Interested in social entrepreneurship? Become a 'change-maker'

Applications to become a delegate to the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) are open through April. All Cornell students – particularly those in their sophomore year or who already have a social entrepreneurship project underway – are welcome to apply.

Notification of acceptance will be in May, with the expectation that students will work on their individual commitment to action for at least one full year. Many delegates reapply to the CGIU program for consecutive years as their projects grow.

The current cohort of Cornell delegates includes 15 students. They presented their commitments to action during a pitch competition conducted at eHub Collegetown, Jan. 31.

Judges were Anke Wessels, executive director of the Center for Transformative Action; Xanthe Matychak, assistant director of Hardware Accelerator, Rev: Ithaca Startup Works; and Tiffany St. Bernard, a graduate student in biomedical engineering, Blackstone LaunchPad senior fellow, and fund manager at Big Red Venture Fund. They divided the total $5,000 award pool among all teams.

Apomden, a mobile platform designed to ease patient decision-making during emergencies and provide standardization for doctors during the referral process in Ghana, was co-founded by Sena Katako ’19, Dennis Nyanyo ’18 and Samuel Opoku-Agyemang ’19. Apomden will use its $1,375 award to offset costs associated with piloting the application this summer.

An additional $1,375 was awarded to Ruisheng (Rick) Wang and Madhur Srivastava, both doctoral candidates in biomedical engineering. The MRI diagnostics solution they are developing reduces scan-times which will result in greater patient comfort and decrease patient back-logs for hospitals. The team has established partnerships with the National Cancer Institute and with Weill Cornell Medical College.

Awards of $750 each were presented to Deanna Deyhim ’18, founder of Spect; Adannaya Amadi ’18, Vivian Utti ’19 and Abdou Thiam ’17, co-founders, Maximus Academy; and Danindu Udalamaththa, founder of Student Network.

At the CGIU annual conference, more than 1,000 student delegates discuss their Commitments to Action in education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation and public health.

Since 2008, students have made more than 6,250 Commitments to Action, and nearly $3 million in funding has been awarded to these change-makers through CGIU.

Students are encouraged to tap into Entrepreneurship at Cornell resources in advance of submitting an application to CGI U. For more information, contact or stop by the Entrepreneurship at Cornell office in eHub Kennedy Hall.

Debra Eichten is the Cornell Liaison for CGIU and a writer for Entrepreneurship at Cornell.

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Lindsey Knewstub