NYCML April Newsletter As we’ve all moved to social distancing, we continue to work hard to use our tools to stay connected…

The NYC Media Lab prides itself on making connections — connections between students, companies, startups, mentors, and our members. As we’ve all moved to social distancing, we continue to work hard to use our tools to stay connected.

This past month has been a time of extraordinary learning and we’re proud that we’ve played a part in keeping our students learning and our startups growing. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if the NYC Media Lab team can support you and your efforts to solve problems and explore hard questions — that’s why we’re here.

Steve Rosenbaum
Managing Director, NYC Media Lab NEW & NOTEWORTHY The Combine: Demo Day Goes Virtual

Each year, The Combine — NYC Media Lab’s 12-week startup accelerator program — culminates in a “Demo Day” where each university team shares their pitches for original lean startup concepts. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Combine cohort went 100% virtual — and the results were extraordinary.

Quickly adapting to challenging circumstances, seven teams mobilized to virtually pitch new applications for AR/VR, machine learning, computer vision, and more to an online audience of 125, including Anne del Castillo, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and Karen Bhatia, Senior Vice President at NYC Economic Development Corporation. To our intrepid entrepreneurs: during a time of unprecedented change, you inspire us.

Watch each team’s pitch below or watch the full Demo Day livestream HERE.

  • LostBytes: A sustainable tech startup that uses an on-site bio-digester machine to convert food waste to organic fertilizer for plants

The NYC Media Lab 2019 Annual Report Is Now Public

The NYC Media Lab’s 2019 annual report is now public. The detailed 35-page report dives deep into 2019. Highlights include:

  • 2019 was a record high for corporate membership: Estée Lauder, The New York Times, Bertelsmann, and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) joined the NYC Media Lab community

Welcome Marion Bernstein, NYC Media Lab’s New Head of Communications & Events

We’re thrilled to welcome Marion as she takes the reins in leading strategic comms and events for the NYC Media Lab. Prior to joining us, she developed and executed a multi-phase integrated marketing campaign for the NYU Journalism Institute. Gaining invaluable experience on both sides of the journalistic coin, Marion spent years running strategic comms campaigns for business book authors while freelance writing for food and wine publications. Her work has been featured in Time Out New York, Bustle, and Brooklyn Magazine. Marion holds a BS in psychology from the University of Mary Washington and an MA in international education from NYU.

VIRTUAL EVENTS MUST WATCH: Is the Future of the Internet at Risk? NYCML Managing Director Steve Rosenbaum Moderates SXSW Virtual Web Freedom Panel

With declining trust and confidence in large technology firms, there’s growing bipartisan agreement that it’s time for legislative change. Members of Congress have been calling for a revision or repeal of Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act which gives websites broad legal immunity.

But is it that simple? Has the internet’s ability to publish and disseminate hateful material with speed, breadth, and no human editorial review created a new paradigm? Is it time to rethink the protections of Section 230 and its rights in the digital world? Recall The Wall Street Journal Opinion article: “Kill Section 230, You Kill the Internet.” Is the future of the internet at risk?

Watch the virtual panel video and read about the panelists here. STAY TUNED: NYC Media Lab to Present Spring 2020 Digital Open House Series

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, university teams have been hard at work developing prototyping projects in collaboration with NYC Media Lab’s member companies.

Over the next few months, we’ll be presenting these innovations during our Spring 2020 Digital Open House series. Each weekly “episode” will be free and 100% online. Teams from our NYTimes Spatial Computing for News Challenge will kick off the first episode of our Digital Open House series — link to come. Stay tuned for more info!


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NYC Media Lab connects media and technology companies with NYC’s universities to drive innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent development. Visit our website or contact us at with any questions, comments, or tips.

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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.