of Zuvaa, Noa Gafni, founder of Impact Squared, Aileen Gemma Smith, founder of Vizalytics Technology, and Angela Jackson, founder of the Global Language Project. The panel was moderated by Kim Wales, founder of Wales Capital and CrowdBureau. The questions revolved around the obstacles one might face when starting a business. As each woman gave her individual account of hurdles and setbacks, it became clear that there were many different ways to tackle the world through entrepreneurship.Kelechi Anyadiegwu started her business because she couldnt see herself working in a corporate environment. So, she created Zuvaa, an e-commerce marketplace for African inspired fashion and design. Kelechi believes that its important to have a unique vision if youre going to pursue entrepreneurship, and you have to take the time to understand your market. Focus on forming your community, figure out what your competitors lack, and build your brand around that. And when youre getting funding, look for someone who has more than money to offer, but dont be afraid to scale and grow. Noa Gafni did not initially intend on starting Impact Squared; she got there through a series of ventures that didnt work out, but led to her success. She believes that its important to know where youre going when you set out to do something, and not to lose sight of your goals. You have to keep a timeline in mind, and dont be shy about pivoting your business model when you realize something isnt working. Noa also noted that having meaningful mentor relationships can be crucial to your progress. And when it comes to branding yourself, remember that even if someone else has had your idea, theyre not you. Your perspective brings something unique to it. Angela Jackson got her start working in a corporate setting, which gave her the tools and structure she needed to be able to start her own company. And when she got to the point where she no longer cared about the work she was doing, she knew it was time to move on to starting the Global Language Project. For Angela, passion is key to any successful path. But because there are so many possible outcomes to any venture, you have to define success for yourself before moving forward. She works around the motto of failure is an option, because every failure is a potential stepping stone to success. In that spirit, finding investors can be like kissing frogs; there will be a lot of nos, but you will find your match. Its important to lay out your business plan when youre forming an idea, and make sure you have a solid marketing and budget plan moving forward. Aileen Gemma Smith built her career path around always doing the thing she cared about most, which guided her through many different industries before she founded Vizalytics Technology. She stressed how important maintaining professional and personal relationships is to success. If you have strong professional relationships, its that much easier to keep your business going and to gain funding. Be present in everything you do, which means also being able to step back from the business and take care of yourself. You have to have thick skin; dont let setbacks deter you. Aileen encourages beginner-entrepreneurs to take advantage of small business services such as SBDCs (Small Business Development Centers) when trying to figure out how to turn an idea into a venture. And finally, there will come a point when you must commit to your business full-time if your idea of success is a sustainable, long-term organization. If you have one foot in another career path the entire time, youll be limiting your entrepreneurial growth.If you missed the event, you can catch the full panel here. Mon, 09 Nov 2015 12:07:57 -0500 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22008 Interns Share Excitement about Social Impact https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/interns-share-excitement-about-social-impact This Fall semester, the Zahn Center launched its inaugural social enterprise/nonprofit internship program at CCNY, sponsored by BNY Mellon. We received over 140 applications! Students from a variety of majors applied, including engineering, economics, psychology, communications, and international relations. We are thrilled to share that we placed 12 students in an array of incredible social enterprises in the NYC area. This semester, our students start their dream internships at these prestigious organizations:Blue Ridge Labs & The Robin Hood FoundationEchoing GreenBridges VenturesB Lab CorpClearGrid at NYC ACREGlobal Futures GroupBandwagon at NYC ACREDuro UASBusiness Initiative Corporation Of New YorkAmerica SCORES New YorkOrpheus Chamber OrchestraOur interns are looking forward to gaining valuable hands-on experiences this semester, and are excited to be a part of bigger social impact missions.Mahmoud Khedr, a first semester freshman International Studies and Business Administration major, is especially motivated to make the most out of his experience as the Direct Impact intern at Echoing Green. According to Mahmoud, When I got the email about the internship offer from Echoing Green, I was speechless. I am super grateful about getting this internship and am really excited to go on this journey of learning and gaining more valuable experience. The Zahn Center gave me this opportunity that many other students don't get until they graduate. I will be gaining real-world experience while making connections that will help me succeed in my career, and in life. I'm looking forward to it!  Stephanie Veras, a senior Advertising & Public Relations major, is the Marketing and Outreach intern at Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Stephanie has been working at Orpheus for 3 weeks now and shared, I am grateful to be working at Orpheus, and working behind the scenes for the opening night for their signature series at Carnegie Hall. It is a pleasure to learn about the artists and music they will be performing. I am looking forward to their upcoming concerts, and ensuring customers enjoy their complete purchase.We are grateful to the generosity of our sponsor, and to the wonderful leaders who have hired our students this semester. We are looking forward to tracking the success of our interns, and sharing their successes with you.Interested in hiring CCNY interns? Contact us for more information to learn how your company can get involved.And CCNY students, well open applications for the Spring semester on December 1st on our website! Tue, 27 Oct 2015 15:47:19 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22007 What You Missed at Idea Jam 4NYC https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/what-you-missed-idea-jam-4nyc Thank you to all who made Friday's Idea Jam 4NYC such a success. We had a BLAST jamming out with you!Twenty-five students attended the ideation session and split up into groups to tackle five categories: connected cities, women in tech, sustainability, affordability, and civic engagement. The idea was for each team to come up with an innovative solution for one of those 5 categories of civic/social challenges. Each team would pitch their idea to a panel of expert judges at the end of the day in competition for our fabulous prizes: a grand prize of $1,000, as well as the runner-up prizes to fast track their Zahn Venture Competition applications and exclusive access to the Zahn Center and its resources!Once everyone had settled in with their teams, our ideation leader, Jason Wisdom of Design Gym, led everyone in a warm up. Participants planned a birthday party with a “Yes, And” mentality, meaning they learned how to suggest an idea and add power to it by using the word “and.” Once warmed up, the real innovating began. The teams were guided throughout the day in segmented ideation tasks: Examine, Understand, Ideate, Experiment, and Distill.Teams started out examining the issues behind their respective categories. Each student interviewed one another to gauge personal takes on the problem while building rapport as a team. Then, they engaged in an in-depth research phase where they tracked down striking facts and statistics that brought out the issues. Once they had a wealth of interesting and diverse information on their topics, it was time to organize what they knew by categorizing the most relevant, and removing the irrelevant. Jason encouraged that it was important they wouldn't embark on the actual ideation stage until the end, so that when they did, every team had all of the information they needed.The room was full of creative minds and everyone was anxious to start generating solutions to the problems they had uncovered. So when it was finally time to ideate, the room was abuzz with excited energy! Each group assigned a facilitator who ensured that the flow of ideas was directive and constant for a short period of explorative brainstorming. Then, it was time to close in on the best ideas of the bunch, and commit to one pitch for the panel of judges at the end of the day.In the end, all of the ideas were so excellent that the judges decided that everyone would be granted access to the Zahn Center and its resources, and all ideas would be fast-tracked into this year's Venture Competition.Our grand prize winner, however, was the women in tech team. They called their winning idea “Wizzle.”Wizzle – a content-based networking site for aspiring female techies. Young women will use this app if they are having doubts about their futures in technology, and find inspiring stories from female entrepreneurs, match with mentors, network with other women in tech, and harness the motivation to keep going! The goal is to close the gap between the high level of interest in technology amongst young women and the low number of adult women actually pursuing the field.Honorable mention was given to DrinkUp, one of the teams charged with making New York City more sustainable.DrinkUp – an eco-initiative to decrease plastic bottle waste by establishing re-fill water stations throughout the cityOther great ideas included:Hey New York €“ civic engagement YouTube channel to engage NYC citizens to address current issues and connect people with city officesPotFix €“ interactive website for NYC residents to log and report pot holes across the city to enable quicker fixes across all boroughsGreenTech €“ incentive program to encourage large scale recycling with an emphasis on electronic wasteEureka!