How I spent my summer vacation
Teams in the 2019 Summer Startup Sprint got a head start on entrepreneurship
Finals are over, and the breezes are balmy: it would be natural for any student’s thoughts to turn to lounging near a crystalline body of water or strolling a cobblestone street in some sun-drenched European capital. But students participating in NYU’s Summer Startup Sprint, including several from Tandon, chose instead to spend two weeks at the Leslie e-Lab on Washington Square engaging in customer discovery, honing their entrepreneurial ideas, and learning the next steps to getting a fledgling business of the ground.
“I honestly cannot think of a better use of our time,” said Marnix Heuker of Hoek (’19), the co-founder of RedCapper, a startup that aims to solve the problem of misleading photo-based real estate listings by offering virtual-reality tours of properties instead. “We originally wanted to market the service to brokers, thinking that they’d appreciate a chance to showcase their listings in a cutting-edge way, but during the customer discovery phase, we found that it was potential renters who were most interested, since it cut down on the number of time-consuming in-person visits they were making to unsuitable places. That was a very valuable thing to learn as we move forward with our business plan, so we were very happy to have remained at NYU instead of heading off to a more typical vacation destination.”
In addition to RedCapper, other teams with Tandon members included:
- Chorebug, which provides a web platform that connects high-school students looking for part time work to community members near them for help with odd jobs.
- Exchange, providing a marketplace where tech job seekers and universities can access technical interview training services from software engineers.
- Miranda, developers of AI-powered automation software that allows independent insurance agents to save time and sell more by digitizing their front-desk and facilitating automated interactions with their customers, giving them a single dealing point for insurance.
- Novelty Interactive, creators of a platform that uses narrative storytelling to help students master the relationship between letters and sounds – something that can be particularly hard for those with dyslexia and other language-based learning challenges.
The 2019 Summer Sprint was made possible by the generous support of National Science Foundation, grant number IIP-1644681.