Rhett L. Weiss

Rhett L. Weiss

EII Executive Director's Message

EII Director 4/18/2012 10:02 AM RssIcon
By Rhett Weiss on 5/9/2014 5:00 PM
The January – March 2014 quarter saw a first for Cornell: In partnership with MasterCard and MasterCard Labs, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (EII) launched the MasterCard Innovation Express (MCIE) competition at Cornell. This is the first MCIE to be held on a university campus. MCIE challenges four selected teams to leverage MasterCard technology to deliver a new MasterCard product or solution that will appeal to university students and/or young professionals.

Each team of eight has six students — including MBAs, engineers, graphics artists, and videographers — plus two MasterCard employees. They will convene in Ithaca to create prototypes, plans, and videos during a 48-hour hackathon starting Friday, May 2. The teams then will pitch their concepts the following Sunday to judges both for prizes and the possibility that MasterCard will commercialize the best concepts. Among last quarter’s repeats:

Project Mentors Program. Through PMP, EII again has connected 12 MBA...
By Rhett Weiss on 3/8/2013 2:43 PM
EII Ramps Up:  A Period of Both Expansion and Convergence

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (EII) has started 2013 on a roll, continuing to launch several new initiatives and expand existing ones to benefit the diverse stakeholders of our entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems.  In everything that we do, we try to create or facilitate synergistic opportunities -- where industry and academic resources converge, classroom learning and experiential learning converge, business and tech converge, local and global converge, or research and practical application converge.

We finished the 2012 academic year with 14 EII Fellows Program (EIIFP) members.  We now have 60.  They represent all four MBA programs and a wide range of interests, backgrounds, and geographies.  EIIFP members either have supported or started a variety of EII initiatives.  Here are just four examples.

First, several members have been actively involved in BR Tech Transfer (BRT).  BRT’s mission is to help Cornell commercialize more technology faster.  Last Fall, these students launch the first set of reviews with CCTEC Portfolio Managers, analyzing the business case surrounding various Cornell discoveries/inventions and making recommendations about taking these to market.  BRT is poised for further growth and engagement with CCTEC, not just in Ithaca but also at Weill Cornell in NYC.

By Rhett Weiss on 4/18/2012 1:14 PM
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute has started 2012 with gusto, launching several initiatives to benefit students, faculty, and alumni alike.  We now have 60 Fellows Candidates representing all four MBA programs in our EII Fellows Program and a wide range of supportive programming and activities.

Besides relevant coursework, these students are involved in EII’s daily business, including consulting engagements, strategic alliances, and internship programs, and must complete major capstone projects that have lasting impact and value to Johnson and Cornell.  The EII Project Mentors Program, started by EII Fellow Candidates, places current fulltime MBA students with startup project teams in undergraduate engineering classes.  Each mentor guides a team to focus on the most critical business issues in tech commercialization and company formation.  Mentors, mentees, and faculty are seeing the advantages of this partnership and look forward to the end-of-semester presentations and judging.