Online tours lure distant students

The surge in college applications from abroad creates a new market for startups.

The Polytechnic Institute of New York University plans to deploy a new recruiting tool in its arsenal June 10: a virtual video tour of its Brooklyn campus, highlighting amenities like its research and lab space. Administrators believe the tour, which was developed by a company called YouVisit, will help the school attract overseas students.

Many of the school's 2,700 grad students are from China, India, Taiwan, Iran and Turkey, said Raymond Lutzky, senior director of graduate enrollment management and admissions at NYU-Poly. "Many of them never have the opportunity to visit the campus. We needed a way to showcase our campus globally."

YouVisit, a Manhattan startup, is tapping into a new, already crowded market that is growing as universities look to expand their marketing overseas and, in some cases, out of state. YouVisit was founded by three entrepreneurs who are immigrants themselves: Abi Mandelbaum, from Colombia; Endri Tolka, from Albania; and Taher Baderkhan, from Jordan.

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