Apply for the BioEntrepreneurship Initiative

Deadline: April 1 for Researchers, Innovators, and Clinicians in the Life Sciences

The BioEntrepreneurship Initiative at Cornell University offers Johnson MBA students and life science researchers from across Cornell’s campuses the opportunity to immerse themselves in real-world startup creation. Participants receive the tools, training, and connections they need to launch their own life science startups through a certificate program offered by the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Applications for the inaugural cohort of the BioEntrepreneurship Initiative are now open. Up to 30 applicants will be selected to start the program in the Spring 2022—half of the selected Fellows will be MBA students and half will be researchers, innovators, and clinicians in the life sciences. The latter half will be doctoral candidates (PhD, MD, DVM), post-docs, or junior faculty from across Cornell’s schools, such as Weill Cornell Medicine, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Engineering, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, as well as Cornell’s Tri-Institutional partners.

Apply now:

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The deadline to apply is April 1 for life science researchers. For more information, contact the program team at

Apply for Cornell Engineering’s Commercialization Fellowship

Applications Accepted Through Early February 2022

The Commercialization Fellowship, offered by Cornell Engineering, is a unique opportunity for Ph.D. students to spend a fully funded semester and summer in an intensive entrepreneurship program. Fellows will have a personal mentor to guide them through the exploration of commercializing a product. From intellectual property management to supply chains, students will learn the tools, methods, and skills for bringing a product or technology to market.

The program is open to all Cornell Engineering Ph.D. students who are immersed in a particular technology and now want to see it through a business lens. The fellowship experience will enable deep experiential learning in the commercial side of innovation, and one-on-one mentoring assures a deep, personalized educational experience unmatched by traditional entrepreneurship programs.

Applications will be accepted through early February 2022. Apply now.

Prototyping Hardware Accelerator Information Sessions

February 2 (4:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST) & February 10 (5:00 – 6:00 p.m. EST) Virtual

Rev: Ithaca Startup Works offers a deep dive into prototyping through its 11-week Prototyping Hardware Accelerator summer program that

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leads product teams through a process to determine if their ideas are commercially desirable, technologically viable, and economically

feasible. Upon completion of the program, participants are positioned to recruit team members, bring on partners, initiate work with contract manufacturers, a

nd pitch to investors.

The program offers three tracks: Open, ClimateTech, and AgTech. Each track features content catered for the specific industry or field: 

Open Track: 

Open to innovators in any field since 2014, Rev’s classic track provides foundational training across industries. 

ClimateTech Track

Climate tech startups are placed in a like-minded cohort, matched with clean energy and clean tech mentors, and learn from guest speakers in the field.  

AgTech Track: Agriculture technology startups are immersed in specialized training and connected to experts and potential partners within the agriculture industry.  

Applications for Summer 2022 are currently open and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The program is free and open to anyone in the public to apply. 

Interested in learning more about the program? Rev invites you to an upcoming virtual information session:

 Wednesday, February 2 (4:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST) 

Thursday, February 10 (5:00 – 6:00 p.m. EST) – ClimateTech focused, but all are welcome! 

Rev encourages you to share this information with interested hardware entrepreneurs and your extended networks. Questions about the program can be directed to 

Revving Up the Maker Revolution: Specialization Fuels Success

Tuesday, February 1 (3:00 p.m. EST) – Virtual

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As a maker, you know that if you build it, they — your customers — won’t come right away. So, you build it again and again, often with the help of increasingly a

ffordable 3D printers and prototyping tools. But what comes next? Anyone can be an inventor; you need to refine and scale a business to compete.

In this webinar hosted by the Hardware Accelerator team at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, industry experts and startup founders share their hard-won advice, revealing the obstacles they faced making the leap from product idea to prototype to manufacturing and how specializing helped them succeed. You’ll discover how these entrepreneurs harnessed trends and resources to scale product companies focused on specific industries, like climate and agriculture technology.

Interested in learning more about Rev’s hardware accelerator programs? Visit the Hardware Accelerator website.


Cornell-led Grow-NY contest boosts NYS food, ag startups

The mood was celebratory and “We Are the Champions” played over the speakers in the Syracuse Oncenter as Every Body Eat took home $1 million in the third annual Grow-NY Food and Agriculture Competition, led by Cornell.

The Chicago-based startup, which produces food free of the 14 most common allergens, is working to create food that people can enjoy together, regardless of dietary restrictions or preferences.

Grow-NY, funded by Empire State Development, is a unique business competition on a mission to bring jobs and dollars to the agrifood ecosystem in the Grow-NY Region – which consists of Central New York, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier. Three hundred and thirty food and ag startups from around the globe applied to compete, and the best of the best were selected to receive individualized mentorship and introductions to resources and potential partners in Upstate New York, all managed by Cornell’s Grow-NY program leaders.

