Women Innovators Initiative (WI2)

The Women Innovators Initiative is a Cornell program to Engage, Empower, and Grow women faculty, staff, and graduate students on the path toward technology innovation and entrepreneurial leadership.


  • Introduce women faculty, staff, and students to technology innovation and commercialization, and help increase their participation in inventorship.
  • Support their interests and exploration in entrepreneurship and leadership roles.


Women Innovator Awards

  •  A celebration of Cornell women innovators for their contributions to innovation and commercialization

WI2 Event series

  • A series of seminars, webinars, and networking events.
  • Learn from inspiring women inventors and entrepreneurs

WI2 Mentor program

  • Match mentors (seasoned women innovators, entrepreneurs, and/or investors) with mentees (aspiring and novice inventors and entrepreneurs)
  • Cultivate the next generation of leaders with the help of our volunteering alumnae

Partner Programs and Events


Women Innovator Awards

The Center for Technology Licensing at Cornell University (CTL) launched the inaugural Women Innovator Awards, a celebration of Cornell women innovators for their contributions in innovation and commercialization. For more information and application, visit here.

poster for Women Innovator Awards

WI2 Event series

  • March 17, 2022: Webinar “CTL@WCM Special Panel on Women’s Health”

WI2 Mentor program

Duration: Commitment of a year.


Eligibility criteria / Requirements

Mentors Mentee
Who Alumnae volunteers willing to provide advice and perspectives on technology innovation, commercialization, startups, and other related activities. Cornell Faculty, Staff (post-doctoral fellows), and Grad students who are interested in technology, commercialization, and new ventures and wish to learn from experienced women leaders
Background Experienced in technology commercialization and Startup creation Conducting research at Cornell
Process Review a list of pre-selected candidates Express a substantiated interest in the program
Match Select up to three mentees per year One designed mentor
Commitment At least two meetings per mentee in a year.
Willing to share their email with a mentee.
At least two one-on-one meetings with a mentor per year
Respectful of mentor time
Responsive to mentor’s emails

For Mentees:


Application process:

  • Submit an online application here.
  • The team at CTL will screen the application and propose them for review to the mentors.
  • Once selected, mentees are introduced to their mentor through a virtual introduction.

For more information, please contact Lynda Inseque at Lci2@cornell.edu.

For mentors:

If you are interested in serving as a mentor, please contact Lynda Inseque at Lci2@cornell.edu.

Partner Programs & Events

Weill Cornell Medicine Women Founders Initiative

The Women Founders Initiative at WCM will host and promote several initiatives to help women innovators become successful entrepreneurs and leaders.


Equalize is a virtual mentor program and pitch competition designed to take national action around the disparity of women academic inventors forming university startups.
>> Call for applications
Application Info Sessions (Video)

W.E. Cornell Applications Now Open

W.E. Cornell is a cohort-based program that empowers deep tech graduate, PhD, and post-doctoral scholars at Cornell University to commercialize their innovations and overcome the challenges of leading a technology-based business. Combining a proven entrepreneurship curriculum with a focus on leadership development and empowerment, participants will finish the program prepared to take the next steps in their entrepreneurship journey.

The program is open to all students and post docs at Cornell conducting research at the graduate level or higher including women, female-identified, and non-binary students. Applications for fall 2022 will be accepted until October 7. Apply now.

Join an information session

Join like-minded deep technology entrepreneurs for a complimentary lunch at Upson Hall on August 9 with director of W.E. Cornell, Andrea Ippolito, M. Eng ’07 and founder of SimpliFed. Ippolito will lead a discussion focused on the challenges specific to women entrepreneurs and innovators while sharing the benefits of the W.E. Cornell program and highlighting other entrepreneurship opportunities at Cornell. Register for the August 9 information session.