One full day of

Eclectic Convergence

Cornell Entrepreneurship Summit

Experience this year's eclectic mix of speakers and their personal stories and perspectives on building their iconic enterprises

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We are planning to hold this event in-person in New York City in accordance with CDC guidelines, NYC guidelines, and Cornell University guidelines that may be in place on the event date. In accordance with current NYC and TimesCenter guidelines, all event attendees must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination upon arrival at the venue (an official vaccination card or Excelsior Pass will suffice). Online viewing is an alternative attendance option as well. Registrants will be notified of any major changes as soon as possible.


Doug Lankler portrait photo

Doug Lankler JD '90

Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Pfizer

Doug Lankler is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Pfizer. He reports to the Chief Executive Officer and is a member of Pfizer's Executive Leadership Team. Prior to being named General Counsel, Doug was Pfizer's Chief Compliance and Risk Officer, a role he assumed in 2006. Doug has been with Pfizer since 1999.

Prior to joining the Company, Doug was with the United States Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. Doug was a recipient of the United States Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award.

Before joining the Department of Justice, Doug worked in the Litigation Department of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York.

Doug graduated from the State University of New York at Albany and Cornell Law School. He and his wife, Jill, have three children and reside in Larchmont, New York.

Jessica Rolph portrait photo

Jessica Rolph '97, MBA '04

Co-founder & CEO, Lovevery
2021 Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year

Jessica Rolph is Co-founder and CEO of Lovevery. Prior to Lovevery, Jessica was the Co-founder and COO of Happy Family, helping to launch, build and lead Happy Family to its position as a top organic baby and toddler brand in the US. Happy Family was acquired by Group Danone in 2013.

Jessica also co-founded the Climate Collaborative , a non-profit organization helping companies in the natural products industry take meaningful steps to reverse climate change. She is an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow and was awarded the Park Leadership Fellowship, graduating from Cornell's Johnson School in 2004. Jessica also holds a BA from Cornell University, where she graduated cum laude.

Jessica and her husband, Decker, live in Boise, Idaho and are parents to Beatrice, Thacher and Leland.

Ryan Hudson portrait photo

Ryan Hudson '02

Co-founder, Honey

Ryan Hudson is the co-founder of Honey, the LA-based tech company recently acquired by PayPal. Prior to Honey, he built, launched, (and shut down) several startups. He previously worked in venture capital and in product management roles at venture funded startups.

Ryan studied Operations Research and Computer Science at Cornell University and holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Kat Cole portrait photo

Kat Cole

Investor, Advisor, Board Member, Former President & COO, Focus Brands

Kat Cole is an inspiring leader and operator known for turning around companies and building brands, teams, and high-growth businesses over two decades. Recently completing a 10-year executive career at Focus brands, she is now an investor and advisor to high-growth businesses and brands.

Most recently, she was COO and President of Focus Brands, the owner of multi-billion dollar global food business that franchise and operate global food brands in over 50 countries. She led the company's 7 brands: Cinnabon, Auntie Anne's, Moe's, Schlotzsky's, McAllister's, Carvel and Jamba with 6500 locations globally as well as the multi-brand licensing and CPG business. Prior to becoming COO, she was president of Cinnabon and Group President of the multi-channel licensing division at Focus. Prior to Focus, Kat was Vice President at Hooters, leading the company's global growth through franchising, training, and operations.

Kat is an outspoken advocate for women's issues and for the role of business in democratizing access to opportunity. She is a past member of the United Nations Global Entrepreneurs Council, was featured on CBS' "Undercover Boss", and was named one of Fortune's 40 under 40.

Monique Idlett portrait photo

Monique Idlett

Founder & Managing partner, Reign VC

Monique Idlett is a globally recognized entertainment pioneer. Her power and influence stem from a unique blend of business acumen and innovative strategic vision. By adeptly traversing the spectrum from entertainment, marketing, press and entrepreneurship, she has earned a reputation as an industry visionary. Her expansive reach into the hearts and minds of people across the world is transforming the way people interact with each other and iconic brands.

