Startups at New York University


Startups taking over the world today with several innovative ideas, are things of the future even though a very small fraction of the startups are successful. 15th annual NYU venture was another one of these events showcasing great innovative ideas in one evening.

Venture Showcase, Startups, NYU

15th Annual Venture Showcase, NYU

  1. Bridge the Gap

Bridge the Gap is an independent online platform which connected businesses with a highly skilled community of working mothers. After a conversation with Erin, a representative on their behalf, I gathered the following;

History- The idea behind the project has been there for several years through personal experiences by the founder, as told by Erin. But they have started doing some solid groundwork only in the past couple of years raising roughly 20-30k through family and friends.

Idea- The idea was to connect the highly skilled community of women in general who might have left the workplace now, in order to take care of their families and kids, who would now like to get back to work, but unfortunately there have been a time- gap and are not able to connect back with work, hence this is where ‘Bridge the Gap’ comes in and connects them with the businesses around.

USP- One of the differentiator is that the women who would be hired through them would not need any benefits, hence very cost-effective to the businesses and they will be working on project-basis only, hence all could be temporary and utilised by the company for specific purposes.       

Future for Search- They are initially connecting only through organic channels, hence not spending for search now.

Roadblocks- An abrupt idea of connecting with the community out there? Not visible socially. Revenue model was unclear? Business model is a marketplace. Although I believe in the idea but they certainly have a challenge going ahead connecting the women with the appropriate businesses they might desire? How are they going to make themselves visible out there? All these tasks sound simple but will take considerable time.

  1. GO BOX

Idea- Allows the use of reusable containers to replace the wasteful takeout food packaging. Professionally sanitised, supplied to vendors and placed in drop boxes after use. Convenient drop boxes in corporate locations including a mobile app.

            Target Audience (TA)- Thy start with the corporate houses, where the total number of employees is large, hence they can make some good margins. Although, the reusable containers would be sanitised after use, there are several doubts with hygiene.

Roadblocks- Though the target audience is corporate houses, how many individuals would be comfortable with using a utensil for lunch and then giving it back for cleaning, to be used again the next time around? What’s the composition of the reusable utensils? How long does it take for the utensils to be sanitised? What’s the process and what is used to clean the utensils? Another point to consider is that until now, the plan has maybe worked for medium size businesses, what about the large size businesses? I also felt that the team was not appropriately represented since there was no one from the suppliers and manufacturers side at the event.

  1. TABU

Idea- Mobile app which enables users to open and close their tab at bars. Includes geolocation and POS integration to make the process simpler for the user.

TA- bars in the city

Competitors- There are several competitors who run similar applications for restaurants.

Revenue model- downloads of the application, service used commission based?

Questions raised- Limited to the list of bars TABU has on their list. Forcing the consumers to use the application, not a good idea! How will the bar owners feel about this application, how does it impact their businesses? Lots of questions unanswered or unclear about in the process of integration into the real world. Although they have been able to raise capital through family, friends and some angel investors, utilisation of the capital would be the real challenge for TABU. Another big challenge seems to be the process, the technology integration behind the user interface, how that would work smoothly?

Conclusively, startups are great ways to share and collaborate legit business ideas, but it is also important to remember to start the whole idea with the target audience in mind and not where the idea or product wants to be?