Falling Walls Lab New York

Hosted May 7, 2020 on Zoom, the first ever virtual Falling Walls Lab New York put seven innovative pitches from medicine, fashion, economics, archaeology and healthcare head to head for a chance to participate in the Falling Walls Lab global finals.

Special congratulations to our three finalists:

-3rd: Kevin Zuo – Breaking the Wall of Peripheral Nerve Regeneration
-2nd: Laurent Shiels – Breaking the Wall of Poor Mental Healthcare
-1st: Robert Luo: Breaking the Wall of Food Waste

Check out the individual pitches from the contest on our Youtube playlist.

Which walls will your research break?

Pitch your innovative idea in just 3 minutes, showcasing a breakthrough that creates a positive impact on science and society.

Apply – Students, entrepreneurs, early-career researchers,
& academics of all disciplines are welcome to apply here by April 10, 2020.

Participate – Present your research project, business plan or social initiative – in just 3 minutes on 3 slides – to a jury.  Get involved in exciting discussions and network with fellow innovators and experts from different disciplines.

Win – The winner of this pitch contest will get to:

  • travel to Berlin, Germany (travel & accommodation covered)
  • pitch their idea in the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin on  November 8, 2020
  • attend the Falling Walls Conference, where leaders from science, industry, and policy-making meet and discuss which walls will fall next in science and society

*This is an independently organized event. 

About Falling Walls

The Falling Walls Lab is an interdisciplinary format to showcase the next generation of top researchers developed and hosted annually by the Falling Walls Foundation in Berlin on November 8th. In 3-minute talks, outstanding talents and innovative thinkers share their research projects, business models and social initiatives with an interdisciplinary audience and jury. Academic institutions worldwide are invited to host their own Falling Walls Lab and to send their winner/s to the Falling Walls Lab Finale on November 8, 2020 in Berlin. The Falling Walls Lab is supported by the Berlin Senate, the Bayer Foundations, Sartorius and X, the moonshot factory.

Additional Information


  • All disciplines are welcome: from engineering, social sciences, natural sciences and economics to the liberal arts
  • Participants from any previous lab are excluding from applying again.
  • If an applicant has a Bachelor’s degree, the degree should not date back more than 10 years
  • If an applicant has a Master’s degree, the degree should not date back more than 7 years
  • If an applicant has a PhD, the degree should not date back more than 5 years
  • Postdocs and students which are currently enrolled in university are also eligible to apply


The online application form consists of 4 steps:

  1. Personal data/contact details
  2. Higher education, publications, awards/scholarships/CV
  3. Breakthrough idea
  4. Terms and conditions

Applications are due April 10, 2020.


Applicants will be notified by early April if they have been accepted to participate in the Falling Walls Lab New York.

Every Labster (that’s you!) will prepare 3 ppt-slides:

  • One introductory slide with name, institution and title of presentation
  • Two content slides. (Falling Walls provides the PPT template)

Titles of the presentations must be written in the following format: “Breaking the wall of (problem which your work tackles or solves)”

Example: Breaking the Wall of Poverty

Presentations should be made understandable to a general audience and address the following:

  • The question/issue of interest
  • the problem
  • the solution/breakthrough
  • a proof of concept/implementation


Event Information

May 7, 2020, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Organizer(s): German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH NY), NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Falling Walls Foundation

Questions or Concerns?

Contact Julia at julia.helmes(at)dwih-newyork.org