Yeshiva University Opens Doors to New NYC Innovation Lab

Eytan Halon for Jerusalem Post

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post

New York’s Yeshiva University cut the ribbon on its new YU Innovation Lab on Monday, a collaborative learning space for budding entrepreneurs, established in partnership with Yissum, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s technology transfer company.

The innovation hub at Yeshiva University’s Washington Heights campus will serve as an incubator for student entrepreneurs and provide a home for Israeli start-ups seeking to explore US markets while leveraging the expertise of the university’s student body and staff.

The development of the space was primarily funded by a grant received from the New York State Legislature, secured by State Senator Todd Kaminsky (D-Five Towns).

“Today,  we can all take pride in the fact that we have worked together to deliver on a dream and make it a reality,” said Andrew Lauer, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel at Yeshiva University, at a ceremony attended by elected New York officials, senior university staff and students.

“Our deepest thanks go to New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky, who secured the state funding that supported the majority of this project. Senator Kaminsky is a true friend to Yeshiva University and an example of the tremendous possibilities that enduring partnerships between government and academia can bring.”

Founded in 1886, Yeshiva University’s four New York City campuses are home to more than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Hebrew University’s technology transfer company Yissum was a strategic partner in the establishment of the innovation lab, and four of its spin-out companies are set to benefit from the hub’s facilities.

Aquaculture technology company AquiNovo, insulin therapy alternative developer Betalin Therapeutics, chemotherapy resistance prediction company NewStem and AI-powered peptide discovery platform Pepticom have already confirmed their participation in the lab. They will be joined by Healnavigator, an Israeli start-up based in New York.

“Supporting our students by investing in the creation of a first-class link to Israel’s vibrant economy is a win-win,” said Kaminsky.

“I was pleased to secure this grant for Yeshiva University, which is an essential tool to prepare our students for the world of tomorrow, while also strengthening New York’s integral alliance with Israel. I look forward to seeing the multi-faceted fruits of Yeshiva’s Innovation Lab prosper, both here in our local community, and in the international community.”

Opportunities provided by the new facility have been incorporated into Yeshiva University’s curriculum during the past academic year, including an initial course on designing successful business and marketing strategies in partnership with participating Israeli start-ups.

“Start-up creation and support is fundamental to the mission of Yissum to bring Hebrew University’s transformational research to commercial fruition,” said Dr. Itzik Goldwaser, senior vice president of alliances and contract management at Yissum.

“This collaboration with Yeshiva University provides strategic market access for our companies as well as for the university’s highly motivated students.”