AGBU NYSIP Accepting Applications for Start-Up Incubator Program!

Calling all entrepreneurs!


We believe all aspiring Armenian entrepreneurs have what it takes to start and lead successful businesses in the global economy.  Through the new AGBU NYSIP Start-Up Incubator Program, we give one (1) promising student the chance establish or join a start-up company in a structured internship setting.

The Incubator Intern will have one Main Advisor and Board of Directors who will help guide the growth of the start-up over the 8-week internship.


AGBU Summer Internship Program Criteria

Key Stages

1: Submit application
2: Selection
3. Submit finalized start-up OR secure start-up internship
4: Begin incubator internship!
5: Deliver mid-summer presentation
6: Deliver final pitch presentation

How to apply…

  1. Apply to AGBU New York Summer Internship Program
  2. Choose “NYSIP Start-Up Incubator Program” as your 1st Industry Choice in Step 4 of the NYSIP application
  3. Submit Supplemental Incubator Materials:* 
    • NYSIP Incubator Intent to Participate (max. 10 pages)
      • business overview & analysis of your own start-up or company with which you have arranged to work
    • If applicable, proof of funding, incorporation, awards received, etc.

Questions to answer in your Intent to Participate…

  • What will your venture do or make?
  • What pain points will your venture address?
  • What is your value proposition?
  • Describe your target segment and the size of your addressable market.
  • Who are your major competitors?
  • What is your venture’s competitive advantage?
  • Please describe your business model.
  • Please describe current status of business and any milestones achieved (e.g., prototype completed, customers, revenue).
  • Please briefly tell us about each team member, their role, and each team member’s relevant experience.

*Email Supplemental Materials to; subject of email: “LAST NAME, First Name Incubator 2016 Materials”


The AGBU NYSIP selection committee will review all incubator applications, and select one (1) application based on the following criteria:

  • Market Opportunity
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Investment Potential
  • Financial Understanding

Main Advisor Responsibilities

  • schedule weekly check-ins
  • set up benchmarks and deliverables
  • make introductions to industry players
  • set up networking opportunities
  • evaluate mid-summer pitch
  • evaluate final pitch

Estimated Time Commitment for Main Advisor

  • 30 mins/week over 8 weeks for weekly check-in
    • time for setting up intro’s
  • 1 Trip to mid-summer pitch (1-2 hours) – in person
  • 1 Trip to final pitch (1-2 hours) – in person

Total Summer Time Commitment: 12 hours

Board of Directors Responsibilities

  • make introductions to industry players
  • set up networking events
  • evaluate mid-summer pitch
  • evaluate final pitch

Estimated Commitment for a Board Member

  • Two 30-minute meetings setting up introductions
  • Attend mid-summer pitch (1-2 hours) – phone or in person
  • Attend final pitch (1-2 hours) – phone or in person

Total Summer Time Tommitment: 5 hours

Mid-summer Pitch & Final Pitch

The Incubator Intern will present to their Main Advisor, Board of Directors and NYSIP staff twice throughout the summer, in a Mid-summer Pitch and a Final Pitch.  Each presentation should touch on the following aspects of the start-up company:

  • Mission/Vision
  • Management Team
  • Business Product or Service
  • Market
  • Competition
  • Key Milestones
  • Risk
  • Opportunity
  • Capital Requirements
  • Exit Potential
  • Financial Snapshot

For any questions, contact Christina Lalama at

NYSIP 2015: We Made This Summer Count! Weeks 7 & 8 In Review

Tuseday, July 28th, 2015 – YPGNY Mentoring Night

On Tuesday night, the 2015 interns and YPGNY mentors joined each other at AGBU for a a professional development panel discussion.  Three talent recruiters at different companies shared their knowledge and offered tips and tricks for the interns as they embark on their job searches.  After the panel discussion, interns had an opportunity to network with all of the mentors in attendance, and the panelists.  The interns showed up prepared, each with multiple copies of their resumes to be reviewed by the mentors and panelists.  Medical interns were treated to an intimate roundtable discussion with medical professionals who are members of the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization.

The evening was a great success, providing a valuable opportunity for the interns to get constructive feedback about their resumes and multiple perspectives on how to navigate their job searches.

