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 announced the inaugural NYC Recovery Challenge. Selected entrants received 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



Meet the cohort

More than 170 New York-based startups applied for the NYC Recovery Challenge. We recognize and congratulate the ten companies selected to be NYC Recovery Challenge Fellows:

Kobina Ansah, Coverr (Queens)  - Financial services customized for gig economy workers for highest earning potential.

Byran Dai & Rahul Mahida, Daivergent (Manhattan) - A platform that maximizes job-readiness for individuals in the autism & disability population.

Su Sanni & Chris Coles, Dollaride (Brooklyn) - A mobility company for communities underserved by public transit.

Kelly Ifill, Guava (Manhattan) - Digital community banking for Black-owned small businesses.

Karen Schoellkopf, Leap Fund (Brooklyn) -  Solutions to identify, bridge, and ultimately, eliminate benefits cliffs creating pathways towards financial independence.

Jason Greenwald & Daniel Langus, Live XYZ (Brooklyn) -  Map & places directory where every business on every block is mapped to the front door, classified, and updated over time.

Amina Yamusah, Sector (The Bronx) - Job application and job tracker that walks upskilled job seekers through an optimized job search.

Tracey Hobbs, Shifterr (Brooklyn) - Makes finding work and hiring employees easier and more flexible.

Tomas Uribe & Kristian Diaz, Stereotheque (Manhattan) -  End-to-end collaboration tool for creative teams.

Tanvir Islam, David Jiang and Bassit Malam, TYCA tech. (Brooklyn) -  AI-powered online community marketplace connecting people to local brick & mortar bodegas.



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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.



Selection Criteria

  • New York City companies based in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx
  • 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)
  • 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



Community Advisory Panel

Brooklyn Chamber | Randy Peers

Manhattan Chamber | Jessica Walker

Bronx Chamber | Lisa Sorin

Queens Chamber | Tom Grech

Staten Island Chamber | Linda Baran

NYCEDC | Sander Dolder & Karen Bhatia

NYCETC | Jose Ortiz Jr.

NY Tech Alliance | Eustacio (Andy) Saldaña



Key Dates

September 29 - Applications open

October 29 - Applications close

December 1 - Winners announced

January - Mentorship Program kicks off  



NYC Recovery Challenge Benefits

Dedicated Support

Three months of equity-free support  


Training on product, marketing,  sales, fundraising and leadership  


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


Support with company and product strategy



Gunderson Dettmer