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New Models of Gap Funding

July 13, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


* Event organized by Tech Transfer Central

During 2021-2022, Cornell embarked on a major expansion of its gap funding series, committing $3 million a year to grow its innovation pipeline. But the Cornell story goes well beyond the top-line number. Underpinning the plan are three signature programs under the aptly named “Ignite” brand — all designed to fuel a major acceleration in start-ups, scale-ups, and innovation ecosystem growth.


The three-pronged plan includes a proof-of-concept program already sporting early successes, a unique new platform that integrates gap funding with acceleration programs, and a novel initiative that pairs postdocs with high-potential new ventures – and pays them to help take those start-ups on the path to growth – in the process creating a new generation of entrepreneurs.


Join Cornell’s tech transfer leader Alice Li, Ph.D., CLP, when she shares the details and early results of Ignite’s three signature programs: Ignite Innovation Acceleration, Ignite Postdoc for Ventures, and Ignite Startup Projects. She’ll provide insight into how each program was conceptualized, organized, funded and managed – and how the programs work in concert to increase start-up value and reach the next milestone event.


This one-hour webinar will illustrate aspects that worked well – and some that didn’t – for the existing gap funding programs while covering key elements in designing pioneering new platforms that you can adapt in your own university’s start-up and innovation ecosystem growth plans.


Here is a quick look at the agenda:

    • Concepts, goals and criteria for the three signature programs:
      • Ignite Innovation Acceleration
      • Ignite Postdoc for Ventures
      • Ignite Startup Projects
    • Metrics to measure success of gap funding programs
  • Processes that contribute to advancement to the next inflection points
  • Leveraging ecosystem development with the new platform design
  • Early results and lessons learned


Plus, bring your questions to participate in the interactive Q&A portion of the program.

After the live session, keep the on-demand video for future training and education


Register here! 

Meet your presenter:

Alice LiAlice Li, Ph.D., CLP
Executive Director
Center for Technology Licensing
Cornell University

Alice oversees activities in technology management, licensing, marketing and finance to support Cornell’s goals in commercializing technologies, promoting startups, and building partnerships. Alice also leads the university gap funding series to accelerate innovation and new venture creation.


Alice has over 20 years of experience in university tech transfer and business development. She started as a licensing officer with hands-on management of invention portfolios, negotiations of complex deals, and engagement with startup companies. She rose through the ranks of CTL and became the Executive Director in 2014. Prior to joining CTL in 2002, Alice was an R&D manager at BioArray Solutions, a startup biotech company in diagnostics that was later acquired by Immucor. During her five-year tenure there, the company grew from a two-person startup to an enterprise of fifty people.


Alice obtained her Ph.D. from Cornell University and a B.S. from Tsinghua University. She is also an inventor, patent holder, and author of research papers in scientific journals. She has been a Certified Licensing Professional since 2010 and is a Board Director of AUTM.