Have you recently received a PhD in the digital technologies? Do you dream of launching a business, but don’t know how to get it off the ground? Would you like funding for your company from the get go? If you’re nodding vigorously to all these questions keep reading.

Who should apply to Runway?

We accept top PhDs who have graduated within the last five years, and occasionally, PhD candidates nearing the end of their programs. Startup Postdocs are interested in the application of digital technologies in a broad sense. The faculty at the  Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute and Cornell Tech includes experts in connective media, health technology, security and privacy, computer vision and a number of other fields. We tend to select Startup Postdocs with related backgrounds so they can take advantage of the excellent resources and mentors already here. Check out our faculty and the Runway companies that have already launched. If you think you qualify, please apply. Also, feel free to reach out with questions. 

Application and Program Schedule

We start accepting applications for fall 2017 on October 15 and will continue to through February 15. Decisions will be announced April 15. If space opens up after that date, additional applications may be considered. The program officially starts in August 2017 and runs for one year with a possible extension for another year or two. Decisions on second-year extensions will be made in May 2018.

How to Apply

Please send the following materials here.

Curriculum Vitae and References
In addition to the usual academic CV and three relevant references, your CV should also list:

  • Titles and dates of disclosure of inventions for which you are an inventor or co-inventor
  • The names of the institutions where you disclosed the inventions
  • Disclosures for patents that have been filed and on which patents you are an inventor or co-inventor
  • A chronology of work experiences including the organization’s activities, your job title and responsibilities
  • Any non-disclosure or non-compete agreements you have signed

Opportunity Statement
In three pages or less, please describe as specifically as possible:

  • The problem you would like to solve
  • The company or product you will create that addresses this problem
  • Why this problem is important and the possible challenges that may arise
  • Can you estimate the size of the market for the product you plan to develop?
  • Are you aware of companies working on same or similar problems?
  • How a working prototype could be developed within Runway’s timeframe of one to two years
  • Which faculty experts and Cornell Tech resources would help you address the problem
  • Why you’re pursuing this opportunity, as opposed to other applications of your research

In three pages, please describe your background. 

  • Share your passion, values, and vision in applying your research in an entrepreneurial setting. 
  • A description of at least one problem or situation that you have approached in an entrepreneurial way in the past
  • An explanation of why you choose to apply for Runway instead of looking for a job in industry or applying to a traditional postdoc program
  • How you learned about Runway and why you are applying to Runway instead of to an accelerator or incubator, or starting on your own.

Application Evaluation
How do we choose who gets in? We’re looking for people who possess a passion for applying research to real-world needs, an innate entrepreneurial drive and spirit, and the willingness to be flexible and embrace uncertainty. We’re also evaluating candidates based on their ability to work well on a team and communicate effectively.

Our faculty play an important role in the admissions process. They’re searching for Startup Postdocs with expertise similar to their own, who they can successfully mentor. If there’s a potential match, Runway program directors, faculty and current Startup Postdocs will interview the candidate and hear their startup pitch. These conversations may take place over Skype or in person.

Still have more questions?
Check out the Applying to Runway section of our FAQ, or contact us.