Innovation fellows help research commercialization, startups

Cornell’s Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) has launched a fellowship program for Ph.D. graduates and postdoctoral researchers interested in a career in business development, commercialization or entrepreneurship.

The first two innovation fellows are Marie Donnelly, Ph.D. ’13 (life sciences), who started in September, and Brandon Regensburger, M.S. ’19, Ph.D. ’20 (physical sciences), who joined CTL in January.

“One of our priorities is to leverage the university’s world-class research to create an innovation pipeline and accelerate the impact of research at Cornell,” said Emmanuel Giannelis, vice president for research and innovation. “The role of the innovation fellows is to bridge the gap between early discoveries and commercialization opportunities.”

CTL works with Cornell researchers to catalyze the commercialization of innovations, support their entrepreneurial ventures and turn technologies into commercial products and services, with an eye toward fostering economic development in New York state and beyond.

The Innovation Fellows program offers prospective candidates who have earned a Ph.D. the opportunity to work full-time for up to three years to gain real-life experiences in the business world. The fellows can utilize their strong technical background and familiarity with the university research environment, provide much-needed outreach to university researchers and scout potential technologies for commercialization and opportunities for startups and partnership.

The fellows will also have the opportunity to work with CTL teams to assess the commercial potential of emerging technologies through market research, learn valuation and deal making, and support the protection of intellectual property. In addition, the fellows will help create business plan strategies and chart the path of startup companies, and their technologies, from formation to commercialization.

Before joining CTL, Donnelly spent three years with Zymtronix, a Cornell technology startup working across research and development, business development and communications. She also worked as the primary product development researcher for Agrynex, Zymtronix’s agricultural biotechnology spin-out company.

As a doctoral student, Regensburger’s research focused on developing capacitive wireless power transfer technology for electric vehicle charging, and he is the co-inventor of three patents. Before graduation, Regensburger attended the Commercialization Fellows program in the College of Engineering. The program is intended for Ph.D. students and provides a deep dive into the commercialization process of technology.

Media Contact

Abby Butler