NNYU Tandon Future Labs and Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur Join Forces

Two universities internationally known for driving early-stage business activity have agreed to jointly support tech startups and entrepreneurial activity among tenant companies in their respective startup centers. The international collaboration links the New York University Tandon School of Engineering Future LabsNew York City’s premier academic entrepreneurial hub – to the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK) Incubators – a leader in India’s rapidly growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The three-year agreement sets the framework for:

  • Giving select startups from the IITK Incubators access to NYU Tandon Future Labs for support and mentoring, as well as insight into U.S. market
  • Allowing Future Labs companies desiring to explore the Indian market to call upon IITK knowledge and resources
  • Providing flex desk space to companies visiting from either country for short periods of time
  • Planning mutually beneficial workshops, panels and other events focused on shared entrepreneurial concerns

The new agreement expands the Future Labs’ reputation as a launch pad for international startups seeking to enter the U.S. market. Other collaborations include startup centers in Germany, Canada, and Turkey. Similarly, the agreement furthers IITK’s status as a major driver of India’s startup landscape, now said to be one of the largest and rapidly growing ecosystems in the world with 20,000 startups valued at $75 Billion and three to four startups being born everyday and funding of nearly $8 Billion in the last one year.

The Future Labs, a network of innovation spaces and programs that support early-stage startups in New York City, house and mentor startups in three technology sectors of critical importance: data-driven and data-intensive technologies at the Data Future Lab in Manhattan’s Hudson Square neighborhood; digital technologies including virtual and augmented reality at the Digital Future Lab in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn; and clean energy/smart city technologies at the Urban Future Lab in its ACRE incubator in Downtown Brooklyn.

In addition, the Future Labs are home to AI NexusLab, an accelerator-type program for artificial intelligence startups. The Future Labs also host an entrepreneur training program for military veterans transitioning to owning their own businesses.

“This collaboration will provide important opportunities to Future Lab entrepreneurs in a vibrant and dynamic new locale while inspiring IITK startups to join New York’s burgeoning innovation economy,” said Kurt H. Becker, Tandon’s vice dean for research, innovation and entrepreneurship. “We are thrilled to launch this international venture with a new partner who shares our understanding of the importance of tech entrepreneurship and its role in moving academic research to the marketplace, where it can directly benefit society.”

“This engagement will augment the large and vibrant innovation ecosystem at IIT Kanpur by providing the entrepreneurs with an opportunity to be part of a global ecosystem” said Dr. Phani, the Dean Resources and Alumni at IIT Kanpur. “We are very happy to engage in this sphere in addition to the academic engagements we already have with NYU and making both our visions of a global economy a reality.”

“It’s great to help with this tie-up and we will work to make it highly effective and useful to students and start-ups on both sides. We look forward to expanding this arrangement and including more institutional partners into the network in the near future” said Sanjiv Khosla, IITK’s global liaison in New York City.

The two schools have enjoyed a close relationship that goes beyond their shared focus on entrepreneurship. Last year, IITK’s Centre for Cyber Security for Critical Infrastructure and NYU Tandon’s Center for Cyber Security entered into a seven-year agreement aimed at encouraging collaborative research and instruction in cyber attack prevention, detection, and mitigation; and the security of cyber physical systems in crucial industries like telecom, energy, and transportation.

Additionally, IITK hosts the India-wide Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) games, which has grown since its founding at NYU Tandon to become the world’s largest student-run cyber security event.

Tandon Dean Katepalli R. Sreenivasan welcomed the opportunity to strengthen the bonds between the two schools. “When institutions that share common goals partner, it increases the chances that those goals will be met,” he said. “We are gratified that our counterparts at IITK are, like us, committed to making the world safer, cleaner, and, of course, more entrepreneurial.”

“Access to the resources of two great institutions and our own New York office is a fillip to the entrepreneurial spirit as it provides budding entrepreneurs access to a broader platform is a major milestone in their journey towards supporting an entrepreneurial economy,” added Manindra Agrawal, Deputy Director of IITK and professor of computer science and engineering.

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