Entrepreneurship celebration recognizes Cornellian startups
By Grace Collins
Statler Hall will fill with hundreds of Cornell students, faculty and alumni on Thursday and Friday, April 13-14, for the Entrepreneurship at Cornell Celebration, an annual event for the entrepreneurial community that recognizes Cornellian startup successes.
In addition to panel discussions and fireside chats, the conference will recognize Barry J. Beck ’90 as the 2023 Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year. It will also feature eLab Demo Day, the culminating pitch presentations from students in the current cohort of eLab, Cornell’s student startup accelerator.
“Our team couldn’t be more excited about the lineup of events at this year’s Celebration,“ said Zach Shulman ’87, J.D. ’90, director of Entrepreneurship at Cornell. “Between our alumni speakers, awards presentations and eLab Demo Day, attendees are in store for a truly inspiring and energetic two days.”
Beck, a graduate of the ILR School, co-founded Bluemercury, a luxury beauty brand that was acquired by Macy’s in 2015. In 2016, he established the Marla and Barry ’90 Beck Entrepreneurship Fellows Program, which provides funding for Cornell students to explore entrepreneurial pursuits. Beck will be recognized by President Martha E. Pollack during a luncheon celebration on April 14, where he’ll also announce the winner of the Cornell Student Business of the Year award.
eLab Demo Day, held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. April 13 in the Statler Auditorium, is a chance for attendees to discover and connect with Cornell’s leading student startups. Through the year-long program, students from across Cornell’s colleges are led through entrepreneurship curriculum to test the viability of their business ideas.
Notable eLab alumni include Rosie, recently acquired by Instacart, and senior hearing technology Eversound. The event is free and open to the public.
“These 11 teams have put in a lot of hard work over the last several months to learn from mentors, conduct customer discovery and hone their business ideas,” said Ken Rother, managing director of eLab and lecturer at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. “Celebration allows them a platform to share their progress and potential with the world.”
Prior to Demo Day, attendees are invited to join eLab alumni Adele Smolansky ’23, CEO and founder of AI-Learners, and Rosie founder Nick Nickitas, MBA ’14, for a “Where Are They Now?” panel. Held from 3:30-4 p.m. in the Statler Amphitheater, the two will share insights on how the accelerator positioned them to meet their goals and build successful startups.
Other notable Celebration events include:
- BenDaniel Venture Challenge – business pitch competition on April 13, 12:30-1:45 p.m., Statler Amphitheater;
- WE Cornell: From STEM Researcher to Founder – panel on April 13, 2:30-3 p.m., Statler Amphitheater;
- Pathways to Angel Investing – keynote panel on April 14, 9-9:45 a.m., Statler Ballroom; and
- Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Biology Driven AI – fireside chat on April 14, 11-11:45 a.m., Statler Ballroom.
Visit the Celebration website to see the full agenda of events, view the guest list and register to attend.
Grace Collins is a marketing communications coordinator for the Center for Regional Economic Advancement.