Circular City Open Call

Circular City is seeking startups globally that are building frontier technologies and developing novel products that address urban challenges in transitioning to a circular economy and improving energy efficiency in buildings. Selected participants will have the opportunity to partner with New Lab and NYCEDC to pilot their product or technology at a pilot site in New York City and engage with program partners, domain experts and research institutions. Interested startups are encouraged to submit applications by February 14, 2020 to be considered.

Selections will be made on a rolling basis and no later than March 6, 2020.

For questions related to the application or selection process or if you’re not a startup but are interested in getting involved, email [email protected]




• Opportunity to pilot your product or technology in New York City

• Work with a peer network of urban tech startups and collaborate with New Lab, NYCEDC, pilot site partners, domain experts and research institutions

• Exposure to corporate partners, investors, city stakeholders, researchers and domain experts

• Validate your technology or product with potential end users

• Use your company’s technology and data for the public good

• Support from New Lab, including access to on-site prototyping resources, community of 750+ entrepreneurs, tailored events and programming, and a dedicated team to help facilitate pilot projects, stakeholder engagement and collaboration with academic research partners

• Grant funding will be provided to support pilot implementation, but no equity will be taken.


• Have a technology relevant to at least one of the defined challenge areas

• Have a team in place with technology expertise and a technology or product that is ready or near-ready to be piloted

• Be able to articulate how this program adds value to your company and to the city more broadly

• Be able to commit to participation in the program from February to September 2020, including launching and overseeing a pilot beginning in Spring 2020. Participation requires you and your team to be physically present in New York City for the program milestones, per the timeline below:



Application Deadline: February 14
Selections Made: March 6
Pilot Design & Planning: March – April
Onboarding: March – April
Intro to 2020 Projects Event: April
Research Development: March – August
Launch & Deploy Pilots (on a rolling basis): April – August
Monthly Workshops: April – July
Public Showcase: September


Join us for an info session webinar on Tuesday, January 28, 12:00 pm EST. RSVP here.

Circular City 2020 Challenge Areas

The 2020 edition of Circular City is focusing on New York City’s transition to a circular economy and the future of energy efficiency in the built environment. Selected startups will address these challenges through piloting their technologies and products in real urban environments to help New York City work toward a more sustainable, equitable and accessible future.

If you would like to apply to both challenges, please submit two applications – one for each challenge.

Circular Economy Challenge

How might we support New York City’s transition from a linear economy to a circular economy?

Circular City is seeking technologies or products that can eliminate waste or pollution or keep resources in circulation through reuse, regeneration and recycling across any industry, assisting in the transition to a circular economy.

Background & Resources

Energy Efficient Buildings Challenge

How might we improve the energy efficiency of buildings in New York City?

Circular City is seeking technologies that can increase the efficiency of a building’s energy use by improving existing approaches or introducing new approaches to make buildings compliant with Local Law 97.

Background & Resources

Pilot Locations

Circular City has partnered with leaders across the City who are excited to host pilots. Eligible applications will be reviewed in detail with partners to determine viability and the optimal location for a pilot of their product or technology.

Governors Island: a 172-acre island in New York Harbor within the borough of Manhattan that features a park, dozens of historic buildings, educational and cultural facilities, a rich arts and culture program and a 22-acre National Monument.

Brooklyn Navy Yard: a 300-acre industrial campus that previously served as the nation’s premiere shipbuilding facility. The Yard, which is home to New Lab’s headquarters, is undergoing major expansion — adding over 2M square feet of space and 10,000 jobs by 2020. In coordination with New Lab, plans are underway to install a 5G and edge computing node, providing unique access for pilots that may benefit from this platform.

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership: a non-profit responsible for managing three Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) that cover Downtown Brooklyn, including the MetroTech BID, Fulton Mall Improvement Association, and Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BID.

Flatbush Junction BID: a non-profit offering services and improvements to the “Junction”, a three-way intersection — Flatbush Avenue, Nostrand Avenue and Avenue H —  that serves as the “gateway” to the south and east parts of Brooklyn.

Circular City Application

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