NYC Startup Trek

By Akshay Rajput

It was fascinating to see the vast amount of opportunities that a startup is surrounded with at WeWork and the spontaneity that comes along with it. Efficient workspace utilization, supreme community-building environment, constant employee feedback, and flexibility in scaling are all important factors that make WeWork successful.

Additionally, The Company’s aim to base the entire building around a tech-central theme and create proximity to the startup community by dedicating 250,000 square feet of space in midtown Manhattan was inspiring. Tyler Schrodt, CEO and Founder of Electronic Gaming Federation, apprised us about the changes he made in his business plan, improvements made in product quality, customer targeting, and economic models – along with his journey of gaining streaming rights and construction of their revenue policy.

Common area for members in WeWork Corporate Headquarters of Manhattan.

Erica Rosen, Director of Marketing at BioLite, enlightened us with their compelling mission to transform the way we cook, charge, and light our lives off the grid with their line-up of revolutionary products built on sustainable business practices that have the power to change the world. Their unique Parallel Innovation business model made them stand out from the rest of the companies on the trek.

In the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we were captivated to see what New Lab has achieved with the historic former machine shop by creating a breakthrough ecosystem of shared resources where startups, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and city officials can collaborate, iterate and prototype their innovative ideas quickly with the help of CNC and 3-D printing machines on-site.

Erica Rosen, Director of Marketing at BioLite, showing us their CampStove.

The interesting panel discussion with Swarnav Pujari (CEO of Touchlight Innovations) and Joel Cettina (CEO of Food Moves) gave us insight into their entrepreneurial journey, which highlighted the key learnings from their failures and successes.

Ke Cheng, Founder and CEO of Histowiz has staggeringly created the world’s first telepathology network that incorporates machine learning offering rapid turnaround times and unprecedented access to a wide range of pathology subspecialties.

Collaborative space at New Lab, a space in Brooklyn supports entrepreneurs working in advanced technology.

U of R’s Ain Center for Entrepreneurship and Gwen M. Greene Center for Career Exploration and Connections efforts enabled us to see the theoretical concepts taught in the Technical Entrepreneurship and Management program being implemented in real life which, in turn, immensely helped in broadening the scope of thinking.

Akshay Rajput ’19 (MS) has been working with multinational companies since his graduation. He holds expertise in field of business development, marketing, and resource management. Akshay’s latest experience stems from being a digital media & business development manager for a branding firm. He is currently a Masters candidate in the Technical Entrepreneurship and Management program, with a concentration in Energy & the Environment.