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 – Dinner at St. Vartan Cathedral, Armenian Apostolic Diocese

On Wednesday, the NYSIP interns toured the St. Vartan Cathedral of the Armenian Aspotolic Diocese.  After the tour, they met with Archbishop Khajag Barsamian for dinner.  The meal began with a thoughtful prayer and conversation shared between interns and clergy.  At one table, the Archbishop talked with interns about their goals at work.  At another table, the conversation consisted of Armenian art across the world.  The evening closed with a group discussion led by the Archbishop, who said, “No matter where you are in the world, the church will always be there to welcome you home.”  Interns asked thoughtful questions about the challenges the Armenian Apostolic church faces while learning more about the role of religion in the Armenian diaspora.

Monday, August 3rd, 2015 – Scout Tufankjian

On Monday, Scout Tufankjian shared her story of creating her newest book, There Is Only The Earth: The Armenian Diaspora Project with the interns and members of the public at AGBU.  As a photojournalist, Scout followed Armenians across the world captured the nuances of the various diasporan communities throughout the world.  She shared with the group her personal definition of what it means to be Armenian, and will even be in touch with them in the future.  For more information about Scout and her work, visit her website:

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 – Supervisors’ Reception

To celebrate the conclusion of yet another successful summer in New York City, AGBU NYSIP continued the longstanding tradition of the Supervisor’s Reception held at the AGBU Central Office on Wednesday night.   Local alumni, interns’ parents, friends of the program, the interns themselves, and most importantly their supervisors gathered to reflect on the summer.

Interns Karlsen Termini and Lusine Dokhoyan spoke about their experiences with NYSIP and how they have grown over these past eight weeks professionally, personally and  culturally, andAram Sethian, NYSIP 2015 Supervisor and NYSIP 2009 alumnus, shared how NYSIP has impacted his life professionally since he was first an intern.  After a tribute to the supervisors who were in attendance, the program concluded with closing remarks from Sarkis Jebejian, NYSIP Co-Chair and AGBU Central Board Secretary.   He discussed  the global impact of AGBU NYSIP on the diasporan communities and the importance of internships and professional development opportunities for all young Armenians.

NYSIP would like to extend a heartfelt Thank You to the supervisors of 2015 for making this summer such a success.

Friday, August 7th, 2015 – Farewell NYSIP 2015 Dinner

As a final “NYSIP activity,” the Hajjar family generously hosted the NYSIP 2015 interns and staff for a Goodbye Dinner at the Lebanese restaurant Byblos (, located  in the Gramercy neighborhood of New York City.  They enjoyed the crowd favorite lahmajoon as they recounted all of their NYSIP memories.  The interns grew professionally and personally over these eight weeks.  Though  the program has ended, this is not goodbye, but “See you soon.”  Best of luck to the talented 2015 cohort of the AGBU New York Summer Internship Program, who will continue to Make this summer count!.

AGBU NYSIP 2015: The End is Near! Week 6 in Review

Monday, July 20th, 2015 – Village Vanguard

On Monday, a group of interns treated themselves to a night of music at the New York legendary jazz club, the Village Vanguard.  Located in the heart of New York’s West Village, this club has hosted legendary jazz musicians by John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins for 80 years.  Performing that night was the Grammy-award-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, playing standards and original compositions by the band’s founders Mel Lewis and Thad Jones.

Interns also enjoyed meeting the musicians after the set, in particular tenor sax player Ralph Lalama. It was a great night and a wonderful way to beat the Monday “blues.”

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 – It’s a Trainwreck

Tuesday night took our interns to the local movie theater to see comedian Amy Schumer’s  new romance comedy , Trainwreck, a story about a woman  navigating life and love in New York City. Interns did not stop laughing throughout the entirety of this sold-out film.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 – Repat Armenia with Raffi Kassardjian

On Wednesday, the CEO of Repat Armenia, Raffi Kassardjian led a discussion with NYSIP interns at the AGBU Central Office.  He opened the discussion by sharing his personal story that led him to move his family to Yerevan, Armenia.  He discussed the relationship between the country of Armenia and the Diasporan communities, and answered questions asked by the interns.  To learn more about the work of Repat Armenia, visit their website at

Friday, July 24th, 2015 – Everyone is Kung Fu Eating

Dim Sum, Dumplings, and Duck pancakes – our interns had a smorgasboard of items from this popular authentic Chinese walk-up known as Prosperity Dumplings. Made fresh to order, we watched as the cooks in the kitchen expertly prepared the dumplings one at a time. To burn off their calories, the group enjoyed a walk around New York City’s Chinatown.

