Falling Walls Lab New York 2021

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.

When – Thursday, September 16, 5 PM- 7 PM EDT, online

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. *All accepted applicants will have the chance to participate in a pitch workshop before the lab offered on August 24th at 3 PM EDT.*

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 7, 2021
  • attend the Falling Walls Conference (November 7-9) , where leaders from science, industry, and policy-making meet and discuss which walls will fall next in science and society.
  • $500 towards visiting a German Research Institute of your choice sponsored by EURAXESS
  • participate in the extended Falling Walls Lab program and take a workshop on science publishing or pitch training

Apply – Application deadline: August 2, 2021.

Apply at: falling-walls.com/lab/apply

For any questions please email info@dwih-newyork.org.

*This is an independently organized event. 

What is Falling Walls Lab?

Three minutes is all it takes! Falling Walls Lab is a world-class pitch competition, networking forum, and stepping stone that brings together a diverse and interdisciplinary pool of students, researchers, and early-career professionals by providing a stage for breakthrough ideas both globally and locally. Our multifaceted formats support our participants in driving their innovations and develop their communication skills, fostering collaboration and creating a space for our impactful and sustainable community to thrive.

Throughout the year, renowned academic institutions, such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)Stanford University, and ETH Zürich, host international Falling Walls Labs to showcase the quality, diversity, and passion of their region’s most innovative minds. In three minutes each, participants are given the opportunity to present their solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time to peers, a high-caliber jury of experts from academia and business, and the general public.

The winner of each international Lab qualifies for the global Finale in Berlin on November 7, 2021, wins a ticket to attend the Falling Walls Conference, and takes part in a broad extended programme during their stay. The 100 global lab finalists are offered a coaching session and networking dinner, expert workshops on a broad range of topics such as career development, entrepreneurial skills, and academic publishing. At the global Finale, the finalists compete to become the Breakthrough Winner in the Emerging Talents category of Falling Walls, taking home the title and prize money, and receiving the opportunity to pitch their idea once again on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference.

Why should I apply?

There are many reasons to apply:

  • Be given a platform for your research and ideas
  • Share your project, research work, or business ideas with other individuals dedicated to innovation
  • Become a part of a global community breaking down walls in science and society
  • Network and find new ways to collaborate with peers
  • Win a trip (travel & accommodation included) to the global Finale in Berlin, Germany, including a ticket to the Falling Walls Conference
  • Receive the opportunity to win a cash prize and to present on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference

Who can participate?

Falling Walls Lab aims to reach a broad range of people from all professional backgrounds at the beginning of their careers. We are looking for university students, entrepreneurs, early-career researchers, and academics of all disciplines. Our aim is to provide our target demographic with a platform where they can present their innovative ideas and connect with fellow researchers and entrepreneurs from various fields. In order to pinpoint and reach these early-career innovators, we needed to develop a mechanism. We introduced our eligibility criteria to help us reach our target group and provide a level playing field for all participants.

You must be 18 years or older when submitting your application. There is no upper age limit for applicants.

You must fulfil at least one of the following formal requirements:

  • You are currently enrolled in university and/or are currently a postdoc
  • You received a Bachelor’s degree no more than 10 years ago
  • You received a Master’s degree no more than 7 years ago
  • You received a PhD no more than 5 years ago

*An MD (medical degree excl. a doctoral dissertation) is considered equivalent to a Master’s degree. A Dr. med. (medical degree incl. a doctoral dissertation) is considered equivalent to a PhD.

Do I have to come to New York to participate?

No. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will be fully virtual.

Winners are invited to apply for Innovation Week 2021!

This year, all international Falling Walls Lab winners are invited to apply for participation in the Innovation Week, organised by TU9, the alliance of leading universities of technology in Germany, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Here is a short overview of the Innovation Week:

  • The event comprises a five-day programme in which participants are comprehensively prepared for setting up a start-up business. They will also receive individual coaching, feedback, and an insight into the German start-up scene.
  • Who: All winners of the Falling Walls Labs who wish to establish a scientific start-up business in a STEM field. 15 participants will be selected among those who apply.
  • When: 15-19 November 2021
  • Format: Online
  • Application deadline: All applications must be submitted within two weeks after the local Lab via the following link: https://www.daad.de/surveys/956276?lang=en. If the Lab has already taken place, the application deadline is 4 June 2021.
  • Participants of the Innovation Week will benefit in various ways: an attractive programme with comprehensive information and coaching sessions, prizes for the winners of the final event, such as follow-up coaching sessions, and opportunities to network with experts and peers.

