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NYC entrepreneurship conference features founders, social entrepreneurs, venture capitalists

This year’s Eclectic Convergence conference in New York City at Cornell Tech will feature six inspiring entrepreneurs and investors involved in fields ranging from women’s health to design software. Attendees will also hear pitches from some of Cornell’s most promising start-ups, be able to engage one-on-one with speakers, and have time to network with more than 450 attendees from various business sectors, as well as venture capitalists and angel investors.

The Friday, Oct. 21 event will take place from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Verizon Executive Education Center at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island in the city. Registration fees range from $25-$100 and registration is still open.

“As usual, our conference features inspiring, entrepreneurial role models who are excited to share their experiences and wisdom with others,” said Zach Shulman ’87 J.D. ’90, director of Entrepreneurship at Cornell, which organizes the conference. “I also hear endless stories of the connections that are made at this conference, which result in partnerships, deals, investments and mentoring relationships. It's one of the highlights of our year and a perfect example of the wide entrepreneurial ecosystem that exists among Cornellians.”

At the event, six speakers will offer a combination of TED-style short talks and fireside chats about their entrepreneurial journeys. The event will also feature pitches from five companies based on various Cornell technologies, with a $5,000 prize being awarded to the winning pitch.

Speakers include:

  • Marcus Bullock, founder & CEO, Flikshop. Following his 2004 release from prison, Bullock launched a construction business that grew to employ other returning citizens. Subsequently, he launched Flikshop, a software company that builds tools to help incarcerated people stay connected to their families and build community.
  • Amy Bunszel '89, executive vice president, Autodesk, who manages product strategy and execution for the company’s 3D design portfolio including the Autodesk Architecture, Engineering and Construction Collection, AutoCAD family, Autodesk Revit and more.
  • Kate Ryder, founder & CEO, Maven, the largest virtual clinic for women’s and family health. Ryder has been named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and to Fast Company’s “Most Creative People” and has spoken on stage at industry events.
  • Lara Sullivan '94, president and CEO, Pyxis Oncology and founding president of SpringWorks Therapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company she spun out from Pfizer.
  • Smoke Wallin '88, managing director of STS Capital Partners; executive chair and founder of Taliera; and executive chair and co-founder of Vertical Wellness. He is also co-founder and director of, created to end unsheltered street homelessness by building interim supportive housing.
  • Josh Wolfe '99, co-founder, Lux Capital, and director at Shapeways, Strateos, Lux Research, Kallyope, CTRL-labs, Variant and Varda. Wolfe is also a founding investor and board member with Bill Gates in Kymeta, making cutting-edge antennas for high-speed global satellite and space communications.

The event will also feature remarks from Shulman; Greg Morrisett, the Jack and Rilla Neafsey Dean and Vice Provost of Cornell Tech; and Scott Belsky '02, an entrepreneur, author, investor and currently chief product officer and executive vice president, Creative Cloud, at Adobe. Belsky co-hosts the event.

Register now to join the event in New York City.  The event will also be livestreamed via Cornell’s alumni affairs and development channels.

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