A&S students compete in December business competitions

A total of 17 entrepreneurial students from the College of Arts & Sciences were part of teams who shared plans for new businesses in two online December events — the Big Idea Competition and eLab Early Stage Pitch event.

Ten of the 21 teams accepted into eLab this year include students from the College of Arts & Sciences and two teams in the Big Idea Competition were led by Arts & Sciences students. Both events are sponsored by Entrepreneurship at Cornell, with eLab also being supported by Student Agencies Foundation and the Big Idea Competition also powered by Life-Changing Labs.

“It is wonderful to see such cross-campus diversity on our student teams," said Zach Shulman ’87, J.D. ’90, director of Entrepreneurship at Cornell. "When students from multiple schools, colleges and programs at Cornell join forces, the outcomes are stronger and more compelling.” 

eLab is a business accelerator that accepts student teams for a yearlong experience of developing their businesses. eLab students take 5.5 credits of courses in the fall and spring semesters and receive one-on-one mentoring, legal consultations, a $5,000 investment in their business, a coworking space, access to pitch events in Ithaca and New York City (during a normal non-COVID year) and engagement opportunities with other student entrepreneurs.

“Unlike other courses where you’re learning the theory of entrepreneurship, in eLab you’re putting the theory into practice and you’re learning how to launch a business,” said Ken Rother, managing director of eLab and a visiting lecturer in the Johnson Graduate School of Management.

screenshot of Zoom meeting
Abhivad Prasad ’20, one of the founders of Elixir, top right corner, introduces his team during the Dec. 2 eLab pitch event.
Abhivad Prasad ’20, Aditya Narayanan ’21 and Ananth Palaniappan ’21 are three of the students involved in eLab, with their business Elixir, a software system they say could improve patient satisfaction with their hospital experience and help doctors and nurses better serve patients.

Their  product helps hospital managers manage the vast amounts of feedback they receive from patients through surveys, comments and other sources.

“The entire organization can use dashboards, reports and project tracking to dig deep into the root causes of their patient dissatisfaction,” Prasad said during the eLab pitch event Dec. 2.

Other A&S students involved in eLab include: Annie Sheng PhD ’21, Ariana Gamarra ’21, Tyler Weisman ’22, Abenazer Mekete ’22, Anna Hu ’22, Elsie Wei ’23, Ruoxi Li ’22, Jack Stettner ’22, Rafael Bastidas ’22, Jordyn Goldzweig ’21, Max Brickman ’23, Sam Brickman ’21, Jason Chen ’22 and Longsha Liu ’20.

In the Dec. 4 Big Idea Competition, two students also led teams: Reem Abdalla ’21 pitched Decolonial Doula, an online shopping experience that redefines conscious consumerism in the wellness industry; and Sam Brickman ’21 pitched ProperBid, software that connects property managers to bidding contractors.

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