Travel the World with Brynne Merkley (‘20) and Colby Triolo (‘19)

In the summer of 2017, both Brynne Merkley (‘20) and Colby Triolo (‘19) wanted to travel the world. Brynne was excited to bike across Canada, and Colby wanted to backpack through Europe. Not wanting to travel solo, they each reached out to their friends, asking if anyone wanted to join. The responses they received were defeating: people had internships and jobs or only wanted to travel for a week, not the whole summer. As a result, Brynne and Colby cancelled their travel plans and got tech internships in Boston, where they ended up meeting and sharing their problem of wanting to travel. Both bonded over not being able to find like-minded travel partners with similar schedules and compatible styles. Together, they wanted to bring travelers together and help people explore the world, which inspired them to launch their company, The Worldwide Travel Network.

Jenna Martinez’s (‘19) Açaísy Dishes out Sales

This past summer, Jenna Martinez ‘19 lived in her hometown of Miami, FL, interning and soaking up the warm weather. During that time, she realized that açaí bowls were really popular in Miami and after trying them, she was in love. As the summer was coming to an end, she thought about how she would get açaí bowls in Ithaca, NY and quickly found that there was a gap in the market. With her determination and initiative, Martinez launched Açaísy, the first service that allows people to order açaí right to their door in 10 minutes or less!

My Africa, Your Trip: Ghali Jorio (’21) and MyAfriTrip

In 2014, a total of 65.3 million international tourists visited Africa. While that may seem like a lot, the figure represents only 5.8% of the world’s tourists.

For Ghali Jorio (’21), these numbers were more than statistics. They were his motivation for starting a company.

Jorio is the co-founder of MyAfriTrip: an online platform that offers tour packages designed to increase tourism to African countries. Driven by a mission of economic development in Africa, he has already helped facilitate 30 trips including ranging from two to ten people.

While Jorio is focusing on building his knowledge and entrepreneurial resources as a student at Cornell, he commits himself fully to MyAfriTrip on school breaks when he is in Africa with his co-founder. For more on Ghali’s experiences, see our interview below:

Planting the Seed for Petal with Michael Eaton (‘18) and Santi Alegria (‘18)

Home of Cornell University, Ithaca, NY has been known for growing rich intellectual experiences for students, but when it comes to growing plants, the cold and dark weather is not conducive. After growing up in Botswana, Michael Eaton (‘18) yearned for the big garden he used to have; in junior year, he decided to use his love for making things to discover how to grow herbs given the poor Ithacan weather and his limited apartment space. He reached out to this friend, Santiago “Santi” Alegria (‘18), shared his goal, and shortly after, Petal was planted.

Meet the Entrepreneurial Interior Designer

Kevin O’Gara (Design and Environmental Analysis 20’) is the brain behind ‘Thou Swell,’ an Atlanta lifestyle blog which has accrued almost twelve thousand followers on Instagram in approximately four years. O’Gara describes the blog as a place for those with an eye for design and ‘entertaining enthusiasts.’ O’Gara’s interests lie in forming a world where social and environmental impact overlap. The Cornell sophomore has worked with national companies such as, Home Depot, Target, Trulia, and Jonathan Alder. With O’Gara’s sophisticated eye, many of his followers have been surprised to learn that he is only a college student.

Tiffany Anne St. Bernard Builds Mentorship Communities

It is difficult to find a student entrepreneur with such varied experience as Tiffany Anne St. Bernard. In addition to mentoring several startups, Tiffany serves as a Blackstone Launchpad Senior Fellow and as a Fund Manager at Big Red Ventures. As a Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering, Tiffany’s initiatives both build on her technical experiences and challenge her to explore new fields.

Crunching Down on a Simpler, Sweet, and Savory Granola with Kim (’19)

Jamie Kim ‘19 has been baking since high school, but it tastes like she’s been doing it for several lives. At least, that’s what hordes of students, Manndibles cafe, successful chefs, and her friends and family might tell you.

In high school, Kim baked granola as gifts, experimenting with different spices and herbs unique to granola, like lavender and rosemary, which would soon become her signature touch on what seemed to be a saturated market.

The idea for bumble & butter started in October 2016, originally intended to be a breakfast company–selling pastries, as well as granola. As a student in the School of Hotel Administration, Kim pitched the company in her marketing class. The idea started to gain traction, but the taste of the granola spoke for itself.

The Shift to Renewable Energy – InvestMend and Sam Kramer (’18)

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:

Dorm Room Fund Grows at Cornell

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:

Elizabeth Li ’19 Launches Her Campus Cornell

Within one semester of launching her online publication, Her Campus Cornell, Elizabeth Li ‘19 has watched the club thrive. She explained that Her Campus Cornell involves a collaboration of writing, marketing, and event planning teams focused on featuring relatable and trendy media content for its readers. The Cornell chapter is a subset of the international Her Campus organization. Li stated that Her Campus Cornell’s advantage is that “there is no publication on campus that parallels with the niche audience that Her Campus targets.” The magazine focuses on college-aged women at Cornell, emphasizing women’s topics, issues, and empowerment.

The Foundry Builds the Future

Located on the East Side of Buffalo, NY, The Foundry is a startup that is a community space and business incubator with a trade-based focus. Through its mentor program, metal shop, woodshop, and fiber arts studio, The Foundry helps people start product-based businesses.

Justin Selig (‘17) Inspires Cornell’s Creative Spirit

When Justin Selig was in second grade, he folded his first origami figurine. The power of creation inspired him, and he began attending weekly origami lessons at the Museum of Natural History. Years later, Selig’s spirit of making is still alive – so much so that he founded Cornell Make, an organization devoted to furthering Cornellians’ creative spirits.