Forbes Ranks Cornell #4 for Entrepreneurship

In June 2013 I was appointed the head of the Entrepreneurship at Cornell program office (EaC) at Cornell University. Today, Forbes Magazine ranked Cornell #4 for entrepreneurship.  The ground work done by my predecessor John Jaquette paid off!  We have been building the Cornell eship program for a long time, and it is wonderful to see growing external recognition.  The Forbes ranking was based on ratio of (x) the number of alums and students that identify themselves as business founders and owners on LinkedIn to (y) the total student body.

You can read the online version of the article here, but when I just checked it, the overall ranking list was not showing.  The print version comes out August 18th, and I am guessing it will be included.  Cornell was behind Stanford, MIT and Cal Berkeley and the full ranking was 15 or 20 schools.

Cornell is obviously delighted with the article even though it misstates a few things.  It alluded to the EaC office as an “innovation office that distributes $1 million a year” (well, the EaC office budget is about $1 million a year – I wish that we could distribute that much!) and also to a new Downtown student co-working space of 10,000 sf (well, that would actually be in Collegetown, not Downtown, though Cornell is a primary partner in building a separate community based incubator Downtown).  But I would say the article was mostly factually accurate, which is great!

Go Big Red!

Best Colleges for Creating Billionaires

Business Insider published an interesting ranking last week, name the The Best Colleges For Becoming A Billionaire.  The ranking only includes 10 colleges/universities, and Cornell ranked #7.

Here is Cornell’s data (UHNW stands for Ultra High Net Wort, and the trigger is having over $30mm in assets):

7. Cornell University

Number of billionaire alumni: 14

Total billionaire wealth: $35 billion

Number of UHNW alumni: 528

Total UHNW wealth: $60 billion

Self-made wealth: 66%


I love to see that 66% of Cornell’s alumni billionaire are “self-made”.  That compares favorably with the other schools in the ranking and put Cornell in the middle of the pack.  Some of the wealth creation is quite staggering (Harvard).  Check out the ranking results – they are an easy read.

Cornell Entrepreneurship Summit NYC

I am delighted to let you know that the website and registration for the Cornell Entrepreneurship Summit NYC is live.  The Summit is November 7, 2014 at the NYTimes Center in midtown.  We have a fabulous line up of speakers.  Would love to see you there in November!

Summit features TED-style presentations with short moderated Q&A.  We will have 10 speakers in all (9 confirmed to date).  Think of Summit as a great eship event hosted by Cornell.  So, no Cornell affiliation required.  If you are interested in entrepreneurship, like hearing inspirational speakers and networking, then Summit is for you.


Street Cred Resume

I like creative resumes.  Videos are actually a wonderful way to get positive attention.  We have looked at a company or 2 in the student “transfolio” space (where a student has a dynamic transcript that contains video of projects, oral feedback from teachers, etc.).  We have not invested in this space primarily because it is very unclear if there is a willing paying customer (besides parents who can afford it) and a willing user (like the admissions office of a school or college).

Anyway, today a good friend of mine (thanks Dan) sent me this really funny short video (about 4 minutes), which is in fact proof a street credibility.  It is not a resume, but what a cool way to make your self stand out!  Worth considering, especially to a perspective employer.

The video features a musical artist from Ithaca.  You will learn a lot about Ithaca in the video.  Enjoy.  Here it is.

Entrepreneurship in New York: The Mismatch between Venture Capital and Academic R&D

I received this report yesterday: Entrepreneurship in New York ebook.  It is worth reviewing if you are interested in entrepreneurship and VC in upstate NY.  Good perspective though I am favorably biased towards activity that I see “up here”.  Our deal flow is strong and constantly growing.  It is actually better than ever.

I am including below the entire introductory email that came with the report.   Enjoy the long weekend.


Hello Friends and Colleagues,

We are pleased to pass along to you our recent paper “Entrepreneurship in New York: The Mismatch between Venture Capital and Academic R&D”.  The study was a collaborative effort between the SUNY Levin Institute, where it was initiated, the Research Foundation for SUNY, and SUNY Geneseo.

This study, which updates reports published by Excell Partners in 2009, confirmed that New York State continues to be exceptionally strong in academic R&D and innovation.  Academic R&D expenditures are now close to $6B annually.  NYS ranks #2 in the nation, second only to California for academic R&D, and this research is split almost evenly between upstate and downstate universities.  89% of this academic R&D is in the life and physical sciences. Relative to venture capital, the good news is that the state’s share of venture investment nationally rose from 4 percent ($1.2B of $29.9B) in 2007 to 7 percent ($1.8B of $26.5B) in 2012.  This rapid growth is almost entirely due to the ramp-up of company formation and investment in New York City.  In fact, 97% of this capital was committed downstate.  However, it was heavily focused on what we call “soft tech”. In 2012, 85% of the venture capital invested in NYS went to start-ups in information technology and the creative and commercial service industries.  Only 15% was invested in life and physical science companies and investments in the hard sciences are showing a decreasing trend.

As we continue to develop entrepreneurial ecosystems to build a stronger innovation-based economy in regions around the state, the extreme dichotomy of interests between NY’s strong R&D base and its rapidly expanding but localized venture investment pools is important to understand.  Identifying new sources of investment for hard science-based companies will be crucial for our success.  And new opportunities may emerge to utilize the significant investment pools focused on internet-enabled business to support new enterprises upstate.

We hope you will enjoy reading our report and reflecting on its findings, interesting opportunities, and challenges.  We look forward to the opportunity of holding some regional focus groups throughout the state during the summer to share what we have learned, hear your perspectives, and go from there.

The ebook is published by Open SUNY textbooks and can be downloaded at: or  Print copies of the ebook are available through Amazon at:

With our best wishes,

Judy Albers and Tom Moebus