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Entrepreneurship at Johnson
Hone your expertise. Build your network. Launch a startup.
Entrepreneurs recognize and pursue new opportunities, build teams and business models, and assess and acquire the necessary resources to create value.
Johnson offers the courses, resources, mentoring, and networking you’ll need to develop a business plan and marketing strategy and pitch your new venture in competitions and to investors. Evaluate startup ideas, create and test prototypes, validate your direction, or pivot based on customer feedback. Johnson ranked #6 in 2021 Poets&Quants World’s Best MBA Programs for Entrepreneurship.
“I can’t say enough how lucky I feel to have landed at Johnson and to have been connected to such an incredible network of mentors who are so invested in you and in ensuring you have the tools and resources at your disposal to bring whatever idea you may have and seeing it come to life. Johnson has set me up, and I attribute the success of where we are today to being able to build my education here.”
Learn More About Marla's Startup
Marla Beyer, MBA/MHA ’20, co-founder and CEO of Hopscotch, a pediatric behavioral health platform
Conceive, create, and launch a new venture
Sharpen your entrepreneurial expertise—apply what you learn by collaborating on a new venture.
Ideate, create, evaluate, and collaborate with researchers, teammates, mentors, entrepreneurs, and investors to build and launch a startup within Cornell’s comprehensive entrepreneurial ecosystem. Choose from more than 20 courses to guide the way.
Ithaca-based MBA Programs
Entrepreneurship & Innovation Area of Focus
Connect with students across disciplines, including PhD students in engineering or agricultural science, and focus your elective choices, which have led to some of Cornell’s most successful startup ventures.
Johnson & eLab Collaboration
Actualizing Your Startup Series
Students on admitted eLab teams enhance their business and entrepreneurial skills by putting theoretical concepts into practice. You’ll start and grow your own company in a team environment.
Executive MBA Metro NY
Innovation and New Venture Creation Project
Explore the role of innovation in new and established organizations in your third term of the EMBA Metro NY program. You’ll complete a design-thinking immersion and a major, team-based project.
Tools to plan your startup strategy
Tap into the right resources for every stage of the startup lifecycle with Johnson’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Networking events and workshops at the business incubator Rev: Ithaca Startup Works
Co-working spaces, hackathons, and pitch days at Rev and eHub
Entrepreneurship at Cornell’s two-day conference on campus and its summit in New York City
Monthly Pitches and Pitchers events hosted by eClub, Johnson’s entrepreneurship club
Entrepreneurship mentoring, support, and connections through Blackstone LaunchPad
eLab, a highly competitive Cornell student accelerator that launches 8–12 real businesses each year
The BR Startup Suite of student-run entrepreneurship services, including the BR Venture Fund, BR Consulting, BR Tech Strategy, and BR Microenterprise
The Professor Vrinda Kadiyali Student Entrepreneur Fund summer stipends for students pursuing entrepreneurial ventures
The Jonas Weil Entrepreneur Fellowship Fund loan forgiveness relief for budding Johnson alumni entrepreneurs
“Before I knew it I was creating a business plan, projections, and marketing strategy for Grow-NY, a New York State grant competition, and we ended up walking away with $250,000. I was able to take everything I had been learning over the past year or so and put it right into a startup and see results. It was really exciting.”
Read More About Lana
Lana Farrell, MBA ’20, business development manager for Combplex, a startup that helps beekeepers eliminate mites that threaten honeybee hive health
A launchpad for aspiring entrepreneurs
Johnson’s robust entrepreneurship community will position you for startup success.
Johnson graduates have founded successful startups in a wide variety of industries, including financial services, medicine, education, apparel, and hospitality, to name just a few. Many of them are tech-focused or tech-fueled enterprises. Here are just a few.
Three EMBA Metro NY students combine classroom lessons and group experience to form a diverse team and launch a telemedicine business.
Academic opportunities and entrepreneurial experiences
Engage in hands-on experiences in every aspect and stage of new ventures, from ideation to launch.
Johnson’s curriculum, student clubs, and student-managed services give you direct startup experience, from assessing an idea and creating a business plan to building and leveraging your network and practicing your pitch.
Studio Curriculum for Johnson Cornell Tech MBAs
During Studio, you’ll collaborate with a multidisciplinary, cross-functional group of Cornell Tech classmates to develop a technology-driven solution for a real client. Next, develop a new business idea from concept to launch.
BR Venture Fund’s student managers invest in early-stage companies and connect them with resources, expertise, and new technologies at Cornell. BRV operates out of Cornell’s main campus in Ithaca and Cornell Tech in New York City.
Johnson’s Entrepreneurship Club (known as eClub) connects members with the broader Johnson and Cornell entrepreneurship community and hosts a monthly Pitches and Pitchers event where members practice their pitches and get feedback.
Take courses with faculty who have years of experience both advising entrepreneurs and as entrepreneurs themselves.
Johnson offers a rich selection of entrepreneurship courses taught by faculty with deep expertise in founding, financing, managing, and growing new ventures. Learn more about a few of Johnson’s entrepreneurship experts below.
Girish and Jaidev Reddy Professor of the Practice at Cornell Tech
Khaire’s research focuses on entrepreneurship in the creative industries. She is the author of Culture and Commerce: The Value of Entrepreneurship in Creative Industries, which explores the relationship between art and business.
Sauer’s research and teaching activities focus on issues of leadership, team processes, entrepreneurship, and status and diversity in management. He is an entrepreneur in residence at Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement and at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works.
Visiting lecturer and David J. BenDaniel Faculty Advisor for BR Ventures
An experienced entrepreneur, angel investor, startup founder, and senior executive of high-growth companies, Schryver has successfully structured new companies and raised capital in the form of private venture capital, venture debt, grants, and loans.
Find courses to support your ambitions—from evaluating new business ideas to designing and financing a startup.
You’ll have the opportunity to take entrepreneurship courses and electives across Johnson’s academic programs. Explore a sampling of entrepreneurship offerings below.
Enhance your business and entrepreneurship learning by putting theoretical concepts into practice in starting and growing your own company in a team environment. Faculty serve as coaches, guides, mentors, teachers, and assistants to the teams, and coordinate the involvement of a number of high-profile mentors from the startup and venture capital communities.
Learn about the concepts and frameworks in entrepreneurship and how to “do” entrepreneurship. Students form teams, ideate new businesses, complete customer development, construct business models, and work toward defining minimum viable products.
The course provides a hand-on experience for learning the key philosophies and tactics of entrepreneurial activity and the entrepreneurial mindset, including the development of a viable business concept, meaningful customer discovery, the evaluation and planning of the start-up businesses, marketplace analysis, financing, and operations. Understand how to start a new business venture by building and communicating the framework for a viable business.
Learn strategies for creating and growing market-leading firms in various creative industries. The course is designed for students who are interested in creative work and creative industries and are inspired to start, work, consult for, or invest in large and small creative, high-impact firms.
This course is designed to embed a greater appreciation for the role of entrepreneurial thinking in the minds of all students, regardless of your entrepreneurial intent. By the end of the course, you should be able to differentiate between an idea and a true business opportunity, assess a business plan, pitch a business opportunity, and realize how to capitalize on new venture opportunities.
This course explores the rising interest in practicing capitalism in order to benefit society as a whole. Learn to identify your core passion and how to make that the centerpiece of your entrepreneurial path.
Learn how the capital investment process works, including how to source a pre-seed/seed stage startup investment opportunity, evaluate the startup for investment, create an investment memorandum, and pitch your investment recommendation to an investment committee.