On April 27, 11 of the 15 eLab teams gathered at the Statler Auditorium at Cornell for the event that cemented their hard work over the past year: eLab Demo Day. Demo Day isn’t any ordinary pitch—all the teams have done pitches of their startups countless times. At Demo Day, the teams pitch what problem they are looking to solve, how their idea meets that problem, and how their business turns that idea into reality. But this time, it’s a pitch in front of a crowd that includes students, faculty, and alumni passionate about entrepreneurship along with investors and venture capitalists who can provide key funding to take these startups to the next level.
The event kicked off with Ken Rother, one of the managing directors of the eLab program, giving a brief overview of how the program is structured and what type of students it looks for. “The students who we are really fascinated by are the ones that say they’ve identified this problem, and there seems to be a lot of people who have that problem—and they are willing to explore that problem before they explore the idea,” says Rother. Before he introduces the first team up to the stage, Rother reminds the audience of one important concept about eLab and entrepreneurship at large: “Entrepreneurship is not like another course. There is no end. It’s not just a marathon—it’s a marathon with no finish line… it is this constant, constant grind. So, what you are seeing today is just a checkpoint.”
11 of the eLab teams then went on to present what they have accomplished: Natural Cuts, Echiuma, Vispio, Big Red Hostels, Orthofit, Dimitri, Hewale, XBoard, MilesAhead, Pure Spinach, and Comake. Additionally, several eLab alumni—Jake Reisch of Eversound, Tim Delisle of Datalogue, and Yve-Car Momperousse of Kreyol Essence—were welcomed back to share their success with their companies after departing eLab.
To watch the entire eLab Demo Day event and hear each team’s pitch, click below to watch the recorded video.