What is XR?
XR stands for extended reality. This relates to the broad themes of the program: virtual and augmented reality, voice technology, audio technology and other future interfaces including gesture-based or haptic feedback-based interfaces. RLab is also interested in brain-computer interfaces and other applications for human-computer interaction.
Regarding the themes of VR/AR, voice and audio technology, and other future interfaces, do the startup ideas have to fit into one of the themes?
It is absolutely possible that a startup idea spans multiple themes. For example: spatial audio for AR experiences or voice technology software for VR experiences.
My idea is still an idea on paper. Can I still apply?
Yes. This startup bootcamp does not require that you already have a prototype developed in order to apply.
I do not have a technical software or hardware engineering team. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply. In previous entrepreneurial programs, RLab has admitted teams that are solely composed of design technologists or solely business / strategy / operations leaders.
Is it necessary for my team to have a technical co-founder?
It is not necessary, but having a technical co-founder will certainly help your team appear stronger. The program is supporting applications of XR technology.
Who is eligible for this program? Is it OK for a team member to be an external professional? (i.e. not currently affiliated with a university)
RLab’s mission is to support entrepreneurship and emerging media technology commercialization from NYC’s universities. That being said, in past programs, RLab has permitted teams to include external professionals or those who are not currently affiliated with a university to be part of a team that is part of the program. It is mandatory that at least the Team Lead is currently affiliated with a university.
How does RLab evaluate the team during the application review and interview process?
RLab considers team dynamics and team commitment as significant factors in the evaluation process. This program is supporting early-stage technology startup concepts, and it is possible that the concepts may change in the course of the program. Meanwhile, the team members need to stay committed to each other and to the process of customer discovery and market validation in the program. So, it is important for the team members to share why they are working together, and what their goals are for working together in an entrepreneurial context.
Is it possible to participate in finalist interviews virtually? I know I will not be in NYC during the finalist interview dates listed on the website.
Yes. RLab knows that applicants may be outside of NYC during August. We prefer in-person interviews but will accommodate virtual interviews for those finalist candidates who cannot attend in-person.
Does my team need to attend all sessions of the program in-person?
Yes. Sessions will take place once a week on Fridays at RLab in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and it is mandatory for all team members that are selected into the bootcamp cohort to attend all sessions of the program in-person. The cohort experience provides a community where team members present as well as give feedback to others in the cohort. The peer learning experience is critical to success in the program.
What are you expecting from the video that is required in the application?
Regarding the 1-2 min video, the video could be very simple. It does not need to be a beautiful, produced video like one you would see on Kickstarter. We require the video because it is very helpful for us to hear the team verbally describe and explain their project. The video complements the written description on the application.
Is the $10,000 a grant? (i.e. no equity)
Yes, the $10,000 is a grant. Our startup bootcamp is targeting early-stage founders and we know that many of the teams are pre-incorporation. The grant will go to the team members, unless the team already has formed a company, in which case, RLab will prefer to distribute the grant to the company.
What is the expected time commitment for the program?
Starting a company and pursuing entrepreneurship is very time consuming. We estimate that each team member will commitment at least 15-20 hours per week to the program’s activities, which include the in-person meetings with the cohort, and also time spent internally within the team and externally when interviewing customers. It is also required for team members to watch video lectures from the curriculum on their own. Lastly, there is time to factor into commuting to/from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
How many teams will be in the cohort?
We are looking for between 5 and 8 teams for the Fall 2019 Cohort of the Bootcamp.