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.
Do you ever find your wrist very sore or in pain because you’ve been in a certain position for too long? There’s no doubt that students at Cornell can get wrapped up in the cycle of work and stress, and with that comes poor habits when it comes down to crunch time. Still, repetitive motion injuries do not stop after college. In fact, these injuries become even more serious in the workplace and result in enormous costs to the workforce (read more here). A team of Cornell students—Jason Guss, Fnu Aporrva, Pankaj Singh, Will Weinlandt, and Pehuen Moure—saw this problem unfold in many industries and created OrthoFit to provide professionals with custom smart wearable solutions that enable posture monitoring and correction. As current CEO of OrthoFit, Jason Guss (PhD. ’18, Biomedical Engineering) recently sat down with E@D to share their story.
Commonly labeled as America’s “favorite leafy green,” spinach has always been very popular; still, many people can only access West Coast grown spinach in the supermarket or purchase the vegetable during the limited months it is available in farmers’ markets. To solve this problem, two MBA Cornell students, Serdar Mizrakci and Ziad Jarjouhi, founded PureSpinach. PureSpinach provides people with the fresh spinach through local, hydroponic growing methods.
The concept of 3D printing is rapidly growing in the manufacturing industry, but there is still significant room for growth in the consumer market (learn more about industry trends here). To leverage this opportunity, Valerie Mack (Master of Professional Studies, ’17), Khalil Hajji (Master of Engineering, 2017), Mutahir Kazmi (Master of Engineering, ‘17), and Leo Jingyang Liu (Master of Architecture, ‘18) founded Dimitri: a startup that aims to bring autonomy and consumer centricity to the world using 3D printing.
Why can’t a fresh cut vegetable last longer? Can we offer an alternative to frozen vegetables that provides comparable shelf-life yet still retains the fresh qualities of vegetables in the natural produce aisle? These questions led to the research for a solution and after months of hard work, Vipul Saran (Masters in Food Science, ‘17) and his Advisor, Dr. Syed Rizvi, discovered a new innovative process to achieve this with fresh cut peeled potato French fries. This novel processing methodology extends the shelf-life of fresh cut potato for at least 60 days, without refrigeration, something never achieved before in the space. They believe for this to potentially work on other vegetables and fruits too and are constantly working to prove it.
In an era where technology is deemed one of the most important channels in which businesses reach and connect to their customers, building the right website and mobile applications is key. Aditya (Adi) Agashe, a senior in the College of Engineering majoring in computer science with a business minor, helps Cornell-affiliated entrepreneurs, startups, and alumni build their technology platforms through Belle Apps: a software consulting company that creates websites and mobile applications tailored for each client’s business needs.
After a competitive round of interviews that took place from September 27-29, Cornell’s eLab program has announced the teams it will be moving into the program. With the start of Bootcamp 1 on October 15, the momentum has only been growing.
How much can $5,000 contribute to the growth and development of a company? For the student entrepreneurs of Cornell who are eager to take this very first step, this may be the prize they have their eyes set on. However, the monetary reward is only a small part of the package.