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NYU Tandon Veterans Future Lab Opens Applications
New York Ag Connection - 02/08/2019

NYU Tandon School of Engineering's Veterans Future Lab (VFL) will provide free housing at the Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn to those who qualify in its second Apex cohort. Apex is a selective, year-long incubator program that provides the full host of NYU Tandon Future Labs resources to early-stage startups founded by veterans, military personnel, Department of Defense affiliates, and their spouses. The generous addition of free housing to the program's already extensive list of benefits will open it to entrepreneurs in all 50 states. Applications are now open, with accepted members to start the program on July 9, 2019.

"While New York offers enormous resources to startups -- from networking to access to technology to impressive talent -- housing can be a hurdle. Many veterans aren't in a position to move to a new city and be burdened with finding an apartment in New York's competitive real estate market," said James Hendon, VFL director. "Our first Apex cohort helped incubate and mentor 22 talented founders, but many of them were already located in the tri-state area. By offering free housing, we will make our program more accessible to veterans across the country and not just those in the Northeast."

"While we all acknowledge that New York is a capital of the tech and innovation sector, as a place of higher education we are always striving to bring new talent to the city," said Kurt Becker, Vice Dean for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at NYU Tandon. "Apex, under this new program, will bring talented veteran entrepreneurs to our community, equip them with the tools for success, and help them join and be a vibrant part of the city's thriving economy."

Fort Hamilton Army Base is just a short commute from the VFL and its prototyping space, ProtoShop, located in Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Apex was created to support veteran entrepreneurship and to allow entrepreneurs who have spent years serving their country the opportunity to achieve their own business goals. It provides entrepreneurs access to NYU Tandon's dedicated incubation program, globally recognized faculty, and its students and staff, as well as prototyping facilities, free desk space, and up to $500,000 in top-tier in-kind benefits. Apex also offers a community of military veterans and their spouses who are invested in each others' successes, along with an ecosystem of more than 150 current and graduate companies across the Future Labs network.

The first Apex cohort supported veteran-owned startups across a range of industries, including Emcee Invest, a platform allowing users to invest together and mirror peer investments; Proactive Risk, a digital tool to test the internet security of connected assets; and Heleot, a social platform for short product review videos that are crowd-sourced and community-moderated.

"The Apex program has been a significant source of support and resources, and helped me build my company much faster than I would have on my own," said Terry Kim, CEO/Founder of Heleot and a Marine Corps veteran. "The staff truly cares about making the Apex program the best it can be, and they work hard to assist you with everything you need to build your business. It's great to be surrounded by a network of people who look out for one another and connect you to others who can open more doors of opportunity. Starting a company is a lot of hard work, but the Apex program helps."

The VFL and its Apex program are supported by Barclays; Empire State Development (ESD); Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP; the U.S. Small Business Administration; State of New York; and NYS Assembly Member Joseph R. Lentol.

"Barclays is proud to support the NYU Tandon Veterans Future Lab and drive job creation through support for veteran entrepreneurs," said Deborah Goldfarb, Global Head of Citizenship at Barclays International. "We look forward to leveraging the skills and expertise of our colleagues to support the second cohort of the Apex program and are excited that through this new partnership with Fort Hamilton the Veterans Future Lab can expand its reach to support veterans from across the country."

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