For over fourteen years, she served as the CEO of Mosley Brands and Mosley Music Group, home to a multi-platinum roster of artists. In 2017, Monique founded Reign Venture Capital, an early stage investment firm that focuses on women and minority-led start-ups. Then, in 2018 she founded The Art of Collaboration to change the narrative of business. In addition to her entrepreneurial pursuits, Monique is well regarded for her philanthropic work. As the Founder of Always Believing Foundation, Monique finds innovative and empowering solutions to promote self confidence in young girls. She is also involved in several other nonprofit organizations. Since 2014, Monique has served as a National Trustee for The Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Colin Walsh portrait photo

Colin Walsh '90

CEO & Founder, Varo Bank

Colin Walsh is the founder and CEO of Varo Bank, the first consumer fintech to be granted a bank charter in US history. Colin founded Varo with a specific vision: to advance the cause of financial inclusion and opportunity for all.

Colin is uniquely positioned to lead the digital bank revolution and has more than 25 years of experience in consumer banking at large global financial institutions. He led Europe's largest credit and charge card business as an Executive Vice President at American Express. Colin also led the UK's largest mortgage and savings businesses at Lloyds Banking Group, and served as Managing Director for the firm's retail bancassurance, credit, debit and merchant acquiring businesses.

Varo is banking reimagined - all-digital, mission-driven, FDIC insured and designed around the way you live. From premium transaction banking accounts, to Varo Advance - a radically transparent and instant cash advance - to instant peer to peer payments, a high yield savings account, and amazing Utah-based customer service - Varo is a better alternative to traditional brick and mortar banks. As a digitally native chartered bank, Varo's hyper efficient, tech-driven model offers premium banking services that put real money back in the hands of consumers and communities across the country. Varo is a new kind of bank, a bank for all of us.

Clif Smith portrait photo

Clif Smith

EY's Americas Mindfulness Leader

Clif Smith, a US Army veteran, former diplomat, and intelligence officer, serves as EY's foremost advisor on mindfulness and is an internationally recognized leader for bringing mindfulness into the corporate world. He brings his inspirational poverty to prosperity story and over 25 years of experience leading through high-pressure situations into his teachings, and demonstrates the value of cultivating mindfulness as a fundamental part of our personal and professional lives. Following his passion for developing others, Clif built EY's Mindful Leadership program, delivering practical training to over 65,000 EY and client personnel with measurable impact on performance, leadership, and well-being. He’s the author of the new international bestselling book, Mindfulness Without the Bells and Beads, and is an accomplished public speaker who has inspired tens of thousands of conference participants, university students, and Fortune 500 company professionals across the globe.

Scott Belsky portrait photo

Scott Belsky '02

Emcee & Moderator
Entrepreneur, Author, Investor, & CPO, Adobe

Scott Belsky is an executive, entrepreneur, author, investor, and now serves as Adobe's Chief Product Officer. Scott's passion is to make the creative world more productive, connected, and adaptive to new technologies. He founded Behance, the leading online platform for the creative industry to showcase and discover creative work, and served as CEO until Adobe acquired Behance in 2012. He is a Venture Partner with Benchmark, and is an early advisor and investor in Pinterest, Uber, sweetgreen, and Periscope as well as several other startups. He is the author of Making Ideas Happen and The Messy Middle, and founded 99U, a publication and annual conference devoted to productivity in the creative world.



Check-in & Breakfast


Opening Remarks
Zach Shulman '87, JD '90, Director, Entrepreneurship at Cornell, and Greg Morrisett, Dean, Cornell Tech


Clif Smith


Kat Cole


Colin Walsh '90


Networking Lunch


Cornell Tech and CTL Startup Pitches


Ryan Hudson '02


Jessica Rolph '97, MBA '04
Followed by announcement of startup pitch winner


Networking Break


Monique Idlett


Doug Lankler JD '90


Closing Remarks




The Times Center

New York City
242 W 41st Street
New York, NY 10036


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Access to all presentations, meals, reception, networking, and swag.





Includes 6 student tickets



Cornell and non-Cornell faculty



Cornell and non-Cornell students

Virtual Ticket



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