Entrepreneurship Celebration

Cornell University, Ithaca NY

April 11 – 12, 2024


Entrepreneurship at Cornell’s Celebration is a two day entrepreneurship conference held every spring to bring together students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community participants. Highlights this year will include fireside chats with featured speakers, eLab Demo Day, Student Business of the Year recognition, the BenDaniel Venture Challenge, and the recognition of the 2024 Entrepreneur of the Year.


Autodesk logo
EY Building a better working world
Student Agencies Foundation
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
Armory Square Ventures logo
Center for Technology Licensing at Cornell University
Blackstone Charitable Foundation
Cornell Entrepreneur Network logo
Cornell Silicon Valley logo
Upstate Venture Connect


*denotes session will be livestreamed

April 10 – Wednesday

6:30 – 8:30 PM

Networking@Rev: Campus to Community Connections

Grab a drink and some delicious local eats as you relax and mingle with familiar faces, student startups, and some of the biggest companies in the local startup scene.

Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, 314 East State Street (Parking available at Seneca Street Garage, 215 North Tioga Street)
[Free & Open to the Public]

April 11 – Thursday

12:00 – 1:30 PM

AI, Startups, and the Law

An interactive session focused on legal complexities that startups face in the AI sector.  Ariel Soiffer from WilmerHale LLP will be leading the session and taking audience questions.

B09, Sage Hall

2:00 – 4:00 PM

Entrepreneurship at Cornell Advisory Council Meeting

Advisory Council members and invited guests only

Taylor Room, Statler Hotel

4:30 – 6:30 PM*

eLab Demo Day

Discover Cornell’s leading student startups at eLab Demo Day. In this special presentation, startups from eLab, Cornell’s student accelerator program, showcase their businesses.

Statler Ballroom, Statler Hotel
eLab Demo Day Registration is Free & Open to the Public

6:30 – 8:00 PM

Networking Reception

Ballroom Foyer, Statler Hotel
[Free & Open to the Public]

April 12 – Friday 

All events taking place in the Statler Ballroom, Statler Hotel

8:30 – 10:00 AM

BenDaniel Venture Challenge and Breakfast

The BenDaniel Venture Challenge (BVC) is Big Red Venture’s annual pitch competition that gives five companies the chance to pitch their business ideas to a panel of investors. Companies based in New York state or with a Cornell affiliation are eligible to apply for their chance to win a $25,000 cash prize and an additional $25,000 in matching funds if the company’s technology is licensed through Cornell.

10:15 – 11:00 AM*

Tracy Luckow ’99, Co-Founder and President, Whipnotic

Whipnotic has revolutionized the flavor enhanced whipped cream industry. And the product will accompany our Celebration lunch!!

11:00 – 11:45 AM*

From Lab to Launch: The Power of Research-Backed Startups

Presented by Research & Innovation at Cornell University

Explore the dynamic intersection of academic research and translation. Learn how university-led research can launch innovative startups that attract investor interest, driving the convergence of academia and business to create ventures that can impact the world.

Anthony D’Amato, Postdoctoral Fellow, Founder and CEO, Anova Biomedical
Austin Hickman PhD ’21, Co-Founder and CEO, Soctera, Inc.

Moderated by Mehrnaz Sabet PhD Candidate, Founder and CEO, Elevate Autonomy

12:00 – 1:30 PM

Entrepreneurship Awards Lunch

BenDaniel Venture Challenge
Student Business of the Year
Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year

Lunch sponsored by Acquisition Group

1:45 – 2:30 PM*

Tim Barry ’93, Co-Founder, CEO and Board Chair, VillageMD

Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year 2024

Fireside chat moderated by Zach Shulman ’87, JD ’90, Director, Entrepreneurship at Cornell

2:30 – 3:15 PM*

Strategies to Engage Investors for Technology New Ventures

This panel invites a diverse group of investors, each offering a unique perspective on investing in early-stage technology startups in today’s environment.  Panelists will share their insights on what investors seek, how founders can effectively communicate their vision, and actionable strategies in the funding raising process.

Jonathan Greene ’93, MBA ’04, Investment Principal, New Climate Ventures
Theresa Mazzullo, CEO, Excell Partners, Inc.
Jennifer Tegan MBA ’01, Managing Director, NY Ventures, Empire State Development

Moderated by Alice Li ’95, PhD ’98, Executive Director, Center for Technology Licensing at Cornell University (CTL)

3:15 – 4:30 PM*

Inspiring Futures: A Reception to Empower a Modern Entrepreneurial Community

This reception is a call to action for all entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs to be, to share, learn from each other, break down barriers, and build a more inclusive and equitable entrepreneurial community.  This is an opportunity to network with conference attendees and empower your entrepreneurial journey.

Special guest Krystyn Van Vliet, Professor, Vice President for Research and Innovation, Materials Science, Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University

Sponsored by President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW) and Cornell’s Center for Technology Licensing (CTL)

Ballroom Foyer, Statler Hotel

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Entrepreneurship at Cornell?

EaC is a diverse, university-wide program that finds and fosters the entrepreneurial spirit in participants from every college, every field, and in every stage of life.

What is Student Business of the Year?

The Student Business of the Year (SBOY) is awarded to the student and/or team that is committed to developing and operating a successful business while pursuing an education. The award is determined by a selection committee and other criteria.

What is EaC Advisory Council?

The EaC Advisory Council is made up of alumni and other business leaders who are interested in fostering the growth of entrepreneurship at Cornell. Membership offers great networking and mentorship opportunities while learning about new initiatives and getting frequent updates on our program and the Cornell entrepreneurship ecosystem.

How can I stay up to date on all entrepreneurial things at Cornell?

Join our listserv! There are multiple events and news items that come out each week to keep you “in the know” of everything entrepreneurial at Cornell. Scroll to the bottom of this page to find the listserv form in the footer.

– Zach Shulman ’87 JD ’90, Director – Entrepreneurship at Cornell

Featured Speakers and Moderators