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Cornell Life Sciences Technology Innovation Fellowship announces 2023-24 cohort 

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

After its inaugural cycle in 2022-23, Cornell University’s Life Sciences Technology Innovation Fellowship, formerly known as the BioEntrepreneurship Initiative, enters its second year with a new cohort of 15 business students and 12 researchers who are eager to embark on their journeys to becoming C-suite startup leaders.

The Life Sciences Technology Innovation Fellowship started as an effort to bridge the gap between Ph.D. and MBA students at Cornell, with an interest in getting life science innovations into the hands of customers. The program provides students with the entrepreneurial mindset, training, and judgement to aid them in developing ventures in the life sciences. The fellowship’s unique structure pairs doctoral researchers across Cornell’s campuses with graduate business students to collaborate on real-world startup design and testing.

“Even after just one year of programming, the Life Sciences Technology Innovation Fellowship is well on its way to creating a pipeline of leaders that will advance the life sciences industry in New York state and globally,” said program director Gregory Ray, Ph.D. ‘14. “We’re excited to continue building on last year’s success and providing a collaborative space where participants can think beyond the bounds of their respective programs.”

When it was established as the BioEntrepreneurship Initiative in its first year, the program immediately gained traction. Over a series of six monthly, in-person workshops that alternated location between Ithaca and New York City, participants interacted with more than 50 investors, founders, and industry leaders, gaining perspective to apply to their entrepreneurial endeavors. The success of the BioEntrepreneurship Initiative identified a framework that could easily be applied to other industries, inspiring the creation of the Green Technology Innovation Fellowship and prompting the name change to the Life Sciences Technology Innovation Fellowship.

Throughout the course of the year, business and research participants will be matched with one another to form teams and take part in workshops that will cover various topics to lay a foundation for startup creation.

“I aspire to gain hands-on experience with strategy, implementation, and VC interaction regarding a startup,” said Eman Said, MBA ‘24, a member of this year’s cohort. “I hope to hone my skills as an MBA in the life sciences and healthcare while expanding my network throughout the next year.”

Meet the business students of the 2023-24 Life Sciences Technology Innovation Fellowship cohort:

  • Swarnima Gupta, Cornell Tech MBA ‘24
  • Jace Hammer, Cornell Tech MBA ‘24
  • Tanisha Kulkarni, Cornell Tech MBA ‘24
  • Darby Marx, Cornell Tech MBA ‘24, Weill Cornell Medicine MD candidate
  • Aakash Nareshkumar, Cornell Tech MBA ’24
  • Sofia Quinones-Vilela, MHA ‘24
  • Ryan Ries, Ph.D. ‘23, Cornell Tech MBA ‘24
  • Eman Said, MBA ‘24
  • Ananya Sen, EMBA/M.S. Healthcare Leadership ‘24
  • Reema Shah, EMBA/M.S. Healthcare Leadership ‘24
  • Samyukta Singh, MHA ‘24
  • Kara Styers, MBA ‘24
  • Evan Trofimchuk, MBA ‘24
  • Daniel Volshteyn, MHA ‘24
  • Ce Wang, MBA ‘24

“I hope to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental principles of biotech-focused entrepreneurship by gaining real life experience in startup creation, business strategy, and taking science beyond the bench,” said Berkiye (Bee) Sonustun, a neuroscience Ph.D. candidate at Weill Cornell Medicine conducting research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).

Meet the researchers of the 2023-24 Life Sciences Technology Innovation Fellowship cohort:

  • Stephanie Azzopardi (Weill Cornell Medicine), Physiology, Biophysics, and Systems Biology, MD-Ph.D. candidate
  • Ron Baik (Weill Cornell Medicine/MSKCC), BCMB, Ph.D. candidate
  • Cátia Dombaxe, Biomedical Engineering, Ph.D. candidate
  • Alexander Epstein (Rockefeller University), Bioscience, Ph.D. candidate
  • Shi Feng, Biophysics, Ph.D. candidate
  • Shobhita Gupta, Biophysics, Ph.D. candidate
  • Yuexing Hao, Human Centered Design, Ph.D. candidate
  • Rui Huang, Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular Biology, Ph.D. candidate
  • Nisha Kannan, Biomedical Engineering, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Conor Loy, Genetics, Genomics, and Development, Ph.D. candidate
  • Nada Naguib, Biomedical Engineering, Ph.D. candidate
  • Berkiye (Bee) Sonustun (Weill Cornell Medicine/MSKCC), Neuroscience, Ph.D. candidate

The Life Sciences Technology Innovation Fellowship is funded by Empire State Development, the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, and a Zalaznick Teaching Assistantship Award from Entreprenurship at Cornell. The program is administered by Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement, with participants completing a certificate at the conclusion of the program.

The 2023-24 Life Sciences Technology Innovation Fellowship will officially get underway when the program hosts its first workshop on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Ithaca, New York.


Full story: Life Sciences Technology Innovation Fellowship announces 2023-24 cohort | Cornell Chronicle

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