Startup Projects


Ignite Startup Projects is one of the Ignite three signature programs. Project are funded via SAFE notes. Funding available for active CTL Startup Licensees from Ithaca, Geneva or Cornell Tech campuses; and/or members of Incubators Praxis, McGovern, REV in Ithaca and the Runway Startup Postdocs program at Cornell Tech. The funding intends to help achieve proof of concept and increase opportunities of raising critical financing for startups at the very early stage. Applications are received on an open, rolling basis. Annually up to 9 projects can be funded, in the funding range up to $50K, or up to $100 K if a second tranche is awarded.


  • Applications are welcomed from startup companies with licenses to Cornell innovations from Cornell’s Ithaca, Geneva, and Cornell Tech campuses or companies who are members of Praxis, McGovern, REV and the PostDoc Runway program at Cornell Tech.

  • Startup companies are expected to be pre-Series A financing. If your company has already raised Series A financing, please contact CTL, your LBDO or your qualifying program’s director to determine eligibility.

  • Previously funded Ignite:Innovation Acceleration projects are eligible for Ignite:Startup Projects, but not previous funded Startup Projects.

  • Applicant should be in “Inc.” not “LLC” structure.

  • Startups originating from the WCM campus have separate funding programs and thus are not eligible for the IGNITE program.

  • All proposed projects must comply with university policies


Applications are received on an open, rolling basis through the CTL website via the InfoReady software platform. Applications are reviewed for alignment, receive feedback from external reviewers evaluating the project and company, and are invited to present to a review board.


Application Process

  • Applications accepted on a rolling basis
  • Marketed to licensees and eligible incubator companies
  • Application support
  • Proposals reviewed by external Technology Advisors
  • External committee members with domain expertise for specific application will participate in selection
  • Applicants present to Ignite committee
  • Committee makes funding decision
  • For Prime projects, 2nd tranche decision
  • 12-month long project
  • Progress and final reports
  • Showcase results
  • Track impact

Application Schedule

Applications for Ignite Startup Projects are received on a rolling basis.


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.