Programs for Entrepreneurs

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Lab (VR/AR Lab)

The VR/AR Lab is the first publicly-funded VR/AR facility in the country, supporting startups, talent development, and research and innovation.

Program Overview 

In June 2017, NYCEDC and the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment announced plans to develop and operate a hub for virtual reality and augmented reality. The hub will leverage the leadership of NYC Media Lab and its founding university partners (NYU Tandon School of Engineering [the administering institution] and Columbia University) to manage and operate the space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as well as a workforce development center at CUNY Lehman College in the Bronx.

NYC Media Lab has established an unprecedented partnership network with a range of university, industry, civic and cultural organizations such as the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY Macaulay New Media Lab, and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, to ensure the lab is accessible to a diverse range of New Yorkers with a specific focus on job creation.

The VR/AR Lab will support new ventures with workspace and early-stage capital, make the industry more accessible through workforce development initiatives, and convene investors, university researchers, corporate leaders, and community organizations to collaborate with New York City’s emerging VR/AR sector.

With the goal of cementing New York City’s status as a global leader in the emerging VR/AR industry, the lab will provide the following core functions:

  • Support New Ventures. Provide workspace, equipment, infrastructure, and early stage capital to startups and connect them to a community of mentors and investors through key program partners. Foster the creation of new companies through entrepreneurial programming and resources.
  • Increase Access and Expand Talent Pipeline. Establish a presence at CUNY Lehman College’s VR/AR Training Academy to develop a citywide VR/AR talent pipeline. Build a curriculum of executive and professional education programs. Offer hands-on learning opportunities, apprenticeships, and scholarships for students.
  • Research. Create the preeminent VR/AR research center in the country by drawing on the expertise of faculty and students from NYU, Columbia University, CUNY, The New School, and other partner institutions in order to push the bounds of technological advancements in these fields and create breakthroughs from which new ventures emerge.
  • Build VR/AR Community. Convene investors, university researchers, cross-industry leaders, and civic and cultural partners through programming and events.
  • Spur Corporate VR/AR Innovation. Offer membership and consultative services to companies, including access to startups, projects, and corporate innovation programs designed to prototype new solutions and launch new ventures.

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