Institute Insights

Leveraging Technology for Social Good

Given many of today’s societal challenges, the Entrepreneurial Institute is expanding its focus and resources to support entrepreneurs in pursuit of scalable social impact through technology.  

Through active discourse in classrooms and working on their ventures in their free time, NYU Entrepreneurs tackle real world problems that can have far-reaching implications. Many of these NYU founders were inspired to empower real world change with their work and went on to establish socially innovative ventures such as charity: water, Kinvolved, Transfernation, Thandos, Paladin, Sustain Natural and many others. These founders gained unique insights into mammoth problems and still, today, continue to innovate novel solutions to change the way we tackle crises that afflict large populations. Since their inception, these organizations have leveraged the power of technology to further their impact.

The Entrepreneurial Institute is proud to have supported several of these entrepreneurs in the past but will be making a more concerted push over the next few months, and years, to collaborate across the university with NYU’s leadership and schools to provide support for the entrepreneurs that are developing innovative solutions to significant social and civic challenges. To demonstrate this commitment, we are expanding our resources to support social innovators:

  • Adopt lean principles as they build their ventures. This will pave the way for rapid prototyping, customer discovery and targeted support to beneficiaries
  • Build sustainable business models that can evolve beyond donor funding
  • Establish a core set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can be tracked over time
  • Develop strategies for measuring and assessing the social impact of their ventures
  • Pitch their ventures, when proven, to investors focused on social impact that tackles civic and social issues through innovation

To kick off this new initiative, on March 23, the Entrepreneurial Institute partnered with the Social Impact Capstone Program at Wagner to co-host an evening for students within the Capstone cohort to support the development of their social impact concepts and help formulate their teams.

In the coming weeks, we will be throwing additional events with partner schools. On Monday, April 17, the Entrepreneurial Institute will host a Social Innovation Pitchfest for three NYU teams to present their ventures to impact investors with a deep experience in the industry. On Tuesday, May 2, we will invite the founders of some of the companies mentioned above to discuss their entrepreneurial start with NYU students and faculty.

By bringing these diverse perspectives and skill sets together, we believe these teams will act as a force for positive change.

Separately, if you are already working on a new venture, schedule a 1:1 coaching session via the Blackstone LaunchPad program or apply to the NYU Summer Launchpad accelerator if you plan to work on your venture full time this coming summer.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Entrepreneurial Institute at entrepreneur@nyu.edu with any questions you may have regarding these new initiatives or with suggestions on how we can better support social innovation at NYU.

Institute Insights