How it Works

eLab presents a unique opportunity to receive classroom credit for doing what you love – developing and growing your startup! Students receive 4.5 credits over the school year split between Fall and Spring semesters.

eLab is a Year-Long Program

Over the course of 1 year, all of our eLab teams will learn a great deal and build an outstanding network for immediate or future success.  Before applying to eLab we encourage all potential applicants to prepare by reading over the Preparing for eLab page.


The eLab admission process is highly competitive. For those looking to prepare, we have many resources available to help you refine your concepts, strengthen your team, and improve your own entrepreneurial skill set.

NYC Pitch Night

Fall ends with the eLab NYC Pitch Night built to forge relationships between eLab startups and prospective advisors and future mentors.

Spring Programming

Starting Spring semester, we will switch gears bringing in experienced entrepreneurs to connect and advise eLab startups. Teams will be expected to have product-market fit by this time so they may work primarily on sales and pitching skills. We will also determine which “track” each team should be on – Are they ready to look for investment? Should they be focused on getting into a professional accelerator instead? Is the startup better suited to bootstrap and grow operations rather than look for outside help?

Conclusion of Program

eLab’s program concludes in early May. We expect eLab companies to now: 1) Seek funding from investors they met at eLab Demo Day, 2) Gain acceptance into professional accelerators, 3) Bootstrap or raise a “family and friend” round to grow or 4)  Pivot to a new direction or close up shop (part of startup reality).

Fall Programming

Fall programming will focus on customer discovery and the path to product-market fit. For more advanced startups, we have more individualized planning but will still expect all teams to participate in going through an extensive customer discovery process. Students regularly meet with eLab Instructors and engage with eLab alum.

Winter Break Push & Cuts

Teams are re-evaluated on the progress made over the fall semester and the cohort narrows in the spring based off a pre-determined rubric instructors use to evaluate teams’ performance and business models.

Demo Day

eLab’s Demo Day is one of the highlights during the Entrepreneurship at Cornell Celebration event in April. eLab startups get the opportunity to present their businesses and progress made during the program in front of a large crowd of 300+ people which includes angel and VC investors and many Cornell alumni passionate about entrepreneurship.

Ready to apply to eLab?

Apply Now