Cornell Entrepreneurship Kicks Off the Year with a Bang

On September 13, Cornell hosted its annual entrepreneurship kickoff event in Kennedy Hall eHub. The event drew current students, alumni, and faculty to explore the different facets of Cornell entrepreneurship.

The event, sponsored by Entrepreneurship at Cornell and Student Agencies Foundation and presented by Life Changing Labs, had over 20 tables featuring various entrepreneurial projects shaping the future of Cornell entrepreneurship. Included among the attendees were startups founded by Cornellians, including MilesAhead and RosieApp.

“With over 300+ attendees every year, this is our biggest on-campus entrepreneurship event in the Fall,” explained eHub Director Peter Cortle. “A great networking opportunity to connect with all of the entrepreneurial students, groups, programs, and startups, in one place.”

Cortle has been part of a large administrative push to make entrepreneurship more prevalent on Cornell’s campus, and events like the kickoff are designed to help the university continue to move in that direction.

“It’s an exciting time with more entrepreneurship activities happening at Cornell than ever before…leading to more student ventures getting off the ground here on campus,” Cortle wrote in an email to students earlier this year.

Beyond the chance to interact with other entrepreneurially-minded people, students had the chance to witness a live pitch-off between five aspiring businesses founded by Cornell students. The first place team was offered a spot in Cornell’s eLab accelerator program and $1,000 to grow the business, while the second place team would receive a $500 prize.

Combplex, a company self-described as “big data for bees,” took home first prize for its efforts to provide real-time data analysis to help beekeepers keep bee colonies alive for commercialization. Second place went to Religio: a company striving to bring churches into the 21st century via technology designed to address rapidly-declining church memberships.

Cornell has set a target to become one of the premier schools for student entrepreneurship. With events like the eHub kickoff, the school is hoping to continue its momentum.