Fasttrack Startup License

The FastTrack Startup License program was introduced in July 2018 for new ventures based on Cornell technologies. It’s an experimental approach to licensing Cornell technologies to startups, designed to enhance our pro-startup ecosystem at Cornell, and increase the transparency and speed of the licensing process.

The program started in the field of engineering and physical sciences. Since the launching of the program, we have received overwhelmingly positive results and feedback, with people choosing the FastTrack in the ratio of 2:1 in the offered fields. In January 2022, the FastTrack Startup License program has been expanded to two additional fields: a) medical device and selected life science fields, and b) software and copyright materials from the Ithaca, Geneva and Cornell Tech campuses. We are committed to continually evaluating and improving the program, with the goals to help increase the quality and quantity of startups based on Cornell technology and catalyze technology commercialization.

Main Features

  • The FastTrack Startup license is a ‘ready to be executed’ agreement with favorable, balanced, and fixed terms. Minimal negotiation focuses on the field-of-use and due diligence from the Licensee in its commitment/milestones to commercialize the innovation.
  • There are menu options to choose from, designed to accommodate different types of businesses, from those geared towards VC funding, to those focused on strategic partnerships, to bootstrapped efforts.


Current Technology Fields
See descriptions under agreements for different fields and specific information.

Any new startups based on Cornell technologies in the applicable fields, provided that the inventors and CTL agree with the path of new venture and the team selection.


To make sure that Cornell’s technologies are licensed to parties who have the capability and reasonable plans to develop the inventions to commercial products and services, CTL requires the startups to provide their business plans or canvas, or similar materials to describe the following:

  • A viable team of founders/committed advisors for the startup
  • Value proposition for the market
  • Commercialization plan
  • Development milestones
  • Startups must be incorporated as C corporations

At the time of the license execution, the startup should have committed funding from awarded SBIR/STTR grants or at least $100 K seed funding. If the founding team involves Cornell employees, clearance of conflict of interests is also required prior to the execution of the license.

We understand that business plans may evolve as companies grow and adapt to the marketplace, especially at the early-stage development. When the startup is not ready to license the Cornell technology but has the promise to be a viable opportunity:

  • A simple 6-month option can be offered to the company with a low fee of $1000 (waived if the inventors are part of the founding team).
  • The option period can be extended for another 6-months for a low fee of $2500 at CTL’s discretion.
  • During the option period, the team is expected to work with regional incubators, accelerators, and/or other training programs to sharpen the business idea and connect to suitable resources.

Key financial terms for the Exclusive License

See descriptions under agreements for different fields


Benefits from the FastTrack Startup License program include:

  • Quicker turnaround time to obtain the license to move forward with the business opportunity
  • Lower upfront and early stage expenses
  • Clearer expectations at the idea incubation stage before launching the company