- uses environmentally safe materials to build sustainable NYC affordable housingNot only did an amazing group of participants attend, but we were fortunate enough to be visited by Minerva Tantoco, the very first CTO of NYC, who shared her personal journey as a woman in tech with the entire room. She also spent time mentoring the groups working on civic engagement and women in tech. Adrienne Schmoeker, a Strategic Partner in the Mayor's Office of Technology and Innovation, also joined us for the day, as well as Rebecca Shumlin, Digital Strategist at New York State, and Robin Fitzgerald, a Digital Marketing Intern at New York State. These inspiring women worked intimately with our teams, offering expert coaching throughout the day. We were also joined by many of our partners at Standard Chartered Bank, including CEO of the Americas Julio Rojas. Each and every Standard Chartered Bank team member (about fifteen were present!) worked with students during the session's entirety. We owe all of our VIP participants and partners a big thank you, especially our judges, Rebecca Shumlin; Elaine Chin, Regional Head of Corporate Affairs at Standard Chartered; William Smith, Community Liaison at Assemblyman Wright's Office; Ray Garcia, Entrepreneur and Advisor at Bouyant Capital; and Joe Barba, Director of Entrepreneurship at CCNY and Engineering Professor. And, of course, a special thanks goes to Jason Wisdom of the Design Gym, our fearless leader of ideation. Wed, 21 Oct 2015 12:54:04 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22006 Maker Faire 2015 https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/maker-faire-2015 Maker Faire is an exhibition of creativity, innovation, and resourcefulness. Makers gather to showcase their diverse inventions, modeling everything from new tech devices to performance art based creations. The Faire was created in the spirit of the Maker Movement, a tech-influenced DIY community fostered by the launch of MAKE Magazine. There have been Maker Faires all over the world, and the Zahn Center accompanied Vista Wearables to the New York Maker Faire, September 26th-27th in the New York Hall of Science. Some highlights from the faire include the Giant Sized Mouse Trap, the Mechanical Horse, and the Fire Breathing Organ. There were hands-on activities, brand new tech trinkets, revolutionary ideas for social change, art, and a ceremonial band! To learn more about Maker Faire and make sure you catch it next time around, visit makerfaire.com. Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:33:01 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22005 #UpForSchool Town Hall https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/upforschool-town-hall We all know that its difficult to make change happen if no one stands up and demands it. At the #UpForSchool Town Hall, 10 million people petitioned and 1,500 people gathered to do just that. The event was held on September 28th, a joint effort between UNISEF and Theirworld, celebrating the landmark of 10 million signatures in support of making sure every child in the world receives the education they deserve. The children who suffer from lack of schooling are those that are marginalized by society in all aspects of life. We need to give them the tools to fight back against that systematic oppression, and hopefully we can do just that with the new Sustainable Development Goals. Lindsay Siegel, Executive Director of the Zahn Innovation Center, remarked on the impact the event had on her: As guests of Standard Chartered Bank, the Zahn Center had an opportunity to support this incredible movement to ensure education is considered not a privilege, but a right, for all children. It was an inspiring afternoon filled with celebrities, politicians, artists, activists and youth all celebrating the 10 million signatures delivered to the UN Secretary General in support of education around the world.To learn more about the #UpForSchool and what you can do, visit aworldatschool.org. Tue, 06 Oct 2015 15:26:51 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22004 Social Entrepreneurship Speaker Series: Christopher M. Reim https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/social-entrepreneurship-speaker-series-christopher-m-reim On September 30th, we launched the Social Entrepreneurship Speaker Series with Christopher M. Reim, the Managing Director of the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance (CDVCA). The event was the first of three, and set the tone for why its important for  todays businesses to have a strong social impact. Christopher Reim specializes in job creation and growth, working to ensure the economic development of technology-based organizations and ideas. His roles in establishing new businesses have included a wide range of investing, creating, managing, advising, and more. So, he is an expert in ensuring that the worlds of social impact and capitalist ventures collide. Mr. Reim spoke to how important entrepreneurship is; how crucial it is for society to invest in new businesses and for new business to invest in society. And since something as essential as job creation is a major source of social impact, every new business that can thrive will create opportunity for new jobs, further encouraging economic growth. Two speakers from successful social impact startups joined him in expressing how their diverse ventures both contributed to the growth and flourishing of society. The first was David McCreery, of NYC Hired, who spoke about how his company has streamlined and simplified the job-hunting experience. And then Cuthbert A. Onikute, founder of Dechets a lOr, explained how his organization was improving waste management in Kankan, Guinea. Please join us for the next installment of the Social Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, Human Centered Design, with Deb Johnson, on Wednesday, October 28th at 5:00pm.   Tue, 06 Oct 2015 14:30:10 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22003 Winners of Speed Pitch Wow Judges https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/winners-speed-pitch-wow-judges We know we've been a little quiet, but we wanted to thank all of you who came out to our Kickoff Party last month. We had a BLAST, mostly because we love meeting new people.My favorite part of the day was listening to fearless CCNY students share their entrepreneurial ideas in a Speed Pitch Session. We owe a special congratulations to our winners, Jenna, Bishoy, and Donna. Check out the video.  Tue, 06 Oct 2015 14:14:57 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22002 Groundbreaking Female Founders at our Upcoming Panel https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/groundbreaking-female-founders-our-upcoming-panel Meet incredible female founders and problem solvers at the Standard Chartered Women Entrepreneurs' Speaker Series: If Not You, Then Who? You'll hear from women who did not plan on becoming entrepreneurs, but took the leap.RSVP today!Date: Wednesday, October 21st Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm Place: CCNY Shepherd Hall, Rm 107 Refreshments will be served.Moderator:Kim Wales, CEO of Wales Capital and CrowdBureauKim Wales is the Founder and CEO of Wales Capital and CrowdBureau. Wales Capital is a leading strategy, risk management, and regulatory compliance €“ consulting firm focusing primarily on policy reform such as the JOBS Act (equity/ debt based securities crowdfunding) across the financial services, real estate, consumer product and IT industries. CrowdBureau provides an unbiased and transparent view into P2P Lending and small-medium enterprise (SME) and emerging growth company (EGC) market analysis, ratings, research, and portfolio tools. The firm serves investors, emerging growth businesses and platforms by providing a centralized hub for real-time private public securities. Panelists:              Kelechi Anyadiegwu, CEO of Zuvaa Kelechi Anyadiegwu is the founder of Zuvaa, an e-commerce marketplace for African inspired fashion and design. With a background in marketing and design she created Zuvaa to be a premier online destination and community for emerging African Inspired fashion designers. The mission at Zuvaa is to showcase the beauty and vibrancy of the African continent through unique, one of a kind African Inspired pieces and to uplift emerging designers on the continent. Zuvaa is building a global community of African Fashion aficionados and seeks to transform perceptions of the African continent by doing so. Zuvaa has already been featured on top online publications like Madame Noire, Inc. and Fashion Bomb Daily and can be seen in editorial publications such as New African Woman Magazine. Kelechi has a Bachelors in Science from Michigan State University and is currently getting her Masters in Business and Science from Rutgers University.Noa Gafni, CEO of Impact SquaredNoa Gafni is the CEO of Impact Squared, a movement building consultancy. She has over a decade of experience working with leading organizations on their digital strategy and social impact. Her clients over the years have spanned sectors and continents, from Xiaomi to Lloyds of London, the United Nations Foundation and Real Madrid. Aileen Gemma Smith, CEO of Vizalytics TechnologyAileen Gemma Smith founded Vizalytics Technology, the creators of Mind My Business to serve the needs of brick and mortar businesses. Aileen empathizes with the frustrations of shopkeepers who want to be more data driven in their approaches but who struggle knowing where to look. Over 15% of Mind My Business users engage with the tool daily. She puts a strong emphasis on listening and building relationships. She prefers hard work and problem solving over fancy titles. She believes in the value of collaborative process. Aileen and her team are honored to be part of 500 Startups Batch 10. Angela Jackson, CEO of Global Language Project Angela Jackson is an award winning social entrepreneur. After spending a successful career in corporate America€”most recently as the head of New Channels Marketing for Nokia€”Angela combined her corporate management experience with her expertise of language educators, and founded Global Language Project (GLP), in 2009. She established GLP to teach disadvantaged students proficiency in a foreign language, to prepare them for higher education scholarship opportunities and to ultimately compete in a global workforce. After having lived abroad in over 25 countries, Angelas transition from Corporate America to Social Venture with the launch of GLP was a matter of perfect timing and perfect synergy.   