[AUDIO LOGO] LOU WALCER: Can I have your attention, please? I'm Lou Walcer, class in 1974. I serve as the center's director. And, for this evening, I'm going to be your host as well as the master of ceremonies. And, at this time, we're starting the formal part of the program.
And, as I said, this is a graduation. We've got to have some speeches. So to get us started today, I'd like to introduce to you, Provost Michael Kotlikoff. He's a Professor of Molecular Physiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine. He served as the Dean of the College and, most recently, since 2015, he served as Cornell's 16th Provost. Please welcome Provost Kotlikoff to the podium.
MICHAEL KOTLIKOFF: Thank you, Lou.
Thanks, everybody. So it's a pleasure to be here today to celebrate the accomplishments of our Life Science Venture Center Incubator class of '22 companies. We have a terrific companies graduating today-- Dimensional Energy, Ecolectro, and Kanvas Biosciences. And I think, thanks to the midwifery of Lou and of our bioincubator-- our incubators-- they're all off to a great start.
Dimensional Energy was a Global Carbon XPRIZE finalist. The founders, inventors of Ecolectro were awarded Echoing Green Global Climate Fellowships in 2018. And Kanvas Biosciences came into the incubator with over $1,000,000 in venture capital. And, apparently, they've blown through all of their program requirements and have completed everything ahead of schedule.
So these companies obviously are a key part of what Cornell does. They're part of our mission. They contribute to our land grant mission. They contribute to the economy of New York State and our local economy. And they're part of what Ezra really had in mind when he talked about building a university that could really help the citizens of New York State.
But, more than that, they bring science to application. They're part of the evidence of really having an impact on our society. And these companies, through their contributions to solving some of our greatest problems, are really a great example of what we do at Cornell.
So I congratulate everyone in the companies. I congratulate the founders, the faculty, all the individuals that were involved in the companies. And I know you're off to a great start, and I wish you all the best in the future. Thank you.
LOU WALCER: Thank you, Mike. I appreciate that. At this time, I'd like to bring Ying Yang and introduce her. So she's the Associate Director of Center for Life Science. Ying came to Cornell in 2019 from her previous work at McKinsey & Company's biopharmaceutical consulting practice-- the smartest ones in the room.
At this time, she had been appointed as a Part-Time Assistant Director at the Center. In July of this year, she was promoted to Full-Time Associate Director. And she now services both our shop as well as the Praxis Incubator. And Ying has been absolutely invaluable in these roles. She's my strong right arm. Please, welcome Ying to the podium.
YING YANG: Good evening, everyone. My name is Ying Yang. I'm the Associate Director of the Center for Life Science Ventures, as well as the Praxis Center. Provost Kotlikoff just mentioned our job is midwifery, so I will keep alive this metaphor. It takes a village to raise a child, and it also takes a village to incubate a company.
So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the members of this village who have worked very hard to make today's graduation happen. So, first, our Center staff-- what with my consulting background, I always have some slides for you to enjoy.
Alison Dollaway, our lab manager; Shawna Robertson, our assistant; me and Lou. And with the help of Alison and Shawna, our companies get to operate day-to-day very smoothly. These very-- two very capable ladies really help us a lot in the Center.
And then our Center's Advisory Council-- you may see many familiar faces there. The Council provides oversight to the Center and the guidance to our clients. And the Council comprises academics from Cornell and seasoned alumni investors in life sciences. And all the Council members are volunteers, and we really appreciate all the time and dedication they put into the Center.
We also have four executives in residence-- Ed Heslop, Wayne Merkelson, Becky Roberson, and Bill Rhodes. They are our true powerhouse. They have regular coaching sessions with our companies and really help them all the way. Thank you all to all our EIRs.
And, of course, our volunteer mentors-- they are mostly Cornell alums or affiliated with Cornell one way or another. And they bring deep expertise in various areas in life sciences, and we are very grateful for their support.
So outside of our Center-- outside of our Center, we work with a large number of professionals across different divisions. So I will save the gratitude for the research division colleagues for Emmanuel later. So, here, I'd like to thank a few of the teams outside of the research division.
First Real Estate Office-- they help us manage all the space license agreements, and we really appreciate their help all along the way. And the second, Environmental Health and Safety-- anyone from EH&S? Yay, Josh. Tim, Christine, Josh, Brenda, and Ellen-- they help every one of our clients incubating our space, and your great work keeps us healthy and safe.
