Helping To Rebuild a

Stronger and More Resilient

New York City

As New York City begins to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic, there is an opportunity to address underlying issues and support more equitable and sustainable job growth through innovative tools and services. We are looking for the next wave of New York tech companies with the potential to impact the economic reactivation of the city.

With this in mind, Google for Startups, Cornell Tech and Tech:NYC are proud to announce the inaugural NYC Recovery Challenge. Entrants can receive up to $100,000 in non-dilutive funding to accelerate their business, and access to resources, mentorship and practical insights about starting and growing a business.  

NYC Recovery Challenge


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The Challenge

NYC’s unemployment rate jumped from 3.8% to 20% between April and May 2020, leaving more than 570,000 New Yorkers without work. While the unemployment rate has decreased since the pandemic’s peak, at approximately 10.5% it is still nearly three times higher than pre-COVID 19 and nearly twice the national average. Further, employment cuts and new hiring have not been evenly felt across industries; in particular, face-to-face jobs in hospitality, entertainment, retail, construction, healthcare, and transportation lost hundreds of thousands of jobs. Now more than ever, New York City needs innovation, leadership, and resources.


The goal of the NYC Recovery Challenge is to identify teams, founders and companies who are specifically committed to supporting job creation, placement, and retention throughout the five boroughs. We are looking to support new ideas, products, services and solutions that use technology to better equip small and medium-sized businesses and job seekers and aid New York City’s economic recovery in 2022 and beyond.


What are the requirements

  • Must be a New York City company based in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, or Staten Island
  • Pre-seed or seed stage ideas and or business models that have raised no more than $5M previously
  • Demonstrated potential for impacting NYC's economic recovery and/ or job creation, placement, and retention
  • Proven readiness to show impact and scale (e.g. product maturity, go-to market strategy, potential funding plans)
  • Special consideration for: commitment to diversity and inclusiveness of founders and their teams in order to reflect the diversity of NYC
  • For a comprehensive list of requirements download the Official NYC Recovery Challenge Guidelines




  • One team will be awarded a non-dilutive $100,000 cash award
  • Two teams will each receive a non-dilutive $25,000 cash awards
  • Ten finalists (including the award recipients) will all receive Google, Cornell Tech, and Tech:NYC mentorship and guidance, among other perks  


Key Dates

  • September 29 - Applications open
  • October 29 - Applications close
  • November 29 - Winners announced
  • December - Mentorship program kicks off  


How to enter



NYC Recovery Challenge Benefits

Dedicated Support

Three months of equity-free support  


Training on design, marketing, and leadership  


Access to Google and Cornell Tech's network of industry experts


Support with company and product strategy



Gunderson Dettmer

By submitting their application, participants acknowledge that their information will be used in accordance with Google's Privacy Policy and understand that Google can contact them to better understand their submissions.