Recap: The 2024 J-Term Startup Sprint

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Please join us in congratulating the J-Term Startup Sprint Class of 2024!

From Jan. 8-19, we had the honor of working with these 18 ventures as they gathered at the Leslie eLab to deepen their customer discovery and test their business models through our intensive accelerator. The startups and their founders are seeking to solve problems and foster innovation across education, mental health, entertainment, cybersecurity, nutrition, and much more.

Meet the Teams:

AMRAP is an AI-powered gym that delivers personalized guided workouts in pre-booked training stations for beginner women gym-goers (ages 25-35) who feel uncomfortable working out without guidance in overcrowded gyms.

Felipe de Sande Palma (SPS ‘24), Ignacio de Sande Palma

AVR is a pixel algorithmic app that revolutionizes 2D visual content to fly out from the screen into 3D reality for K-pop fans who desire more visually engaging performances when watching their favorite group's live stream performances (MAMA Awards, Korean Music shows), enhancing connections between dance movements and camera work.

June Bee (Tisch ‘24), Michael Chin (Stern ‘24), Ada Wen (CAS ‘24), Laxman Kumarapu (Courant ‘24), Qingxin Zhao (SPS ‘24)

Context is an AI academy that creates learning experiences uniquely tailored to each learner. Every bit of the learning experience is generated to cater to each learner's learning needs, goals, and preferences, so they can learn in the way most suitable for them.

Dror Margalit (Tisch ‘24), Parth Pawar (Tisch ‘25)

Discover and Grow is a nonprofit that aims to make Social and Emotional Learning and Character Development (SELCD) solutions accessible to all children and youth to equip them with the skills and mindset to succeed in life.

Gladys Henriquez (Steinhardt ‘26), John Calve

Disquire is the central investigation hub for experimental biologists that streamlines academics' otherwise disjointed research process.

Jungwook Choo (GSAS/Stern ‘26), Sheena Garg (Tandon ‘24), Hannah Kim

Fix8 helps chief information security officers focus and scale their limited resources to optimize business decisions.

Angel Saad Gomez (Tandon ‘28), Marco Figueroa, Kevin Figueroa

Insightflow is an AI-driven user insight platform tailored for qualitative UX researchers in large software companies, helping them save time manually tagging user interviews and empowering them to convey user research findings effectively with other stakeholders.

Catherine Zhao (GSAS ‘24), Christine Wang (Tandon ‘24), Olive Liu (GSAS ‘24), Minghui Zhu, Nancy Chan (Tandon ‘23)

ItaMeal is a dietetic pizza revolution. We want to give a healthy and tasty option to consumers by providing a <400 calories, high-protein option that avoids harmful additives for health-conscious consumers.

Damiano Messineo (CAS ‘23), Lorenzo Felli (Shanghai ‘24), Pasquale Cozzolino, Alex Hessam

IvorySquare is an ​​AI academic advisor for fourth-year STEM college students to find the best fit graduate programs and research labs.

Sen Yang (Stern ‘24), Haili Song (GSAS ‘23)

Designed for sports fans who participate in daily/weekly fantasy pools and are forced to use multiple softwares just to play, Lounge is a real money gaming platform that reduces friction by centralizing and automating a secure end-to-end process.

Henry Armistead (SPS ‘25), Nico Colosso (Tandon ‘23)

Niura is implementing brain monitoring technology into wireless earbuds so users can be more connected to their health and digital experiences using real-time brain data.

Shahriar Huda (Tandon ‘26), Ryan Ahmed, Authoy Das, Steffani Rajapaksha (Tandon ‘27)

Myla is a virtual reality healing garden for children with anxiety.

Elyana Javaheri (Tisch ‘24), César Loayza (Tisch ‘24)

Pharus is a political tech tool that provides candidates with valuable campaign insights by leveraging data through ML/AI to help them more efficiently allocate their resources.

