Ph.D. Commercialization Program Timeline and Commitment

What Does the Curriculum Include?

While the fellowship is offered by Cornell Engineering, the curriculum is provided in conjunction with Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. Fellows will participate in regular workshops, and each fellow will receive one-on-one mentoring from Cornell faculty with entrepreneurial experience. During the course of the semester, students will work with their mentors to identify potential market opportunities for their technology and to develop a strategic business plan for scaling up and going to market. They will be required to regularly report on progress, and must present their final business plan as they would a thesis. Students will learn business strategies and best practices for:

  • Marketing
    Bill Bedell
    "I joined the Commercialization Fellowship because I wanted to get more exposure to thinking entrepreneurially about highly technical problems."

    Fellow Bill Bedell
    PhD Candidate, Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
  • Fundraising
  • Entrepreneurial Strategy 
  • Customer Development
  • Going to Market
  • Supply Chains
  • Intellectual Property Management 

Program Timeline and Commitment

  • Application opens: November 20, 2020

  • Application closes: February 22, 2021

  • Interviews: Week of February 22-26

  • Participate in an I-Corps Regional Course at Cornell between March-April 2021

  • Offers made and fellowships accepted: Week of March 1, 2021

  • Participate in NSF I-Corps Teams in the summer of 2021 (I-Corps Teams receive up to $50k in funding.)

  • Attend workshops and events, participate in Big Red Tech Strategy, and take NBA eLab 6330,: September-November 2021

  • Share your final presentation to an esteemed panel of investors and alumni: December 2021

Students will also have access to alumni, entrepreneurs and business experts in fields related to their product. Access will come in the form of lectures, small Q&A sessions, site visits and private meetings. The fellowship also offers opportunities to participate in Cornell’s Technology Entrepreneurship Club, eHub, leadership training and other existing programs at the University.

In the second half of the program, fellows will be matched with teams of M.B.A. students who will assist in finalizing business and go-to-market plans and in developing potential investor pitch materials.