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Students collaborate at eLab’s first bootcamp in mid-September.

eLab introduces newest cohort of student startups

Following a competitive application process, eLab, Cornell’s student startup accelerator, announced the 20 student teams selected for participation in the 2021-22 cohort.

In the upcoming year, these aspiring startup founders will complete entrepreneurship bootcamps, engage in customer discovery – the process of interviewing potential customers to determine product/market fit – refine their business plans, and obtain valuable mentorship from eLab alumni and accomplished executives all while earning college credit. At the end of the rigorous program, participants are primed to take the next step in their entrepreneurship journey – in whatever direction that may be.

eLab culminates with Demo Day, a pitch showcase at the annual Entrepreneurship at Cornell Celebration in April. Founders present their business ideas and progress to a crowd of hundreds, including venture capital investors and Cornell alumni entrepreneurs.

“This year’s cohort highlights the wide range of interests and passions that is Cornell,” said Ken Rother, managing director of eLab and lecturer at the Cornell S.C. Johnson College of Business. “We’re excited they’ve chosen eLab to be a part of their entrepreneurial journey over the coming year.”

Launched in 2008, eLab is a collaboration between the Student Agencies Foundation and Entrepreneurship at Cornell that has propelled many startups to great success. Standout alumni include grocery e-commerce platform Rosie and ProducePay, which closed $10 million in Series A financing and $43 million in Series C financing, respectively, in the past year.

Several alumni maintain their ties to eLab by serving on the program’s Advisory Boards, comprising mentors who work closely with participants by asking tough questions, providing key feedback and giving students practice working with a board. This year, 18 of the mentors are eLab alumni – an asset to incoming eLab student entrepreneurs.

“We intend to gain access to the knowledge and resources that we have seen help many brilliant ideas come to fruition,” said Nnaemeka Nwankpa ‘22 of food storage startup ColdStaxx. “In addition, we hope to join and contribute to our group of entrepreneurs within Cornell’s community.”

The students and startups taking part in eLab 2021-22:

  • Aabix Corporation is creating a hardware device and accompanying application to provide homeowners with live data and early notification of maintenance issues in residential real estate properties. Jeremy Mathurin, MBA ‘22;  Alex Weiss ‘24; Will Salcedo ‘23; and Kushagra Jain ’23.
  • Afritrip Advisors Morocco is a travel concierge that offers private and customized trips around Morocco and currently aims to promote its service to U.S. based travel advisors. Ghali Jorio ‘22.
  • Agcess is creating the world's first small farmer-focused data platform, working to close the digital divide between small farmers and big agriculture. Somil Aggarawal ‘22; doctoral student Fernando Galvan; and Kristinko Mato ‘23.
  • CodeBozu is an edtech platform that teaches programming through interactive, bite-sized tutorials. Rishi Malhotra ‘23; Maitreyi Chatterjee ‘23; and Jerry Wu ’22.
  • ColdStaxx solves food storage struggles by introducing innovative convenient cubbies to get rid of refrigerator clutter. Nnaemeka Nwankpa ‘22 and Alec Dinwiddie ‘22.
  • First Water Technology Co. provides water production facilities with a simple pre-treatment step, which will adapt existing water treatment systems to lower quality water sources. Doctoral student Marcin Sawczuk.
  • Fresh Alternative Farms (FreshAF) is a development and management company for controlled environment agriculture facilities. Jonah Helmer ‘22.
  • Grimm City Investors is a real estate development company focused on the sustainable development of communities that are socially conscious, economically empowering and environmentally friendly through multifamily, hospitality and cannabis investments, including its sister brand High Life Luxury Cannabis. Cody Perez, MBA ‘22.
  • Hiyer is a platform that helps colleges and universities move beyond their application pool to fill their classrooms with the students they want. Doctoral student Christian Sprague.
  • MediHub is an easy-to-use platform that simplifies and improves hospitals’ diagnostic processes. Archishman Sravankumar ‘22; Atreya Iyer, M.Eng. ‘22; and James Meyers ‘22.
  • MyNatur, Inc is a website and mobile application that calculates your carbon footprint using your credit card purchases and enables you to neutralize your footprint via carbon offset projects and donations to environmentally based nonprofits. David Jones, M.M.H. ‘22.
  • ReLearn is a student-driven class group app that doesn’t require invites; creates study-sessions anywhere 24/7; and applies live collaboration and machine learning to improve students’ memory. Ryan Tremblay ‘22.
  • REVVV SWIM is a sustainable, athletic swimwear line for women who value both style and active living. Cristina Aguayo, MBA ‘23.
  • RheoHero provides a solution for college basketball athletic trainers to rapidly secure athletes’ ankles without limiting their mobility, while still providing support against twisting injuries. Doctoral students Karan Vishwanath and Ludovico Cestarollo.
  • Shopala is on a mission to help shoppers invest in quality, sustainable and practical items with a low cost-per-wear to help people save money and live more sustainably.  Nandita Kathiresan ‘24 and Dara Berman ‘23.
  • StaffOnTap is a digital platform that instantly fills long-term care provider's scheduling needs by connecting them to temp nurses in the area. Kayla Foley, MBA ‘22 and Jasheah Howard, M.Eng. ‘22
  • Telie is a social app that helps you discover and choose what to watch with friends. Alanna Zhou ‘22; Olivia ‘22; Li ‘22; Cindy Huang ‘22; and Haiying Weng ‘22.
  • Terrestrial Astrotours seeks to provide unique tourism experiences by connecting observatories and research astronomers with tour groups for out-of-this-world educational engagement. Doctoral and MBA student Jacquelyn Linevsky.
  • THE POOOL is a fashion-focused workplace designed to provide studio space and expensive machinery for recent graduates from fashion schools. Jackson Kwon ‘22 and Rebeca Boudet ‘22.
  • Yoga Masterminds is an online 200-hour yoga teacher training program. Andrew Abaria, MBA ‘22.

From sustainable swimwear to farmer-focused data, this diverse group of student startups will be presenting their initial business pitches and plans at eLab’s annual NYC Pitch Night on November 11.

Grace Collins is a writer for the Center for Regional Economic Advancement.

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Lindsey Knewstub