Could anything be more valuable to a young startup than expert-led coaching sessions on how to identify opportunities and design business models, or the chance to pitch ideas to industry leaders? Probably not much, but a check for $100,000 might be a close contender.
NYU Stern's W. R. Berkley Innovation Labs $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge, held at New York University's Stern School of Business, offers all those things. Last week, PhD Candidate Thomas Dickerson of Brown University's Department of Computer Science (Brown CS) returned from the competition with some valuable experience and one of those comically-oversized checks that are almost too big for one person to carry. After months of workshops, coaching sessions, and deliverables, his startup, Geopipe, was selected for its potential for great impact, challenging assumed boundaries, and inspiring a sense of what's possible. It won the top prize of $100,000 in the Challenge's Technology Venture Competition.
Co-founded last year with Dr. Christopher Mitchell, a New York University alum, Geopipe builds algorithms to turn 2D and 3D data into highly detailed 3D virtual models. Their system ingests and analyzes data, including satellite photos, maps, laser scans, and much more. It then combines machine learning with a distributed systems approach to rapidly correlate data sources, understand structure, and produce complete 3D models at many different scales. One of Geopipe's strengths is that it offers more semantic modeling than competing solutions with massive amounts of content while coupling models to real-world data without a great deal of manual effort. It puts models in the hands of customers, who can use them in their own software suites with automatic customization options at a consistently high level of visual quality.
"This is an extremely important moment for Geopipe," says Thomas, "and we'll put the money to good use. We have a pretty extensive R&D road-map for the next 12 months, and we're looking to balance pushing that with getting hands-on feedback through pilot programs with customers in the architecture market."
The image above is ©NYU Photo Bureau: Hollenshead and used with permission. For more information about this story, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.