New $4 Million Gift Creates Named Directorship for NYU Stern’s Endless Frontier Labs

Deepak Teaching
A generous $4 million gift from an anonymous donor has yielded a named directorship for NYU Stern’s Endless Frontier Labs (EFL). Founding Director Professor Deepak Hegde is now the Chen and Yao family director of the EFL.                

The Endless Frontier Labs (EFL) integrates the startup venturing process with Stern’s MBA curriculum to transform scientific and technological innovation into high-impact businesses. The nine-month, goal-oriented mentorship program attracts hundreds of founders, venture capitalists, scientists, and students from around the world looking to benefit from the unique entrepreneurial ecosystems the EFL offers.                    

In 2018, the program began with a single track and has since expanded to three specialized tracks in Life Sciences, Deep Tech, and Digital Tech. Since launch, interest in the program has grown explosively and the program size has tripled. For the 2022-23 cohort, EFL received 1,121 applications from 66 countries – a 44% increase over the prior year – and 77 startups were selected across the three tracks.                     

The EFL has established itself as one of the most selective and impactful programs in the world. To date, a total of 87 startup graduates have collectively raised over $1.03 billion in financing. EFL program startups have generated a total equity value of $3.13 billion, based on investor pricing data from 50 startups; 100% of all EFL graduates seeking seed financing have received it; and 42% of companies from the 2021-2022 cohort were women-led, a significant contrast to the 2% of venture capital dollars that went to women-led firms in the U.S. in 2021. The EFL also counts a Unicorn among its ranks.

“When founders from leading institutions around the world come to us, they have brilliant technical solutions to technical problems,” said Hegde. “We help turn the technical solutions into societal impact.”

Hegde also created a companion EFL course for MBA students who, as a result, get a front-row seat and hands-on experience working with EFL’s cutting-edge startups. Some MBA graduates even go on to work for EFL startups after graduation as a result of this one-of-a-kind access. The MBA course innovation has also earned Hegde some prestigious recognition: the 2022 Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award from the Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division. 
To learn more about Endless Frontier Labs, read the cover story about EFL, “How to Build a Unicorn,” in STERNBUSINESS.