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.

Marla Beyer

“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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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Earn Into Wealth offers guideposts to building wealth

Kaya Ladejobi, MBA ’13, is founder of Earn Into Wealth, a financial planning firm focused on helping women and people of color build wealth.

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Glyph: Pure, minimalist fashion

Pranav Sachdev and Alan Lau, both MBA ’17, founded Glyph digitally knit shoes. They’re vegan, recyclable, and designed to be your only pair of shoes.

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Jessica Rolph’s journey from Cornell student to MBA to cofounder of two best-selling brands

Jessica Rolph ’97, MBA ’04, CEO of Lovevery, talks about purpose, partnerships, getting acquired, and starting up all over again.

Photos of the three men who founded Physician Promise

EMBA Metro NY students take teamwork to the next level with business ideation

Three EMBA Metro NY students combine classroom lessons and group experience to form a diverse team and launch a telemedicine business.

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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.

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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.

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Big Red Venture Fund

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.

Learn More


Entrepreneurship Club

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.

Learn More

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Certificate Program for Johnson MBAs

The BioEntrepreneurship Fellowship at Cornell University offers Johnson MBAs and life science researchers from across Cornell’s campuses the opportunity to immerse themselves in real-world startup creation. Participants receive the tools, training, and connections they need to launch their own life science startups through a certificate program offered by the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Apply Now for BioEntrepreneurship Fellowship

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Learn from experts in entrepreneurship

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.


Mukti Khaire

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.


Stephen Sauer

Senior lecturer
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.

Tom Schryver

Tom Schryver

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.

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Explore Johnson's Academic Programs

Johnson offers several graduate degree programs for candidates with a range of experiences, academic backgrounds, and interests. See which program will best support your entrepreneurial goals.