You can find further information and materials (incl. text modules for communication purposes) about the Innovation Week in step 6 of the host download section: https://falling-walls.com/lab/host-download-section-2021/

Should you have any questions, please contact the event organiser, Ms. Anne Knab (knab@daad.de; +49 228 882-8808).

About Our Jury Members:

Kurt Becker is the Vice Dean for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at NYU Tandon and a Professor of Applied Physics and of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He earned an MS and PhD degree from the Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany. As a physicist, he worked extensively in the area of low-temperature plasma physics and technology and published more than 230 papers in peer reviewed journals. He pioneered the field of microplasmas and holds numerous patents on the stabilization of atmospheric-pressure plasma and their technological applications. He was involved in two startup companies that commercialized this technology, one of which was acquired by Stryker Instruments in 2005. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the National Academy of Inventors. He is the Advisory Board Chair for the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH) New York.
Dr. Kurt Becker, Vice Dean for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Julia Byrd is a Program Manager for Columbia University’s NYSERDA Entrepreneur-in-Residence program where she helps pair promising climate tech startups with paid mentors to assist in a variety of tasks. She was previously the Associate Director of PowerBridgeNY, an accelerator program for cleantech companies coming out of the partner universities. She also applies her lessons learned by running PowerBridgeNY to her consultancy (Byrd Consulting) which services clients who are starting new entrepreneurial programs and are looking for assistance with curriculum development and instruction during the early years of their programs. Julia has a BA from George Washington University in Russian and Environmental Studies and an MS in Sustainability Management from Columbia University.
Julia Byrd, Program Manager, Columbia University NYSERDA Entrepreneur-in-Residence
Anna Helm is an associate teaching professor of international business at the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB) and faculty director of GW’s Center for International Business Education & Research (GW-CIBER), one of 15 CIBERs in the United States funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Helm teaches courses on international marketing management, green business, the cultural environment of international business, and foreign market analysis. Since 2010, she has taught international consulting courses in Sweden and other countries with projects in both the cleantech and healthcare industries, with a particular focus on high-tech startups. Originally from Sweden, Dr. Helm holds a MSc in International Business and Economics with German from Lund University, Sweden, as well as an MA in Germanic Studies from the University of Maryland. She received her PhD from Georgetown University in 2002.
Dr. Anna Helm, Faculty Director, Center for International Business, George Washington University
Ann Huang is a project manager at the NYU Tandon Future Labs and the President of the Global InnoVention Competition. She is an active investor in clean energy on the secondary market. Currently, she is pursuing an interdisciplinary degree in Computer Science, Finance, and Entrepreneurship at NYU. Previously, she worked for Credit Suisse and Sealand Securities Co. in Tech and Healthcare M&A.
Ann C. Huang, Project Manager, NYU Tandon Future Labs
Jackson Howard is the Regional Coordinator for EURAXESS North America, responsible for Canada and the U.S. His main role is to inform the community of researchers of all scientific domains and nationalities based in North America about the funding and career opportunities that the European Research Area (ERA) offers (including, European, national, and regional funding opportunities). Another important role is the management of the European Scientific Diasporas in North America initiative together with the EU Delegation and EU Member States & Associated Countries. Prior to joining EURAXESS, he worked in the government and nonprofit sectors. Jackson holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from American University.
Jackson Howard, Regional Coordinator, EURAXESS North America

Event Information

September 16, 2021, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Online event
Organizer: DWIH New York, NYU Tandon School of Engineering

The Pitch Workshop

Communicating your research/idea with confidence, clarity and authenticity is key. Especially if you have a jury to convince and only three minutes. In this highly interactive workshop, you will learn the latest communicatory best practices, fully leverage pitching remotely and co-creatively develop engaging narratives for your picture-perfect pitch.

When: Tuesday, August 26th, 3 PM EDT, Zoom

About the Instructors:

Elena and Martin are applied improvisation consultants and communication experts. They regularly train researchers and entrepreneurs how to get their message across and have worked with organizations, such as the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and the Centrum for Entrepreneurship & Transfer Dortmund. Together, they co-created the Bear Slam at the University of California, Berkeley as well as the GAIN Science Slam Series. Elena holds an MA in Chinese Studies, as well as a BSc in Economics from the University of Freiburg, Martin a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Freiburg as well as an MBA from the Collège des Ingénieurs, Paris.