The NYU Prototyping Fund Helped Our Venture. How About Yours?
Eugene Goncharov (Poly ’15) is the co-founder and CEO of Magnitend, a medical imaging solutions startup which is expediting MRI for patients and healthcare providers. Magnitend, which started out as Eugene’s senior design project, was awarded the NYU Prototyping Fund in Spring 2015 and was one of only nine teams on the 2015 NYU Summer Launchpad.
Developing a product is never an easy thing to do, especially when dealing with physical hardware. Between ordering components, manufacturing, fabrication and testing, the costs of development can really add up. Prototyping is generally regarded as a good way of negating some of these costs by promoting efficacy and innovation in design. A cheap "works-like" prototype can offer just as much customer insight, if not more, than a fully built one and guide you towards developing a market appropriate MVP (minimally viable product). Despite promoting a barebones approach to design and implementation, prototyping is never entirely free - no matter how many "hacks" you attempt to use.
During the spring semester of my final year in engineering school it became apparent that the senior design project my group and I had been working on was dangerously close to being over-budget. Although we had anticipated this might happen, there wasn't much we could do. We needed fairly expensive electronic equipment for testing and building it ourselves wasn't an option. An advisor of ours had suggested applying to the NYU Prototyping Fund, claiming it would be an effective method of securing some much needed additional funding and mentorship in the art of prototyping. Anxious, we sent in our application and hoped for the best.
Luckily for us, we got accepted into the program and were able to order everything we had needed. Much to our surprise, our tests went especially well and actually led to the formation of a startup company to continue development and launch a commercial product. If not for that additional help, I'm not sure if we would be where we are today. Remember, spend wisely but make sure you have something to spend!
The NYU Prototyping Fund is accepting applications now! The Prototyping Fund is for students who are passionate about building new products and have an idea for an innovative hardware or software technology. Apply today!
Key dates to remember
Oct 2nd: Applications Due
Oct 9th: Award announcements made
Oct 15th: Prototyping Workshop
Dec 4th: Project Showcase event