Founder Fellowship
February 26, 2024

Founder Fellowship: NYC Announces 2024 Cohort

Meet the 15 climate tech founders joining Newlab’s Founder Fellowship in NYC.

We’re thrilled to announce Newlab’s third annual Founder Fellowship in collaboration with NYCEDC and Bank of America. This initiative aims to bolster companies developing climate tech solutions, promote economic development in New York City, and amplify the voices of NYC-based entrepreneurs from historically underrepresented groups.

This year, we received more than 150 applications from climate tech founders across NYC. After a rigorous selection process, we're excited to welcome a cohort of 15 exceptionally talented startups, each poised to make a meaningful impact on fighting the climate crisis. The Founder Fellowship program is set to kick off on March 4th, 2024.

2024 Founder Fellowship Cohort

Newlab's 2024 Founder Fellowship startups are dedicated to advancing sustainability in key areas like waste recycling, renewable energy, consumer goods, and urban development. Here's a closer look at these 15 innovative companies:

Afterlife Ag: A circular waste startup that upcycles food waste. (Founders: Winson Wong, Sierra Alea)

Bosque Foods: A food technology startup building a fermentation platform for circular biomaterials. (Founder: Isabella Iglesias-Musachio)

CarbonBridge: A renewable energy startup transforming waste greenhouse gases into microbial methanol. (Founders: Sophia Xu, Manu Pillai)

Cascade Biocatalysts: A biotechnology startup working to catalyze greener chemical manufacturing with longer-lasting enzymes. (Founder: Alex Rosay)

ChemFinity Technologies: A cleantech startup developing new processes to recycle critical metals from waste. (Founders: Ever Velasquez, Adam Uliana)

Cycleau: A water treatment technology designed to capture and convert greywater into drinking water within buildings. (Founder: Noemi Florea)

Fram Energy, Inc.: An energy efficiency startup focused on decarbonizing rental homes. (Founder: Charlotte Meerstadt)

Keratin Nails: A sustainable beauty startup developing eco-friendly, non-toxic nail products. (Founder: Jiye Son)

Mothership Materials: A material science company using nutrients in food processing waste to create sustainable ingredients, fuels, and feedstocks. (Founders: Jo Marini, Agnes Ostafin)

Project B: A textiles company reducing textile waste by producing custom-fit garments with 3D knitting technology.  (Founders: Bella Baidak, Zain Abdelrazeq)

SolarMelts: A nanotechnology startup building non-toxic, solar-activated deicing solutions. (Founders: Jared Day, Zav Shotan)

Stak Mobility: A mobility startup developing EV charging solutions. (Founders: Diallo Powell, Santiago Rios)

Turnover Labs: A cleantech startup helping chemical manufacturers recycle their waste CO2 into useful chemical products. (Founder: Marissa Beatty)

Unified Ground: A community platform connecting community-based organizations and businesses to environmental and sustainability investments. (Founders: Jamil Ellis, Jelani Ellis)

Vader Nanotechnologies, Inc.: A biotechnology company pioneering a high-throughput screening platform for PFAS-degrading microbes. (Founders: Trevon Gordon, Gordon Fleetwood)

Newlab's NYC Founder Fellowship Cohort, 2024

Diverse perspectives are essential in addressing the breadth of the climate crisis. By drawing on a wide array of experiences, we can develop solutions that accurately reflect the varied impacts of climate change. Recognizing this, the Founder Fellowship 2024 program aims to represent a broad spectrum of demographics. Across the 15 companies in this year’s cohort:

  • Nine companies have at least one founder who identifies as a person of color.
  • Nine companies have at least one founder who identifies as female.
  • Three companies have at least one founder who identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Throughout the Founder Fellowship program, Newlab is committed to providing these founders with the support and resources they need to succeed. Each company will be awarded a 12-month Flex II membership (valid for two individuals), which offers access to Newlab’s 84,000 square foot space in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Newlab’s extensive network, and resources that support business growth, including:

  • Business Development, Pilot & Investment Opportunities Newlab collaborates with and invests alongside top-tier funds with deep domain expertise, with an investor and partner network of over 400 organizations, including AlleyCorp, Google X, and New York Angels. Newlab frequently connects member companies with corporate and civic partners for business development opportunities and offers pilot opportunities through our Applied Innovation Studios. Our Founder Fellowship startups will enjoy introductions to relevant investors for fundraising and growth opportunities. 
  • Education & Growth Support Newlab offers educational sessions and skill-building workshops hosted by industry experts, covering everything from fundraising and product-market fit to marketing and product development. Additionally, founders will benefit from one-on-one mentoring sessions designed to help them address their specific business challenges.
  • Prototyping & Product Realization Newlab provides extensive facilities for prototyping and product realization. Members have 24-hour access and each shop contains state-of-the-art equipment designed to facilitate the product development workflow—from idea to design to a working prototype. Onsite prototyping resources include 3D printing, CNC milling, wood and metal shops, casting and finishing, textiles, electronics, and more.
  • Collaboration & Community With a peer community of 200+ companies scaling transformative technology, Newlab fosters an environment of cross-functional collaboration and knowledge-sharing, with members regularly collaborating on new products. Newlab also hosts networking events where Founder Fellowship members can connect with other founders, investors, mentors, and Newlab partners.

We’re grateful to our partners for their continued support in making Newlab’s Founder Fellowship program a success, and we’re excited to assist this year’s startup cohort in pioneering solutions to fight climate change. Keep an eye out for Founder Fellowship 2024 updates across our social media channels, and subscribe to our newsletter (at the bottom of this page) for climate tech insights delivered straight to your inbox.

About Newlab

Newlab is a Venture Platform focused on climate & deep tech with place-based communities for founders and startups in Brooklyn, Detroit, and Montevideo. Through its community of startups, applied innovation programming, physical infrastructure, and direct investment, Newlab helps commercialize and scale the critical technologies needed to decarbonize the economy. 

Today, Newlab includes more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, partnerships with forward-thinking corporate and civic entities, and a network of active investors—all working together to scale deep tech. To date, Newlab has supported its 300+ member companies in raising over $5.8B from venture capital firms, with over $2.3B of successful exits and a collective valuation of over $20B. Visit to learn more.

About the Founder Fellowship: NYC Program

Newlab’s Founder Fellowship will provide sponsored Newlab memberships and tailored founder support to 15 companies led by founders from underrepresented backgrounds to support diversity and inclusiveness in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, thought, culture, and economic experience.


New York City Economic Development Corporation is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that creates shared prosperity across New York City. Our work is organized around four main areas of focus—investing in neighborhoods to address long-standing community needs, building a more sustainable city to meet the challenges of climate change, creating workforce development opportunities to help New Yorkers succeed in 21st-century industries, and advancing the growth of both startups and established companies to ensure New York City’s competitive edge.

About Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. Bank of America is focused on building financial security and wealth across diverse communities through a comprehensive approach that includes delivering products and services that meet the needs of all clients and investing resources to support our communities and the issues that affect them.

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