Three startups graduate from Cornell’s Center for Life Science Ventures

Photo: Center for Life Science Ventures at Cornell University

Three startups graduate from Cornell’s Center for Life Science Ventures

The Center for Life Science Ventures at Cornell University graduated three startups last month, Dimensional Energy, Ecolectro, and Kanvas Biosciences. During their time in the business incubator, the companies benefited from mentorship and access to state-of-the-art equipment and office space, as well as support developing their business plans, technology, and teams.  

At the graduation ceremony on Nov. 16, speakers discussed the impact of the center and founders accepted diplomas for the accomplishment.  

Dimensional Energy, a startup transforming carbon dioxide into sustainable aviation fuel, is also a Rev: Ithaca Startup Works member company. 

“When a company like ours walks into the door of an incubator like this, you know, we have dreams and people need to believe in us,” said Jason Salfi, co-founder and CEO of Dimensional Energy, at the graduation event. “I want to thank all of you for believing in us to realize our dreams.” 

In June, United Airlines committed to buy at least 300 million gallons of Dimensional Energy’s fuel over the next 20 years.  

“What allows a tree to grow and make its way around to a broader space?” Salfi said. “In our case, the world – it is roots. It is roots and they are here in Ithaca.” 

Ecolectro produces technologies that increase businesses’ access to cost-competitive green hydrogen and is an “alumni stardom” member at Rev.  

“What Cornell has done, what the center did,” CEO Gabriel Rodríguez-Calero, M.S. ’12, Ph.D. ’14 said, “was provide all of the amazing mentors, advisors, investors and everybody who came around to the idea of making green hydrogen super cheap — so that we can move away from fossil fuels.” 

Rodríguez-Calero accepted the company’s diploma alongside chief science officer Kristina Hugar, M.S. ’12, Ph.D. ’16. 

Kanvas Biosciences is using a next-generation imaging technology to revolutionize microbial research and infectious disease diagnostics. 

“It’s admittedly bittersweet to graduate today, because we wouldn’t have a successful company without the support of this incredible team,” said Matthew Cheng, COO of Kanvas Biosciences. CTO Hao Shi joined Cheng to accept the diploma. 

The Center for Life Science Ventures, a partner incubator of the Southern Tier Startup Accelerator, was founded in 2011 to help Cornell researchers launch startups, create jobs, and fuel economic growth in New York. The 12 companies that have graduated from the center have raised more than $400 million in combined equity, including $73 million during their time with the incubator, and earned more than $30 million in product and services sales. 

While Lou Walcer, director of the Center for Life Science Ventures, served as the master of ceremonies, speakers at the graduation included Provost Michael I. Kotlikoff; Tami Magnus, executive director of the Cornell Institute of Biotechnology; Ying Yang, associate director of the center; and Emmanuel P. Giannelis, vice president for research and innovation.  

“We’ve been talking about ‘it takes a village,’ but it’s an ecosystem,” Giannelis said. “You really need to have several things that come together to give opportunity for companies to materialize out of these early-stage technologies – which [Cornell is] now pursuing a lot more aggressively – because we really believe in having an impact beyond the academy.” 

Read the full story on the Cornell Chronicle. 

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