Cornell Innovation
& New ventures


What is Ignite?

In an academic research environment, gap funding provides critical support to promising technologies and innovations that have great commercial potential but are “too early” for licensing or investment to help validate the innovation and reduce risk.

Ignite: Cornell Research Lab to Market gap funding series is supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (“OVPRI”). Its purpose is to accelerate technology commercialization, venture creation and growth, and corporate collaboration, create training and career opportunities for students and researchers for entrepreneurship and advance Cornell innovation for societal impact and university mission.

With major expansion in FY2022, funding level for the Ignite series has been increased to $3 million per year with ambitious goals to grow innovation pipeline for success and impact. The gap funding series is supported by the Provost’s office and a generous donation from Peggy J. Koenig ’78.

Innovation Acceleration

Grants to advance inventions toward licensing, startup formation or industry partnerships. 12-16 projects will be awarded annually.

Postdoc for Ventures

Funding to hire postdocs with entrepreneurial outlook to start new technology ventures. 5 or 6 Postdocs will be funded in each year’s cohort.

Startup Projects

Project funding via SAFE notes, intending to help achieve proof of concept and increase opportunities of raising critical financing for startups at the very early stage.

Intern for Startups

A program to hire Cornell students as summer interns for Cornell startup companies that have not raised series A financing.

Ignite Program Overview

Under the Ignite umbrella, there are three signature programs and additional initiatives. While each unique in their applications, all programs operate with common goals to increase value and reach the next inflection point by enabling proof of concept projects with clear results that lead to and justify further engagement and development from investors and corporate partners, and to help grow entrepreneurs and teams for startups.

The Ignite series is overseen and managed by Center for Technology Licensing, Cornell’s tech transfer office.

Accelerate Cornell Innovation.

Ignite Commercialization and Venture