Trans-Atlantic Partnership Aims to Boost University Business Startup Hubs in Austria and New York City

Future Labs at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering Sign Agreement with the InnCubator Initiative of the University of Innsbruck and the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce

Signing an agreement to support business startups in Austria and New York, left to right: University of Innsbruck Rector Tilmann Märk, NYU Tandon Vice Dean for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Kurt H. Becker, and Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce President Jürgen Bodenseer.

Two universities recognized for driving early-stage business activity in New York and Austria signed an agreement yesterday to jointly support tech startups and entrepreneurial knowledge. The international collaboration links the Future Labs at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering — New York City’s premier academic entrepreneurial hub, established in 2009 — to InnCubator, a partnership of the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce  and the University of Innsbruck, which is recognized throughout Austria as a leader in science, engineering and entrepreneurship.

The agreement:

  • Gives Future Labs startup companies access to University of Innsbruck mentoring and insight into Austrian and European Union markets and advanced manufacturing opportunities, including InnCubator’s large maker space for prototyping.
  • Expands the Future Labs’ reputation as launch pads for international startups that are aiming to expand into the New York market or tap into its vast capital-raising opportunities. NYU Tandon previously established collaborations with Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey; Canadian Technology Accelerators; CleanTech Business Park Berlin-Marzahn; CleanTech Innovation Center in Berlin; Danish Cleantech Hub, Copenhagen; German Tech Entrepreneurship Center in Berlin; German Accelerator; MaRS Discovery District in Toronto; Ontario Centres of Excellence, Canada;  Startup Wise Guys in Tallinn, Estonia; and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. At the Future Labs, NYU Tandon will share access to its support network and mentoring programs.
  • Offers short-term flex workspace to InnCubator and Future Labs companies when founders visit the other city; it also launches a priority procedure for InnCubator companies to apply to the Future Labs.
  • Establishes wider entrepreneurial knowledge exchanges through international seminars, workshops or other events.

“This collaboration will provide important European Union opportunities to Future Lab entrepreneurs while encouraging InnCubator startups to join New York’s growing innovation economy. We are excited to launch this international venture with partners who share our belief that by supporting entrepreneurship, we accelerate the pace at which academic research moves to the commercialization stage where it can widely impact society,” said Professor Kurt H. Becker, who leads the Future Labs as NYU Tandon as vice dean for research, innovation and entrepreneurship. He is also an honorary professor at the University of Innsbruck.

"We have a longstanding and very successful scientific collaboration with Kurt Becker, and I am even more delighted that we have now established also this new, promising collaboration between the incubators in New York and Innsbruck," said University of Innsbruck Rector Tilmann Märk.

"With this initiative we reach the second stage of our InnCubator and go international," added Jürgen Bodenseer, president of the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce.

The Future Labs at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering and InnCubator, a partnership of the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce and the University of Innsbruck, have teamed up to support business startups in Austria and New York.

The Future Labs at NYU Tandon School of Engineering and InnCubator, a partnership of the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce and the University of Innsbruck, have teamed up to support business startups in Austria and New York.

The University of Innsbruck plays a major role in the startup landscape of Austria. It has an active technology transfer office, has taken equity positions in 14 commercial spinoffs, and is recognized as one of the country’s most entrepreneurial academic institutions.

The Future Labs at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering are a network of innovation spaces and programs that support early-stage startups in New York City.  Since 2009, their incubators graduated 68 companies now valued at more than $1 billion. Ten of those graduates were acquired by established public and private companies, notably including Uber’s recent acquisition of artificial intelligence startup Geometric Intelligence. Perhaps most remarkably, Future Labs graduates register a survival rate of nearly 90 percent, far exceeding the typical startup success rate of 10 percent for young companies nationwide. 

Future Labs house and mentor about 45 startups in three technology sectors of critical importance for New York: data-driven and data-intensive technologies at the Data Future Lab in Manhattan’s Hudson Square neighborhood; digital technologies at the Digital Future Lab in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn; and clean energy/smart city technologies at the Urban Future Lab and its ACRE incubator in Downtown Brooklyn. 

In addition, the Future Labs are home to AI NexusLab, the first accelerator-type program for artificial intelligence startups, created in partnership with ff Venture Capital. The Future Labs also host entrepreneurial education for managers in the cleantech field and an intensive program for military veterans transitioning to owning their own businesses. The latter was founded with support from New York Assembly Member Joseph Lentol and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and is one of many Future Labs initiatives supported by government and the private sector.

The agreement was signed March 9, 2017 in Innsbruck by Becker, Bodenseer, and Märk.

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Link to University of Innsbruck press release:

About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering
The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly). A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention and entrepreneurship and dedicated to furthering technology in service to society. In addition to its main location in Brooklyn, NYU Tandon collaborates with other schools within NYU, the country’s largest private research university, and is closely connected to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. It operates Future Labs focused on start-up businesses in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and an award-winning online graduate program. 

Learn more about: Kurt H. Becker