Saturday, July 25th, 2015 – Water Fight and MoMA PS1

Saturday was an exciting day for our interns. We headed toLong IslandCityfor an outdoor art exhibit and music festival at MoMAPS1. Recommended as an activity by one of our interns, the event was a favorite amongst the rest of the group.  MoMAPS1 is programmed by a curatorial committee selected by the museum to represent a wide spectrum of expertise and experience in music, sound, and the performing arts, resulting in a unique lineup of artists that explore, interpret, and combine genres. The interns loved hearing the artists while taking in the art.

Sunday, July 26th, 2015 – Visit to the New York Armenian Home and  Mets v. Dodgers game at CitiField

To connect deeper with the Armenian community in the greater New York area, our interns journeyed out to Flushing, Queens to visit the New York Armenian Home.  With flowers in hand, each intern sat with a resident of the home and learned more about the amazing lives and legacies of the older generation.  One group of interns spent their time with a World War II veteran, while another intern provided some musical entertainment and played the piano for the residents.  The elderly took interest in our interns lives and our interns enjoyed the older men and women’s company.

After the visit to the New York Armenian Home, interns then headed to CitiField to watch the New York Mets take on the Los Angeles Dodgers .  Thanks to the generosity of the Dr. Levon Nazarian family, we watched the game from a box suite right behind home plate.  Our group was divided, with many local interns rooting for the NYMets, while our West Coast interns showed their support of the Dodgers.  The game was exciting, making it into extra innings.  Ultimately the Mets beat the Dodgers 3-2.  Many thanks to the Nazarian family for hosting us – it was a blast!


NYSIP 2015 HYE FIVE for Week 5 in Review

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 Stephanie Ayanian

On Tuesday, filmmaker, Stephanie Ayanian, director of the documentary film A New Armenia, met with our interns at AGBU headquarters.  Interns were excited to meet with an Armenian professional from the creative film industry and learn more about film production. Ayanian began her presentation by saying that most representations of Armenians focus on the genocide.  Her objective for the film she created was to teach a worldwide audience about another dimension of Armenian culture. The film follows five Armenian-American families, including Michael Aram’s family, who are reinterpreting what it means to be Armenian and thrive one hundred years later.  Interns really liked her approach of emphasizing the future of Armenia and the Armenian people, rather than focusing only on our past struggles.

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 Roundtable with Diron Jebejian

On Wednesday, Diron Jebejian, managing director of Credit Suisse Securities LLC, met with our seven finance interns at AGBU headquarters for a roundtable discussion.  He gave advice about career development and succeeding in the field of finance.  In particular, he told the interns that a career, not a job, is a vehicle for leading a fulfilling life.  He also touched on the importance of skill development for the first two to three years of any career.

Mr. Jebejian used his own career path as an example for the interns.  When he took his first job at Bank of America, he did not necessarily know what kind of position he wanted within investment banking.  “Along our pursuit of a career, the decisions we make can (and will) change, when you make a decision, you commit to yourself to follow through,” said Mr. Jebejian.  Interns were very interested in Mr. Jebejian’s untraditional path into finance and couldn’t stop questioning him. The discussions were very engaging and overflowed to an improptu dinner near AGBU after the formal roundtable.

Friday, July 17th, 2015 YPGNY NYSIP Mixer

On Friday, our interns attended the YPGNY Mixer at a cool, New York City lounge, The Ainsworth.  The mixer was designed as a fundraiser for NYSIP.  With over 150 NYSIP alumni, YPs, and Armenians from the greater New York area, the support for NYSIP was overwhelming. The event provided a fun opportunity for networking with the Armenian community while enjoying an exciting night in the city. Interns said that it was one of their favorite nights this summer and look forward to future YPGNY events. It is so great to see interns already giving back to AGBU.

For those interested in donating to NYSIP, please contact Christina Lalama at

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 Uptown Funk

On Saturday afternoon, our interns were eager to visit Tom’s Restaurant. We travelled uptown to sit in the very diner famed by the hit TV series Seinfeld. The interns enjoyed milkshakes with fries while talking about some of their favorite episodes.  We also took this opportunity to tour Columbia University’s Morningside campus, which was right next to the diner.