NYC entrepreneurship conference features founders, social entrepreneurs, venture capitalists

This year’s Eclectic Convergence conference in New York City at Cornell Tech will feature six inspiring entrepreneurs and investors working in fields from women’s health to design software. Attendees will also hear pitches from some of Cornell’s most promising startups, engage in face-to-face interaction with speakers, and have time to network with more than 450 attendees from diverse business sectors, as well as venture capitalists and angel investors.

The Friday, October 21 event will be held from 8:45 am to 5:00 pm at the Verizon Executive Education Center at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island in town. Registration fees range from $25 to $100 and registration is still open.

“As usual, our conference features inspiring, entrepreneurial role models who are happy to share their experiences and knowledge with others,” said Zach Shulman ’87 JD ’90, director of entrepreneurship at Cornell, who organizes the conference. “I also hear endless stories about the connections being made at this conference that lead to partnerships, deals, investments and mentoring relationships. It is one of the highlights of our year and a perfect example of the broad entrepreneurial ecosystem that exists among Cornellians.”

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At the event, six speakers will offer a combination of TED-style briefings and fireside chats about their entrepreneurial journeys. The event will also feature pitches from five companies based on different Cornell technologies, with a $5,000 prize awarded to the winning pitch.

Speakers include:

  • Marcus Bullock, Founder and CEO, Flikshop. After his release from prison in 2004, Bullock started a construction business that grew to employ other returning citizens. He then founded Flikshop, a software company that develops tools to help inmates stay connected with their families and build community.
  • Amy Bunszel ’89, Executive Vice President, Autodesk, who manages product strategy and execution for the company’s 3D design portfolio, including the Autodesk Architecture, Engineering and Construction Collection, the AutoCAD family, Autodesk Revit and more.
  • Kate Ryder, Founder and CEO of Maven, the largest virtual clinic for women’s and family health. Ryder has been named a Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and Fast Company’s “Most Creative People” and has spoken onstage at industry events.
  • Lara Sullivan ’94, President and CEO, Pyxis Oncology and Founding President of SpringWorks Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company which she spun off from Pfizer.
  • Smoke Wallin ’88, managing director of STS Capital Partners; CEO and Founder of Taliera; and executive chair and co-founder of Vertical Wellness. He is also the co-founder and director of, which was founded to end vulnerable street homelessness through the construction of temporary shelters.
  • Josh Wolfe ’99, co-founder of Lux Capital and a director at Shapeways, Strateos, Lux Research, Kallyope, CTRL-labs, Variant and Varda. Wolfe is also a founding investor and board member of Bill Gates in Kymeta, manufacturing state-of-the-art antennas for high-speed global satellite and space communications.
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The event will also include remarks from Shulman; Greg Morrisett, dean of Jack and Rilla Neafsey and vice provost of Cornell Tech; and Scott Belsky ’02, an entrepreneur, author, investor and currently chief product officer and executive vice president, Creative Cloud, at Adobe. Belsky is co-hosting the event.

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Register now to attend the event in New York City. The event will also be live streamed on Cornell’s alumni affairs and development channels.

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