Entrepreneurial Institute

The Scaling Research Commercialization Initiative

Introducing exciting research to aspiring entrepreneurs can change the world!

History has proven “we are all standing on the shoulders of giants”. People are inspired by those who precede them. In the world of innovation, some people invent, while others innovate on top of those inventions. A rare few have the skills and inclination to do both. The NYU Entrepreneurial Institute has launched a new initiative to increase the number of ventures emerging from the NYU research community leveraging technology already being developed. Motivated entrepreneurs and inspiring researchers working together towards commercializing new innovations, can profoundly change the world.


The Scaling Research Commercialization (SRC) Initiative is a pan-university effort to encourage more entrepreneurs to undertake meaningful, scalable ventures utilizing existing research. Over the past few years, we have noted two major patterns: 1) research with commercial potential is being conducted all around NYU, yet much of it is never brought to market; and 2) people pursuing Capstone/PhDs and other self-directed projects who have entrepreneurial interests don’t begin exploring the commercial possibilities of their work early enough to impact their project’s direction – e.g. until right before graduation.  Had they started asking questions and leveraging university resources at the beginning of their efforts, they may have pursued a different direction with ample time before graduation to explore their ideas.


Amazing self-directed students with lofty dreams combined with deep-thinking transformative researchers can have profound impacts on the world.


Fantastic and proficient researchers/inventors frequently lack the desire to be entrepreneurs, or the skills, or both. This leaves the world-changing potential of their research unrealized. Many people learning and preparing themselves to do incredible things post-NYU are searching for a starting point. The opportunity in front of us is to bring highly motivated, entrepreneurial minded people together with accomplished researchers who have aspirations for their work to be commercialized. Facilitating these introductions – matching the work of capstone/PhD/self-directed students with appropriate research can change the current dynamic. Thus, helping to transition more research out of the labs into the real world.


Commercializing new innovations is a multidisciplinary activity


By introducing new entrepreneurs to many of the exciting research initiatives underway around the university, we believe more people will leverage their university time as a springboard to launch new ventures.

The SRC Initiative has three major components:

  1. Identifying entrepreneurs among the many capstone/PhD/self-directed programs who may want to convert their projects into commercial ventures
  2. Create an inventory of university research currently in progress that has potential to address meaningful real-world problems
  3. Introduce aspiring entrepreneurs to the various research teams to facilitate a matching of interests, aspirations and objectives towards utilizing the research as a seed for new commercialization ventures


If you're a motivated self-directed NYU student working on a project with potential beyond NYU, click here to start exploring how to realize your dream.


Part one involves engaging with and introducing university capstone/PhD/self-directed candidates to the idea of commercializing their projects. Not all candidates want to be entrepreneurs and not all of their ideas have commercial potential, but by engaging early in their research, for the subset that are and do, their work will likely take a different trajectory. Come April they’ll have better understanding of what to do next. Considering commercialization at the beginning of a project impacts the direction and scope of their exploration.


The capstone / research matching efforts at NYU kicked off during the 2017/18 school year. An awareness building campaign called Bettering the World Through Entrepreneurship highlighted some of the great work all-around NYU. Convening a cross section of faculty focused on mission-driven research and positive social outcomes helped build a network for ongoing collaboration. The NYU Entrepreneurial Institute has also been invited and integrated into various capstone-like orientation programs introducing students to available resources even before they solidify their areas of focus. This year will see further exploration of ways to bring the two groups together. The goal is to develop a repeatable process for introducing people with entrepreneurial skills to existing research programs with the intent of jump-starting an increasing number of potential commercial ventures as early as possible.


Work has begun identifying research labs currently building solutions to real- world challenges, and starting to inventory projects within multiple labs. A sampling of the research initiatives at NYU include GovLabs, The Ability Project, The Center for Urban Science & Progress (CUSP), Bernstein Institute on Human Rights, The Center for Data Science, Wagner Capstone and the Policing Project to name just a few. Though proven enlightening, much of the long term potential of the research done in these labs and projects ultimately remains unrealized due to a lack of resources for bringing them to market.


If you're an NYU researcher with aspirations of your work leaving the labs to change the world, click here to further your ambitions.


The ongoing collaboration between research labs and the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute has two benefits; the primary objective is to connect capstone/PhD/self-directed students with the labs to explore the intersection their mutual work underway (i.e. technology research and self-directed projects), with the goal of giving both a running start towards commercialization. Another potential benefit of commercializing their work, creates the possibility for the labs themselves to supplement current funding, thus offsetting a portion of their traditional funding from foundations and/or the university. In other words, generating revenue and income from the research could further enable future research.


Help us help you. If you’re working on an amazing self-directed project with far off dreams of turning it into a business or a deep-thinking transformative researcher who wants to change the world, let us know. Provide brief background on your work when you schedule time with us to discuss how working with the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute’s SRC Initiative can help propel your aspirations forward. Click here to get started.


This is an exciting new initiative with wide-spread potential creating value for our students, research labs, and NYU by commercializing new innovations while helping to make the world a better place. Start exploring now. Don’t wait.