Venture Capitalist Zach Shulman talks about his role as Director of Entrepreneurship at Cornell University and how he plans on continuing to help young entrepreneurs thrive.
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Zach has two dominant activities. He has been Director of Entrepreneurship at Cornell since 2013, and he has been a venture capital investor for over 10 years. He serves as Managing Partner of Cayuga Venture Fund (CVF), and is a Board Member of Upstate Venture Connect as well as Launch NY, two organizations which both aim at helping entrepreneurs connect with each other and find mentors and the right resources in order to grow and succeed.
Entrepreneurship at Cornell has a very clear mission, which is to “enable student success in their entrepreneurial pursuits” and to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in each student. Through a variety of programs, @EshipatCornell gives students the resources and connections they need to start building their companies in the region. Among programs and annual events are: eLab, which is a student business accelerator program; numerous hackathons; and large conferences such as Summit and Celebration. Additionally, an entrepreneurial incubator space of 15,000 square feet was recently opened in two locations, one on campus and one in Collegetown.
“We help annually two to three thousand students through our entrepreneurship programs,” says Shulman.
Since 1994, Cayuga Venture Fund (CVF) has invested in early stage companies throughout five funds, in a “wide array of industries,” such as Software, Biotech, Hardware or Battery material.
To Zach, mentoring is about “helping” people and that is what mostly interests him. He serves as a mentor in the StartFast Venture Accelerator, in which CVF is an investor, and he’s a member of the UNY50 Leadership Network, helping mentor entrepreneurs across Upstate New York.
Zach definitely plans on keeping involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and helping young entrepreneurs thrive, eventually creating more economic growth in the region.
He frequently posts stories about venture capital, entrepreneurship and startups on his blog – Ithaca VC.