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StartupSpinout
ActvityReport
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
An Overview
Cornell Tech officially launched 3 years ago, and since
then the number of ...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Startups per Year
The rate of startups formed at Cornell Tech is
growing rapidly. Bet...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Spinouts by Program
There are several hubs at Cornell Tech where
startups are formed,...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Working Across Industries
There are 7 focus areas that have
a racted more than $1 mil...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Building a Community of Founders
Cornell Tech is dedicated to fostering pioneering
le...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Different Types of Founders
The founding teams of Cornell Tech spinouts ranged
from so...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Strong Teams Make a Difference
The optimal founding team sizes from Cornell Tech
have ...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
29 Companies Raised Over $12 Million
Over the past two years, the average pre-seed – ...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Key Learnings
Just 3 years into building a spinout culture at
Cornell Tech, we have b...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Key Learnings
While at Cornell Tech and upon immediate
spinout, startups are raising ...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Key Learnings
Institutional seed and Series A investors
continue to monitor Cornell T...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
This Year’s Studio & Postdoc Spinouts
Startup Studio
www.bowtie.ai
A plug and play ch...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
This Year’s Studio & Postdoc Spinouts
Runway Postdoc
www.maalka.com
Enables cities, c...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
This Year’s Studio & Postdoc Spinouts
Startup Studio
www.robotc.io
RoboTC is a univer...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
This Year’s Alumni Startups
Alumni
www.bambify.com
Bambify empowers apparel brands an...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Startup Culture
Since New York City issued the applied sciences
and engineering chall...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Startup Focused Programs
The Runway Startup Postdoc Program is part
business school, ...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Startup Focused Programs
Students, develop their ideas, products, and
pitches, learn ...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Spinout Support Suite
The Spinout Clinic helps transition Cornell Tech
founders out o...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Spinout Support Suite
Startup Awards supports post-graduate startup
opportunities tha...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Just Ge ing Started
We are in the earliest days of building a
transformational instit...
StartupSpinout
ActvityReport 2 0 1 6
Contact Us
If you are interested in learning more about Cornell Tech startup spinout ...
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Cornell Tech Startup Spinout Activity Report

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The report is a comprehensive overview of spinout activity at Cornell Tech, highlighting the impact that Cornell Tech is having on New York City’s tech ecosystem and the most interesting companies and trends we are seeing. Cornell Tech's startup activity is scaling up quickly, with another 10x growth of the student population ahead over the coming years.

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Cornell Tech Startup Spinout Activity Report

  1. 1. StartupSpinout ActvityReport
  2. 2. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 An Overview Cornell Tech officially launched 3 years ago, and since then the number of startups that were formed at Cornell Tech and spun out have grown at a rapid pace. This report provides a detailed view into Cornell Tech’s spinout activity and how the campus is transforming universities’ role in the creation of startup companies. 29 Companies formed and spun out between January 1st 2014 - August 1st 2016 and over 100 employees built these startups Founders 62 12 of pre-seed – seed funding raised in less than 3 years Million Dollars 93 are headquartered in NYC, while 7% are headquartered in San Francisco Percent
  3. 3. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Startups per Year The rate of startups formed at Cornell Tech is growing rapidly. Between 2014 and 2015, the total number of active spinouts increased more than 5 times and in 2016 we have already seen an increase greater than 2 times the number of startups in 2015. The graph below shows the growth of startups at Cornell Tech. 2014 2015 2016 8 0 16 24 32 Spinout Companies 21 Companies Currently Active 29 Total number of spinouts 17 spinouts formed in 2016 alone
  4. 4. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Spinouts by Program There are several hubs at Cornell Tech where startups are formed, and those founders include master’s students, PhDs, faculty, postdocs, and alumni. The number of startups being formed by Runway Postdocs and Startup Studio teams are increasing at an accelerated rate. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of Runway Postdoc spinouts have increased 150% and Startup Studio spinouts have increased by 20%. Of the total startups formed, we have seen the most startup activity come from the Runway Postdoc program and Startup Studio, followed by alumni. Alumni: Recent Cornell Tech graduates Studio: Masters students (MBA, CS, LLM) Runway: Postdocs that are commercializing deep tech 2 4 6 8 Spinouts 2014 2015 2016 Year