Tue, 06 Oct 2015 10:23:56 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21999 Free Class – Intro to NYC Entrepreneurial Ecosystem https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/free-class-intro-nyc-entrepreneurial-ecosystem Are you a budding entrepreneur in New York City? You might not know about all of the resources available to you. Join us for General Assembly's Intro to the NYC Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. This free class is an orientation to help newcomers to the startup scene get acquainted with the exciting world of tech in NYC. We will give you the inside scoop on key events/meetups to attend, people, companies, VCs, blogs, incubators, programs, hot issues, and more.Date: Thursday, October 22ndTime: 12:15pmPlace: City College of New York, Marshak Science Building, rm 052Refreshments will be served. Tue, 06 Oct 2015 10:23:25 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22001 Pratt Design Incubator Founder to Lead Human-Centered Design Workshop https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/pratt-design-incubator-founder-lead-human-centered-design-workshop Hear from Deb Johnson, Founder of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation at the second installment of our Social Entrepreneurship Speaker Series: How Do We Build Solutions from the Ground Up? She'll lead a human-centered design workshop that focuses on innovation through community design.Date: Wednesday, October 21stTime: 5:00pmPlace: CCNY Shepherd Hall rm 107Refreshments will be served. Tue, 06 Oct 2015 10:19:56 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/22000 Got an Idea? Wanna Join a Startup? https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/got-idea-wanna-join-startup The Zahn Innovation Center just kicked off its 2015-16 Student Venture Competitions. There is $140K available in seed prizes, and 4 competition tracks to choose from! The application process can be daunting. Finding teammates can be even harder! Join us at our first of four information sessions. We'll answer your questions and match you with team members.October 6th, 12-2pm, Zahn Center @Marshak 052October 15th, 12-2pm, Zahn Center @Marshak 052November 4th, 12-2pm, Zahn Center @Marshak 052November 15th, 12-2pm, Zahn Center @Marshak 052Plus, we'll have pizza.To start your networking early, check out our new Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1008258412565940/ Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:13:29 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21998 Be the Change for NYC at Idea Jam! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/be-change-nyc-idea-jam As New Yorkers, we all have a healthy obsession with our city. But sometimes, the feeling is similar to that of a love-hate relationship. New York City is the greatest city in the world, but there are certain things about it that we could improve upon.For example, could we eliminate homelessness? Could bus and subway lines improve? Can we stop hunger, or lessen food insecurity in the city? Are there better ways to dispose of electronic waste?As a city, we have the ability find the answers to these problems and more. It all starts with a collaborative brainstorming session. Were giving you the opportunity to come together in a creative environment at ourIdea Jam 4NYCFriday, October 16thZahn Center @MarshakRSVPWe encourage you to participate in this day-long brainstorming session with fun, engaging workshops led by the Design Gym. You'll essentially form a think tank for NYC charged with the challenge of creating new technologies that will solve the citys major civic issues.A list of issues will be curated by NYC's leading public officials — and many will be at the event (a great opportunity to network)!A $1,000 Grand Prize will be awarded to the winning team! Plus, there will be other opportunities to win prizes like mentorship hours with Standard Chartered Bank employees AND fast-track your application into the Zahn Center's Venture Competitions.Questions? Contact katherine@zahncenternyc.com .Bring your friends, or spread the message by tweeting for us:Win $1,000 @ZahnCenterNYC s Ideation Workshop + network w/ NYCs civic leaders. Learn more & register: http://ow.ly/STBmhSpark change in YOUR city + win $1,000 for YOUR #tech #innovation – learn more: http://ow.ly/STBmh @ZahnCenterNYC  Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:00:21 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21997 Duro UAS is Hiring: Marketing Intern https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/duro-uas-hiring-marketing-intern One of our resident startups, Duro UAS, seeks a Marketing Intern to assist the Marketing Manager with promoting the AUV Harbor Project and Duro Youth Initiative on social media and other marketing channels.The right candidate for this position has a passion for marketing and interest in science, technology, and youth development.Responsibilities include assisting the Marketing Manager with copywriting, social media posting, outreach, and administrative tasks. Candidate should have some marketing and social media experience, and be able to write proficiently.For more information about Duro UAS, visit durouas.com. Please send a resume & direct all questions to Klarissa Armada ( klariss.a@durouas.com ). Tue, 22 Sep 2015 13:21:42 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21996 StrongArm Gains Strength with Major Investment https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/strongarm-gains-strength-major-investment Were very proud to share some exciting news! Today, 3M announced a multi-million dollar stake in one of our resident startups, StrongArm Technologies, Inc. Since their beginnings with us, the StrongArm„¢ team has been an important fixture at the Zahn Center and within the larger CCNY community. The company formed lasting relationships with mentors at the City College and the Zahn Center, and worked closely with students and other startups at the Zahn Center to provide feedback and advisement on business and product development. The StrongArm„¢ team is a perfect model of the entrepreneurial spirit come to life, and we are so thrilled that all of their hard work has paid off in this amazing deal. StrongArm„¢ has spent countless hours traveling around the country to attend trade shows and pitch to investors. This deal with 3M will open the global market and allow the young company to grow into a hub of innovation for the industrial world. We are incredibly excited for this major milestone for StrongArm, said Lindsay Siegel, Director of the Zahn Innovation Center. The team has been an integral part of the Zahn Center since we opened, and an extraordinary group of role models and mentors for our other students. It is a testament to their vision and talent to have successfully attracted the partnership with 3M.StrongArm„¢ came to the Zahn Center from Rochester, NY in 2013. After winning Mass Challenge in 2012 and graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology, founders Sean Petterson and Justin Hillery sought a co-working space in New York City where they could develop their products for commercialization. They proved to be a perfect fit for the Zahn Centers residency program, as the companys mission aligns with the Zahn Centers mission to create innovative technologies that transform the way we approach our world. StrongArm„¢ develops leading safety solutions for injury prevention and peak performance for industrial workers, or those they call Industrial Athletes„¢. Sean and Justin were driven to create StrongArm„¢ because of their personal experiences with their fathers, who worked strenuous blue collar jobs, and needed to protect their bodies for the sake of their careers. This inspired the founders to create safety performance gear for the tens of millions of people who use their bodies as instruments for productivity daily.Since their start at the Zahn Center, StrongArm„¢ has worked in the prototyping lab experimenting with and perfecting product designs. The company formed lasting relationships with mentors at the City College, working closely with senior design classes in the mechanical engineering department. Sean and Justin met their first full-time hire, VP of Engineering Mike Kim, through a senior design class. Mike, a City College alumnus, graduated in 2014 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was hired by StrongArm full-time shortly after graduation, but worked with the team as an intern while he was still studying at CCNY.The Zahn Center has been an exceptional environment and great experience for myself personally and for StrongArm. They foster a great community where everyone is willing to help each other in all aspects of business and product development. The resources at the Zahn Center have helped me and the company grow faster and learn more about ourselves and the business we are in, said Michael Kim, VP of Engineering.The team has been an active participant in many Zahn Center events and a lasting role model to our other student teams, especially CENSIR and Cubbies, who work in the same space and share similar aspirations of success. Last April, founder Sean Petterson was a panelist at CCNYs first CUNY TEDx Salon, where he shared his personal experiences as a young entrepreneur with an audience of over 100. For Sean, The Zahn Center was an unbelievable asset. He adds, Without places like his, hardware companies simply wouldnt exist in NYC. The resources available saved valuable development time and money, and allowed us to control innovation by bringing it in house. I was happy to call it my home away from home. For more information about StrongArm„¢, visit www.strongarmtech.com. Thu, 17 Sep 2015 09:36:18 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21995 Fall 2015 Kicks Off with Entrepreneurship Classes https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/fall-2015-kicks-entrepreneurship-classes Last week marked the first sessions of two new entrepreneurship classes at CCNY. One of these classes is the highly-anticipated course “Entrepreneurship: Women & Diversity” launched by the Zahn Innovation Center as part of its partnership with Standard Chartered Bank. The other, “Design Entrepreneurship” is the perfect combination of design and business for advanced-level designers. Entrepreneurship: Women & Diversity is an Economics and Business course cross-listed with both Women's Studies and Black Studies and it will explore how women are positioned to create new businesses, new jobs and stimulate the economy. It will also provide an overall historical context for women as entrepreneurs and recognizes ethnic, racial, religious and socio-economic diversity of women entrepreneurs. Over the course of the semester, students will analyze case studies curated by Professor Kim Wales and mentors at Standard Chartered Bank. By the end of the course, all 20 students will present a final case study of their very own entrepreneurial venture, which will become entries into the Zahn competitions.Design Entrepreneurship is an advanced-level design course that allows students to conceptualize and produce their own  ideas for product development. The class is made up of a Electronic Design and Multimedia Juniors and Seniors who will receive individualized attention from Professor Yvette Francis. Over the course of the semester, students will work to bring their ideas to market using research, design (print, web, interactive, video, brand/identity, packaging, etc.), and storytelling skills. These students will interact with and have access to facilities offered by the Zahn Innovation Center.In addition, the Zahn Center is pleased to partner with a variety of other classes across the campus, from Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship courses taught in the Economics and Business program to Engineering 101 for Freshmen engineers. These collaborations were made possible with a grant from the Moxie Foundation.Were also collaborating with professors in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Psychology, Mechanical Engineering and beyond to bring the tools of entrepreneurship to classrooms across CCNY.We're excited for all students to share their startup ideas and develop an entrepreneurial mindset for their academic success and beyond. As we learned last year from the Advertising/PR students at City College, entrepreneurship is not a major, its a mindset!Interested in having the Zahn Center facilitate a workshop or collaborate with your department? contact@zahncenternyc.com and lets explore together. Wed, 09 Sep 2015 12:42:50 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21994 2015-16 Competition Kickoff Party September 17th! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/2015-16-competition-kickoff-party-september-17th Hey, Zahntrepreneurs! It's that time again…We're kicking off our 2015-16 Competitions on Thursday, September 17th. Join us for a kickoff party in the NAC Rotunda from 12-2pm.RSVP: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/zahn-center-kickoff-event-tickets-185443085…You'll meet Zahn Rockstars like StrongArm, NexHealth, and Enza Academy, and learn how they've taken their businesses to the next level by securing millions in funding and establishing key partnerships. You'll also get to ask last year's competitors about their experiences with the competition. Build on the Go, Cubbies, Le Sel, Vivoz Biolabs, Ezeezo, CENSIR, H.A.S.T., DIY Care, and more will be there to answer questions. Many of these teams are hiring (so it's a great opportunity to network!).Plus if you already have an idea for a lemonade stand, you can pitch it to your peers and Zahn staff. Anyone who has the courage to pitch gets pizza.For in-depth questions about the competitions, please join us after for an information session in Marshak from 2-4pm.  Thu, 03 Sep 2015 10:35:11 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21993 A Reflection on the Zahn Internship Program https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/reflection-zahn-internship-program Duro UAS is a manufacturer of unmanned autonomous systems (i.e. drones) for environmental research and urban development. As a participant in the Zahn Summer Internship Program, the company was matched with five student interns. Gabriel Foreman, Operations Manager at Duro UAS, shares his thoughts about the program in the reflection below.“As the Operations Manager at Duro UAS, one of my responsibilities is to manage our Youth Development Initiative. While I see the value that our company brings to our partnering high schools almost every day, I underestimated the value that youth could bring to our company. That is, until we participated in the Zahn Innovation Center's Internship Program.“The Zahn student participants came from a range of backgrounds and experience levels, and each one brought fresh perspective to the company. With their help we were able to fill out our vehicle teams with fresh mechanical, computer, and electrical engineering talent, and take our project to the next level.“In addition to engineering talent, we also hired a marketing manager through the Program who has played an important role in shaping the company's brand, creating and sharing content, and performing outreach.“The 10-week Program was well organized by the Zahn Center, which assisted with various aspects of the intern on-boarding and management process. They vetted potential candidates and kept in touch with them weekly during the Program, assisting with soft skill development such as networking and goal setting.“The Zahn Program is important for both students and companies because it effectively bridges the gap between academia and the workforce. Students contribute to real-world projects in a hands-on environment, while companies benefit from emerging talent.“Duro UAS wholeheartedly recommends the Zahn Internship Program for any company looking for a jumpstart on the next generation of talent. Their student participants are energetic, creative, and passionate about learning the ins and outs of business. As a testament, we've decided to hire four Zahn student interns to work with us full time. We have benefited greatly from their input, and look forward to working with many of them well into the future.”Visit zahncenternyc.com/internships for more information about our internship program and Fall/Spring semester placements.  Tue, 01 Sep 2015 09:38:45 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21992 Apply Now for Fall Internships! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/apply-now-fall-internships Get real-world experience with top social enterprises through the Zahn internship program, sponsored by BNY Mellon, this Fall semester!  Any CCNY student looking to gain valuable, hands-on experience at a social enterprise or innovative nonprofit is encouraged to apply.  We are providing exclusive opportunities for only 12 placements, including a $3,000 stipend for the semester.Visit http://www.zahncenternyc.com/internships/ to apply or contact internship@zahncenternyc.com for more information.Internship placement will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis until all positions have been filled. The application will close on September 1st.  Apply NOW! Tue, 11 Aug 2015 12:45:05 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21991 Introducing our New Website! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/introducing-our-new-website If you haven't noticed, zahncenternyc.com looks a little different lately. Please spend some time browsing and checking out our new features. We've added a list of events (under the Calendar tab), a live social media feed, and a job posting board. Now it's even easier to stay connected to us.We want your feedback – email us at contact@zahncenternyc.com to let us know what you think of our upgrade! Thu, 23 Jul 2015 13:19:14 -0400 Katherine Olives https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21990 Where Are They Now: Ezeezo https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/where-are-they-now-ezeezo Who: Wahid Jalil of EzeezoWhat: 3D property tours bringing transparency to renting and home buyingLooking for: Partnerships in real estate and restaurant/hospitality industriesWhen I moved to Manhattan to start working for the Zahn Innovation Center, I looked to sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Craigslist to help me find apartments and rooms for rent in the city. While these sites were helpful in many ways, they werent always reliable. Often the advertisements were exaggerated or false, especially when it came to the pictures. I remember walking into an apartment expecting a cozy, sun-filled room in a spacious, clean 3-bedroom (as promised) and instead getting a dingy mess that smelled like dog. I wished that there was some transparency to the process, especially since visiting each option was taking a lot of time and effort.Wahid Jalil and his roommates faced the same frustration in their apartment search, but decided to remedy the process themselves by creating a platform to not only post and search for apartments and real estate, but show the properties in 3D. Out of their frustration, Ezeezo was born. Last year, Wahid and his team submitted their idea to the Zahn Prize Competition, and were able to test their technology within our incubator. Now he and his team of six are debuting their 3D-scanning technology, which allows them to take a 2D floor plan and build it up into a 3D model. We want to be one of the forerunners of this technology, said Wahid.The ability to test his product within the incubator was something that he found extremely helpful. Theres a positive, constructive atmosphere at the Zahn Center. Theyre not trying to destroy your idea, just make it better. At the Zahn Center, we were able to shadow test our product before bringing it to market. He was also exposed to a network that gave feedback and led him to other connections.I sat down with Wahid to talk about what Ezeezo has been up to since the competition. Now that weve finished the pilot phase, were breaking into the sales sector and capturing clients in the real estate industry, he shared. Most of his team now focuses on sales and marketing. Hes also excited to break into the restaurant and food industry by creating partnerships with companies like Yelp, OpenTable, and Eventup.As he shifts his focus away from the technology side of his business and into the marketing side, Wahid remembers to stay focused on the journey. I always remind myself that entrepreneurship is a journey. Starting a business takes time, and you wont see immediate results. But if youre invested in the spirit of the idea and not just the money, youll see it through.See Ezeezo's 3D-scanning technology in action on our Tour Page!  Thu, 09 Jul 2015 09:36:08 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21989 Summer Social Good Competitions https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/summer-social-good-competitions Yesterday, representatives from UNICEF and NYC Media Lab hosted an info session about two social good competitions happening this summer:1. UNICEF's Wearables for Good Challenge2. NYC Media Lab & Bloomberg's Data for Good ExchangeAmy Chen from NYC Media Lab shared this message:Apply now! $25k in grants & prizes for university research on data & social goodCalling all students, faculty and university researchers! Are you currently collaborating with a nonprofit / NGO on data analysis for a civic cause?Youre invited to present your research at Bloombergs Data for Good Exchange (D4GX) conference taking place on September 28, 2015 in New York City. In partnership with the conference, NYC Media Lab is running an impact grant and prize program. Apply now for awards ranging from $1,000 to $7,500 for your research.Grant application deadline: rolling through August 1, 2015Call for papers deadline: Abstracts are due by August 1st; Full Submissions are due by August 8th, 2015.If you have any questions relating to the grant and prize program, contact Amy Chen, NYC Media Lab Seed Project Manager at  amy.chen@nycmedialab.org . Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:54:52 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21988 GoHappy Wins $25K at UDel! