Nov 02

InSITE partners with leaders of the NY tech community through ‘Special Projects’

Both InSITE and the New York tech community have matured over the past decade. At InSITE, we have responded by: first, remaining true to our roots serving the most promising early stage tech startups; and, second, expanding to work with later stage tech startups and other members of the New York tech ecosystem–like incubators and venture capital firms–who help these companies flourish.
We have dubbed this new line of work “special projects”, and we customize each one to the needs of the individual partner we’re working with.  Typically, a special project consists of a small team of InSITE Fellows diving deep into a narrow, high-prioirity issue for the partner, such as identifying a new market vertical to target or analyzing the effectiveness of a recent strategic decision.
As we have increased the volume of special projects over the past couple years, we have found they are not only a great experience for all parties involved but also increase the value InSITE Fellows are able to deliver to the earliest stage companies we work with.  Thanks to special projects, InSITE Fellows are able to transfer best practices and insights from some of the most successful New York tech companies and their supporters to the next generation of startups.
This term, in addition to working with six outstanding early stage startups, we are also working on special projects with some of the most prominent leaders of the New York tech scene, including:

2U (f.k.a. 2tor): 2U partners with universities to build, administer, and market online degree programs.  2U develops state-of-the-art technology platforms that enhance traditional offline curricula to create transformative instruction using the best educational and Web 2.0 technologies.
37 Angels: A community of female investors committed to funding early stage startups.  37 Angels aims to increase the percentage of female angel investors from 13% to 50%. 37 Angels does this by sourcing high potential deals and coordinating due diligence for members to invest in deals between $50K and $1M.  37 Angels also offers a unique training program to educate novice angels in the fundamentals of investing in young companies.
Bonobos: A clothing company focused on delivering great fit, high energy, and superb customer experience.  Launched in 2007 on the internet with its signature line of better fitting men’s pants, Bonobos is now the largest apparel brand ever built on the web in the United States.
Canaan Partners: A global venture capital firm investing in visionary entrepreneurs and providing them the networks, insights and operational guidance required to build high performance technology and healthcare companies.  Founded in 1987, the firm has raised nine funds, has over $3 billion in funds under management, and has completed more than 78 acquisitions and 53 IPOs.
Life Science Angel Network: Founded by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2011, the Life Science Angel Network provides young life sciences companies with financial and operational support, sector-specific mentorship, and access to a broad network of investors and entrepreneurs for subsequent institutional financing.
New York Digital Health Accelerator: The largest-funded health IT accelerator program in the United States, and the first to provide access to senior-level healthcare providers who are committed to the success of the growth stage companies the Accelerator accepts.
New York Tech Meetup: the largest MeetUp in the world with over 2,700 members supporting the New York technology community.
NGEN Partners: Founded in 2001, NGEN Partners is a pioneering investor in companies in clean energy, resource and energy efficiency and other sustainable industries minimizing the impact on the environment and improving health and wellness. 
Recombine: Simplifies genetic testing.  They manage all aspects of genetic testing, from sample collection to genetic counseling.  Their goal is to ensure genetic information is delivered in an accurate, informative and responsible manner.
Shake: The smartest, tastes, cheapest, and most beautiful way to make it legal.
Sherpaa: Provides companies with accessible and affordable healthcare. Sherpaa provides a company’s employees with around the clock email and phone access to Sherpaa’s friendly, NYC-based doctors (or Guides as they call them).  Guides provide expert advice and referrals and Sherpaa plays nicely with the insurance that patients and companies already have.
We’re looking forward to sharing updates from these special projects at the InSITE showcase on November 30th.  We’re also hard at work lining up special project partner companies for Spring 2013.  If you think an InSITE special project could be a good fit for your company, please get in touch at
This post was written by Zachary Schwarzman, Columbia JD/MBA 2013

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