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Recently completed your PhD and want to harness your deep tech expertise to start a company? Want to do it in New York City and get funding from day one? If so, consider the Runway Startup Postdoc Program.

The Runway Startup Postdoc Program is part business school, part research institution, and part startup incubator. Based at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute, Runway ushers recent PhDs in digital technology fields through a paradigm shift — from an academic mindset to an entrepreneurial outlook.

Startup Postdocs arrive with ideas for unproven products and markets that require time and specialized guidance to develop. These startups demand more than a few months to launch. They need a bit of a “runway.” That’s why our program lasts 12–36 months and incorporates academic and business mentorship.

Runway provides an impressive package valued at $175,000 that includes a salary, research budget, housing allowance, space and more in the first year. In addition, the Startup Postdoc receives significant benefits and perks and corporate support valued at $400,000.

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Role of Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute

Known as the “Startup Nation,” Israel has cultivated the greatest concentration of high-tech startups outside of Silicon Valley, and more than 70 percent of current Israeli high-tech business leaders graduated from Technion–Israel Institute of Technology. Today, Cornell and Technion are creating a new model for tech education in New York City through their partnership at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech. As part of the Institute, Startup Postdocs are enveloped in a culture of entrepreneurship. Their academic mentors are professors — based in New York City, Israel, and Cornell’s upstate New York campus — and many are successful entrepreneurs in their own right. They understand the time, resources, and support that bold experimentation requires. 

Areas of Impact

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 select Startup Postdocs with related backgrounds so they can tap into the excellent resources and mentors already here. Runway also deeply values the collaboration, communication and camaraderie that develops amongst cohort members. With their shared backgrounds, Startup Postdocs also advise each other, solve problems and spark pivotal ideas by working together.

Intellectual Property and Investment Model

Every Startup Postdoc gets the same Intellectual Property (IP) deal — and it is a pretty straightforward model. If you come to Runway, the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute officially becomes your first investor, contributing roughly $175,000 in support in the first year and giving you exclusive rights to the IP you develop. In exchange, we receive a modest equity share in your company comparable to the value of our investment. You’ll leave the program with royalty-free, exclusive rights to your IP forever.