Family Reading Partnership: Sandra Creamer, Danny Hsu, Patti Torrettini
Sponsors: Brigid Hubberman and Katrina Morse
The Family Reading Partnership (FRP) is a local non-profit, start-up whose mission is to develop young readers and promote reading in families. The project included developing business plan to expand the program to other cities and position FRP for further funding. The project also helped FRP assess its impact on the community by administering a survey, which will be used as a baseline for measuring future progress. Finally, the project helped with operational issues including implementing new software, and creating marketing materials for use at community fairs, fundraisers, and conferences.
Future Stars Partnership: Matt Cohen, Eric Sass
Sponsor: Johnson at Cornell University
The Future Stars Partnership is a day college immersion program that will bring select underrepresented high school students from New York City to Cornell. Created by the Park Fellows, the mission of the Partnership is to help the students gain an appreciation for the college experience and admissions process while giving them an introduction to the business world and the stock market. Students will have the opportunity to develop leadership and teamwork skills on the Hoffman Challenge Course. The program will also include visits to companies in New York City.
Gendyne Therapeutics: Robert Collins
Sponsors: John Reilly, President and CEO; Adam Hammond, Chief Scientific Officer
Gendyne Therapeutics is an early-stage biopharmaceutical company that is commercializing nucleic acid delivery systems developed by researchers at Cornell. The project involved a variety of business start-up tasks, including budgeting and forecasting, business plan development, investor relations and capital raising activities, market research, and business development.
Home Regenerations: Jessica Berg, Amy Stepanian
Affiliations: Individual Families; American Red Cross of Tompkins County; Tompkins Community Action, Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, On Site Volunteer Services
Home Regenerations is a non-profit start-up launched by the Park Fellows last year. Home Regenerations refurbishes home interiors using volunteer labor and community donations, with the goal of providing attractive living spaces for low income families with children. Efforts this year included support for renovations of two family homes and the Red Cross shelter. The project also focused on developing a sustainable future through a partnership with On-Site Volunteers.
Ithaca Fine Chocolates: Jay Grayson, Salli Schwartz
Sponsor: Erika Fowler-Decatur, Owner
Ithaca Fine Chocolates is a local start-up company that is the first Fair Trade Certified chocolate company in the US. Its product is 100% organic, Fair Trade Certified, Swiss chocolate bars that feature an art reproduction on a collectible card inside the wrapper. The project assisted the company on a number of business issues including modeling the option of in-house production; exploring alternative chocolate sourcing strategies; implementing currency exposure management initiatives; improving the company's financial reporting systems; and analyzing the company's cost structures to evaluate product margins and overall business spending.
Laminare Technologies: Andy Blanco, Tom Strobel
Sponsors: Dr. Alexander Pechenik and Dr. Hector Abruna
Working in conjunction with Cornell's Center for Sustainable Business, this project helped launch Laminare Technologies, a start-up company that is commercializing the University's breakthrough micro-fuel cell technology. The project focused on the development of a preliminary business plan, strategies for overcoming barriers to entry, and assessing competitive technologies.
Lingua, LLC: Amol Desphande, Ashees Jain, Kate Rubenstein
Lingua is a pre-K and elementary school language training program launched by the Park Fellows. The purpose of Lingua is to complement the public school system by providing a means for children to learn languages earlier when their brains are more receptive to sounds and language structures. The project piloted a class in the fall 2004 and expanded to seven classes in several languages in the spring. Future plans include expanding the franchise to other cities by targeting women and minority ownership.
Novomer: Justin Grimm, Sunny Ommanney, Gordon Wilde
Sponsor: Cornell University, New Life Sciences Initiative
This project developed a standardized operating process for incubating companies in the New Life Sciences Initiative and its business incubator IDEA (Innovation Development and Economic Application) Center. The purpose of the IDEA Center is to provide space, resources, and education to Cornell faculty, students and staff who want to create a start-up business to commercialize technology that they have licensed from the University. Using Novomer as a pilot, the project successfully launched IDEA's first incubator start-up.
Out for Undergraduate Business Conference: Mark Mitchell, Justine Su
Sponsor: Johnson at Cornell University
The Out for Undergraduate Business Conference is an informal non-profit organization founded by the Park Fellows. The project focused on launching the first of a series of annual conferences hosted by different business schools across the county for educating, inspiring and attracting LGBT undergraduate students to business careers. The conference was successfully launched at Johnson in the Fall of 2004 and focused on investment banking and management consulting careers. Future conferences at other schools will expand into other industries.
Sunbeam Candles: Matt Dunker
Sponsor: David Gould, Owner
Sunbeam Candles is a local, earth-friendly, start-up candle maker. The project focused on developing and implementing management tools for improving the daily operation of the business. This included building an operation data tracking system and developing inventory controls to better manage employee work time. The project also included evaluating costs, and developing data bases to better manage operations.
Tompkins County Community Action: Rebecca Cain
Sponsors: Lee Dillon and Janette McCord
The mission of Tompkins County Community Action is to partner with low-income households and individuals to develop greater economic and social opportunities. The first aspect of the project examined ways in which the Head Start program could be more effectively organized, including a revised leadership structure and new management tools to optimize the group. The second aspect included assessing employee feedback on aspects of overall agency excellence and proposing action steps for moving toward that goal.
Tompkins County Community Foundation: Tim Alden, Joe Amante, Alan Christensen
Sponsors: Peg Hendricks, Executive Director; Samantha Castillo-Davis, Board Member
Launched in 2004, the Community Foundation of Tompkins County is a public supported non-profit institution operating as a charitable funding and grant making organization. This project developed a strategic marketing plan for the Foundation intended to help establish a stronger identity, expand local awareness, and promote its capabilities in serving the philanthropic needs of the community.