The Cornell Tech and the Runway Startup Program at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute were recently featured on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies — Education list.
An estimated 40% of PhDs don’t have jobs lined up by the time they earn their degrees—not even in STEM fields. A new program called Runway at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech’s Manhattan campus, which bills itself as “part business school, part research institution, part startup incubator,” is trying to fix that by helping postdocs commercialize their research. Not only does Runway train researchers to think like scientist-CEOs, it also entitles postdocs to the intellectual-property rights of their own work without owing any royalties to Cornell Tech. Taking a page from Y Combinator, startups that emerge from Runway grant a Simple Agreement for Future Equity, or “SAFE,” to the university. A core goal is to create a virtuous circle between research science and real-world innovation that feeds back into New York’s business community. One indication it might be taking hold? 100% of Runway grads have headquartered their companies in New York.