  5. 5. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Working Across Industries There are 7 focus areas that have a racted more than $1 million in funding and are generating the most jobs—these are areas where more than 10 people per team are actively working to build companies. These focus areas are Wellness, IoT, Big Data, Computer Vision, applications focused on parents, Machine Learning, and Mobile technology. Wellness IoT Big Data Computer Vision Parents Machine learning Mobile Developer platform Research Finance Urban Development Ecommerce Marketplace Health Food Communication Productivity Education Media Robotics Pets Sports Recruitment Bots Fashion Manufacturing VR/AR Dollars raised 0 1m 2m 3m 4m 5m 6m 7m 8m 9m 10m People hired 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 People hired Dollars raised
  6. 6. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Building a Community of Founders Cornell Tech is dedicated to fostering pioneering leaders of the digital age, and one way we are keeping this promise is through a campus culture that produces successful startup founders. Since 2014, 62 startup founders emerged from Cornell Tech. At this rate, Cornell Tech is on track to building an influential and tightly connected community of founders that will build the next wave of transformational startup companies in New York City. 2014 2015 2016 Pre-existing Founder New Founder
  7. 7. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Different Types of Founders The founding teams of Cornell Tech spinouts ranged from solo (1) founders to four (4) founders. Most of the spinout teams are founded by 2 co-founders, while teams that are founded by 3 people raised the most money from angels and venture capitalists. Majority of the teams founded by solo founders are from the Runway Postdoc program. The Runway Postdoc program has been focused on identifying postdocs who have IP that can be commercialized. Leaders of Runway and entrepreneurship at Cornell Tech are currently exploring opportunities for Runway postdocs to organically build relationships with potential co-founders while their companies are incubated on campus. Below is the breakdown of Cornell Tech teams by number of founders and funding. 4 8 12 16 Teams Number of Founders per Team 1 2 3 4 Alumni Studio Runway
  8. 8. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Strong Teams Make a Difference The optimal founding team sizes from Cornell Tech have been teams with 2 – 3 co-founders. On average, solo founders raise slightly more capital than teams with 2 founders; however, on average solo founders have to recruit 3 new employees in the early days, which has a higher opportunity cost (i.e. cost of equity and/or capital ) than teams with 2 founders that recruit one new person. On average, teams founded by 3 people raise significantly more capital than any other team size and only recruit an average of 2 additional people to work on the company in the early days. Founding team sizes of 4 people underperform in fundraising and on average still require an additional person to join the team. $300k1 $600k2 $900k3 Raised $1.2m4 People Hired Number of Founders per Team 1 2 3 4 Average People Recuited Money Raised since Aug.
  9. 9. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 29 Companies Raised Over $12 Million Over the past two years, the average pre-seed – seed round size for Cornell Tech startups has increased rapidly. We saw a 1.2x increase from 2014 – 2015 and a 3.3x increase from 2015 – 2016. In 2016, the average funding for a Cornell Tech pre-seed – seed stage spinout was $629k. We have seen majority of the funding for these companies come from family, friends, angels, and Cornell Tech. These companies are still very early in their history—the oldest startups were founded just two years ago—and we expect the average funding per company to continue to increase over time. 4 2 6 10 14 8 12 16 Teams 0 100k 100k 500k 500k 1m 1m 10m Total Investment Alumni Studio Runway
  10. 10. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Key Learnings Just 3 years into building a spinout culture at Cornell Tech, we have begun to learn what is working and what isn’t working. The campus and spinout culture are constantly evolving, and it is becoming a reliable destination for the development and growth of startup activity in New York City. We regularly reflect on our key learnings, and use those learnings to improve our startup culture. Below are some key insights: The number of founders at Cornell Tech is growing rapidly, and as a result there is an active community of alumni building startups. As the alumni community continues to grow, Cornell Tech will see greater demand for co-working space, events, and resources. Growing community of startup founders at Cornell Tech While at Cornell Tech and upon immediate spinout, startups are raising the most capital from family, friends, founders, and non- institutional angel investors. As we continue to build support for spinouts, we are prioritizing opportunities to get our teams exposed to non- institutional angel investors, and organizing opportunities for startup founders’ networks to see external validation of their success. Origins of initial funding are family, friends, former co-workers, founders, angel investors, and Cornell Tech
  11. 11. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Key Learnings While at Cornell Tech and upon immediate spinout, startups are raising the most capital from family, friends, founders, and non- institutional angel investors. As we continue to build support for spinouts, we are prioritizing opportunities to get our teams exposed to non- institutional angel investors, and organizing opportunities for startup founders’ networks to see external validation of their success. Optimal team size is 2–3 founders The most active hubs of startup formation and development at Cornell Tech are the Runway Postdoc Program, Startup Studio spinouts, and alumni. We have learned that there are resources in each of those hubs that are materially valuable to the other hubs. To achieve be er collaboration, influence shared learning, and prepare to operate at greater scale, Cornell Tech plans to consolidate resources across the three hubs. Our first step is to hire a Director of Runway and Spinouts. The new director will not only run the Runway Postdocs Program, but also organize spinout clinics and resources that all startup founders can benefit from while at Cornell Tech. Consolidation of on-campus startup resources