And Risk Management-- and thanks for Risk Management to keep us away from troubles. And speaking of troubles, last but not least, the counsel's office-- handling all the contracts, agreements, and advise us on challenging situations. Thank you.
Today's celebration is not only for the companies graduated. It's also for all of you as part of our village, so thank you all very much.
LOU WALCER: So a key component, of our program although not the preeminent component of the program, is grant funding to help our companies get started, grant funding to help them move forward. And New York State plays a very, very active role in this. Federal funding plays a very, very active role in this. And our principal intermediary with New York State and in managing grants is the Biotech Institute, with whom the Center is sort of joined at the hip.
And we are extremely fortunate to have Tami Magnus, who's the Executive Director of the Biotech Institute here at Cornell present today. Tami had come to Cornell over 10 years ago-- maybe a little longer than that-- and had previously served in a variety of financial management positions, initially in the library system, moving up to her current position a couple of years ago as Executive Director of the Biotech Institute.
Tami has been the principal means by which the Center's administrative and financial house remains in order. And she has a couple of comments regarding the role of the state and the role of the federal government in our program. Tami, please come to the podium.
TAMI MAGNUS: Thank you, Lou. And welcome, everyone. It's great to see you. I would like to thank the administrative team who put all of this together for us tonight, including Alison Dollaway, Shawna Robertson, Emily Sampson, and Lindsay Schaffner. Please join me in thanking them for bringing together all of the details that make this such a special occasion.
This celebration would not be possible without the incredible synergy that exists with Cornell, the Center for Life Science Ventures, New York State, federal grants, and other award programs. First and foremost, I'd like to acknowledge the New York State Empire State Development NYSTAR Division for their support of Cornell's Center for Life Science Enterprise at the Cornell Institute of Biotechnology.
The Institute is at the heart of the life sciences community, surrounded by colleges with programs in agriculture, animal and human health, bioengineering, biochemistry, information, technology, and business, just to name a few. The Institute serves as a powerful catalyst for the life science research and business development across the Ithaca Cornell campus, Cornell Agritech, Cornell Tech, and Weill Cornell Medicine.
The New York State Empire State Development NYSTAR Program supports the Center for Life Science Ventures and the Cornell Institute of Biotechnology in identifying and mentoring life sciences companies in New York State who demonstrate great potential for product development and commercialization.
The Center for Life Science enterprise, which is one of the 15 NYSTAR Centers across New York State, provides matching funds to Cornell life science researchers and industry partners for collaborative projects resulting in new jobs and investment in New York. NYSTAR Programs provide a solid foundation for commercialization development and attracting other funds from venture capital firms, the federal government, other public and private entities with interest in life science innovation.
Other New York State and federal programs have helped to build successful Center companies before and during their incubation residency at the Center. The New York State FuzeHub Innovation and Manufacturing grants have helped several recent Center companies achieve technology milestones and scale up projects.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, NYSERDA, has supported technology development for Ecolectro and Dimensional Energy, as well as other Center companies. Federal support through the Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency and Energy, the National Science Foundation, I-Corps, and the Small Business Innovation Research grant programs have supported Center clients in research development and strategic business planning.
The companies we are celebrating today-- Dimensional Energy Ecolectro, and Kanvas Biosciences-- have successfully leveraged these programs to develop and scale up their products for the marketplace. Dimensional Energy plans to meet and beat the price of fossil fuels over the next decade by transforming captured carbon dioxide to fuel sources.
With support from the Department of Energy and the Solar Energy Technology Office and in collaboration with commercial partners, Dimensional Energy is developing a commercial plant for turning captured carbon dioxide into sustainable aviation fuel and diesel and fueling global air travel within the next decade. Dimensional energy has tapped expertise and support from New York State Empire State Development NYSTAR programs, federal agencies, commercial and not-for-profit collaborators to meet and exceed their business goals and timelines.
Ecolectro is a leader in the green hydrogen production, providing cost-competitive and sustainable methods to produce hydrogen for industrial processes and refining. Ecolectro has tapped support from the New York State Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, NYSERDA, and NYSTAR to develop technology platforms and attract investment from corporate and private sources. They're now able to deploy technology across various sectors, including energy storage, sustainable fuel development, fertilizer, industrial heating, and refinery operations.