More than 1,200 people registered to attend the Grow-NY Food & Ag Summit, held virtually and in-person Nov. 16 and 17, where the 20 startup finalists pitched to a panel of judges and competed for a total of $3 million in prize money. In addition to the pitches, attendees engaged with a series of panels and fireside chats covering the most pressing topics facing the food and agriculture industry.

Trish Thomas (right), Co-Founder and Chief Eating Officer (CEO), at Every Body Eat® wins $1 million at Cornell-led Grow-NY competition. The prize was awarded by Richard A. Ball, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (left).

“We are absolutely honored to be selected – from such an incredible pool of food and agriculture startups – as this year’s $1 million top prize winner at Grow-NY,” said Nichole Wilson of Every Body Eat. “We look forward to leveraging this award and all of the connections we have made in the region to take Every Body Eat to the next level, expand our market, and hire more talent. We’re excited to further our mission of bringing people together over food.”

In addition to Every Body Eat, six other food and agritech startups were awarded six-figure prizes. The two second-place $500,000 prizes went to Ascribe Bioscience, a biopesticide solution business fighting crop loss in Ithaca; as well as Neupeak Robotics, a robotic fruit and vegetable harvester being created in Vancouver, British Columbia. Four $250,000 prizes were awarded to DraughtLab (Rochester, New York); EmGenisys (Houston, Texas); Nordetect (Copenhagen, Denmark); and WeRadiate (Buffalo).

As a condition of receiving prize money, these seven startups must leverage and embrace the unique startup resources and opportunities in the Grow-NY region to make a positive economic impact. This can be anything from establishing headquarters in the Grow-NY region and hiring local employees to conducting primary research and development work and manufacturing in the area.

The competition also included a $10,000 Audience Choice Award, sponsored by Wegmans. Attendees, both in-person and virtual, were encouraged to go online and vote for their favorite startup. More than 1,300 votes rolled in, and Agri-Trak, a startup creating a farm management application suite for the apple industry, took the lead for this year’s prize.

Three of this year’s winners have deep roots in the Cornell community:

  • Agri-Trak is founded by Jamie Sonneville ’04, M.P.S. ’06, and advised by Alison DeMarree of Cornell Cooperative Extension.
  • Ascribe Bioscience is founded by researchers at Cornell’s Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI), Jay Farmer, Ph.D. ’98, and Murli Manohar. Their technology was developed in the labs of Cornell/BTI professors Frank Schroeder (College of Arts and Sciences) and Daniel Klessig (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), and they’re currently incubating at the McGovern Center.
  • WeRadiate is a graduate of various Rev: Ithaca Startup Works’ programs, including the Hardware Scaleup Accelerator.

“By creating new jobs and sharing new ideas, the winners of the first two rounds of the Grow-NY food and ag competition have made an important difference in our region’s food and ag ecosystem in less than two years,” said Jenn Smith, program director of Grow-NY. “We’re confident that this year’s winners will continue that positive growth. The quality of the startups vying for awards this year was incredible –  congratulations to all the winners.”

Grace Collins is a writer for the Center for Regional Economic Advancement.

Entrepreneur of the Year to be honored at NYC entrepreneurship conference

Rolph is co-founder and CEO of Lovevery, a stage-based learning and play essentials company. After earning her MBA, Rolph co-founded organic baby food brand Happy Family, which was acquired by Group Danone in 2013. During that time, Rolph also co-founded the Climate Collaborative, a nonprofit organization helping companies in the natural products industry take meaningful steps toward reversing climate change.

Five other speakers will highlight the event, including Colin Walsh ’90 and Ryan Hudson ’02. Walsh is the founder and CEO of Varo Bank, a consumer financial technology company working to advance the cause of financial inclusion and opportunity for all. Hudson is the co-founder of Honey, a Los Angeles-based tech company with a browser extension that automatically finds and applies coupon codes at checkout. Honey was  recently acquired by PayPal.

“We are excited to be back in person with Eclectic Convergence this year,” said Zach Shulman ’87 JD ’90, director of Entrepreneurship at Cornell. “The energy we create by bringing together entrepreneurs with wildly different interests always results in amazing connections and experiences for our attendees.”

The all-day event, hosted by Entrepreneurship at Cornell and Cornell Tech, begins at  8:45 a.m. with a check in and box breakfast in the Verizon Executive Education Center at Cornell Tech. It will also include a box lunch and networking time.

