On Friday, April 28, Cornell students and alumni packed into eHub in Collegetown for the Big Idea Competition Finals. Capping off the two-day Entrepreneurship at Cornell Celebration, the Big Idea Competition gave Cornell students the chance to pitch ambitious business ideas to the community to compete for over $9,000 in prizes and a spot in the Life Changing Labs summer incubator.
If you were to think of an entrepreneur’s qualities as tools in a builder’s toolbox, flexibility would likely be the level; just as a good builder needs a level to adjust measurements and designs, every serious entrepreneur needs flexibility to adapt his or her business. Cornell Environmental and Sustainability Studies student Sam Kramer (’18) recognizes this; in fact, he has lived it through his renewable energy investment company, InvestMend. From an online marketplace highlighting renewable energy investments, InvestMend has evolved to focus on more personal intereactions with investors. For more on Sam and InvestMend, click below:
Have you ever felt like the world of startup investment is unreachable outside your weekly episode of Shark Tank? Mike Annunziata, a student at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, hopes to change that. Annunziata is Cornell’s new partner for Dorm Room Fund: a student venture fund backed by First Round Capital. Click below for more:
Have you ever asked a stranger if you could borrow a phone charger? After launching at Cornell this month, Vengo Labs hopes you won’t have to anymore.
Vengo Labs has partnered with Cornell Store to offer phone chargers, Advil, and more to students on the go through new high-tech vending machines. Unlike traditional vending machines, which are large and bulky, Vengo machines have a small, compact design so they can be mounted on the walls of high-traffic locations.
Last year, a group of Cornell students started a peer-to-peer storage solution called Ezra Box with a simple mission: provide students, particularly those who traveled long distances to attend Cornell, with a low-cost alternative to storing their belongings with a traditional storage company for the summer. In doing so, they also hoped to offer other Cornell students a source of supplemental income, making the project a win-win.
Last summer, its first in operation, Ezra Box won bigger than even its founders could have predicted. Ezra Box’s web-based platform, which serves as a marketplace connecting students with things to store for the summer with students who have space to store them, shattered transaction forecasts.
The Cornell Venture Capital club offers undergraduates at Cornell an opportunity to work with industry-leading VC firms and their portfolio companies. Find out how CVC does it below:
Are you considering participating in a hackathon? Click below for our top tips!
On January 25th, Cornell kicked off the first ever Animal Health Hackathon in the world. Presented by Entrepreneurship at Cornell and the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, the hackathon brought together students and business leaders to develop ideas and build products in the hopes of making a significant impact in the animal health industry.
Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller once said, “A friendship built on business can be glorious, while a business built on friendship can be murder.” If that’s true, how do some partnerships with friends and family succeed while others fail? Find out below:
The road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is undoubtedly difficult; however, it can be made easier by learning from those around you. Below, Entrepreneurship@Dyson has accumulated the top pieces of advice our interviewees have for aspiring entrepreneurs:
How do student entrepreneurs manage the chaos of academics and business? Find out below:
According to Cornell entrepreneur Shaibyaa Rajbhandari (‘18), “College is the best time to take a risk.” Rajbhandari believes this so strongly that she has embraced the risk of starting not one, but two social ventures during her time as a student at Cornell University. The resources that Cornell has provided her and many other entrepreneurs has helped grow businesses and drive the world economy forward. Click below to read about how Cornell’s entrepreneurs have used the school’s resources to help achieve success:
Merriam-Webster defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” While entrepreneurs are often lauded for their achievements as “one” individual, most would assure you that they could not achieve what they did without a strong community of support. Click below to read how entrepreneurs go about building it:
In his freshman year, Cornell student Reuben St. Marc (‘17) faced a difficult question: is it worth it to start my own business? Click below to hear how he and other Cornell community members ultimately answered this difficult question:
Cornell entrepreneurs offer their opinions on the key qualities of an entrepreneur in the first of E@D’s six semester takeaways.
Have you ever dreamed about what it would be like to live life in a television show? A team led by Cornell students Micah Green and Alex Levy is trying to bring that dream one step closer with Maidbot: a robotics company revolutionizing the way humans clean. Growing up as an avid fan of The Jetsons, Green developed the idea for an autonomous cleaning robot like “Rosie” that could be used clean hotel rooms while working in the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.
Entrepreneurship@Dyson offers its top three tips for a great crowdfunding campaign below:
How can you make something that hasn’t been made better in a long time, better? For Jeffrey Ly (’16) and Eric Berg (’19), this question was a challenge; however, it wasn’t an insurmountable one. Since first pondering that question, the duo has created and developed the XBoard: the world’s first “trickable” electric skateboard. For more on XBoard, read below:
Have you ever felt a disconnect between what you were learning in school and the “real world”? Students rejoice; teachers have felt it, too. The downside, however, is that most teachers don’t know how to fix it. Teachers, especially at the middle school and high school level, are consistently evaluated on how well their students perform on tests designed for a set curriculum. In other words, teachers don’t have much incentive to distract their students from that set curriculum by spending class time each week discussing news and other world events.
While educators have struggled with this problem, a group of students from Cornell has found the solution: Vispio.
Money. Many people would argue it makes the world go ‘round. In a more practical sense, money is essential to entrepreneurship. A lot of great entrepreneurs say that they’re driven more by helping people through their product than they are by money; however, even those entrepreneurs would likely concede that they wouldn’t be able to have as big of an impact as they do without a little bit of capital to help them along the way. For these reasons and more, knowing where funding will come from is a key question that every entrepreneur has to answer.