Kanvas Biosciences is revolutionizing microbial research in infectious disease diagnostics using next-generation imaging technology. Founded in 2020, I think they are the youngest company with us today-- graduating today. And they have received support through the NYSTAR program. Leveraging that support, they have attracted significant investment funds and have built successful partnerships with corporate and academic institutions.
Through programs such as the NSF I-Core, Cornell's business incubation programs, and the Cornell Research Centers, companies gain invaluable market analysis mentoring and cutting-edge technology and services. When these resources are paired with New York State, federal, and private funding opportunities, these outstanding companies provide jobs and tremendous economic benefit to their communities in New York State and beyond, reaching national and global markets.
Thank you for giving me a few minutes to highlight the role of the New York State CAT program at Cornell and NYSTAR program, as well as other New York State and federal programs that have contributed to the success of success of the companies that we are honoring today. Thank you.
LOU WALCER: The other piece of the midwifery puzzle in giving birth to young companies here, as part of the service network that supports the incubator, is the services provided by Research Division. And, in that capacity, I'd like to bring Emanuel Giannelis to the podium. Emmanuel is a Professor of Material Science.
Emmanuel has served, for the last five years, as Vice President of Research and Innovation at Cornell. Emmanuel, in that capacity, realized the dream of the Praxis Incubator-- our sister incubator, focusing on physical sciences and engineering technologies-- realized that dream and gave it a home. I am privileged to have served with Emmanuel-- friend and occasional co-conspirator.
EMMANUEL GIANNELIS: Thank you, Lou. Thank you. Ying mentioned that, as a consultant, she needs slides. Well, I'm a faculty member, and I'm programmed to talk for 50 minutes nonstop.
So bear with me. Well, I'm reminded that next week is Thanksgiving, so it's an opportunity to say thank you. And I would start-- say thank you to our provost, Mike Kotlikoff, who has been, actually, the inspiration for us to do some of the things that Lou has mentioned.
I think, Mike, you have been extremely supportive of all these efforts, and you've shown it when you put your money where your words were. So thank you for that. I think the kinds of things that we were able to accomplish would not have been possible without your support and the entire administration. So thank you for that.
The other thing is-- we've been talking about, it takes a village. It's an ecosystem. You really need to have several things that come together to give opportunities for companies to materialize out of these early-stage technologies, which we are now pursuing a lot more aggressively because we really believe in having impact beyond the academy and being able, actually, to reach the society at large and have influence through products, through applications, in processes, and other things.
And so, in that ecosystem, of course, our incubators are a prime example of that. But there are other things that need to come together, and I'd like to acknowledge one more time our provost for allowing us to put together a gap funding program that-- it's quite sizable, and it comes in different flavors. Alice Li and her team have been able to put several programs together that, as time goes by, I think we'll see the effect that they will have in our efforts to change this campus and have an emphasis on innovation. So, again, thank you for that.
But I'd also like-- and I'll finish with that-- to thank some of the other players within the research division because I believe that another thing that has happened in the last few years is that we have been able to be your trusted advisors-- that you come to us with ideas of where you want to go. And we, hopefully, have found ways to get you there-- maybe not necessarily with the way you wanted to get there in the first place-- maybe through another road. But, hopefully, we are able and will continue to take you there.
So with, that, I'd like to acknowledge one more time Alice Li and the whole CTL team. I'd like to acknowledge Mark Hurwitz and the whole Research Compliance Office. I'd like to acknowledge Mary-Margaret and the whole OSP group. When you get with particular names, you're always going to leave somebody out.
I'd like to thank Tom Phifer, our facilities person because all these people really need to come together when a faculty member or a student reports success-- I have an idea. I want to commercialize it-- before they even get to you, Lou. They really-- all that group needs to work together up front and continue working with these companies to make that a reality.
So, with that, thank you all for joining us today. I want to thank one more time our provost for his continued support, and I pass it back to Lou for continuing the program. Thank you.
So, now, it's time for commencement. And we're going to start with each of the companies that have earned the right-- we'll work alphabetically, starting with Dimensional Energy. So at least in terms of Dimensional Energy's experience at the Center, DE started as a concept, initially, by David Erickson and Tobias Hanrath. And Let's try to see what we can do in capturing carbon and turning it into jet fuel or other fuels that can fuel a car, or a jet, or otherwise.
