Students participate in the first eLab boot camp of the 2017-18 cohort, held Oct. 14 at eHub in Collegetown.

2018 eLab startups reflect interdisciplinary entrepreneurship

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Joe Schwartz

Students speak with Ken Rother, right, director of eLab and Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, at the Oct. 14 boot camp.

Cornell’s business accelerator for student startups, eLab, recently announced its 2017-18 cohort of 15 startups. The for-credit program puts startups through a rigorous nine-month process of refining and improving their ideas.

Established in 2008 by Student Agencies Foundation and Entrepreneurship at Cornell, eLab provides mentorship and training for teams of students who have startup ideas. The teams enroll in credit-bearing courses and workshops that teach them to develop their business models via customer discovery, and the eLab teaching team helps the startups connect to alumni mentors and other resources.

After completing eLab, many startups go on to launch their businesses and raise funds. eLab alumni successes include Eversound (2015) which secured $3 million in funding from venture capital groups for its wireless headphone product, and Kreyol Essence (2014), a maker of beauty products that is now involved in a Sephora pilot program for female entrepreneurs.

This year’s cohort and their founders:

  • Antithesis makes snacks using lightly refined ingredients. Jason Goodman, Ph.D. ’20; Ashton Yoon, M.S. ’19; Wenqin Tang, M.S. ’19; Xiaozhen (Candice) Zheng, M.S. ’18; Julia Yutong Wu, M.S. ’17; and Siyu Chen, M.S. ’17.
  • Bumble & Butter makes granola with organic, locally sourced ingredients. Jamie Kim ’19 and Katie Lee ’19.
  • Combplex helps commercial beekeepers monitor their colonies remotely; its prototype was developed in the Rev: Ithaca Startup Works summer 2017 Hardware Accelerator. Hailey Scofield, Ph.D. ’20, and Nathan Oakes, Ph.D. ’20.
  • Doplr is a team analytics platform that discovers issues in team processes and provides data-driven insights to HR leaders. Maya Carmeli, MILR ’18, and Cory Pisano.
  • Dragon Catcher is developing a software to locate trademark infringement in Chinese online shopping platforms. Tianyi Jiang, J.D. ’19 and Qian (Cora) Liang, J.D. '19; and Yan Du, Tsinghua Venture Capital.
  • Esta connects general contractors with customers via picture messaging. Steven Lai ’19.
  • Ezra Box is a peer-to-peer storage platform and online marketplace for college students. Anvita Khosla '19, Dean Xu '18, Zeyu Hu '19 and Joaquin Amante '19.
  • Guardian Health helps customers manage their loved ones’ medical care. Seth Aschen, MBA ’17, Andre Hook ’18, Lana Strazhkova, MBA ’17, and Quetrell Heyward.
  • HairDays curates content to help individuals find or sell hair products. Tiffany St. Bernard, Ph.D. ’19, Sheldon Davis and Keshia Ashe.
  • Loch is a zero-fee cryptocurrency investing platform. Michael Gingras ’18 and Brandon Walker ’18.
  • Milk + Honey is a natural skin care line for women of color that delivers to customers’ doors. Adora Nwankwo ’18.
  • My WanderList is a platform that matches wanderlusters with partners to travel and explore with. The system enables users to search for travel buddies by age group and gender, to make for a fun and safe wanderlust experience. Brynne Merkley ’20 and Colby Triolo ’19.
  • Paircon delivers personalized paper and lecture recommendations to researchers. Justina Chen ’18, James Russo ’17, Mahak Garg, M.Eng ’17, and Syed Mutahir Hussain Kazmi, M.Eng ’17.
  • Íko Systems is a hydroponics company that creates appliances that grow herbs for home cooks. Michael Eaton ’18, Santiago Alegria ’18, Liad Hare ’18, Jaiveer Singh ’18, Sivan Sud '18 and Benjamin Sword ’18.
  • Rewardzzz lets users earn and redeem points for use at merchants. Hunter Friedland ’19.

Students in the program started with a full-day intensive boot camp at eHub Collegetown Oct. 14. Mid-program pitches will be held Dec. 1 at the Wilmer Hale building in New York City.

Contact Ken Rother to learn more or mentor an eLab team.

Paul Russell, ILR '19, is a writer for the Center for Regional Economic Advancement.


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