The LaunchPad forms a partnership with NEXIS

Two students in the library
Josh Konowitz ’20 and Shawn Gaetano ’21, leaders of NEXIS

The LaunchPad at SU Libraries is forming a partnership with New Explorations in Information and Science (NEXIS), a project-based lab and student research center at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) focused on emerging technologies. The NEXIS student community focuses on building, designing, and researching cutting-edge tools and technologies through a self-driven and peer-to-peer learning experience.  Now, through a partnership much like the very successful collaboration between Invent@SU and the LaunchPad, the most promising student researchers will be able to be able to take the skills and perspectives they learned at NEXIS, and explore how to bring them to life through a roadmap to help them from concept to commercialization.

NEXIS uses a unique model to explore new emerging technologies and how they are impacting or could impact different industries.  Team NEXIS explores each technology, measures its ability to disrupt industries, and tests its market feasibility within the next 10 years. At the end of each academic year, the team chooses the top technologies that our team projects should focus on.  It then works through:

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The NEXIS model


Upon choosing one of the technologies identified by Team NEXIS, the project team will explore the technology in-depth. They will investigate the technology’s potential in different industries to solve user problems. Through iterations of discovery, exploration, and testing feasibility, the team will choose one industry and user problem to focus on.


Once the team has selected their industry and user problem, the team will begin ideating potential solutions using their emerging technology. Utilizing design-thinking principles, the team will conduct ideation exercises that provoke innovation. The team will develop low level prototypes of each solution and eventually select one solution to move into the development phase.


The team will present their solution and prototype to faculty and their peers at our pitchouts. These pitchouts are limited to 1-2 slides that are aimed to explain the technology and the user problem’s importance and how their potential solution can have a big impact on the users. Like pitching an idea to the C-Suite, the audience at the pitchouts will either give the project the ‘go-ahead’ to move into the development phase or ‘no-go’ to continue ideating.


During the development phase, the team will begin iterations of developing prototypes, gaining feedback from users, and ideating improvements. At the completion of this phase, the team will have developed a minimum viable creation to demonstrate the solution’s potential.


At the conclusion of the project, the team will present at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) graduate research poster session. They will have a 2-minute pitch as people pass by their poster.


Successful NEXIS projects have the opportunity to pursue one of many potential paths within the Launch Phase. This includes the Business/Product Path, Actualized Research (presented/published at conferences), and Implemented Research. 

NEXIS projects will now also include a commercialization process in collaboration with the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at SU Libraries, designed specifically for students who want to explore transforming their research into a venture.

NEXIS is open to all students across the Syracuse University campus, not just iSchool students.