Supporting underrepresented founders on a mission to apply transformative technology to improve life in cities.
Founder Fellowship, an initiative to provide urban tech founders from underrepresented backgrounds with the resources they need to scale their companies, is a collaboration between Newlab and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)’s Venture Access NYC initiative.
Venture Access NYC is an upcoming NYCEDC initiative that aims to build a more inclusive tech startup ecosystem in New York City by bringing together investors, founders, and industry leaders.
Tech:NYC and BE NYC are providing advisory support to this year’s Founder Fellowship program.
The current cohort has been selected. Stay tuned for updates on the next application period.
About Founder Fellowship
Founder Fellowship will provide sponsored Newlab memberships and tailored founder support to up to eight companies led by founders from underrepresented backgrounds to support diversity and inclusiveness in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, thought, culture, and economic experience. Each company will be awarded a 12-month Flex II membership (valid for two individuals), which offers access to Newlab’s 84,000 square foot space in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Newlab’s extensive network, and resources that support business growth, including:
- Business Development, Pilot & Investment Opportunities: Newlab collaborates with and invests alongside top-tier funds with deep domain expertise—with an investor and partner network of over 400 organizations, including AlleyCorp, Google X, and New York Angels. Newlab also hosts quarterly pitch days and pitch feedback sessions which provide strategic guidance through the fundraising process. Newlab frequently connects member companies with corporate and civic partners for business development opportunities and offers pilot opportunities through our Innovation Studios.
- Collaboration & Community: With a peer community of 200+ companies scaling transformative technology, Newlab fosters an environment of cross-functional collaboration and knowledge-sharing, with members regularly collaborating on new products. Newlab also helps members navigate legal, marketing, fundraising, and offers skills-building events and workshops.
- Prototyping & Product Realization: Newlab provides extensive facilities for prototyping and product realization. Members have 24-hour access and each shop contains state-of-the-art equipment designed to facilitate the product development workflow—from idea to design to a working prototype. Onsite prototyping resources include 3D printing, CNC milling, wood and metal shops, casting and finishing, textiles, electronics, and more.
We encourage early-stage companies founded by entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds that are working on urban tech solutions to apply. Examples of urban tech solutions include transformative technologies applied to Climate Change, Energy, Circular Economy, GovTech, Public Health, Safety, Mobility, Transportation, Agriculture, Water, Infrastructure, and Accessibility.
Newlab is a community of experts and innovators applying transformative technology to solve the world’s biggest challenges. Our membership and studios bring together entrepreneurs, engineers, inventors, and industry leaders to create sustainable solutions and enterprises. We employ technologies, including robotics, A.I., and material science, to transform what matters most—health, environment, media, cities, and infrastructure
About New York City Economic Development Corporation
New York City Economic Development Corporation is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that creates shared prosperity across New York City. Our work is organized around four main areas of focus—investing in neighborhoods to address long-standing community needs, building a more sustainable city to meet the challenges of climate change, creating workforce development opportunities to help New Yorkers succeed in 21st century industries, and advancing the growth of both startups and established companies to ensure New York City’s competitive edge.