Overview

The Stern Venture Fellows program offers NYU students an opportunity to build a venture of their own while earning their degrees. Fellows will spend eight weeks developing their startup ideas and nascent businesses with the guidance and support of NYU Stern’s staff, alumni, and community.

Each fellow will receive a $10,000 stipend, a prototyping fee, work space, one-on-one mentorship, and group workshops. Fellows will also attend two week-long immersion trips in Silicon Valley that include company visits and access to VCs, mentors and Stern alumni.

The Stern Venture Fellowship was established by a generous $1 million lead gift from David Ko (BS ’93) and his wife, Jennifer Ko.

The Fellows

 
Kyra Durko.jpg

Kyra Durko

Kyra is the CEO of TABu and a rising junior at the NYU Stern School of Business majoring in Finance and Management, with a minor in Computer Science.

While working as a hostess at a Mario Batali restaurant in Manhattan, constant phone calls from customers who forgot their credit card at the bar sparked the initial inspiration for TABu. She developed the mobile payment app that allows users to open, split, and pay their bar tab. TABu is integrated directly with POS systems to provide a frictionless solution for staff and customers. As CEO, Kyra leads a team of 6 passionate and talented individuals while focusing on strategy and innovation. She grew up on Long Island, started TABu at age 18, and enjoys exploring new parts of Manhattan on CitiBike in her free time.

 
Farouk Aboughazale.jpg

Farouk Aboughazale

Farouk is co-founder of Omni and a student at the NYU Stern School of Business where he is majoring in finance and data analytics.

In addition to co-founding Omni, Farouk has also founded a non-profit organization called Youth Empowerment and Development (YED). YED is a 3-module financial literacy course that educates students in the UAE about basic financial principles such as budgeting, managing expenses and fundamental investment skills by filling the gap currently present in the high school educational system. The pilot was endorsed by GEMS (the world’s largest private school operator) and will be implemented across 70+ schools in the MENA region. Farouk’s interests include Financial technology and emerging markets.

 

 
Kordan Karstadt.jpg

Jordan Karstadt

Jordan is co-founder of Omni and a student and Breakthrough Scholar at NYU Stern School of Business set to graduate in 2020 with a finance major.

Jordan began his involvement in FinTech as a digital currencies trader for several years. During that time, Jordan has become relatively well known in the digital currency community. Through the connections Jordan has made, he has eventually become the Director for the world’s first digital currency-based 501 (c)(3) organization, GrantCoin. Having worked on GrantCoin for just over a year, Jordan learned more about the inner workings of blockchain start-ups, the economics of digital currency ecosystems, and most importantly the incredible potential for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies to improve the lives of millions. With that knowledge, Jordan segued into the establishment of another social venture, Omni.

 
Joshua Sakhai.jpg

Joshua Sakai

Joshua is co-founder of Ephemeral and a junior at NYU Stern School of Business studying Computer Science, Statistics, and Mathematics.

Joshua has been obsessed with the startup world for longer than he can remember. Before co-founding Ephemeral, he conducted research under Professor Arun Sundararajan to project and understand the adoption of autonomous vehicles; spearheaded an open-source QA platform attempting (and failing) to improve the culture at Stern; and led the Data Science team at Stern’s student governing body (ICC). He loves fitness, food, and can never say no to a game of ping pong.

 

The Ventures

 

TABu is a mobile payment app that allows users to seamlessly open, track, split, and pay their bar tab by integrating directly with leading point of sale systems.

Omni is a blockchain-based mobile application built to empower both unbanked and banked populations. Omni allows individuals to digitally secure and transfer cash assets in a matter of seconds, at one-tenth the cost of existing institutions. In addition to accepting online deposits and withdraws, Omni utilizes an 'uberized' network of vendors to facilitate cash deposits and withdraws on behalf of the Omni users. In doing so, Omni opens the financial service industry to the massive unbanked populations of the world.

Ephemeral (Techstars '17) is creating tattoo inks – applied by tattoo artists – that disappear completely on their own. With Ephemeral ink, users can test-drive a tattoo's design, size, and placement before committing for life, or continuously change their tattoos to reflect their changing tastes. Ephemeral was founded in September 2014, and has raised $700k in funding and has taken the technology from an idea in the labs to studies in animal models like rats, pigs, and co-founders. 

Meet The Mentors 

 
Chieh Huang: CEO & Co-founder, BOXED Wholesale

Chieh Huang: CEO & Co-founder, BOXED Wholesale

Colleen McCreary: Chief People Officer, Vevo

Colleen McCreary: Chief People Officer, Vevo

Irv Henderson: CEO & Co-Founder, Talech

Irv Henderson: CEO & Co-Founder, Talech

Jeff Ragovin: Founder of Ragovin Ventures

Jeff Ragovin: Founder of Ragovin Ventures

Cadir Lee: President & CTO, OHM Connect

Cadir Lee: President & CTO, OHM Connect

Zaw Thet, General Partner of Signia Venture Parters

Zaw Thet, General Partner of Signia Venture Parters