Shared Resource Challenge

Create and test a new tool or service that, by leveraging a shared-resource model, will enable entrepreneur-supporting institutions to sustain and expand access to entrepreneurial opportunities across New York City and in marginalized communities.

November 22, 2015
December 6, 2015
Jan 24, Feb 21, Mar 6, Apr 17, 2016
June 13-July 1, 2016 (Mon-Fri)
New York City
By the DO School 501c3

The Shared Resource Challenge

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) believes in the importance of empowering entrepreneurs throughout all communities in the City of New York. Entrepreneurs create opportunities for employment, innovation, and prosperity for the communities they work in and serve. In order to maximize the social and economic impacts they create and to flourish sustainably, entrepreneurial communities require an infrastructure of support. However, entrepreneurial support programs encounter many of the same pressures and obstacles early stage entrepreneurs must also overcome – ranging from access to finance & business expertise, to cost-effective procurement of materials and strategic use of data in defining and evaluating success. 

However, in solving for difficult problems, innovative solutions are being developed by and for entrepreneurs the world over. Resource-sharing models have been a particularly catalytic and innovative approach to the problem of startup costs (and to many other problems), reframing how we understand the core inputs to business and the maximization of resources. Examples of resource-sharing models abound; across them, stakeholders of a community facing the same problems come together (or are brought together) to pool resources or needs in a way that presents a solution. A positive side-effect of resource-sharing models, aside from the optimization of a market’s resources, can be the creation or the strengthening of a sense of community. Examples of shared-resource models are integrated throughout daily life and business; the tech sector has been a champion of many of them. Co-working spaces and incubators are in and of themselves shared-resource models as entrepreneurs often share rents, common spaces, and equipment. Other examples include shared-back office functions among firms and shared specialist expertise (IT, CFO etc.) among many nonprofits.

NYCEDC encourages the Innovate NYC cohort to build on such models in order to maximize resources for New York City’s entrepreneurs and furthermore, to help strengthen the network that connects them and the institutions that support them. By doing so, the economic and social impacts of our City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem – and the field-building organizations (incubators, accelerators, etc.) that comprise it – can be amplified, in and across NYC communities.

The Shared Resource Challenge will create and test a new tool or service that, through a shared-resource model, will enable local entrepreneur-supporting institutions, like incubators and accelerators, to sustain and expand access to entrepreneurial opportunities across New York City and in marginalized communities. This Challenge brings together talented future change makers from 10 different NYC universities to develop and promote an innovative solution that can be used by NYC’s entrepreneur-supporting institutions to accomplish the aforementioned objectives.

Structure of the program

A core group of 20 students will be selected from across participating universities. After the kickstart event on December 6, this group of 20 program participants will work together in two phases:

Kickstart of the program: Sunday, December 6, 2015

To kickstart the program, the DO School will host a one-day DO-a-thon. This skill building session will focus on developing students’ ideation skills. The first 150 students who apply to join Innovate NYC will be invited to participate in this day-long workshop, free-of-charge.

During the evening, an exclusive cocktail reception for the program participants selected to join the program alongside key members from NYC’s social impact ecosystem such as NYCEDC, 92Y, and universities.

Monthly workshops: Jan 24, Feb 21, Mar 6 and Apr 17, 2016

Emphasizing leadership and ideation skills, these workshops encompass the basic toolkit all changemakers need to find their passion and turn their ideas into action.

Full-time daily workshops across three weeks (Mon-Fri): June 6-24, 2016

Serving as the capstone experience of the program, students will be brought together for an intensive hand-on experience. At the end of these three weeks program participants will have co-created a tangible result that they deliver to the City of New York for use by NYC communities in the months and years ahead.


We understand that three weeks in June of full-time work can take a bite out of a student’s budget. That’s why we’re happy to announce a limited number of stipends will be available. Students invited to interview for the program will receive a stipend application form as part of their notification package.

Our partners

Innovate NYC is supported by Newman’s Own Foundation.

Participating universities are: Borough of Manhattan Community College, Brooklyn Law School, John Jay College of Criminal JusticeColumbia University, The Cooper Union, Fordham University, Guttman Community College, Macaulay Honors College, The New School, & New York University.

Community partners include the New York City Economic Development Corporation, City University of New York – Office of Research, Evaluation & Program Support and 92nd Street Y.

Applications for Innovate NYC are now closed

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