Program Questions

Who is eligible to apply for the Transit Tech Lab?

Companies must meet the following criteria to apply to the Transit Tech Lab:

  • Early- to growth-stage company with innovative solution to one of the selected challenge areas
  • Company has at least a working beta version of their technology and a proven track record of successfully delivering to customers
  • A corporation, joint venture, partnership, or LLC as defined by law
  • Companies based in New York state or that are expanding into New York state
  • Company is independently owned and operated
  • Company employs 200 or fewer persons
  • Company is not a subsidiary of a larger entity
  • Company representatives are available to be onsite in person on January 14, 2020 and for duration of trial and pilot

Does an applicant have to be U.S. corporation? 

Applicants from other countries can apply, but must be registered to do business in New York.

What is the application process for the Transit Tech Lab like?

The application process is run on a platform called F6S.com—it is fairly standard for startup accelerators and streamlined compared to a government RFP

How many companies will be selected for the Lab?

There is no pre-set desired number, the numbers selected will depend on the quality of the applications.

In best case scenario how would a pilot benefit the selected startup pilot partners?

Pilots are unpaid, with some grant funding available from NYSERDA, and companies retain all IP. The MTA gets a license for the duration of the pilot and a period of time following the pilot. The Lab is an opportunity for companies to get their technology in front of key decision makers at New York's major transit agencies. If chosen for the accelerator, it’s a chance for companies to refine tech for the largest transit systems in North America, and there is a lot of value to pointing to experience with the MTA and other agencies. 

What are the next steps if a pilot is successful?

Post-pilot, the standard route is that the MTA will issue a competitive RFP process, but this will be case-by-case and there may be some flexibility for the MTA to negotiate a contract directly if the product is unique and there is little competition on the market. Most cases will likely result in a competitive solicitation.

What happens in the accelerator phase?

The accelerator starts with the definition of goals for the next 8 weeks, with the objective to arrive at a decision to move forward with a yearlong pilot at the conclusion of the program. This creates urgency and structure that facilitates a meaningful proof of concept in short period of time. Programming includes tours of operational control centers, meetings with agency leaders and program support from the Transit Tech Lab staff. Coworking space is available if it is needed.