The Zahn Innovation Center, a startup incubator located at City College in Harlem, is contributing to the growing entrepreneurial community in Silicon Harlem, both on and off-campus. It is located in the Grove School of Engineering, named for City College alumnus Andrew Grove (Class of 1960), a co-founder and former CEO and chairman of tech juggernaut Intel.
The center is named for Irwin Zahn (Class of 1948), an entrepreneur and founder of Autosplice, a global manufacturer of interconnecting products and electro-assemblies, and recently the Moxie Foundation, a philanthropic organization that supports social innovation and entrepreneurship.
The center features mentorship opportunities, rapid prototyping capabilities, pro-bono legal and accounting services, a physical co-working space with 3DP printers and laser cutting tools, and a Lean Startup boot camp. Also, the center launched a social entrepreneurship speaker series that features a diverse group of speakers.
ZIC also runs four startup competitions: (1) The Kaylie Hardware Prize, a $50,000 grand prize for hardware startups that develop physical products, (2) The Zahn Entrepreneurship Competition, a $30,000 grand prize for software and other categories, (3) The Zahn Social Innovation Prize, a $30,000 prize for social and environmental impact startups, and (4) Standard Chartered Women’s Entrepreneurship Prize, a $30,000 prize for women-lead ventures using technology for economic impact.
The center features a diverse array of social impact, hardware and software startups, as well as companies that co-work in the space. A snapshot of portfolio companies include:
- Soterix Medical – a company that focuses on neuromodulator technology
- yaHeard – an online marketing tool for musicians
- eKick – skateboard technology for a safer ride
- Homer Delivery – food delivery service with a focus on delivery logistics
- laddine – a curating site for toys that inspire kids to learn and create
- Nexhealth – doctor-patient communication tool designed to simplify and improve interaction
- Next Q – virtual queuing line management and analytics tool (already used by City College’s bursar and registration offices)
- Van der Waals Technologies -graphene and Van der Waals nanotechnology fabricators
- Vista Wearables – discrete wearables that aid the visually impaired/individuals in low-vision environments (military, search and rescue, firemen)
- 2×3 – aids small cities in Latin America with financially sustainable recycling solutions