NYC Media Lab Combine launches 11 new startups

The 2018 Combine Cohort at Combine Demo Day, held Friday, April 13th 2018 at The Greene Space

NYC Media Lab’s Combine accelerator brings together faculty and students from across the City’s universities to develop early stage startups that bridge emerging media and technology, a critical role in a city that has long been the global leader in both publishing and advertising.

The Combine serves as a spinoff engine where faculty and students commercialize their ideas with the support and mentorship of a community of faculty, entrepreneurs, media industry leaders and and technologists. In 2018, 11 startups from six universities were selected. The teams came from a range of disciplines—including data science, design, business, engineering and computer science—and employed emerging technologies such as augmented reality, machine learning and blockchain to address opportunities media and entertainment, health, smart cities and other industries.

Watch: Ovee pitches at Combine Demo Day

For instance, Ovee, created by a team of two women from Parsons School of Design, who have both worked as clinical technologists, is a service that helps women take control their sexual and reproductive health. The platform uses machine learning to both educate users and guide them to healthcare providers and services based on their personal health data.

Another example is Aduri, a team creating a connected meditation system--think “Peloton for meditation”--that combines live content and a physical multi-sensory environment that helps you become a consistent, more engaged meditator. Created by a team from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) program, Aduri is targeting a corporate wellness market as user research indicates a strong interest at the enterprise level. (See the full list below.)

Combine teams advanced into an intensive, 12-week market validation and customer discovery program led by NYC Media Lab’s Justin Hendrix and Satish Rao of Columbia Technology Ventures, with Amy Chen spearheading the program as the Lab’s new Director of Entrepreneurship.

Combine entrepreneurs network with Mentors at Combine Demo Day

The program is supported by funding from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and through the support of NYC Media Lab’s corporate membership. Corporate members bring expertise and market access, and can serve as mentors, helping the teams construct their MVP pitch and connect to further resources.

The Combine alumni community is growing. 16 teams have incorporated and attracted an additional $3 million in venture capital, SBIR and other funding. Alumni team Vidrovr recently raised $1.25 million in seed funding to bring smarter video search to publishers; Geopipe, Braiq and Acculis have completed the Techstars program; and Ovee is participating in Matter, a 20-week accelerator program based on human-centered, prototype-driven design.

Last month at Combine Demo Day, teams pitched their concepts to an audience of corporate executives, mentors and potential investors. Watch the pitches here to learn more about each team’s venture, and contact Amy Chen to get in touch (

Aduri delivers their pitch at Combine Demo Day

2018 Combine teams Include:

Courtney Snavely, Jane Mitchell
University Affiliation: Parsons School of Design
University Program: Design & Technology
Ovee provides personalized tools for women to take control of their sexual and reproductive health.
Target Market: Women’s health
Technology: Mobile chatbot

Jesal Trivedi, Jahde Eve, Chaitanya Pattewar
University Affiliation: NYU
University Program: Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP)
Aduri is creating a connected meditation system that combines live content and a physical multi-sensory environment that helps you become a consistent, more engaged meditator.
Target Market: Enterprise Corporate Wellness
Technology: IoT

Charlie Hanna, Chris Robichaud, Zane Grube, Jerry Lin
University Affiliation: Columbia University
University Program: Columbia Business School, Columbia College
BitRights is a lightweight content licensing platform built on the Ethereum blockchain.
Target Market: Digital video and media
Technology: Blockchain

Ray Kung, Tinki Cheng, Jeremy Lin
Affiliation: Taiwan Startup Stadium
Akohub provides a chatbot retargeting solution that helps ecommerce merchants convert high potential customers into buyers with purchase behavior prediction technology.
Target Market: E-commerce marketing
Technology: IoT

Yue (Lilian) Yuan
University Affiliation: School of Visual Arts
University Program: Interaction Design (IxD)
Brimly is an augmented reality mobile application that helps people with diabetes efficiently choose healthy foods and meet personal preferences while grocery shopping.
Target Market: Health and wellness
Technology: Augmented Reality

Fish Eyes
Vivian Lee, Hannah Ekman, Tong Zhang
University Affiliation: Parsons School of Design
University Program: Design & Technology
Fish Eyes is an AI software that analyzes video footage to improve future spatial planning.
Target Market: Enterprise marketing and analytics
Technology: AI and computer vision

Tyler Bisson, Andre Kostiw-Gill, Willie Payne
University Affiliation: NYU
University Program: Steinhardt (Music Technology, Music Business)
Playgrounds is an interactive online platform enabling cultural institutions to reach new audiences and young people to learn and create alongside a diverse representation of artists.
Target Market: Digital media
Technology: Web-based music education technology

Chetan Hasabnis, Dimosthenis Markopoulos, Michael Kripchak, Nitish Wakalkar
University Affiliations: NYU
University Programs: Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP)
NGEMS is designing Next Generation Emergency Systems that deliver real-time building information and people location to rescue personnel before they arrive on the scene.
Target Market: Emergency Management
Technology: IoT

Ahmed Ben Mansour, Kevin Navarra
University Affiliation: The City College of New York (CUNY)
University Programs: Grove School of Engineering, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership
Ouvos is a community based navigation app that allows cyclists to share
real-time road conditions and receive hazard alerts.

Target Market: Cycling
Technology: Audio-based Augmented Reality

Rolling Muse
Sasha Stoikov, Sacha Stanton, Paul Heck
University Affiliation: Cornell University, Columbia University
University Program: ORIE (Cornell University) and IEOR (Columbia University)
Rolling Muse is speed dating for music.
Target Market: Mobile gaming and music
Technology: Deep Learning Recommender Systems

Tao Wei, Hanyu Zhao, Ran Sun, Andrew Mendez
University Affiliation: Parsons School of Design, Cornell Tech
University Program: Design & Technology (Parsons), MS Connected Media (Cornell Tech)
Spaceplanar inspires, customizes and visualizes the wedding visions for couples and recommends the best venues and vendors that can bring those visions to life.
Target Market: Wedding planning
Technology: Augmented Reality




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.

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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.

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