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/gohappy-wins-25k-udel We are very pleased to announce that one of our startups, GoHappy! won first place (and $25K in services!) in the University of Delaware's “Hen Hatch” Competition.GoHappy! was also invited to participate in CUNY's Center for Student Entrepreneurship Fall 2015 Cohort!Hen Hatch is the University of Delawares premier startup funding competition. It provides entrepreneurial students, alumni, faculty, and staff with the opportunity to make connections and collect feedback on their ideas while competing for startup cash and prizes totaling $50,000. This year the competition kicked off with 68 teams!GoHappy! is a full-fledged application that addresses the real-time communication gap between businesses and consumers. Business owners can use the application to create special offers to reach customers in real-time. Customers can use the application to receive real-time, location-aware notifications or updates. Find out more at gohappy.io and follow them on Twitter @gohappyapp Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:22:11 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21987 Localtarian Joins CoFound Harlem https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/localtarian-joins-cofound-harlem Were proud to announce that one of our startups, Localtarian, has been accepted into the Google-backed accelerator program Cofound Harlem. Cofound Harlem is led by serial entrepreneurs John Henry, Ahishar Maxima, and Evan Dudla and a team of world-class mentors. It offers a unique co-working space and rigorous 9-month curriculum. Congrats, Localtarian!You may have witnessed Daniel Gutierrez, Mahmudul Hassan, and Kevin Rivera of Localtarian delivering brown-bagged lunches around campus and sharing their bright orange menus that boast the bold, genuine flavors of their home chefs. But theyre not just a delivery service and their concept isnt just about delicious food. Localtarian is connecting people and building a community through homemade meals. They have created an online platform that allows hungry customers to find home chefs in their area.Daniel came up with the idea after salivating over Kevins tupperware containers filled with his mothers homemade Ecuadorian cooking. Like many Millenials, Daniel was spending way too much money on disappointing take-out each week, but was too busy to cook delicious meals himself. What if there was a way that homemade meals could be conveniently delivered to you? he asked himself. And just like that, Localtarian was born.The idea has taken root in the Harlem area and is growing fast. Localtarian launched a Beta delivery phase in parts of the Morningside Heights neighborhood with one home chef and six menu items. Weve received a lot of positive feedback from our chefs first menu, and were excited that other chefs are now interested in working for us. Whats great about Localtarian is that its not just a homemade food delivery service. Our online platform allows chefs to create their own profiles so it almost becomes a LinkedIn for them, said Kevin. Since then, they have brought on two more chefs with more unique menu items, including protein-rich smoothies!To learn more about the Localtarian community, follow them @LocaltarianNYC on Instagram and Twitter. You can also visit their website www.localtarian.nyc. Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:17:17 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21986 Womens Program: Riff Sesh https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/womens-program-riff-sesh The Zahn Innovation Center is building a community of women who want to make an impact on their world. We'd like to invite all women to join us on Monday, June 15th for a Riff Sesh.Come chat, share ideas, make new friends, and leave empowered.Monday, June 15th at 5:30pm in the Zahn Center at the City College of New York, Marshak Science Building Rm052 (basement of the library). Light refreshments will be served.RSVP to kolives@ccny.cuny.edu   Wed, 03 Jun 2015 13:13:14 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21985 Public Speaking Practice: Fishbowl Sesh https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/public-speaking-practice-fishbowl-sesh  It was difficult for our Zahntrepreneurs to get up in front of 100 people and pitch their startups during the Final Pitch. Especially because seventy-four percent of Americans suffer from a fear of public speaking. If you are one of that seventy-four percent, join us for a chance to practice your speech skills & have fun at the same time!The Zahn Innovation Center's Fishbowl Sessions are meant to remind you that you don't have to take public speaking so seriously. They'll help you become more comfortable with the idea of public speaking by getting you to practice simply talking in front of others. Here's how it works:Each session will have a theme (sell a product, convince me to visit a vacation spot, etc.)You'll choose a slip of paper out of a fishbowl, which will be the subject of your speechThen you'll talk for five minutes about what's on your slip of paperThink you can sell me a hat for your mayonnaise jar? Convince a hip-hop junkie to go to a country music festival? Talk for five minutes about those squiggly shoelaces from the 90's? Then join us on Wednesday, June 10th at 12pm in the Zahn Center @Marshak (Rm 052).It's summer. Let's be silly. Wed, 03 Jun 2015 12:10:48 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21984 Womens Entrepreneurship Course https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/womens-entrepreneurship-course The Zahn Innovation Center will expand its programs into the greater CCNY community this Fall with a 3-credit course, “Entrepreneurship: Women & Diversity”. This class will explore how gender, ethnic, racial, religious, and socio-economic diversity impacts the entrepreneurial experience. The curriculum will include a number of guest speakers to give students real-world perspectives.This course is open to CCNY students as an Economics Elective cross-listed with the Women's Studies and Black Studies programs. It will meet on Wednesdays from 5-7:30pm. Pre-requisites include ECO 10100 (or equivalent) or ENGR 10100 (or equivalent). You may also receive special approval from the Zahn Innovation Center if you do not meet these pre-requisite requirements. Simply contact Kesia Hudson ( khudson@ccny.cuny.edu ). If you're a CCNY student interested in taking the class, contact your academic advisor and enroll now!  Tue, 19 May 2015 16:34:20 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21970 Future of Food in Harlem https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/future-food-harlem  This Thursday and Friday, May 14th and 15th, Zahn Innovation Center startups Enza Academy ('14), Localtarian ('15), and DIY Care ('15) will be featured at the Future of Food in Harlem event.Hosted by West Harlem Group Assistance, along with  Harlem Grown, CONNECT, Inc., and Parsons/New School design students and professors, the program will feature presentations and interactive workshops lead by Harlem-based food justice activists, social entrepreneurs and youth-leadership organizations as well as partners in university and sector small business.Themes include:Economic DevelopmentCreative ActivismCorporate Social ResponsibilityFair Trade and EquityTechnologyAttendees will watch film screenings, participate in interactive workshops, play while learning, sample free appetizers, taste Harlem Grown produce giveaways, tour local food hubs and gardens, and sign up for fresh food through Corbin Hill Food Project.Register now for this FREE event! Congratulations to Anasa Scott, a Zahn Center mentor, for all of her work organizing the event! Fri, 15 May 2015 10:27:47 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21983 Founders Spotlight ft. Stephen Garten https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/founders-spotlight-ft-stephen-garten   On Tuesday, May 19th, the Zahn Innovation Center will host another Founders' Spotlight Speaker! This time we'll meet Stephen Garten, a social entrepreneur and founder of Charity Charge, a Texas-based company empowering cardholders to earn and donate one percent of every purchase to the charities and causes they love.Charity Charge founder Stephen Garten, 28, has always been a firm supporter of local Austin charities and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore (the institution treated his late father for cancer). After one round of donations, he checked his credit card statement online to make sure all the transactions had processed and noticed his cache of unused rewards points. The money was technically his, but only if he wanted a gift card or air miles. He didnt. He wanted to supplement his existing donations and make a larger impact. Research followed and he learned that his own unused points were just part of the $16 billion problem of wasted rewards dollars each year in the U.S. Two years and numerous iterations of the concept later, Charity Charge became what it is today €” a credit card company that will enable consumers to seamlessly support any charity of their choice with their reward points.We're super excited to learn more about public benefit corporations and how to operate under a for-profit model while serving society. Join in the conversation in the Zahn Center @ Marshak at 12:15! Fri, 15 May 2015 05:41:04 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21982 Closing the Gender Gap in Tech https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/closing-gender-gap-tech Although recent headlines call New York the nation's newest Silicon Valley, the city, along with the tech industry in general, is missing out on a large percentage of innovative ideas. This is because only 7% of tech companies were founded by women. As Lindsay Siegel, Director of the Zahn Innovation Center, points out in the April 27th edition of Crain's, “This does not reflect a lack of talent or ambition, but points to a systemic issue that needs addressing. Society is being deprived of a valued source of creativity and the resulting return on investment.”The tech industry has a long way to go before it is ahead of the curve. “It starts with correcting the unjustifiable gaps between men and women in the industry that exist on nearly every metric: employment, pay, longevity, lemonade stand funding and more,” suggests Lindsay.Read the full article.To learn more about how you can get involved with Standard Chartered Bank Women in Tech program and the Zahn Center, email us at contact@zahncenternyc.com . Thu, 07 May 2015 14:38:18 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21981 Fighting the Good Fight https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/fighting-good-fight  We still can't get over the AMAZING prototypes and social innovation lemonade stands that came out of this year's cohort of startups. Our judges were forced to make some very tough decisions when choosing both our finalists and our grand prize winners! Even though all of our teams didn't take home grand prizes, I know that so many of this year's startups will go far as long as they keep “fighting the good fight.”That's what NBC's Pat Battle thought when she visited the Zahn Center last week and produced a story that aired on April 22nd on the Channel 4 News. She interviewed students for her segment, “The Good Fight” and learned why some students, like Carry Fils-Aime, are so determined to keep fighting for their causes. She also spoke with Valerie Pholpituke, Head of Sustainability and Engagement at Standard Chartered Bank, who said, “Its been a really rewarding experience to see [Carry] come from the idea stage to where she is now, and we have full confidence she is going to go really far with Le Sel.”We have full confidence in all of our students. They have the Zahntrepreneurial mindset that will take them from ideation to creation. As Lindsay Siegel described, “Students have often overcome a lot even to be here in school now, and so when you add to that that they want to do more than get an education, but come up with a way of giving back and creating something meaningful in their own community and extended community, it's huge.”You can view the entire video clip from last week's “The Good Fight” here.    