Cornell Tech Reveals 2024 Startup Awards Winners

By Amit Chowdhry • Jun 6, 2024

Cornell Tech has awarded four student startup companies with investments worth $100,000 each in its eleventh annual Startup Awards competition. This award includes $80,000 in pre-seed funding, co-working space in the Tata Innovation Center, and mentorship by the Cornell Tech team, valued at $20,000 together.

These awards were announced at Cornell Tech’s Open Studio, the campus’ end-of-year celebration of startups and presentation of cutting-edge research, projects, and companies founded at Cornell Tech.

A panel of tech industry leaders, executives, and members of the Cornell and Cornell Tech faculty and staff selected the winning student teams. This year’s panel of judges included Greg Morrisett, Jack and Rilla Neafsey Dean and Vice Provost of Cornell Tech; Fernando Gómez-Baquero, Director of Runway and Spinouts at Cornell Tech; Josh Hartmann, Chief Practice Officer of Cornell Tech; Jenny Fielding, Co-Head of Startup Studio at Cornell Tech; Alberto Escarlate, Co-Head of Startup Studio at Cornell Tech; Sam Dix, Co-Head of Startup Studio at Cornell Tech; Amanda Eilian, Partner of _able Partners; Tanzeem Choudhury, Roger and Joelle Burnell Professor in Integrated Health and Technology at Cornell Tech; Howard Morgan, Chairman of B Capital Group; and Momo Bi, Partner of Watershed Ventures.

The 2024 Startup Award Winners are:

1.) Cipher – An end-to-end marketplace that connects businesses to music professionals, tracks negotiations, and automates payments and licensing agreements.

2.) Compose AI – A marketplace to scale product placement ads using generative AI. According to the company, the product placement industry is highly manual with deal-times that take months.

3.) Mindsight – Offers an end-to-end care management platform that leverages AI to deliver personalized outpatient mental health treatment recommendations.

4.) RapidReview – Enables researchers to navigate through thousands of papers by converting documents into structured tables.

5.) MercuryVote – Enables shareholders to sell their votes so that changemakers can mobilize previously unused proxy votes, was a runner-up. Although MercuryVote will not receive the Cornell Tech cash award, the team will receive office space and mentorship through Cornell Tech’s Runway Program.

Since Startup Studio’s founding, 11 alumni companies have been acquired: Enroute (acquired by Ichilov Tech); LitOS (acquired by Navana Tech India); Pilota (acquired by Hopper); Otari (acquired by Peloton); Datalogue (acquired by Nike); Auggi (acquired by Seed Health); Uru (acquired by Adobe); Trigger Finance (acquired by Circle); Gitlinks (acquired by Infor); Bowtie (acquired by MINDBODY); and Thread Learning (acquired by CentralReach). So far, startups that have been founded and spun out on campus — including Startup Studio and the Runway Startup Postdocs at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute — have raised more than $330 million in funding and employ nearly 500 people in NYC.

This year’s Open Studio included a presentation of select BigCo Studio teams, which showcased the challenges they worked on with Studio’s partner organizations throughout the semester. And in BigCo Studio, students learn how to navigate working within big companies (BigCos) by being matched with a C-suite or VP advisor from a real BigCo to research, prototype, and present a new product that helps the company achieve its mission. This year’s BigCo Studio partner organizations included Capital One, Google, JP Morgan Chase, Merck, Microsoft, Verizon, and Wayfair.

This year, the Startup Studio program was headed by Jenny Fielding, Sam Dix, Alberto Escarlate, Cornell Tech’s Chief Practice Officer Josh Hartmann, and Studio Directors Naomi Cervantes and Tyler Rhorick. And the Startup Awards are a capstone of the Studio curriculum, a critical component of the master’s experience at Cornell Tech, which brings together multi-disciplinary teams to solve real-world problems.

In their final semester, students are able to form teams and enroll in Startup Studio, where they combine their diverse program disciplines – computer science, operations research and information engineering, business, health tech, urban tech, connective media, electrical and computer engineering, and law – for developing ideas and prototypes for their startup in an academic setting.


“This year’s cohort of Startup Award finalists impressed me with their ingenuity and problem-solving. By seeing real-world issues, addressing their roots, and tackling them head-on, these students have come up with innovative solutions that build upon the skills they gained through their Cornell Tech education and Studio experience. I am proud of all they have accomplished and am excited to see where the future takes them.”

  • Josh Hartmann, Chief Practice Officer of Cornell Tech