Programs for Entrepreneurs

NYC Generation Tech

Overview

Launched in 2012, GenTech is a tech-entrepreneurship program that provides hands-on learning experiences, mentorship opportunities, and events like hackathons to New York City high school students interested in transforming the world through tech-based innovations, preparing them with experience and knowledge in a well-paying and rapidly expanding field. Approximately 45-50 teenagers from all five boroughs are selected to participate in the program where they attend a 2-week intensive summer boot camp, form teams to assess a problem, develop a mobile app and business plan, and pitch their app to compete for a $5,000 grand prize. To be eligible for the program, students must qualify for free or reduced-price lunch or attend a school in which more than 50% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

To date, the core summer program has helped 118 students develop 24 mobile app prototypes designed to address challenges in their communities, including education, health, and employment. Hundreds of additional students and mentors also participate in weekend hackathons throughout the year. Alums of GenTech have gone on to hold internships at companies including Microsoft and ChallengePost, major in computer science or business in college, and become seasoned participants of local and regional hackathons.

Visit www.nycgenerationtech.com for more information! Applications for the 2015 program are currently being reviewed and the summer program will start in July. 

2014 NYC Generation Tech Finalists

Congratulations to Opus, the grand prize winner of the 2014 GenTech Demo Night! The winning team received $5,000, a pitch opportunity to Union Square Ventures and consulting service from Deloitte.

  • Opus: A platform that connects students to businesses and allows them to gain professional experience and that offers businesses an untapped source of employment. OPUS is a unique job marketplace for unemployed, inexperienced youth and for businesses lacking the necessary personnel. Students will become experienced and accomplished while assisting local small businesses with their day-to-day operations.
  • MTAlarm
: A smart alarm that wakes users up in accordance to subway delays. Users are given the option to choose how early they wish their alarm to be set back in the case of a delay. With a live status feed, 
incoming train schedule, and even a NYC subway map, users are always informed and are able to reroute their commutes to avoid any delays.
MTAlarm is the ultimate solution to getting to your destination on time. 
  • Vocap: A mobile app that allows students to improve their foreign 
languages skills. We seek to increase students' foreign language 
proficiency by teaching them vocabulary through engaging videos that 
feature highlighted subtitles. Vocap will highlight certain words in a foreign language video and translate them into English so that students can learn more efficiently. Watching videos in a foreign language immerses students in the language and enables them to achieve better results than they could otherwise achieve by just memorizing vocabulary.

Key Components of the Gen Tech Program

The program is structured around the following components:

  1. Summer Programming: During a 2-week intensive “bootcamp,” approximately 45-50 students from NYC high schools will learn how coding languages HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as entrepreneurship fundamentals, including how to find market opportunities and write a business plan. Working in teams, students then develop a mobile app prototype that aims to improve the quality of education or quality of life in the city for other NYC students. Participants will gain exposure to NYC’s tech and innovation ecosystem through field trips and guest speakers.
  2. Mentorship & Enterprise Discovery: Students will receive mentorship from local tech professionals and undergraduate and graduate students. Students will also visit NYC tech companies, startups, and incubators to speak to entrepreneurs and be exposed to various entrepreneurial environments. 
  3. Business Plan Competition & Awards Ceremony: In September 2015, students will demo and pitch their finished apps and business plans to a panel of judges from the technology and venture capital community. Winning teams receive cash prizes of up to $5,000 and all students will be honored at an awards ceremony. 
  4. Hackathons: During the fall and early winter, GenTech students will participate in mobile app hackathons alongside professional developers and designers so that students can further develop skills in coding and design, gain more experience of working with tech professionals, and continue to build a network within the tech and startup sectors.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Attend a NYC high school with over 50% of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch OR personally qualify for free or reduced lunch
  • Strong interest in technology and entrepreneurship
  • Availability to attend all program sessions
  • Students from all high school grades are encouraged to apply, though due to the rigors of the program, preference will be given to rising 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students

2013 NYC Generation Tech Competition

View the winners from last year's NYC Generation Tech Competition.

Get involved

If you or your company is interested in getting involved with this program, please visit the website or contact us.

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