Mon, 04 May 2015 17:34:34 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21980 Our 2015 Grand Prize Winners https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/our-2015-grand-prize-winners Eight teams brought their best game to Wednesday's Final Pitch Event and were met with tough questions from our panel of expert judges. Each team pitched their lemonade stand, offering convincing facts, impressive prototypes and a ton of charisma. The CUNY Advanced Science Research Center at CCNY Auditorium was packed with guests who, by the end, were on the edges of their seats with anticipation, wondering which teams would take home the grand prizes in each category.Today, we are very proud to announce the winners of our 2015 Kaylie, Zahn, Zahn Social Innovation, and Standard Chartered Women Entrepreneurs' Prizes!VivoZ Biolabs took home the $50,000 Kaylie Prize. VivoZ Biolabs LLC is a life sciences companion technology company. Their ultimate goal is to help oncologists to make better informed cancer treatment decisions using their preclinical drug screening systems. Zeynep Dereli-Korkut, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at CCNY; Joanne Lee, BS from CCNY, is a Prospective PhD student at Columbia University; and Dionne Dawkins, MS, is a CCNY alum.HAST took home the $30,000 Zahn Social Innovation Prize. Their mission is to help families stay connected and achieve healthier lifestyles together using an interactive app, and they will use the prize money to get the app up and running! To HAST, staying connected is as simple as wearing a health tracking wristband. Their app will provide daily statistics on each member's health, and will connect across wearable devices. HAST is made up of four team members, all undergrad students at CCNY. Ni Yao and Xue Bin Zhao study computer science and Benny Tan and Bin Xu study electrical engineering.Build on the Go, a mobile application that manages and tracks all the necessary steps to complete any size construction project, took home the $30,000 Zahn Prize. Build on the Go is the industry's first task manager that gives each worker the power to control, record and share his work on a mobile phone. Founder and CEO Shawn Augustine is a construction superintendent and recently earned his BA in Economics from CCNY. He will use this prize money to break into the first 5% of his multi-million dollar market.Cubbies, an NYC-based cloth diaper company, won the $30,000 Standard Chartered Women Entrepreneurs' Prize. Cubbies is improving and simplifying consumers' diapering experience by introducing the first cloth diapers to expand with the growth of your child and use exclusively bamboo fabric. From their streamlined, informative, easy to use website, to their high quality, Millennial mommy-centric products, parents will feel confident and happy with their choice and investment in Cubbies. Carrie Evans, Founder and CEO, is a theatre student at CCNY and a mother of two. She's using her prize money to start manufacturing Cubbies diapers with a factory in Pennsylvania.We're so excited to start working with these teams during the next phases of their lemonade stands! We'd like to thank everyone who supported our program, especially our panel of judges, including Irwin Zahn, Harvey Kaylie, Elaine Chin, Bert Brodsky, Howard Morgan, Karen Stone and Patrick Sullivan.We also would like to announce our Audience Choice Award Winners, who were chosen by over 400 voters at Monday's Demo Day Expo. After carefully counting a record 1,615 ballots, here are our winners:Kaylie: Sensiole disrupts the current wearables technology with a non-invasive insole that tracks fitness and health goals.Zahn Social Innovation: PRO-sthetiKs, a competition finalist, is recreating and enhancing prosthetics to fit the needs of patients with both lower and upper amputations.Zahn: Localtarian, a finalist for the Zahn prize, connects people and builds community through homemade meals.Standard Chartered Women Entrepreneurs': Cubbies, a grand prize winner, is a NYC-based bamboo cloth diaper company.       Thu, 30 Apr 2015 13:48:47 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21969 Demo Day 2015 Turns Heads https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/demo-day-2015-turns-heads Monday, April 27th, the Zahn Innovation Center hosted its third annual Demo Day Expo at the City College of New York. Thank you to our judges and the 500 students, faculty, friends and community members who attended the event to see our 25 semi-finalist teams share the prototypes and social lemonade stand concepts they've been working on for the past semester. Every one of our teams has worked so hard and deserves a huge congratulations. Our judges had to make difficult decisions — the competition was fierce!After much deliberation, the judges selected two teams from each of the four competition categories–Kaylie, Zahn, Zahn Social Innovation, and Standard Chartered Women Entrepreneurs' Prizes. These 8 finalists will pitch again in front of a select audience on Wednesday, April 29th at 5pm. To support your team and find out who takes home the grand prizes, join us for a private stream of the event in the Zahn Center @ Marshak (there will be snacks). We'll also announce the winners of the audience choice award!Our 8 finalists are…Kaylie Prize:   Zahn Social Innovation Prize: Zahn Prize:  Standard Chartered Women Entrepreneurs' Prize:     We'd like to thank our awesome judges who generously gave their time on Monday to listen to our students' pitches! Thank you Frank DeBernardis, Jay Hickey, Jesse Guglielmo, Todd Schofield, Rachel Haot, Minerva Tantoco, Vince Boudreau, Eleni Janis, Bill Snipes, Ray Garcia, Mark Fosmoen, Marsha Yuan, and Julio Corredor. Wed, 29 Apr 2015 10:00:49 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21968 TEDx CUNY Salon: Startups https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/tedx-cuny-salon-startups The Zahn Center @Marshak will host the TEDx CUNY Salon: “Startups” on Tuesday, April 21st from 12pm-3pm. Join us for an event celebrating entrepreneurship with Zahn alumni guest speakers. Register now, there are a limited number of seats available.With the rising popularity and momentum of start-ups in NYC, City Colleges Zahn Innovation Center has paralleled this growth, producing multiple success stories and student winners. We are hoping to maintain this CCNY momentum, further spreading and aiding our Harlem community. Along with technological start-ups, the Zahn Center has recently dedicated itself to expanding its vision to social entrepreneurship and to marking the importance of women entrepreneurs. With this in mind, we hope that these TEDxCUNYSalon talks will encourage City students to tackle issues that they see in our campus neighborhood, encourage women and minority students to take ownership of their passion for change, and not fear societal forces that may be oppressing them.Speakers include:Weeks Mensah (Enza Academy) €“ As Co-Founder of the award winning social lemonade stand, Weeks mission is to change the face of innovation by equipping underrepresented students with tools such as design-thinking, coding, and entrepreneurship to empower themselves, and successfully navigate their surrounding ecosystems. A serial entrepreneur, Weeks is a graduate from the Colin Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York. A Weston and Peter Zahn fellow, he has a degree in Business Administration and Management and Public Policy.Marquise Stillwell (Openbox) €“ Marquise is the Founder and Principal of Openbox. As a business designer and developer for more than two decades, he grounds the Openbox vision in strategic planning from the fields of investing, product development, and technology. Marquise also works in creative leadership, teaching with the KaosPilots in Denmark and South Africa to help students learn by doing. Marquise is passionate about the power of design, and has a boundless curiosity for life.Teona Lazashivili and Amali Nesseridine (Laddine) €“ Laddine came about after founders, Amali and Teona, had a frustrating experience shopping online for a gift for Teonas niece. They were troubled by the difficulty of finding innovative toys that were more than just time fillers. There was little resource to help them determine exactly how a toy would benefit children. Through this experience Amali and Teona were determined to change the status quo with a toy specialist platform that would streamline and simplify the task of finding the right toys that add value to playtime for all our children.Sean Petterson from StrongArm €“ StrongArm was founded by Sean Petterson and Justin Hillery, two men that grew up with fathers whose bodies endured enormous physical strain at their blue collar jobs. Workers are not afforded the benefit of athletic equipment to prevent injuries and maximize their performance. As a result, StrongArm is inventing new devices and methods to bridge the gap between performance and safety. Fri, 17 Apr 2015 10:32:41 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21967 Join Us for the 2015 Demo Day Expo! https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/join-us-2015-demo-day-expo What do sustainable cloth diapers, shoes that monitor your exercise goals, an app that helps you fix your car, and a homemade food take-out service have in common? They're among the business concepts conceived at CCNY by this year's 25 semi-finalist teams.Sounds interesting? Did we mention that these teams are competing for a total of $144,000 in the Zahn, Kaylie, Zahn Social Innovation, and Standard Chartered Bank Women Entrepreneurs' Prizes?Intrigued? Join us at the Zahn Center Demo Day Expo on Monday, April 27th and learn about all 25 business concepts!You never know, this might be your chance to meet the next Google…Details: Hoffman Atrium & Lounge in the North Academic Center (NAC) from 12-3pmYou can be a part of the excitement – follow us @zahncenternyc to learn more about each team and vote for your favorite in the Audience Choice Award! Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:19:31 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21966 IEEE Haiti Presents at Region 9 Conference https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/ieee-haiti-presents-region-9-conference Richard Sam and Paul Mérisier, two of the co-founders of IEEE Haiti, traveled to Monterrey, Mexico to attend the IEEE Region 9 Meeting from March 11-14th. They were asked to present IEEE Haitis recent accomplishments. This was the first time Haiti was represented at the meeting that includes IEEE organizations from Latin American and Caribbean countries. We didnt know what to expect when we got to the conference. Amazingly, we were welcomed with open arms and there was an emotional response to our arrival. It was the first time the Haitian flag was hung in the room, Richard shared.IEEE is an international organization that stands for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Richard and Paul, along with co-founder Michele Boisrond, first became involved in the organization through their honors society as undergraduate students at CCNY. Soon, they began to realize that their native country of Haiti needed an organization that would mobilize engineers to solve challenges from infrastructure to cutting edge technology development. So they brought IEEE to Haiti, motivated, in part, by the Zahn Social Innovation Challenge last year. They wanted to create an organization that would focus on Haitis problems from a STEM perspective.At the regional meeting, Richard and Paul presented the challenges Haiti faces in regards to energy. Haiti has resources, but we dont know how to use them. They said that the feedback from the presentation was valuable, and many professionals offered advice and services to help them through these challenges. Haiti isnt known for technological advancement. We want to change that. Twenty years from now we hope that IEEE Haiti holds patents in several fields, they said.IEEE Haiti is growing quickly and its influence in the country is already being felt at the major universities. Building on their success in Haiti, Richard and Paul are now working with professionals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to implement IEEE there.Like true entrepreneurs, the IEEE Haiti team recognizes that every day offers an opportunity to grow. They are grateful to the CCNY Education and Electronic Engineering Departments, IEEE Region 9, and the Zahn Center for support and guidance. Tue, 14 Apr 2015 10:08:13 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21965 Le Sel to Revolutionize Salt in Haiti https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/le-sel-revolutionize-salt-haiti  Carry Fils-Aime traveled to the Anse-Rouge region of Haiti last month to visit salt plants and speak with local harvesters. Her social enterprise startup, Le Sel Foundation, will modernize salt production and distribution to advance the market in Haiti. Le Sel is a semi-finalist in the Standard Chartered Women Entrepreneurs Prize a the Zahn Center, and will disrupt the current salt market in Haiti.Carry, a native Haitian, described how shocked she was by the working conditions at Anse-Rouges salt plants. The harvesters have to start working extremely early because of the heat, and many walk hours to get to the plant. They have no gloves or boots to protect their skin from the salt. This longtime exposure has adverse effects on their health. Not only are the working conditions poor, the harvesters (mostly women) make less than $2/day. Often, the women are not even paid in currency, but in salt.But Carry has plans to change all of this. Le Sel Foundation will not only introduce iodized salt to Haiti, a country that suffers greatly from iodine deficiency, but the plant will be part of a larger Eco-Park project for the Anse-Rouge region. Carry works closely with Professor Hillary Brown and her students in the CCNY Environmental Science Department, who are testing models for an Eco-Park in Anse-Rouge. Right now theyre trying to figure out the best way to turn organic waste into energy. Theyre working very hard and are passionate about this project, said Carry.Le Sel Foundation will also engage the Haitian community in educational programming. So many Haitians suffer from iodine deficiency, especially women, and they dont want to talk about it. Iodine is necessary for thyroid hormone production, and without it many people develop dangerous goiters (a mass in the neck) as their thyroids attempt to increase hormone production. Other effects of iodine deficiency include severe cognitive impairment, obesity, and an increased risk of certain cancers. Through Le Sel, Carry plans to educate Haitians about the effects of iodine deficiency while selling her salt to prevent related disease.Carry traveled to Haiti again over spring break to meet with government officials and community members. We need a strong commitment with partners who believe in our vision and share our values. For my idea to succeed, its going to take a lot of other institutions helping one another, she said.Keep it up, Carry. Were happily supporting you every step of the way.  Mon, 13 Apr 2015 09:59:53 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21964 Founders Spotlight ft. Derrius Quarles https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/founders-spotlight-ft-derrius-quarles Meet White House recognized entrepreneur, globally recognized speaker, and author Derrius Quarles at the Founders' Spotlight on Tuesday, April 14th in the Zahn Center @ Marshak from 12:15-1:45pm.Derrius is the Founder and CEO of Million Dollar Scholar, an education technology social lemonade stand that provides a high-impact low-cost scholarship and financial aid curriculum to decrease financial barriers to higher education. Million Dollar Scholar was founded after Derrius was awarded over $1 Million in scholarship awards and learned that there are many barriers to high school students navigating the financial aid process. He is the author of the educational bestseller MillionDollarScholar: Winning The Scholarship Race and a Founding Partner of Gentlemen Ventures.  His work has been highlighted by the Associated Press, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Time. Fri, 10 Apr 2015 13:55:14 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21975 Social Media Table Talk https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/social-media-table-talk On Wednesday, April 1, Zahn Center Staff facilitated a Social Media Table Talk with some of the Competition Semi-Finalists. Participants shared tips for social media management and etiquette, and identified individual marketing goals. Several great tips and ideas came out of the discussion:Create a game plan.Identify your target market and mission statement.Know your market like you know your best friend. Be especially mindful of when your market checks social media!Design a culture congruent with your brand to reach your market and spread your mission. Use voice, tone, color, filters, etc. to enhance your culture!Identify what platforms you will use and how you will use them.Interact with your following for cost-efficient market research!Talk to your followers/likers by commenting on their pictures/statuses/tweets.Use DMing – it can be valuable.Learn from the feedback your following gives you on social media.Find brand ambassadors in your following.Make sure to check their Klout score.Remember, who you follow and who follows you matters. Quality trumps quantity.Practice consistency.Remember to remain consistent in voice, tone, types of filters, image crop, and type and frequency of posts.Polish your posts. Proper grammar and mechanics do matter.Hone the tools available to you.Hootsuite – schedule your posts, track your following, and much more!Latergram.me – scedule your Instagram posts!bit.ly – shrink links and track how many times the link is opened!studio design by overlay studio inc – create filters and overlays for your pictures unique to youSocialBro – manage your Twitter following.Extra tips and article links:Hashtags can be your best friends!Remember to check hot & not times for social media!Learn about current and future trends.Check our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages to find out when to meet us in Marshak for the next Table Talk session! Thu, 09 Apr 2015 12:32:41 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21974 SiVi Corp and Cofound Harlem Visit https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/sivi-corp-and-cofound-harlem-visit On Tuesday, March 31, the Zahn Innovation Center hosted its second Founders Spotlight. Over 30 CCNY students and faculty members participated in an intimate discussion with Ashok Kamal of SiVi Corporation and John Henry, Ahishar Maxima, and Evan Dudla of Cofound Harlem. Each speaker shared their personal stories and offered advice for a variety of topics including Bootstrapping basics, how to build ones MVP, how to grow a social media following, and how to develop an undefeated team.SiVi Corp and Cofound Harlem shared an array of advice with students, but highlighted these takeaways:Your team is everything. Investors invest in the team more than the idea.You should always have a roadmap and an idea of where youre going. We suggest the 3-6-1 plan: Ask yourself, where do you want to be in 3 months? 6 months? 