The idea bounced around in NYSTAR for a little bit and then, ultimately, found a champion in Jason Salfi. Jason, I'd like to bring you and the team up, and I'd appreciate it if you can spend a minute or two talking about your experience and where you plan to go, sir.
JASON SALFI: All right, well, thank you, Lou. I'll start out by saying thank you to Lou, and Ying, and Alison, and Shawna. Without your support, we wouldn't be here. When a company like ours walks into the door of an incubator like this, we have dreams, and people need to believe in us.
And so I want to thank all of you for believing in us to realize our dreams, first of all. And I'll riff a little bit on this ecosystem thing that I've been hearing a little bit about. So what comes to mind when you think of a tree? Reflect on that a minute.
What allows a tree to grow and make its way around to a broader space and, in our case, the world? Its roots, right? Its roots. We're in Ithaca. Our roots are here, and that's always going to be the case.
So we have strong roots in Ithaca, so I want to humanize that experience a little bit and also talk about a person who was really important in our journey, and that was Penny-- I can't remember her last name, unfortunately. So it was really cool, right? So Penny Burke-- it was mentioned we were in the Carbon XPRIZE finals.
And when we had the opportunity to emerge from this lab for the first time and show what we had accomplished over the last couple of years of being here, Brad Brennan-- who's here in the audience, part of Dimensional-- just joined the company. And we were like, wow. How are we going to get this tech in the field? Who knows how to build things in the real world here?
So Penny said, I know a guy. I'm like, who's that guy? Brian Bowman, that guy right there, can build anything. And we emerged. We were one of the only companies through COVID to make it out of the lab and into the field and build something that worked.
We demonstrated our technology-- automated and integrated a solar tracking device that could bring energy to a reactor at its focal point, transform carbon dioxide into the building block of the fuels and feedstocks that power our economy. And wow-- now, we are fully integrated with like the talents of Bruce Logue here who's from Houston, helping us build big plants all over the world.
And this thing is in Tucson. We're running a 24/7 operation-- making fuel every day, making products every day, and it all started here with the support of Cornell. And we're really excited to say we can stay here in Ithaca because not only will Cornell provide support for a company like ours to emerge, but ongoing support after. So we can keep some of our operations-- no matter how broad our branches may grow, we can keep some of our operations here and do some really cool stuff in the lab still because we'll have the ongoing support of Cornell University.
So I want to thank all of you for that and everybody on the team of Dimensional Energy. Dan's here. [INAUDIBLE] is here. Ali is here. Brad, Bruce-- mentioned. You all are part of the team. Can't forget Dave Erickson right there. But, anyway, thanks very much. Really honored to be here. And hopefully I didn't forget to mention anybody. Thank you.
LOU WALCER: Not done with you, yet. All right, where does our photographer want us lined up?
SPEAKER 1: I'll ask you to tilt it downward slightly so it doesn't reflect. Here we go. Look right here. Nice, warm smile. I'm going to take two photos. Focus. OK, here we go. One more. Got it. Thank you.
EMMANUEL GIANNELIS: All right, congratulations.
JASON SALFI: Thank you, Emmanuel.
LOU WALCER: I should say that from your distance--
JASON SALFI: I forgot one person.
LOU WALCER: Whoops.
JASON SALFI: There's my wife.
LOU WALCER: From your vantage point, these look like Cornell diplomas. But if you look at them closely, they bear my signature and, therefore, are worthless. But they look really good on a wall. And each of our client companies has managed to put them to good use.
So, at this point, I'd like to bring up a second honoree tonight. That's Ecolectro. So Gabriel, where are you? Kristina? So I had first met and the Center first encountered Gabriel and Kristina in the context of a preseed workshop back in-- I don't want to date myself so severely, so I'm not going to say when.
But, subsequently, their vision of improved electroactive polymers and facilitating fuel cells, electrolysis, and hydrolysis has taken root, and you've earned this. So bravo. I've got to give Gabriel and Kristina--
GABRIEL RODRIGUEZ-CALERO: Hey, everybody. It's a little bit surreal, really, because when you do a PhD, you never expect to graduate again. But here we are. A little funny, especially if you have a postdoc afterwards, too. It seems like credentials keep coming.
