NYU, via their engineering school, runs three start-ups. The brainchild behind the execution of all of this is Frank Rimalovski. One is in Dumbo, another on Varick Street and the third one that is geared towards green-tech is called the Urban Future Lab located in downtown Brooklyn. Three companies that I am invested in got their start at these facilities; Vengo, Makers Row and Tactile Finance. What is happening at each incubator is impressive and great for the start-up community in NYC.
I went there this past week to hold “office hours” with six companies. It is something that I wish I did more often. If only there was more time in the day. It is impressive to go into a place where the community is built on fresh ideas and see companies in their infancy. I met with 6 companies who each got 30 minutes with me. It was exhausting and exciting at the same time..
I met with Kabinet. A site where you can create your own personal medicine cabinet with your favorite products. You can also discover products for skin, hair and body care from people you trust. I really like how the recommendations from people have a photo of them. When you see a person with beautiful skin and a big smile that tells you that she loves a particular cleanser that she uses every day it makes you take notice.
Bandwagon a ride-share app is another addition to the ever changing world of transportation. They are working with venues, airports etc to help areas that tend to lack enough transportation at the times when they need it the most.
Databetes an app that helps people manage their diabetes care efficiently. This was really impressive. The entrepreneur behind this product has been living with diabetes for 27 years and he built something that he wants to manage his care with. He went to ITP and took his technology skills to make a difference in an area where little has changed in the past 30 years.
Honey is an intranet service for small to large companies . Essentially companies are using this product like their own social network. Smart software.
Notch is a device that can track and record how your body moves. They built a device that can be incorporated into an app to track different activities.
OneFinancial is a financial institution that is helping a less affluent market that ends up paying more than they can afford for banking. The cost of maintaining your account is $5 a month. The bank makes money on the credit cards that their customers use and a percentage of the charge is charged to institution not the customer. It is a highly regulated area but I like that they are helping out a huge section of the population that pays too much for banking and needs to have a simple user friendly process to keep their financials in order.
An impressive group of entrepreneurs. I am definitely going to try and get back there again in the fall.