  12. 12. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Key Learnings Institutional seed and Series A investors continue to monitor Cornell Tech startups, and a few have funded the fastest growing seed stage spinouts. Because many of Cornell Tech’s startup are not yet at the stage for later stage funding, we have developed an investor brief—the brief highlights the recent startup spinouts—that is sent to top institution investors and angels that are in the Cornell Tech network. We have seen a positive response, several of those investors have proactively reached out to our teams to discuss opportunities to invest and add value. Positive response from institutional seed investors
  13. 13. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 This Year’s Studio & Postdoc Spinouts Startup Studio www.bowtie.ai A plug and play chatbot solution for any business, on any platform. We want to do for bots what squarespace did for websites. Runway Postdoc www.cityhive.net A software engine of the on-demand economy. City Hive is a true enabler of efficient e-commerce for the benefit of producers, merchants, and consumers alike. Runway PostdocCode Ocean accelerates innovation by making state-of-the art scientific research accessible and useful. Startup Studio www.gitlinks.com Helps organizations manage and monitor their open source software usage and assists them with making the best product decisions. Runway Postdoc www.innovatively.co Makes sense of public data to deliver comprehensive information on markets, companies and products in the healthcare and life sciences industries.
  14. 14. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 This Year’s Studio & Postdoc Spinouts Runway Postdoc www.maalka.com Enables cities, corporations, utilities and building owners to launch and manage successful sustainability initiatives. Runway Postdoc www.nanit.com Nanit is revolutionizing the way babies sleep with machine learning algorithms and advanced computer vision technology. Startup Studio www.phylosofy.com A paper book on which any digital content can be viewed using our cross-platform mixed reality software. Runway PostdocHelps patients with motor-related diseases, like Parkinson’s, Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis. Runway Postdoc www.peachylabs.com PeachyLabs is building a computer vision system that can fully describe the food in an image, including ingredients, dish name, nutritional data, cuisine and flavor profile.
  15. 15. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 This Year’s Studio & Postdoc Spinouts Startup Studio www.robotc.io RoboTC is a universal brain which instantly gives any robot intelligence. Runway Postdoc www.shade.io Developing a groundbreaking UV radiation monitoring system for people suffering from lupus. Startup StudioA data platform for autism education. Startup Studio www.uruvideo.com Uses computer vision to create a whole new (and entirely unobtrusive) ad spot inside your videos.
  16. 16. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 This Year’s Alumni Startups Alumni www.bambify.com Bambify empowers apparel brands and entrepreneurs to launch an idea from one platform. Alumni www.leavenworthclothing.com Bringing a new option in shirts for men as we've made a shirt knit using silk, cashmere and cotton with a loose neck and fit. Alumni www.turtle.ai A simple to use project management software that makes it easy to find and hire freelancers AND integrate them into existing teams and projects.
  17. 17. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Startup Culture Since New York City issued the applied sciences and engineering challenge in 2010, Cornell Tech has been on the forefront envisioning and planning the future of graduate education. Over the last 4 years, since the selection of Cornell Tech and the Technion as the institutions to build a new applied sciences campus in New York City, Cornell Tech has taken measurable steps toward pushing the limits on a new educational pedagogies that a racts world-class faculty, students, staff, industry leaders, and practitioners. Revolutionizing graduate education requires Cornell Tech to simultaneously execute on a wide range of opportunities including initiatives such as the creation of a pre-eminent urban campus on Roosevelt Island, thought leadership pertaining to how corporations look to universities for innovation, and creating burgeoning spinout culture on the campus. Cornell Tech is on the forefront of reimagining an academic environment designed to support the formation and development of startups on campus. Today, our economy is placing greater value on individuals’ ability who can build so ware and apply their skills in a way that result in measurable value. We are in a time when it’s be er to be able to builds things vs. simply know things. Cornell Tech’s approach to teaching students and entrepreneurs how to build is creating a new career path that is propelling students, faculty, and PhDs into forming companies, seed funding, and acqui- hires immediately following their time at Cornell Tech. At Cornell Tech’s current pace of innovation, the campus is on its way to becoming the largest incubator in the world. Currently, there are two programs at Cornell Tech that are responsible for the majority of startups formed on the campus. Those programs are Runway Postdocs and Startup Studio.
