ITP Students Form New Company with NYC Media Lab

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019

NYC Media Lab's Combine Startup Accelerator Program

NYC Media Lab's Combine Startup Accelerator Program

ITP Graduate Students form a New Company in NYC Media Lab’s Combine Accelerator Program

Mengzhen Xiao and Lin Zhang, two graduate students in NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), recently received a $10,000 award to participate in NYC Media Lab's annual Combine startup accelerator program, which ran from January to April 2019. Alongside a cohort of 7 other startups, the ITP team completed a 12-week intensive curriculum, where they learned lean fundamentals like market validation and customer discovery. To mark the end of the program, the team presented their work to an audience of NYC Media Lab corporate members and potential investors.

The Combine university accelerator matches faculty and students working on new technologies emerging from universities with a lean process to advance business model generation. Its goal is to help entrepreneurs and innovative companies take advantage of NYC Media Lab's community and the City's thriving technology ecosystem.

While under the direction of Combine faculty—including NYC Media Lab's Executive Director Justin Hendrix and Amy Chen, the Lab's Director of Entrepreneurship Programs—Mengzhen and Lin built Swift, a web application that helps with meeting preparation. The application integrates into existing workflows to create agenda-driven meetings, and is meant to help product managers across industries save time and and money while managing meetings in their day to day schedules.

Swift also leverages emerging technologies such as machine learning, and can offer task automation and auto-reminders in audio form. As part of the Combine's new Founder Stories editorial platform, Swift wrote about their use cases and core technology through the journey of a potential customer.

NYC Media Lab Combine is made possible with the support of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and NYC Media Lab’s corporate membership. Since the program launched in 2016, four teams from NYU ITP have been chosen to win funding through completing the accelerator.

To learn more about the Combine, please visit the website here, or reach out to Amy Chen at (