Seventeen eLab Teams Advance to Spring Semester

Seventeen eLab Teams Advance to Spring Semester

Of the 28 teams that completed eLab, Cornell’s student startup accelerator, this fall, 17 startups are continuing their progress by participating in the Spring cohort after having proven their business ideas. 

 As Cornell’s entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to grow, so do the startups vying for a spot in the eLab program. With the fall cohort having a record number of student startups, this spring cohort followed the same pattern. 

 “The eLab program continues to grow yearly through both quantity and quality of student startups looking for a spot,” said Ken Rother, managing director of eLab and lecturer at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. “Watching the progress of startups throughout the fall semester made for another extremely competitive selection process moving forward into the spring, and we are excited to welcome such a high number.” 

 The 17 teams progressing to the spring were invited back after significantly improving and progressing this fall while participating in the business accelerator. Throughout the fall, student startups underwent intensive entrepreneurial boot camps that helped build upon their ideas and prototypes to fit a market need. This consisted of various interviews, pitches, meetings with mentors and Cornell alumni, fine-tuning or refining business plans, and more.  

 Culture Care, formerly known as Harmony’s Room, founded by Harmony Prado ’24, is one of the teams advancing to the spring semester. Culture Care is a digital mental health platform that connects high school students to mental health professionals of color and culturally competent resources. The startup made evident progress throughout the fall semester. 

 “We gained access to educational resources, expert insights from advisors and our amazing teaching team. eLab moved extremely quickly, we learned to fail fast and pivot quickly. I’ve learned about this business model canvas before this accelerator, but having each section broken down and made applicable to our startup has increased our understanding and sharpened our business development on a significant scale. I am so proud that our team was able to generate 4 clients by the end of the semester,” Prado said. 

 The 17 teams that were “ready” to move into the spring cohort validated their business ideas and showed noteworthy development. The spring program is an expansion of the progress already made by student startups and allows for further growth of their ideas, products, and network. 

 Richlove Nkansah ‘26, also a member of Culture Care, expresses goals for the spring to help the company expand. 

 “In the spring, we are looking forward to growing more as business owners and utilizing our network of connections to make an impact beyond our community. Through eLab, we learned the importance of connection and dedication. The path less traveled gets harder as we go, however the resilience, bootcamps, and advisory board meetings from people who’ve been in our shoes serves as inspiration for us,” Nkansah said. 

 The teams that did not advance received valuable insight, such as potential next steps for their business, Cornell’s entrepreneurial resources, or for some startups, realizing their idea may not be as suitable for the market as they thought. With new insights comes new opportunities for the students and their startups such as refinement, next steps, resources needed, and more. 

 During the spring semester, student startups will continue to receive guidance, mentorship, and advice from a variety of resources as they prepare for launch. There will be opportunities to present their ideas and progress to potential investors and the Cornell entrepreneurial network, including a West Coast event, “Cornell Silicon Valley Presents: Student Startup Showcase,” from 6 to 8:30 p.m. PST March 28 at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. 

 “This event is a huge opportunity for startups to connect with alumni on the West Coast, receive mentorship, and access new customers, all of which helps in expanding their network and connections nationwide,” Rother said. 

 eLab student startups will pitch on eLab Demo Day at 4:30 p.m. April 11 during Entrepreneurship at Cornell Celebration to wrap up the program. 

 The students and startups taking place in the eLab spring semester: 

  • AREA, Calvin Lee ’24, Morris Lee MS ‘23, Ellis Wright MS ‘24 
  • Aunt Flo’s Kitchen, Armita Jamshidi ’25 
  • GradeWiz, Max Bohun ’25 
  • GreeneAcres Processing, MBA students Hailee Greene and Danielle Falcon ‘24 
  • Culture Care, Harmony Prado ’24, Richlove Nkansah ’26, JJ Bai ’25, Jepthah Mensah ’26 and Wen Li ’24 
  • JUJI Foods, Allison Chhay ’24 and Kaylee Yin ’25 
  • Let Divvy, MBA student Derby Elizabeth ‘24 
  • MAC Distraction Systems, M.D./M.Eng. students Kyle Zappi and Myles Wood ‘25 
  • Map Ctown, Peyton Johnson ’24 
  • Mr. EzPz, Alsa Khan ’25 and Muhammad Jee ’25 
  • North Garden, M.P.S. student Kristina Mikhailov ‘24 
  • Olux, MBA student Ryan Collins ‘24 
  • PhytoFlock, MBA student Albert Charles ‘25 
  • smpl, Jean Salamoun ’25, Karim Pareja ’24 and Talal Alhusayni ’25 
  • Spekld, Jonah Gershon ’24 
  • TEKS, Rachel Bonnet ’24, Jeff Yang ’25 and M.Eng. student David Bruk-Rodriguez 
  • Teral, Sokhnadiarra Ndiaye ‘24 

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