Nevertheless, I'd be remiss if I didn't say thank you. So Thanksgiving next week-- a lot to be thankful for and give gratitude. But I think if we really want to center it into something, it's really thanking people who give you a shot at the very earliest of stages, right?
I think when you think about, well, what do two PhD students-- graduates, freshly-minted PhDs-- have a business in doing anything with some of the most ambitious problems that we're trying to solve, it's very easy to find all the reasons why you can't do a certain thing. And I think what Cornell has done, what the Center did, what all of the amazing mentors, advisors, investors, and everybody who have come around our idea of Ecolectro, of making green hydrogen super cheap so that we can move away from fossil fuels-- I mean, green hydrogen is the best thing in the world.
You can use it for anything. It's the biggest market that nobody's ever heard about, which is amazing. So if you eat, you use green hydrogen because all the fertilizer in the world uses it. If you use steel-- which we use for buildings like this and other things-- you use green hydrogen.
When you think about disrupting industries like this, you need somebody to give you a shot. And I think what the Center did, what the Dean here did, what Cornell did was very, very important in getting this seed of an idea to start. And I am incredibly thankful for everybody who gave us a shot. And, I guess, for the next stage of development, we're commercializing our tech.
We're partnering with a lot of very interesting industries for different use cases to replace fossil fuel-derived sources, and we have very ambitious plans. We're right here in Ithaca. We're a team, so none of it is actually done by me. It's all by the team. And we're very thankful for their hard work and dedication to our mission. And I think that's it for me. I want to leave a few minutes for Kristina, as well.
KRISTINA HUGAR: Hello. So I think Gaby just did a pretty good job of thanking everyone, really. And I think he usually says all the important stuff, and then I just add a little sass. And so I'll just add my flavor to the whole story.
I think I often get asked still, a lot, the question, so how do you start a company? And it's almost as good as the question, so what do you do every day? What do you do on the day-to-day?
It's like, well-- and then I start rattling off a bunch of stuff about setting up a lab, and finding advisors, and building a board of directors, and thinking about tech to market, and about how it's not just about some cool science. It's, how are you going to scale that into a product, and then what?
And I start rattling off all these things, and I have a very meta moment where I'm like, well, where did all that come from? Because that definitely didn't come from my PhD in chemistry here at Cornell. And it really started here. We started our first lab here.
We got our first grant-- because we were incubated here, and we had the capability of setting up a lab, we were-- while we have close connections to people at Cornell, being able to identify ourselves as a company in a standalone, it set us apart from some of our competitors, actually-- having our own, fully-formed company.
And it all started here, and I can't think enough all the people who are part of that story. And I think I will forget most people if I try to rattle them off. But I really do believe that all the conversations, all the advice, all the opinions, all the thoughts-- some of it sticks. Some of it doesn't.
But a lot of it gets in there, and it becomes a part of who you are and how you develop yourself as an entrepreneur and a leader in your area. So I want to thank Lou and everyone who's been a part of our story. Thank you very much.
LOU WALCER: Thank you, Kristina. Thank you, Gabriel. Where's our photographer? Hello?
EMMANUEL GIANNELIS: We've done it--
SPEAKER 1: Step out toward me just a little bit away from Lou [INAUDIBLE]. That's great.
LOU WALCER: And you got to tilt that down.
SPEAKER 1: OK, tilt it down. Yeah, that's good. Look right here. I'm going to take two photos. Here's the first one. And then one more-- got it.
EMMANUEL GIANNELIS: All right, good. Congrats.
KRISTINA HUGAR: All right, thank you.
LOU WALCER: Nope, that's yours. And just one final word, though. I am very, very grateful that Ecolectro took our glove box because we were never able to get that thing to work without them. The final candidate here is Kanvas.
And it was alluded to earlier that Kanvas has been somewhat special in that it has rocketed through our program-- started with some money, which is usually more than our clients do, which they start with just a grant. Started with some significant money, and they've been working their Hyperfish technology and ability to attract both the location of players and function of players within a microbiome for diagnostic applications, laboratory tool applications, and, ultimately, for therapeutic applications.
And they have done particularly well. So I'm pleased to bring Matt and-- Matt and Hao or Matt-- to the podium. Can you talk a little bit about your experience, there?
