Zahn Innovation Summit: An Evening of Workshops, Startup Pitches, and Investor Advice


At the Zahn Center, we believe that diverse thinking drives innovation. In order to celebrate that, we’re introducing the Zahn Innovation Summit, a premiere event that gathers a broad set of leaders in the NYC startup space with emerging entrepreneurs at the City College of New York in Harlem. The summit includes workshops to build skills, a fireside chat about unique opportunities in NYC, and a discussion about the power of investment in non-traditional founders. Participants will also meet the current class of startups at the Zahn Center.

This exciting event is brought to you in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics as part of Open Data Week, Silicon Harlem, and the NYCEDC’s Futureworks program. Consider this your open invitation to build new skills, gain new knowledge, and discover new ideas. Here’s what to expect:



Hack the Future Workshops

Innovation requires action. Our workshops have been specifically designed to help you take the next key step with your startup. Inspired by the subject of our four competition tracks–hardware, software, social impact, and women & tech–you’ll find there’s a workshop for everyone.

  • How to measure sustainable impact w/ B LabThe workshop will provide you with a clear step-by-step process to start capturing and tracking your social impact, while getting you ready for future evaluation with more sophisticated methodology to communicate with your intended stakeholders.
  • Negotiating in a biased environmentParticipants are introduced to the framework for negotiating. They overcome any reluctance to negotiate as they engage in exercises and role plays that demonstrate how to solve a party’s interests rather than confront their position, and how to engage in bargaining to achieve creative solutions.
  • Using open data in your software application w/ Socrata The workshop, Inclusive Web Programming – Programming on the Web with Open Data for Societal Applications — connects  three  themes: open data, web programming, and the need to provide better analytics over the web with open data to citizens to promote better quality of life.
  • Sales Training for Startups w/ Google – Learn how to become a pro at sales with this actionable workshop with experts from Google

A Fireside Chat with Miguel Gamiño, New York City’s CTO; moderated by Lylah Alphonse, Editor in Chief, U.S. News & World Report

How does Silicon Alley differ from Silicon Valley? As New York City emerges as a leader in tech and entrepreneurship, how will it distinguish itself from the already robust tech space? Join us and New York City’s CTO, Miguel Gamiño, in a conversation about why NYC has chosen to invest in tech, and what the city plans for the future.

An Investor Panel

Inspired by Raj Chetty’s research on “Lost Einsteins”, this panel will discuss why it’s important to invest in marginalized entrepreneurs. The panel features venture capitalists and entrepreneurs who are making the investment in a new future of entrepreneurship. You’ll learn about their unique approach to investment, how they choose companies and their thoughts on how to create a vibrant ecosystem that fosters these types of innovators.

The panel will be moderated by Linda Villarosa, Author, Journalist, and Professor at CCNY. Panel includes: Rehana Nathoo of Spectrum Impact, Lorine Pendleton of Portfolia Fund, Clayton Banks of Silicon Harlem, and Elizabeth Vilchis of the Latinx Tech Fund (she’s also a CCNY grad).


The Zahn Startup Competition Practice Pitch

The very heart of Zahn Innovation Center is our Zahn Venture Competition. Every year, 24 teams compete for over $150,000 total prizes. You’ll meet the current teams vying for these prizes at their first public pitch in preparation for April’s Demo Day. Come support and see them as they take their first step into the public eye.


If you’d like to join us at this exciting event, please RSVP here.

Discounted tickets are available to CCNY students, faculty, and staff with valid ID. Use code “CCNY.”