Justin Nudo (Stern ‘24), William Bierds (Tandon ‘19), Aida Benzaria (Stern ‘25), Amari Garrett (Tandon ‘25), Vera Tian (Stern ‘25)

PressKit offers an AI system trained on a proprietary journalist and reporter dataset to automate and simplify the work of public relations teams.

Hugh Daly (Stern ‘24), Dominic Hawkins

Psychecare is a single-point-of-access platform for mental health care navigation.

Hanxiao Lu (GSAS ‘27), Isabel Michalak, Mallika Pajjuri

Renuva is an AI-powered SaaS that helps automate customized social media marketing for private practice dietitians who struggle to consistently create and post business related content, helping them to attract new clients, increase their credibility, and save time.

Talia Daneshrad (Steinhardt '26), Ryan Reynolds

Synaptrix Labs is building Neuralis, a first of its kind brain-computer interface and EEG integrated headband that allows paralyzed patients to move their wheelchairs through brain activity alone. Synaptrix has pioneered a proprietary AI-based signal detection model for de-noising and feature extraction, ensuring a rapid and seamless translation of the user's intentions into precise wheelchair movements.

Aryan Govil (CAS ‘24), Christina Borao (CAS ‘24), Eric Yao (CAS ‘24)

Teztus is an ed-tech platform that automates grading for all academic assessments. It saves teachers time and provides students with personalized feedback for every error.

Jackson Labell (CAS ‘23), Helen Zhang

This J-Term's cohort conducted 1,000+ customer discovery interviews. Teams partook in daily startup coaching and feedback sessions, skills-building workshops, and one-on-one sessions with experienced coaches.

Teams also unlocked access to the following benefits:

  • A $500 grant, plus an opportunity for select teams to receive up to $500 in additional funding
  • Over $5,000 in perks, including AWS and GitHub credits
  • Legal guidance from Fenwick & West

This special guest speakers included Jonathan Sagot (Law '08)David Rand (Law '17), and Kristen Nicol (Law '17) of Fenwick & West, and Demetri Karagas (Stern '10), co-founder of Thirty Madison.

Below, read what some of the cohorts Sprinters had to say about the program:

“The J-Sprint was an invaluable experience. Through the support of coaches and with the J-Sprint curriculum, my team and I were able to look beyond what we previously knew and shape our business with a vision of success.”

- Christina Borao (CAS '24), Synaptrix Labs

The J-Sprint literally gave a sprint to my knowledge and my startup itself. Straight to the points, awesome presentation feedback, great advice. The coaches are very helpful and positive.”

Alex Hessam, ItaMeal

“The NYU Startup Sprint has been a transformative experience for me. This hands-on, intensive two-week program propelled my business idea to the next level. We had close collaboration with dedicated coaches every day, interactions with incredible fellow founders, conversations with target customers, and the opportunity to develop and test our prototype. All of these truly fueled our team's rapid growth.”

- Catherine Zhao (GSAS '24), Insightflow

“The Sprint helped us learn how to actually talk to potential customers and learn to validate and invalidate our assumptions so we know exactly how to move forward with our startup. This led us to learn how to take steps to progress our business without feeling like our success is a gamble.”

- Ryan Reynolds, Renuva

“I found the Sprint to be incredibly valuable, and the lessons learned will be carried as I follow along this path. The availability of coaches and resources were incredible in allowing us to keep moving forward.”

- Elyana Javaheri (Tisch ‘24), Myla

“We thought we knew our customers before the Sprint, but in reality we would’ve been dead wrong if not for the work we did through the Leslie eLab.”

- Henry Armistead (SPS '25), Lounge

“Being part of the Sprint was truly an amazing experience. It was not easy, but I am truly grateful for the opportunity. I learned so much in just two weeks. I feel more confident about being an entrepreneur and what I should and should not do for my startup. I also met so many amazing hardworking and smart individuals, many of whom are also interested in helping make life better for others. What a privilege!”

- Gladys Henriquez (Steinhardt '26), Discover and Grow

The next Startup Sprint will take place May 20-31. RSVP for an info session today!