Johnson Entrepreneurship Track
A world-class entrepreneurship ecosystem
The Johnson Entrepreneurship Track builds on the MBA curriculum to support students in development of their business ideas through an immersive 2-year program geared towards helping entrepreneurially-minded MBA students launch new businesses.
MBA students at Cornell University have the opportunity to take a number of courses based on their interests. Students interested in the entrepreneurship track can take entrepreneurial-focused courses to compliment their MBA experience. Entrepreneurship offerings include: Designing New Ventures, Entrepreneurial Strategy, Big Red Ventures, etc. Find the full list of entrepreneurship courses here.
Learn more about academic offerings
Entrepreneurship MBA Track:
- IDEATION: BRTS, Interdisciplinary Networking, & Ideation Workshops
- DESIGNING NEW VENTURES: Assemble Team & Develop Startup Vision (NBA 5640)
- eLab Sketch: ustomer Discovery & Product Development
- eLab: Bootcamps & Weekly One-on-Ones (NBA 6230)
- eLab: Actualizing Your Startup & Speaker Series (NBA 6330 & NBA 6860)
Students work with Cornell PhDs to develop a monetization strategy for their research, Great hands on practice around strategy and business models.
Student run venture fund, that provides hands on experience in the venture capital space. Students are exposed to an investor’s thought process, which allows students to better understand startup financing.
Extra-Curricular and Networking Opportunities
Providing a community of students looking to start their own companies, and is a place for students to pool resources to further develop each other as founders.
Meetups and Speakers
Students should attend campus meetups and guest speakers. This is a great way to deepen knowledge around entrepreneurship and meet students in other disciplines.
Hackathons and Conferences
Interdisciplinary exposure that allows students to network with other programs, and depend their knowledge around specific industries. These events will allow entrepreneurs to connect and understand key technical insights in select fields.
Rev Networking Nights
Students will receive exposure to the broader Ithaca startup community at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works.
Funding and Fellowship Opportunities
The Professor Vrinda Kadiyali Student Entrepreneur Fund
Funds from this endowment created in 2019 by Stephen Smith’91, MBA’95 will support a Johnson MBA student’s participation in the Summer Startup. This is a new element of the Entrepreneurship Track developed by Tom Schryver’93, MBA’02, executive director of the Center for Regional Economic Advancement and a visiting lecturer of management at Johnson, and additional entrepreneurship teaching faculty. Summer Startup occurs between year 1 and year 2 of the two year MBA curriculum. We anticipate the stipend will be in the range of $10,000 per award with the goal to grow the support to cover five or more MBA students over time. A committee under the administration of the Dean will select the recipients and guide mentorship of the students throughout their summer experience.
The Jonas Weil Entrepreneur Fellowship Fund
Jonas Weil, ’58, MBA’59, who passed away in 2018, founded and grew Office Plus, a chain of temporary office space and services including telephone, printing and conference room space for business travelers while they were on the road. After selling the business in 1996, with encouragement from Professor David Ben Daniel, he created this fund. Jonas wanted to provide some relief for cash-strapped budding entrepreneurs in the form of funds for loan forgiveness. The fund serves Johnson alumni who start their own businesses or embark on other entrepreneurial ventures. There is an application selection process which must be completed annually, with parameters for eligible startups, types of loans which are eligible for repayment, and the amount which may be repaid per year not to exceed a maximum of five years. The fund has assisted more than 70 Johnson graduates since 1997.
Other Startup Resources
- The Center for Regional Economic Advancement at Cornell University fuels economic growth and diversity in Upstate New York through entrepreneurship and innovation.
- The eLab Student Accelerator at Cornell University launches 8-12 real businesses each year.
- Rev: Ithaca Startup Works is a business incubator and co-working space located in downtown Ithaca.
- Entrepreneurship at Cornell is a diverse, university-wide program that finds and fosters the entrepreneurial spirit in participants from every college, every field, and in every stage of life.
- The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars network helps students succeed in entrepreneurship and in their careers.
Johnson Alumni Entrepreneur Spotlights
Jessica Rolph, MBA ’04
Happy Family was named the top growing food company by Inc. Magazine. The company was acquired by Group Danone when it was generating gross sales of more than $90 million. Rolph’s newest venture, Loververy, is a play system for kids, tailored to their brain development at every stage.
Pablo Borquez, MBA ’15
ProducePay was named of the “25 Most Innovative AgTech Startups” by Forbes. The company is a supply chain startup that connects wholesale buyers with produce sellers. The platform fixes cash-flow problems by paying for a product the day after it is shipped, rather than the typical 30-to-25 day waiting period. The company has secured over $12.5 million in funding.
Jason Springs, MBA ’09
GeneWEAVE is a diagnostic technology to detect drug-resistant bacteria. The company was sold for $425 million to Roche Molecular Diagnostics, the world’s largest biotech company. Spring remains the head of marketing for GeneWEAVE, now a division of Roche Molecular Diagnostics and the company was able to retain all of its employees.