NYC Media Lab Announces Second Cohort for The Combine Program for Emerging Media & Technology Startups from NYC Universities

NYC Media Lab
6 min readJan 27, 2017

Supported by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, NYCEDC and NYC Media Lab member companies, the Combine matches faculty and students with industry mentors to advance new technologies and business concepts

Joe Ellis, an NYC Media Lab Combine entrepreneur, demos his project

Eleven startup teams will complete the program to launch new ventures and commercialize emerging media and technology

NYC Media Lab, a consortium of universities and media and technology companies, today announced the second cohort of startup teams for NYC Media Lab Combine, its signature program to commercialize emerging media technologies from faculty and students at the City’s universities. The program is supported with generous funding from the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and through the support of NYC Media Lab’s corporate membership.

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

“It’s our pleasure to support the NYC Media Lab’s Combine program for the second year in a row,” said Kai Falkenberg, First Deputy Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

These incredible media and technology innovators are paving the way to the future of digital media, demonstrating how we’ll make sense of and shape the world going forward. The strong connections between higher education, and the public and private sectors demonstrate why New York City is and will always remain the global capital of creativity.”

“NYC Media Lab is an important convener between growing new media companies and academic institutions, further strengthening an industry that is critical to our city’s economy,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “We want to congratulate all who are participating in the second cohort of NYC Media Lab’s The Combine, who will emerge as world-class leaders and disruptors in this fast-moving field.”

Dozens of teams submitted concepts to the program, made up of faculty and students at nine city institutions in disciplines ranging from design to computer science to engineering. NYC Media Lab, with input from member companies and advisors, selected 9 teams for the cohort that will advance into a market validation program. Each team is supported by an initial grant of $25,000. Two additional teams, selected in partnership with Taiwan Startup Stadium in Taipei, will participate in the program to launch their businesses in New York City.

Throughout the Combine program, NYC Media Lab will match teams with industry mentors. At the end of the program, teams will pitch their concept to NYC Media Lab corporate member advisors and potential investors at a demo day April 7th. Successful program outcomes will include startup formation, technology licensing and hiring. Last year’s teams produced some excellent startup companies, including Vidrovr, SVRROUND, Dartboard, and

Joanna Chin, an NYC Media Lab Combine entrepreneur, demos her project

Cohort teams include:

Ada Slusarczyk, Chris Lysiuk, Darren Yee, Nick Molinski
An augmented reality mobile application for construction quality control managers to visualize 3D designs on-site.

The New School
Jelena Gregov, Moreno Belic
AWOL is an immersive augmented reality gallery that resurfaces past iterations of urban art and cultural artifacts in New York City.

Columbia University
Jie Feng, Svebor Karaman
EyeStyle is an artificial intelligence system that discovers fashion products from inspiring visuals.

NYU & Brown
Christopher Mitchell, Ph.D. and Thomas Dickerson
Geopipe builds clever algorithms to automatically turn big data about the real world into expansive virtual worlds for architects and beyond.

City College
Aashna Shah, Elnara Mikhaylova, Revital Schechter, Abhishek Samdaria, Karina Vargas, Christine Mossiah
Gleam is a conversational interface that is improving access to quality mental health care in low socioeconomic communities

Mithru Vigneshwara, Roi Lev, Ondina Frate, Joakim Quach
Myx is a tool to help content creators and designers storyboard and visualize 3D environments.

Remo Haptics
Pratt Institute and NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Evan Huggins, Aaron Nesser, Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, Caitlin Sikora
Remo is a wearable guidance system that augments movement learning with direct haptic input.

Semblance AR
NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Mark Skwarek, John Pasquarello, Yao Chen
Semblance AR is developing an application that live streams 3D reconstructions of real people or environments.

Pratt Institute
Victor Vina, Lillian Tong, Doremy Diatta, Julian Goldman
Teleobjects is developing consumer-facing physical interfaces for digital content, home automation and voice-enabled services.

Teams participating in the program from Taiwan Startup Stadium:

Taiwan Startup Stadium
Ben Chang, Momo Lee, Pofat Tseng, Cyril Yu, Miru Lin
Diuit is a developer tool that helps companies to build their own AI-powered virtual assistant on top of their own products.

Taiwan Startup Stadium
Allen Yu, Yu-Yi Chen, Sandy Lin.
Toii is making an integration of AR, location-based Service, and mobile gaming to help clients promote their business.

“We were impressed by the quality and quantity of applications, and in the maturity of the projects as compared to the first cohort,” said Hendrix. “Along with our member company representatives and stakeholders at NYCEDC and MOME, we look forward to seeing great companies emerge from a lot of hard work in the next three months.”

Press Contact:
Alexis Avedisian

About NYC Media Lab

Founded in 2010, NYC Media Lab is dedicated to driving innovation and ultimately job growth in emerging media and technology by facilitating collaboration between the City’s universities and its companies. Comprised of a consortium including eighteen member companies and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York University, Columbia University, The New School, CUNY, the School of Visual Arts, IESE and Pratt Institute, NYC Media Lab’s goals include encouraging entrepreneurship and generating research and development, knowledge transfer, and talent development across all of the City’s campuses. More is at


New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives. More is at

About The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is comprised of two divisions: the Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting, and NYC Media. The Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting serves as a one-stop shop for the entertainment industry and promotes New York City as a thriving center of creativity, issuing permits for productions filming on public property, and facilitating production throughout the five boroughs. NYC Media is the City’s official broadcast network and media production group, with programming that informs, educates, and entertains New Yorkers about the City’s diverse people, neighborhoods, services, attractions, and activities. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.



NYC Media Lab

NYC Media Lab connects university researchers and NYC’s media tech companies to create a new community of digital media & tech innovators in New York City.