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Cornell University


Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Charles Hamilton shares his experiences as an entrepreneur

Rick Wang, Charles Hamilton and Levon AtoyanThis month's Navigating Your Future: BEST Careers in.. Industry, Entrepreneurship and Management talk featured Charles Hamilton, BEST mentor, who has helped several companies based on Cornell technologies (and started by PhDs) grow and acquire funding in their early stages.

As President of Novomer, he helped them acquire $6.6Million in a series A round of investments led by Physic Ventures and Flagship Ventures. He was at the helm as they grew from 2 employees to over 20. We went on to co-found Adenios, serve as an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Johnson School of Management, co-found Synairco and mentor NEXUS-NY companies including one founded by BESTie Gabriel Rodriguez Calero, Ecolectro. Prior to Novomer, he co-founded Distributed Generation Technologies, where he learned many lessons from that 'failure'. Hamilton is currently CEO and co-founder of Conamix, a battery technology start-up commercializing multiple materials to improve the performance of lithium ion batteries.

BESTie Rick Wang and BEST Advisory Board member Levon Atoyan served as facilitators for the event.

In today’s talk, Charles covered various financial aspects of startups.  The discussion revolved around topics such as vesting, incorporation, equity dilution, and the importance of filing an 83(b) election.  Charles also shared insights stemming from his own experience as a serial entrepreneur.-Rick Ruisheng Wang, Biomedical Engineering

Previously Charles Hamilton has offered advice "It's easy to start a business; it's much more difficult to start the right business. As an entrepreneur, you have to choose the right business." This is a clip from the Prendismo collection of searchable quotes from entrepreneurs to learn from their experience. Check it out!

See below some of the participants' takeaways:

"Base knowledge of making a company. Was a good speaker." (Soil and Crop Sciences)

"General outline for VC-backed companies." (Environmental Toxicology)

"I had very little background knowledge in the area, and I learned a lot about it." (Mechanical Engineering)

"General introduction to entrepreneurship / how companies are started. Specific resources available at Cornell for starting companies."

"MBA's point of view of entrepreneurship and Cornell resources." 

"What are the major steps that should be taken while starting up a company. What are the resources available in Cornell for PhDs interested in entrepreneurship" (Biomedical Engineering)