Since its launch in the Spring of 2019, YU’s Innovation Lab has worked with over fifty innovative startups across many categories – cyber tech, ad tech, on-demand transportation, early childhood education, medical devices, AI-fueled learning tools, and many more. The lab has provided a unique opportunity for over 300 students to learn important skills while helping companies grow and refine their marketing strategies based on the knowledge they’ve acquired in their courses at the Sy Syms School of Business and the Digital Marketing masters degree program within the Katz School of Science and Health.
One such company is SightBit, an Israeli company that offers customizable AI-enhanced lifeguarding technology that can detect distressed swimmers, predict danger zones in the water, offer crowding reports as well as other vital technologies to prevent drowning. The company’s brief was initially part of a market research project within one of the digital marketing master’s courses at YU’s Katz School of Science and Health, and ultimately became an Innovation Lab participant.
According to Thom Kennon, director of consulting at the Innovation Lab and adjunct professor at Syms and Katz, the students performed many critical tasks including developing a CRM database and populating it with potential client leads; conducting market research (digital ethnography, stakeholder interviews) on potential customers that included B2B (business to business) and B2G (business to government) organizations (such as city managers for public beaches, lifeguard associations and directors of sleepaway camps); developing actionable audience insights based on their research to aid in brand value positioning; audience segmentation and product/service design, and pitching potential marketing pilot programs for leads in the U.S.
Adam Bismut, SightBit’s CEO had only great things to say about the students and their participation. “We had the pleasure of working with serious and professional students, who went the extra mile to provide us with a great final product,” said Bismut. “The students’ research was thorough and allowed us to better understand the American market and adjust our strategy based on the insights they presented us.” Going forward, Bismut looks forward to the Lab connecting SightBit to American investors and decision-makers, adding, “The students did a wonderful job researching the American market, interviewing investors, analyzing market trends, and providing us with a full comprehensive report to assist us with our strategy to penetrate the American market.”
Thanks to SightBit and The Innovation Lab, the students were given a fantastic opportunity to play an important role in the growth of a dynamic, new company that has the potential to save many lives. They have much to be proud of, and in a letter from SightBit’s marketing VP to Dr. Maria Blekher (founding director of the Lab), they learned that their hard work paid off. The letter stated: “Dear Maria, We are so grateful for the big push forward you gave us, and I wanted to share some good news with you – we got funding! Thank you for everything, Maria – we feel that the Lab helped us get here.”