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Cornell University


Are you an entrepreneur? Do you want to learn more about adopting an entrepreneurial mindset?The study of entrepreneurship is not complete without practical experience. But first, familiarize yourself with the entrepreneurial resources available on campus via this presentation. Below are a few suggestions if you have a research idea you would like to commercialize or if you would like to see what it's like to work at a small/emerging company. Learn more about how the BEST Program supports budding entrepreneurs. The region supports new startups in many ways, which prompt some grad students and postdocs to stay in the area.

Pre-Seed Workshop (PSW)

A two-day team event to determine whether your early high-tech idea should move forward into the commercial realm. Held regionally in Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton and in Ithaca next in March 2015. Use this table to see whether your idea is at the right stage to benefit from the Pre-Seed Workshop. Read about one BEST applicant who has since secured a NEXUS grant to talk to potential customers, create a prototype, progressed to feasibility studies and started a company. Some PSWs around the region use this business model canvas.


An intensive next step to get your company idea off the ground. Combining experience and guidance from established entrepreneurs with a targeted curriculum, I-Corps is a public-private partnership program that teaches grantees to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and offers entrepreneurship training to student participants. Requires among other tasks online coursework completion and contacting 100 potential customers. Find out more and apply through the regional innovation node. More info at this I-CORPS link.


A NYSERDA sponsored program to accelerate the commercialization of clean energy innovations across New York State. Funding allows selected technology teams to build prototypes and/or to conduct primary market research. The program starts with an intensive 12-week, experiential process focused on customer identification, engagement and business model optimization. More info here.

E@C (Entrepreneurship@Cornell)

Internships: a partnership with the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Unlike experiences at a large corporation, a small company experience will expose you to the pressures, constraints and multitasking that founders are subject to. You might tweak the design of a new product, develop a marketing plan, launch a website, conduct a prior art search, help write patent claims or all of the above! Matching takes place between December and May for the following summer. If you already have a small or startup company in mind, note it on your application. For more info and to apply, go here. These summer internships provide entrepreneurial students with opportunities to gain essential experience in small to mid-sized businesses located throughout the US and abroad.

ProSky-Cornell BESTernship Training

You might not have the time to do a full internship off-campus. You need professional skills before considering a career in industry, entrepreneurship or management. You are not yet sure if this is the career path for you. Employers tell us they seek individuals who can work cooperatively on real teams. ProSky is a 500Startup company that ascribes to learning by doing. See a video recapping a recent event and skills learned. This BESTernship is an opportunity for hands-on experience with an industry led real-life problem that will be solved (by you!) in working teams assembled from across the country and crossing the disciplines. Solutions may involve prototyping, non-traditional market research, UI design, business intelligence and more...No previous business experience needed.

  • Hands-on team project
  • Work like industry, with industry
  • Gain business knowledge

OneStart: Biotech Startup Accelerator Program

The Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable (OBR) and SR One, the venture capital arm of GlaxoSmithKline, teamed up for the largest biotech startup accelerator programme in the world to offer young innovators like you from all disciplines the chance to win $150k, free lab space and ongoing legal and business advice from sponsors to transform your idea into a successful business. Learn more about the programme and start building your team. Direct questions to You do not need to have a team yet, or even have your own idea: visit Co-founder Hub (and Discussion Forum) to find teammates to complement your strengths or show your interest to join other teams. Ideas at all stages of development are welcome. 

Resources on campus for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship at Cornell

Blackstone LaunchPad

Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) see overview presentation on their regional impact here

Center for Technology Licensing (CTL)

Center for Transformative Action (CTA)

Cornell Entrepreneur Network (CEN) and Cornell Silicon Valley (CSV)





Life Changing Labs (LCL)

Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship

REV: Ithaca Startup Works

Southern Tier Startup Alliance (STSA)

Upstate New York NSF I-Corps Node (UNY I-Corps)



start your own company, enter and win a business idea competition, become a social entrepreneur, apply for SBIR funding, develop and refine your investor pitch, develop the commercial aspects of your technology idea...

Gabriel Rodriguez-Calero, PhD ’14, founder of Ecolectro

Gabriel Rodriguez-Calero, PhD ’14, founder of Ecolectro speaks on an entrepreneur panel at Rev Ithaca Startup Works