As mentioned in my previous post, I’m deeply involved with Cornell entrepreneurship. A little over a week ago was Cornell Entrepreneurship Kickoff, a really cool event featuring a speech by an alumnus in venture capital, a pitch competition, and an exhibition of Cornell startups.
Startups circled the entire Popshop, and HUNDREDS of people streamed through the event. It’s really exciting to see so many people interested in something that an increasing number of Cornellians are so passionate about, and I hope this is the start of many similar events in the future.
In addition to manning Yorango’s table, I was also on the team coordinating the event. The event was primarily student-run, with organizers from across Cornell’s undergraduate and graduate programs, and co-developed by Life Changing Labs, the Student Agencies Foundation, and Entrepreneurship at Cornell.
Each of these organizations plays a distinct role in the University’s entrepreneurship scene. LCL (which is independent of Cornell) supports a network of top Cornell startups, SAF is a nonprofit focused on providing students experiential learning opportunities in entrepreneurship and business, and E@C is the umbrella organization for entrepreneurship. While all are focused on creating opportunities for business-minded students, they all offer a different twist.
We’ve been working to bring this to life since summer, and the team that pulled this off is beyond stellar. Kickoff connected existing Cornell entrepreneurs with the organizers and one another while simultaneously creating a venue where individuals outside of Cornell’s entrepreneurial community came together to learn more about it and meet those involved.
While there is a common association between tech startups and entrepreneurship, by no means was the event exclusively targeted at tech entrepreneurs. The goal, which I feel we met, was to engage a wide variety of people from across campus, whether already on the entrepreneurial spectrum or just looking to better understand what entrepreneurship is and how it is a part of Cornell.
The pitchoff event also propelled Produce Pay, a grocery industry startup, into the eLab. eLab is Cornell’s incubator program which helps students develop their businesses by providing resources, guidance, and credit.
The vibe at the event was absolutely fantastic, and I hope to see many more events like it.