The burgeoning start-up community developing at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center’s (ASRC) NanoFabrication Facility (NanoFab) was well represented on April 18 at TechDay New York, the largest startup event in the United States with an estimated 35,000 attendees.
The annual event welcomed startups from every industry sector, including those representing the internet of things (IOT), Fintech, fashion design communities and others. The NanoFab team served as a sponsor for this year’s event, promoting the facility and available services.
“Events like TechDay New York and programs such as FutureWorks NYC give the NanoFab a valuable presence in the ever-expanding startup community taking shape in New York,” NanoFab Director Dr. Jacob Trevino said. “Startup companies such as Firehouse Horology and Lumiode are essential partners for the NanoFab to grow and succeed, in addition to our academic partners.”
Leading up to the big event, TechDay sponsors were invited to close the Nasdaq market this past December. Trevino represented the ASRC at the ceremonial closing in Times Square, which was broadcast nationally.
When people think about traditional partnerships between academia and industry, incubators are the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are other ways startups can benefit from these collaborations, specifically when it comes to developing new technologies.
For instance, new businesses have an opportunity to become more cost-effective by utilizing university facilities and laboratories to research, prototype and even manufacture new products, particularly in the context of specialized equipment. New startups are rarely able to afford the multi-million-dollar investment needed to build a cleanroom facility and purchase micro- and nanofabrication equipment. Additionally, the cost of hiring experienced process engineers to develop and maintain these systems is challenging for a new company.
Another benefit comes in working alongside academic researchers, creating an environment that naturally fosters innovation. Startups have the ability to leverage not only staff expertise, but also the vast knowledge of graduate students, postdocs and other researchers, with highly diverse backgrounds. This environment serves as a constant source of a highly-trained workforce that industry partners can leverage.
TechDay gave the NanoFab team an opportunity to engage the tech entrepreneurship community in person and discuss how their products or ideas could possibly be enabled or enhanced by the CUNY ASRC facilities and the many FutureWorks NYC programs.
The NanoFab holds more than 40 different state-of-the-art fabrication and characterization pieces of equipment available for academic researchers, government agencies and members of the industry and startup community. The registered user base has grown to include over 350 members, working in fields such as biomedical devices, renewable energy, environmental sensing and many more.
The NanoFab receives users from all backgrounds and industries, including individuals with no prior expertise in nanofabrication. New users can reach out to the NanoFab with as little as a conceptual idea. The experienced staff will discuss your concept with you and provide consulting and training to make it a reality.