During eLab Demo Day on April 13 at the Statler Hall Auditorium, the 11 student teams who compose the spring cohort of this year’s student business accelerator pitched their innovative business ideas to a crowd of nearly 200 attendees, illustrating the progress that they made over the year-long intensive.

“We tell students that entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Ken Rother, managing director of eLab and lecturer at the Cornell S.C. Johnson College of Business. “This is around the first watering station for them. The finish line is way off in the distance.”

Demo Day in Ithaca, which took place during Entrepreneurship at Cornell’s annual Celebration conference, marked the third and final pitch event for the cohort. The eLab student teams also recently presented to the West Coast Cornell community at Cornell Silicon Valley Presents: Student Startup Showcase on March 30 at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco.  

A commonality among several of the student startups that pitched at both events was how their business models have evolved over the year after conducting countless customer discovery interviews throughout the programming.

Several eLab alumni were recognized during the two-day Celebration event. 2022 eLab alumna Kayla Wooley, MBA ’22, founder of StaffOnTap, took home the $25,000 grand prize in Big Red Ventures’ BenDaniel Venture Challenge for her digital marketplace that connects temporary nurses to understaffed nursing homes. 2021 eLab alumna Adele Smolansky ’23, won $7,500 for her educational technology platform AI-Learners, being awarded a Ronald ’57 and Federick ’86 Fichtl Innovation Award ($2,500) and Ron G. Kermisch Innovation Award ($5,000) in the Cornell Engineering Innovation Competition.

To read more about eLab Demo Day and the entire Celebration event, access the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.