CUNY Startups launches applications for ‘New Venture Accelerator’ 2 program


Courtesy of CUNY Startups

May Khin

CUNY Startups launched its New Venture Accelerator 2 program and will accept applications.

Applications opened to the public on Oct. 17, and will be accepted until Dec. 31.

CUNY Startups launched in 2014 as a CUNY program to provide entrepreneurship opportunities and resources to all 270,000 students across all 25 colleges and it is located at Baruch College.

NVA 2, a free 10-week program to help students pre-launch their startups, offers hands-on learning through workshops and mentoring to those accepted.

The program will run from Jan. 25 to March 31 and is open to all CUNY students.

The Accelerator has two components, NVA 1 and NVA 2.

NVA is categorized in NVA 1 and NVA 2. since this is not the first time NVA was launched.

NVA 1 was launched for the fall 2022 semester and is currently taking place from Sept. 14 to Nov. 18.

Participants are required to complete one workshop per week on Wednesdays. They are also required to meet virtually with mentors on Fridays weekly from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The application for NVA 1 is currently closed, but the Fall 2023 application will open on April 1.

The difference between NVA 1 and NVA 2 is that applicants do not need a team or an idea for NVA 1, but they must have a team and a prototype for NVA 2.

NVA 2 requires a team of two to five co-founders. At least one person must be a CUNY student or an alumnus who graduated within a year of applying.

The prototype doesn’t have to be a functional prototype. For example, it may be a 3-D printed model of the prototype or an interactive screen presented with PowerPoint or

The program’s goal is to create an environment for students to focus exclusively on developing their ideas, building a prototype, networking with customers and launching the startup.

NVA 2 offers networking opportunities with a team of entrepreneurs, technology partners, mentors and faculty who will provide hands-on experience and mentorship through workshops.

The team will work with participants to create two-minute promo videos, five-minute pitch videos as well as an investor pitch deck.

Tom Harari — who is the co-founder of Cleanly, which is now merged with ByNext — said CUNY opened up a door for him when opportunities were limited at the time for launching startups.

“These few months of desk space and guidance allowed us to survive long enough to ultimately get into Y Combinator,” Harari said. “And later go on to raise over $10 million in funding.”

Some of the mentors for the 2022-2023 academic year include The Fitness Detective Founder Jannette La Sota, CUNY-TV Executive Director Gail Yancosek, Hub Bound Founder Ann Giuliano and CWA Advisors Managing Partner Craig Abbott.

If the application was rejected, the participant is encouraged to apply again to the programs.