Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur at the NYU Leslie eLab

Photo credit:  Judi Polanco 

Students filled the Leslie eLab at New York University’s Entrepreneurial Institute on October 24 to learn the answer to one question: what does it take to get accepted to the Startup Sprint intensive program for entrepreneurs?

Rebecca Silver, associate director, held the Startup Sprint Information session for the two-week intensive program offered to aspiring entrepreneur teams as they launch their startups.

Frank Barish Horowitz, who founded five companies during his time as a student of New York University, has benefited from the program.  “The connections and mentorship offered is priceless according to Horowitz.  “I’ve met my mentor, Kyle Bergan, and countless partners exclusively here.” Horowitz’s suggestion to students interested in becoming entrepreneurs to “take advantage of the resources offered at the institute now!”

As part of the selection process, entrepreneur teams are encouraged to apply to this two-week intensive program to learn about how to launch a venture while being offered expert startup coaching, funding, training and community support to help build a business.  A few of the qualifications needed to participate include having teams of two or more and making sure that, at minimum, one of the co-founders must be a student, faculty or researcher from New York University. Female or under-represented founders are highly encouraged to apply.   Selected teams will receive a $1,000 grant, $5,000 in perks in addition to daily coaching and working alongside other startups.

For Emily Long, founder of PivoTtag, going through the startup experience was the best decision she made for her company.   “As founder, it pushed me to get out of the building and actually talk to people that I otherwise would not have done.” Emily highly recommends it to everyone.  “It’s one of those things you won’t regret!”

75% of startups fail to return investors’ capital, while 42% fail because there is lack of market need, according to Silver. The startup training assists in increasing the chances for a startup to succeed by making starting companies less risky.  In the Startup Sprint two-week training, teams will gain experience getting customer feedback before building and launching their ideas.
Startup Sprint trainings are held in the winter, and in the summer, when regular classes are not in session. Silver states that, “even if you don’t get accepted to the program this time, come in for coaching and apply again.” Entrepreneurs have access to one-on-one coaching and numerous programs that will assist in pitching, fundraising and growing a team. Sergel Revzin who is a coach at the entrepreneur institute states one-on-one coaching is an important resource offered. Revzin said that in his experience it has been  “great working with founders! The group is eager to learn and very coachable, applying what they learn immediately.”

Reyna Bhandari, an aspiring entrepreneur with an app idea that will revolutionize the way doctors and patients manage pain, said that she found out about the Leslie eLab during her welcome week tour at NYU. “They offered to work with me and help me find a team to develop the app.” Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs who need help developing a business idea is to ask themselves “what is something that you have heard other people complain about more often than not? Pause, think about it again, approach it from another angle, and voila, you might have an innovative idea to improve the lives of others. Modern-day society, especially NYC, promotes a culture thriving on convenience, accuracy, reliability. People are always looking for newer, better, faster. So, think about an idea, whether the effect is minuscule or magnitude, and use the Leslie eLab to see if it has the potential to make a difference.”

The Leslie eLab located at 16 Washington Place is available to aspiring NYU entrepreneurs across all NYU’s schools. The facility can be used as a co-working space for meetings and events of developing startups at all stages. No startup experience necessary. NYU students, faculties and researchers are encouraged to visit.  

Resources on The Rise for Women Entrepreneurs of The Bronx

Resources on The Rise for Women Entrepreneurs of The Bronx

Photo Credit: Rosa Garcia

Resources on The Rise for Women Entrepreneurs of The Bronx

BRONX, NEW YORK – Rosa Garcia is one woman who has found success in the Bronx, running her well known eatery, Mott Haven Bar and Grill. In addition to creating a welcoming “meeting place” atmosphere within the restaurant, her ambition to make positive change in her neighborhood is apparent.

The Bronx is mostly known for being the home of Yankee stadium. It is the poorest urban community in the country. Women owned businesses however, are on the rise and contributing tremendously to the economic growth of the borough. Many organizations have been created to help advance women in business. These programs and foundations recognize that women-run businesses  help the economic security of the community overall. One such initiative out of NYC’s Department of Small Businesses is WE NYC, an organization helping women start and grow businesses.   

WE NYC started with relevant research: surveying 1,500 women entrepreneurs in the city to determine the real issues and specific challenges they face in achieving their business goals. Armed with this information, services focusing on 4 key areas of business development were created: connecting women with the right resources, creating workshops teaching specific business skill sets, providing access to funding needed to grow needed capital, and assisting women to navigate the complex legal system to ensure protection for the businesses they’ve worked so hard to create.   

Other centers in the Bronx are working hard to advocate for women-led startups. The Bronx Women’s Business Resource Center maintains a partnership with city, state and federal agencies, and is, therefore, able to provide a wide range of individualized services. The Bronx Business Incubator is an 11,000 sq. foot space dedicated to supporting freelancers of all kinds through the provision of local services as well as providing a physical professional space. Credit Inc./South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SOBRO)is a certified institution offering financial and marketing support for small businesses. Businesses looking to increase their business networks can find assistance from the Greater Hunts Point Chamber of Commerce, who work to bridge connections between local businesses and those that are looking for their services.

Awesome Women Entrepreneurs is one organization that promotes the social support that is vital for women in business to have, recognizing the importance of having a community where one can “talk shop and laugh.” Similarly, the National Association of Women Business Owners is a virtual platform helping women “to develop key skills and learn strategies to help take their business to the next level.”

Garcia states that what keeps women from becoming entrepreneurs is the fact that “women feel guilty, especially if they are mothers, we also share our visions with people who talk us out of it.” Furthermore, Garcia explains that,  as a women, rather than speaking to someone about business plansshe suggests to “make moves in silence and show the results, not everybody sees your vision.”  

Resources for women who plan to start their own business In the Bronx are on the rise.