The event is open to the public, but in accordance with CDC guidelines, NYC guidelines, and Cornell University guidelines, all event attendees must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination upon arrival at the venue (an official vaccination card, Excelsior Pass, NYC COVID Safe App, Cornell Daily Check homepage or other vaccination passport will suffice, along with a valid form of school or government ID).

The conference fee is $100 for the general public, $50 for faculty and staff and $25 for students. A virtual ticket is also available for $10. Find more information and register here.

Engineering lecturer raises $500,000 in pre-seed funding

SimpliFed, an Ithaca-based startup specializing in providing new parents with lactation and baby-feeding support, recently announced that it raised $500,000 in pre-seed funding.

The startup, which offers easy accAndrea Ippolito has a lactation start-up that is raising pre-seed fundsess to virtual lactation consulting appointments, is on a mission to increase the rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration for those that can and want to breastfeed. As a mother herself, founder and CEO Andrea Ippoltio was inspired to start SimpliFed following the struggles she faced breastfeeding after she had her first daughter.  

Through SimpliFed, Ippolito, who is also a lecturer in Cornell University’s College of Engineering and SC Johnson College of Business, has synergized her background in biomedical engineering and telehealth expertise to create a business that empowers parents with the information and support they need during the first months of their infant’s life.

The funding in this pre-seed round, led by Third Culture Capital, will be used to continue to grow the company’s footprint. Immediate priorities include hiring additional lactation consultants and launching a clinical study with 1,000 new parents.

“The U.S. culture has evolved over the years, and millennials are the next-generation moms who have a different ask, and SimpliFed is here at the right time,” Julien Pham, managing partner at Third Culture Capital in a statement to TechCrunch. “Andrea is just a dynamo. We love her energy and how she is at the front line of this as a mother herself — she is most qualified to do this, and we support her.”

Read more about the startup’s funding milestone in TechCrunch.

BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR The Different Paths to Founder and CEO

Your journey to becoming an entrepreneur could take many paths. You could build a family business, take advantage of a successful franchise opportunity, or launch your own startup with high-growth potential. Another side of entrepreneurship is launching a non-profit or business focused on social good. The creative side of you could bring inspiration to a family business, or the business skills you possess may be invaluable to an innovator already focused on a new product/service. Or, if you are the technologist, do you license your technology or identify partners to take your innovation to market?

Join this webinar co-hosted by the Johnson eClub at Cornell and Cornell SC Johnson College of Business to examine the pros and cons of the various types of entrepreneurship. You will get insider insight from successful founders and CEOs managing companies representing a variety of business models.


Women Entrepreneurs Cornell (WE Cornell) – Phase 1 Application – Fall 2021

The W.E. Cornell (Women Entrepreneurs Cornell) program helps STEM women commercialize their innovations and overcome the challenges of leading a growing technology-based business. Combining a proven entrepreneurship curriculum with a focus on leadership development and empowerment, participants will finish the program prepared to take the next steps in their entrepreneurship journey.

Timeline (students will be accepted on a rolling basis)
Application due: Thursday, October 7, 11:59pm
Application decisions will be sent out by: Friday, October 8, 5pm

Phase 1 Cohort Events

October 22 – WE Cornell Kickoff

October 29 – Ideation Workshop
November 5 – STEM Founder Series #1
November 19 – Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (optional dinner social)
December 3 – STEM Founder Series #2
December 7 – Entrepreneurial Readiness Workshop

Contact the program team by emailing

Black Entrepreneurs in Training Kickoff Community Gathering

Join us on Friday, October 1st for a community gathering and roundtable discussion led by Cornell alumnus and founder of BET, Jehron Petty (’20).

Due to current COVID safety guidelines at Cornell , food will no longer be served to attendees. This is subject to change in conjunction with evolving COVID guidelines.

As the CEO of ColorStack, a nonprofit focused on helping Black and Latinx computer science students across the country, Petty has cultivated an expansive online community of BIPOC students.

Enjoy an engaging conversation with like-minded students interested in entrepreneurship and discover what the BET community will offer throughout the fall semester, while learning from the BET founder himself.

Spaces are limited. Reserve your spot for this engaging, inspiring event today.

A Call to Action: New Climate Tech Track

Black student entrepreneurs with innovations in ALL FIELDS are encouraged join BET. Yet, as we review the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and its more precise forecasts for the 21st Century warning of increased severe weather devastation, we strongly encourage diverse leaders to respond to this “call to action” and apply their innovations to help solve our local, national, and global climate challenges. Tied to this, we are excited to announce a climate tech “track” focused on empowering founders in this arena with additional mentorship, coaching, and resources.


Please contact Monika Crosby ( at least three days prior to the event with any accessibility needs.