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The Student Startup Showcase: Empowering the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

2 Mins read

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Exploring the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Cornell University is renowned for its tradition of entrepreneurship and innovation. It has produced countless entrepreneurs who have gone on to create successful businesses and transform industries.

Recently, Cornell Silicon Valley hosted the Student Startup Showcase, where student entrepreneurs presented their businesses to a panel of mentors, entrepreneurs, alumni, and Silicon Valley professionals.

The purpose of this event was to support and empower the next generation of entrepreneurs. The event included keynote speakers, business pitch presentations, and representation from Cornell programs that help startups get off the ground.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the Student Startup Showcase and its main features.

Keynote Speakers

The event kicked off with Krystyn J. Van Vliet’s keynote presentation. She is the Vice President of Research & Innovation at Cornell University and a driving analyst within the field of materials science and engineering. Her conversation centered on the critical part that education and research play in driving development and business enterprise.

Amy Bunszel, Senior Vice President of Design and Creation Products at Autodesk, also gave introductory remarks. Autodesk is a leading software company that provides tools for designers and engineers. Her talk focused on the importance of design and creativity in entrepreneurship.

Business Pitch Presentations

The main feature of the Student Startup Showcase was the business pitch presentations. Student entrepreneurs presented their businesses to a panel of mentors, entrepreneurs, alumni, and Silicon Valley professionals.

The presentations were followed by feedback and Q&A sessions. The pitches covered a wide range of industries, including healthcare, education, food and beverage, and software.

Some standout ideas included a smart pill dispenser that reminds patients to take their medication, a learning platform that uses AI to personalize education, and a plant-based food company that aims to reduce carbon emissions.

Cornell Programs

Representatives from a number of Cornell programs were in attendance to provide support and resources for the student entrepreneurs.

These programs include eLab, which provides mentorship and resources for startups, and the Runway Startups Program from Cornell Tech, which helps early-stage companies get off the ground.

In addition to the programs themselves, Justin Smithline MBA ’04 and Aaron Walls MBA ’14 provided mentorship during the showcase. Both of them are successful entrepreneurs and have experience in the startup space.

Empowering Student Entrepreneurs

The Student Startup Showcase was a phenomenal opportunity for student entrepreneurs to display their businesses and get criticism from a board of specialists. The event highlighted the importance of education, research, design, and mentorship in the world of entrepreneurship.


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