IN2NYC Program Launches at the Zahn Center


Alicia Glen, New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Impact; Maria Torres-Springer, President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC); President Lisa Staiano-Coico, President of the City College of New York (CCNY); and Ann Kirschner, Special Assistant to the Chancellor of the City University of New York (CUNY) visited the Zahn Innovation Center today to launch the International Innovators Initiative (IN2NYC). The Mayor’s Office and IN2NYC visited to highlight the Zahn Innovation Center’s involvement as a partner in the program and kickoff the application process.

IN2NYC is designed to help international entrepreneurs access uncapped H1-B visas so they can create jobs in the United States. The program was created by the NYCEDC in partnership with CUNY, and the Zahn Center will pilot the program. The international entrepreneurs that are brought into the Zahn Center will support the mission of CCNY by contributing to academic research, holding office hours, providing students with internship and employment opportunities, and serving as mentors.

“New York has had such an extraordinary history of being a beacon for immigrants, so what better way to connect all the dots and establish a program that allows international entrepreneurs to locate their business on a CUNY campus, work with faculty, work with students, be able to really collaborate with them. At the same time, because all of the entrepreneurs will be located at campuses across all of the five boroughs at the seven participating campuses, we’re facilitating local economic development,” said Maria Torres-Springer.

The mission of IN2NYC aligns perfectly with the spirit of CCNY, a campus made up largely of immigrants, children of immigrants, and students who are the first in their family to attend college. Our own entrepreneurs are originally from all over the globe, but they are doing their part to create businesses right here in Harlem.

As President Coico said today, “You will never find more innovators than you will find here.”

Ms. Glen and Ms. Torres-Springer spoke with Zahn Center startups Gleam, Hybridia, and StreetLabs, and learned how their technologies will improve New York City and create lasting social impact.

IN2NYC is a key effort of the de Blasio administration to foster entrepreneurship in all five boroughs. The IN2NYC program is projected to create more than 700 jobs for New Yorkers in its first three years alone. “One of the things Mayor de Blasio made such a huge priority once he was elected was to link our fantastic public institutions of higher learning with the whole innovation economy,” said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. At the Zahn Center, we’re very excited to be a part of that future growth.

IN2NYC is now accepting applications. For more information and to apply, go to