MATT CHENG: Thanks, Lou. And also thanks for bringing Hao up here. So to begin with, I'd really like to thank Cornell University, Cornell Research, the Life Science Incubator, and the organizing committee for the incredible support ever since we embarked on this wild journey together, as well as for the opportunity to say a few words with my friend and co-founder, Hao.
So for those of you who don't know us, our company studies the microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria inside each and every one of us. And the reason we study the microbiome is because our technology platform can finally characterize it as a fundamentally distinct organ system within the human body-- one that we can leverage towards drug screening and drug development.
Now, investors ask us all the time, how do we come up with such a cool technology? And that's one of my favorite stories about Kanvas. So Hao and Iwijn actually came up with this technology together while Hao was completing his PhD just a few floors above.
And the best part is that neither Hao nor Iwijn are microbiologists. In fact, they're not even biologists at all. They are physicists and engineers who see the world in a fundamentally different way. And it's thanks to their genius that we were able to launch Kanvas together.
However, as everyone here knows, launching a company with a brand-new technology might sound cool, but it's definitely not sufficient to be successful. And that is why we are so incredibly and deeply appreciative of the McGovern Center for their mentorship, their support, and, perhaps most importantly, for the extremely affordable rent we pay during the incubation process.
And so it's admittedly bittersweet to graduate today because we wouldn't have a successful company without the support of this incredible team. On the bright side, our company has received funding from leading venture capital firms, including Triple Impact Capital and DCVC. We've also grown faster than we ever thought we could. And I'm honored to share that we're currently working with cutting-edge biopharma companies, including four of the top 10 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
Now, it's admittedly challenging to predict where the company will be in the next 5 to 10 years, but we're really quite excited to be developing a brand-new class of therapeutics and to do something that no one else has ever done before. And while these new frontiers may excite us, we're also cognizant of the magnitude of the challenges ahead. And as we navigate these uncharted territories, we're really grateful for the support and the mentorship we've received thus far.
On a personal note, prior to launching Kanvas, I was a practicing clinician and scientist in academia. And while I was more or less successful, my family always pushed me to do more-- not for the recognition but simply to get better every day. My father would often tell me that if I was the smartest person in the room, then I was just simply in the wrong room.
And the best part about Kanvas is that no matter where I go, I'm always in the right room. And so in closing, the key message to transmit is one of gratitude to this incredible team here at Cornell and, most importantly, to my two co-founders who are world-class scientists and even better people. So thank you, Hao.
HAO SHI: I'll be brief. Full disclosure-- I was not expecting to give a speech today. So, please, bear with me. So this story started a while ago when I was in Graduate School and when I started, I was not expecting to be here today. But the journey so far has just been incredible. I really want to thank the Cornell McGovern Center staff for really helping us turn an idea into a reality, and that is no small feat.
I also would like to thank all the support staff that helped us, and that includes-- I will not try to be comprehensive because I know I will miss people. But I really appreciate the support we get from Cornell Technology Center-- licensing center, from the building's support staff, from Alison-- administrative staff. Don't really appreciate them until you have to unload a minus 80 refrigerator without a loading dock.
So I really want to thank everybody that makes today a reality. And, most importantly, I want to thank my co-founder Matt, who is here, even, unfortunately, has to be away for a seminar. But Matt was the first external person who was excited about what we were doing. I don't count Iwijn because he's my thesis advisor, so he has some bias. He's always excited about what we're doing.
But Matt was really the first person that really showed me that, wow, this technology really has some use. And this is coming from a real doctor who treats people. And, from there, we really launched into a really incredible trajectory. And like Matt said, we have raised a really significant amount of venture funding.
We have acquired a large amount of pharmaceutical customers, and we really are at a place where we can use our technology to really help people. And that is something that I didn't think I would be doing today. So, with that, I would like to, again, thank everybody who helped us along the journey and hope everybody enjoy the food and wine. Thank you.
SPEAKER 1: Now scooch toward me a little bit, if you would.
LOU WALCER: You guys hang on to that. Tilt it a bit.
SPEAKER 1: Tilt it downward. That's good, right there. Look right at the camera. Two photos-- there's the first one and one more. Got it. Thank you.
LOU WALCER: It's at this point I'd like to bring Emanuel back to the podium for some final comments regarding the class of 2022 from the Life Science Center, formerly known as the McGovern Center.
