Programs for Entrepreneurs

NYC Generation Tech

A technology, entrepreneurship, and mentorship program that serves promising high school students from across New York City who are presently facing disadvantages.

2015 GenTech Program

GenTech finished off its 4th year with a standing-room only Demo Night on September 17, 2015 at AppNexus, during which three finalist teams pitched their mobile apps and socially-minded businesses to compete for the $5000 top prize.

The evening was an example of how young people, especially low-income youth from all backgrounds, can be extraordinary innovators and social entrepreneurs when they get the support, challenge and opportunity to do so. This year's winners are:

  • RIME, an app that helps busy urban residents create the simplest route for multiple destinations and social networks (1st place, $5000 and a pitch to Andy Weissman, partner at Union Square Ventures).
  • Tempus, an app that supports high school and college students on their path to figure out a major or career that best suits them (2nd place, $2000 and a pitch to partner Chris Fralic, First Round Capital).
  • PhoNYC Frenzy, an app that supports English Language Learners to improve their skills through interactive games (3rd place, $1000 and a consultation with serial entrepreneur and member of the First Round Capital team, Wiley Cerilli).
  • Politeia, an app that educates young adults about politics and gets them interested in government (Audience Choice Award, $500).

Thanks to our judges for the unenviable task of selecting the winners, including Andy Katz-Mayfield, CEO of HF Global and Co-Founder of Harry’s; Daniela Cristea, Director of Sales of Yelp; Angela Lee, Assistant Dean of Columbia Business School and Founder and CEO of 37 Angels; Errol King, Co-Founder of Hidden Level Games and Student Experience Manager at Google; and Hannah Calhoun, Founder and Director of Blue Ridge Labs @ Robin Hood.  

Congratulations to all 47 students who completed the program, and special thanks to our partner NFTE, all the mentors, guest speakers, teaching assistants, and volunteers who made the program possible.


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.

To date, the core summer program has helped 165 students develop 33 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 Grand Central Tech, participate in the Ashoka Catapult accelerator for global youth entrepreneurs, major in computer science or business in college, and become seasoned participants of local and regional hackathons. 

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, 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

Get involved

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

Past NYC Generation Tech Competitions

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

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