  18. 18. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Startup Focused Programs The Runway Startup Postdoc Program is part business school, part research institution, and part startup incubator. Based at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute, Runway ushers recent PhDs in digital technology fields through a paradigm shi — from an academic mindset to an entrepreneurial outlook. Startup Postdocs arrive with ideas for unproven products and markets that require time and specialized guidance to develop. These startups demand more than a few months to launch. They need a bit of a “runway.” That’s why our program lasts 12–24 months and incorporates academic and business mentorship. Runway provides an impressive package valued at $150,000 that includes a salary, research budget, housing allowance, space and more. In addition, the Startup Postdoc receives significant benefits and perks and corporate support valued at $320,000. This class helps students develop their ability to imagine, recognize, develop, and improve startup ideas. Students invent and explore thousands of startup ideas, and help each other evaluate and improve those ideas. By the end of Startup Ideas, students self-organize into co-founding teams around specific startup ideas that they will execute on in Startup Studio the following semester. Runway Postdoc Startup Ideas
  19. 19. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Startup Focused Programs Students, develop their ideas, products, and pitches, learn to create and tell a compelling startup story, build and demo a prototype, and test their product with users. Some teams go on to cofound these startups a er graduation. Cornell Tech’s integrated curriculum continues to evolve and push the boundaries of academia’s role in startup creation and commercialization of new technologies. As an example, The Foundry at Cornell Tech, the campus’s internal product development team, actively builds innovative technology that is used in the classroom by students to bolster the creation of new ideas. Unicornucopia, the latest technology built by The Foundry for the classroom, has been responsible for the creation of over 1,000 ideas and inspirations that led to startups formed on campus through Startup Studio. A new version of the Unicornucopia is currently being used by students at Cornell Tech, and we expect over 3,000 new ideas to be created during the Fall 2016 semester. Beyond the classroom, The Foundry has worked with several spinouts on product development and design. Startup Studio Continued growth
  20. 20. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Spinout Support Suite The Spinout Clinic helps transition Cornell Tech founders out of the academic environment and into the startup community. During the clinic, founders gain access to ready-to-use resources that help founders navigate current spinout decisions. Each session consists of a round table discussion that dives deep into founders’ real- time concerns and decisions. The round table discussions are followed by forward progress sessions, where practitioners that have very specific experience are invited to work with the teams one-on-one to execute next steps that include legal entity formation, Startup Award application preparation, fundraising, media training, and more. Five of the seventeen 2015 spinouts found their lawyer at the Spinout Clinic and eight teams learned how to structure their seed rounds. Spinout Clinic The Spinout Open House brings together and empowers an enthusiastic community of angel investors to make early investments in the institution’s highest potential teams. This informal angel network is growing and prime to make pre-seed investments in high-potential student teams. In Nov. of 2015, we organized a group of 60+ investors to Cornell Tech’s co- working space in the New York Times building to support growing group of startup spinouts. Just two months a er the first Spinout Open House, two of the participating teams have received investment commitments from angel investors who a ended the event. Spinout Open House
  21. 21. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Spinout Support Suite Startup Awards supports post-graduate startup opportunities that are too early for seed funding and unable to be self-funded. At Cornell Tech, entrepreneurs are trained to view the world through an entrepreneurial lens and to exercise entrepreneurial behavior: forming teams and building products that address opportunities in the commercial world. However, it takes time for students to translate their entrepreneurial experiments into new commercial ventures, thus they are o en too early to a ract seed investments. This common scenario creates a “gap” between the post-academic environment and teams’ investment readiness. For teams that are not financially independent—which are most students—the cost and risk of building a startup during the gap period deters an entrepreneurial career and leaves potentially valuable opportunities unrealized. For this reason, Cornell Tech offers startup awards. This award allows any Cornell Tech students or alum, regardless of economic status, to directly pursue an entrepreneurial career a er graduation. In addition to the cash award, we offer free, dedicated Cornell Tech co-working space in the New York Times Building. Six of the seventeen spinout teams earned a Startup Award. Startup Awards
  22. 22. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Just Ge ing Started We are in the earliest days of building a transformational institution. These early signs of spinout success have been produced during a period where only 100s of students and 100s faculty/staff have ventured out to explore the possibility of a university being intimately involved in startup idea generation, formation, and spinout. We are expecting 10x growth ahead of us, and that growth will have an extraordinary impact on Cornell Tech’s spinout activity and culture. We look forward to building Cornell Tech spinout capacity—a process that builds on key learnings year a er year—and a racting the very best entrepreneurs to drive innovation in the digital economy!
  23. 23. StartupSpinout ActvityReport 2 0 1 6 Contact Us If you are interested in learning more about Cornell Tech startup spinout activity or would like to get involved, then contact Aaron Holiday at ah643@cornell.edu.ah643@cornell.edu

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