EMMANUEL GIANNELIS: So Lou wants me to come back and tout the success of the companies. And I'm thinking about that, and I'm feeling like a faculty member. I always take credit for the work of my students and my postdocs, and he expects me to do exactly the same thing now-- talk about your successes, which are not mine.
But, nevertheless, I think you all need to be congratulated, not only because you were able to raise capital, bring jobs to the area, bring economic development to this area, bring a different kind of industry to the area-- not just the academic side, but just bring something very different.
But I think there is something more to that. I think you are living examples that, really, university research as early and as nascent can be can really see a way through and find a success in the commercial arena and have an impact beyond the academy which, as I've said, is something that is really very, very important to me, and I'm very passionate about that.
Now, from that time where you have the technology, and the discovery, and the "aha, I want to have a company" ambition to where you are right now, that is really an interesting path that, of course, it was never a straight line, I am sure. And it was not an easy path forward. And a lot of people in the middle play a critical role, as some of you said, in helping you through.
Certainly, the Incubator, Lou, Ying, others here, people in the research division, outside the research division, across Cornell University, outside Cornell University. But, at the end of the day, you were the ones who persevered, and you made it happen. So congratulations. So I like to stop right there and thank all of you for joining us today. And this is, again, a full of joy event that I'm really happy to be able to preside and thank you for that opportunity. Thanks, everybody.
LOU WALCER: Could I bring up the CEOs and CTOs and their certificates, please, so that we can get a group shot? You can pose us wherever you'd like to pose us.
EMMANUEL GIANNELIS: Will you still need me? Probably not.
LOU WALCER: Probably not. We're good. All right.
JASON SALFI: I've got to put my beer down.
LOU WALCER: Uh-oh.
MATT CHENG: Or you could keep it, and we all go get a beer.
LOU WALCER: That's true, too. You have all earned it.
SPEAKER 1: So is everybody here?
LOU WALCER: Yeah, I think so.
SPEAKER 1: OK, we're all here. Are we doing the photo first, or are we [INAUDIBLE] say?
LOU WALCER: Well, yeah, I mean-- OK, we have a lineup here of some extremely talented individuals who've managed to captain their ventures to the first step on a road to success, and I think that's fabulous. But in terms of some of what Emmanuel was talking about regarding taking credit for other people's work, I mean, we're looking at about $40 million worth of invested capital.
We're looking at about 80 employees sprinkled in both Ithaca and around the country and a valuation somewhere, as an aggregate, somewhere around $150 million. So this is really special and bravos and accomplishment, really, are in this group beyond measure. So ladies and gentlemen, the class of '22.
SPEAKER 1: Could I ask everyone to come right out to here-- right where this line is. Face to me, nice and close together. Lou, are you in this photo?
LOU WALCER: Um--
SPEAKER 1: Why don't you come over to this end? Would you hold the diplomas-- certificates at about the same height and then tilt them downwards slightly? That's perfect right there. Now, look right here. OK. Look right here. 1--
LOU WALCER: How many people in the audience are Cornell alumnus? All right. Raise hands, please, if you are a Cornellian? All right, well, those of you who are Cornellians among us will know that this institution places a great deal of emphasis on their alumni, importance on their alumni, fund raising amongst their alumni.
But you cannot be an alumnus of this august University without being properly equipped. So each of our graduates and their company staffs will be receiving a Life Science Alumni Class of 2022 beer mug, a funky-looking hat for the class of '22, and a slenderizing polo shirt that I'm not going to do justice to, again, with the logo Class of '22.
So we have caps for each of you, and we're going to take a blackmail photo for each of you. And then we will have been complete in our [INAUDIBLE].
SPEAKER 1: I'm going to bring you down here.
KRISTINA HUGAR: This was your idea?
JASON SALFI: Yes.
KRISTINA HUGAR: I like them.
JASON SALFI: Bucket cap--
KRISTINA HUGAR: Yeah, I think it's great.
LOU WALCER: We've done ball caps in the past. Jason, this was for you.
SPEAKER 1: If you all come out here-- Lou, are you in this photo?
LOU WALCER: Sure.
SPEAKER 1: Let's do it.
JASON SALFI: Thanks for going bucket hat.
SPEAKER 1: Look right here. OK, we want two more. And one more. And we're good. Thank you.
LOU WALCER: Thank you all very, very, very much for coming tonight, for your patience, for your humor, and for your applause. Thanks, again.
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