1 year?Think about the message you really want to convey and ingrain that message into yourself and everything you do.Entrepreneurship is a quality, not a title. Sometimes the smartest move could be realizing that youre not a founder, but a CFO, for example.If youre not on social media, you should be!Ashok Kamal began his career in the hiphop industry, but after competing in the nations top business plan competitions, he raised seed money to launch a social enterprise converting plastic bottles into backpacks. From there, his company pivoted and built a software to help other businesses stay sustainable and market their sustainability initiatives. But Ashok never forgot how challenging it was for his team to raise money. He often reflects on the drawbacks of Bootstrapping, especially for social entrepreneurs. As a social entrepreneur raising capital, you have to remain vigilant in putting your mission at the forefront because youre especially vulnerable to investors €˜money agenda. The more investors get involved, the less control you have over your own concept, he said.Because Ashok knows how challenging it is for startups to raise capital, he started the micro-crowdfunding platform, SiVi Corporation. As a part of SiVi, Ashok recently started Launch Leader, which he describes as an itemized Kickstarter. Ashok explained, The great thing about Launch Leader is that it helps you three-fold. It not only connects you with capital, but it makes you think of what you really need for your business and forces you to practice accountability by posting evidence of purchasing/creating those things. Now, Ashok helps to make sure social entrepreneurs are reaching everyone who is touched by their businesses.Serial entrepreneur John Henry was touched by the Harlem community and the potential it held for entrepreneurial thinking. After selling his dry cleaning business, John and current team members Ahishar (@hivebridgelabs) and Evan (@nvite) found themselves meeting up at bars and cafes to brainstorm solutions to the citys problems. We got excited about throwing stuff up on the whiteboard, said John, so they decided to create a space where entrepreneurial minds could come together and do just that. Cofound Harlem is turning the traditional accelerator model on its head and offering accepted startups the unprecedented opportunity to grow in an environment thats all about building the entrepreneur as a person. John explained, As much as we want businesses to succeed, its more importantly about building an entrepreneurial mindset in the community. Cofound Harlems model is project-based and goal-oriented, allowing startups to see how they get from A to Z and every letter in between. Startups also have access to mentors and a full curriculum to help fill in the gaps.The Zahn Center looks forward to hosting the next Founders Spotlight and learning more valuable lessons from local entrepreneurs! Thu, 09 Apr 2015 12:02:10 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21973 Founders Spotlight ft. Cofound Harlem https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/founders-spotlight-ft-cofound-harlem Meet serial entrepreneur John Henry of cofound/harlem at this Tuesday's Founders' Spotlight. cofound/harlem is the first accelerator out of NYC's latest tech hub – Harlem. They are turning the traditional accelerator model on its head and offering accepted startups an unprecedented growth opportunity.John Henry was the 19-year-old who launched a dry-cleaning empire and worked with some of entertainment's biggest wardrobe departments like “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Law and Order.” Then he sold his company. Now, John Henry is the 22-year-old obsessed with helping other startups in Harlem–he also has some incredible stories to tell! Through his accelerator, startups are given access to capital, working space, and mentoring.Your startup could be next!Join us in the Zahn Center at Marshak 052 (Lower Level of the Library) on Tuesday, March 31st from 12:15pm – 1:45pm. Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:46:29 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21972 GoHappy Advances to Finals at UDel https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/gohappy-advances-finals-udel Congratulations to one of our Zahn Competition Semi-Finalists, GoHappy! for advancing to the Finals in the University of Delawares Hen Hatch Startup Funding Competition.Hen Hatch is the University of Delawares premier startup funding competition. It provides entrepreneurial students, alumni, faculty, and staff with the opportunity to make connections and collect feedback on their ideas while competing for startup cash and prizes totaling $50,000.GoHappy! entered the competition in a pool of 68 teams, which was narrowed down to 10 student semi-finalist teams and 10 alumni semi-finalists teams. GoHappy! is one of 3 student semi-finalists teams to advance to the Finals which will take place on April 28th.GoHappy! is a full-fledged application that addresses the real-time communication gap between businesses and consumers. Business owners can use the application to create special offers to reach customers in real-time. Customers can use the application to receive real-time, location-aware notifications or updates. Find out more at gohappy.io and follow them on Twitter @gohappyapp Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:58:00 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21971 What We Learned from InYourClass https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/what-we-learned-inyourclass On March 24th, the Zahn Center launched its first Founders Spotlight, a new program on Tuesdays to connect students with guest speakers from local tech and social lemonade stands. This weeks event featured Fani Maksakuli, a CCNY alum and co-founder of InYourClass.A startup launched by CCNY students, InYourClass is a social network connecting remote learners with the resources they need to make online learning just as effective as learning in the classroom. And one of the main topics covered in Fanis discussion was the importance of connecting oneself to resources, and leveraging those resources. He stressed how essential it is to remember that even though you may be starting your own lemonade stand, you are not alone. Without his team and some great advisors, he elaborated, the company would not have lasted. He encouraged students to take advantage of the resources that are available to them through the Zahn Center and the rest of CCNY. If youre looking for an engineer, go to the Engineering Department and ask them for their best student. Chances are that connection will be worthwhile.Fani shared with the students that this past summer was especially hard for InYourClass because the team was forced to make personal sacrifices for the company. For Fani, getting through the tough times makes success that much more rewarding.InYourClass is expanding rapidly with new programs at Stanford and CCNY, and exploring into a variety of new projects. Fani will open an office at City College, and announced that hes currently seeking summer interns, particularly in computer science and engineering. These interns will not only get to work hands-on with Project Managers and write code, but will also have opportunities to pursue their own project ideas. The benefit from interning at a startup is that you are there from the very beginning, you are a part of shaping the company, he said.Here are some quick takeaways from Fanis discussion:Find someone more experienced than you to help you on your journey.Find great co-founders and create the best team. Investors look at the team as a whole, with greater emphasis than the original idea.Get your feet wet, create a prototype, and dont be afraid to share it!Yes, youll fall down a lot. Just pick yourself back up. No excuses.Reach out to Fani Maksakuli for guidance, support, and internship inquiries at fani@inyourclass.com InYourClass is participating in the Zahn Summer Internship program. Learn more here and apply by April 15th! Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:52:19 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21976 Summer Internship Program https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/summer-internship-program Work at a tech startup or social enterprise this summer!The Zahn Center is working with various tech startups, social lemonade stands and innovative companies to match them with the best CCNY talent for summer internships. Undergraduate leaders and entrepreneurial thinkers looking to gain hands-on experience are encouraged to apply. The Zahn Center is providing an exclusive opportunity for only 25 internships, including a 50% match for summer stipends with select organizations.We are seeking CCNY undergraduate students who are looking to broaden their exposure to new fields, new ways of thinking, and potential career opportunities with the citys most innovative organizations.Click here to apply for this exciting internship program. Thu, 26 Mar 2015 21:35:43 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21977 Founders Spotlight ft. InYourClass https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/founders-spotlight-ft-inyourclass Did you ever wonder what it would be like to launch a startup? Now you can find out!On Tuesday, March 24th, the Zahn Innovation Center launches a new series called Founders' Spotlight. Each Tuesday, the Zahn Center will feature guest speakers from local startup companies. These entrepreneurs will share their challenges and offer tricks of the trade, and you will have an opportunity to network and open a dialogue with them.This Tuesday's Spotlight will feature guest speaker Fani Maksakuli from InYourClass. A startup launched at CCNY, InYourClass is a social network connecting remote learners with the resources they need to make online learning just as effective as learning in school. InYourClass is seeking CCNY interns, and this Spotlight will be a great time to meet one of the founders.Tuesday's Founders' Spotlight will be held at the Zahn Center @Marshak (Lower Level of the Library) from 12:15pm-1:45pm. Light snacks will be provided, but you are encouraged to bring a lunch. Fri, 20 Mar 2015 15:02:52 -0400 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21978 The Standard Chartered Women in Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, with Lauren Maillian Bias https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/zahn/blog/standard-chartered-women-entrepreneurship-speaker-series-lauren-maillian-bias On March 11th, The Zahn Innovation Center launches The Standard Chartered Women in Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, with Lauren Maillian Bias.  Lauren Maillian Bias is the author of the instant Amazon bestselling business memoir, The Path Redefined: Getting To the Top On Your Own Terms and a serial entrepreneur; she is the Founder and CEO of Luxury Market Branding, a strategic marketing company, and is a Founding Partner at Gen Y Capital Partners, an early stage lemonade stand firm focused on investments in mobile and consumer facing technology enabled companies. At age 19, Lauren cofounded a boutique winery that quickly became an internationally recognized award-winning wine brand, making her the youngest self-made winery owner in the country. She served as the Chief Operating Officer of the company from inception through the brands acquisition in 2011.  Laurens passionate about marrying marketing, branding, strategy and technology.  She is excited by innovative and unique concepts, and has been known to seize rare opportunities and turn them into iconic experiences. €‹Lauren often speaks about entrepreneurship, female leadership, marketing, branding, business development, startups and early stage lemonade stand.Her work has been featured in national media outlets including Forbes, American Express OPEN Forum, Interactive ONE, HuffPost LIVE, UPTOWN Magazine, CNBCs Nightly Business Report, Business Insider, Fast Company and Black Enterprise. In 2011 she was recognized at The White House by the Kauffman Foundation as an Empact100 Award honoree which lists the top 100 entrepreneurs under 30. Join us on March 11, at 6pm in the Faculty Dining Room – NAC Building, as Lauren Maillian Bias presents her essential principles to defining, and attaining success on €˜your own terms. €‹ Admission is free but seating is limited. Please RSVP by March 9 HERE. Light refreshments will be served. Wed, 04 Mar 2015 12:54:00 -0500 zahnyc https://www.ccny.cuny.edu/node/21979