Engineering Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

Cornell Engineering’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program partners experienced entrepreneurs with faculty, postdocs, and Ph.D. students who are interested in learning more about commercialization and entrepreneurship. 

Not sure if commercialization or entrepreneurship are right for you? Set up a meeting with one of the entrepreneurs. They can help you explore the entrepreneurship landscape, put you in touch with like-minded alumni, and connect you to programs to help you get started—no matter where you are on your journey.

Empowering and guiding Cornell Engineering Post-docs, Ph.D.s, and Faculty

Launched in the fall of 2018, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program has guided more than 50 individuals, helping them connect to entrepreneurship programs, funding, and potential startup co-founders.

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence offer guidance and support to:

  • Assist you in determining whether commercialization or entrepreneurship is a path for you or your technology
  • Offer guidance and support to help you determine product market fit
  • Connect you to next-stage entrepreneurship classes, programs, accelerators, and extracurricular opportunities tailored to your interests and needs
  • Introduce you to potential co-founders or colleagues for forming or growing a startup
  • Identify funding opportunities to fit your needs and preferences and assist with application and next steps



Get to know the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

Brian Bauer

Brian Bauer

Bauer is the Competition Director for Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement. He runs 76West, NYSERDA’s clean energy business competition and the Grow-NY food and agriculture competition. Bauer is a seasoned international energy industry executive with extensive experience in oil, natural gas, chemicals, and renewables in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Bauer ran several international businesses during a 30-year career in the energy industry and has expertise in operations, strategy, business development, mergers and acquisitions, major project management, corporate governance, and organizational change.

Nate Cook

Nathan Cook

Cook is an active attorney and he represents businesses and individuals in connection with a wide array of complex commercial business and real estate transactions. He has also lectures at the Johnson School at Cornell University where he teaches courses on entrepreneurship and early-stage finance and venture capital transactions. Nate also serves as mentor for the 76West Clean Energy Competition and a judge for Cornell Law School’s Transactional Lawyering Competition. Throughout his career, he has represented a diverse group of clients including publicly-traded corporations, middle market companies, and emerging technology startups. He regularly counsels companies on corporate governance, fund raising, M&A transactions, and protection of intellectual property.

Susan Fleming Headshot

Susan Fleming, Ph.D

Dr. Fleming is an experienced executive, educator, speaker, angel investor, and mom. In the first 12 years of her career, Fleming advanced from an Analyst at Morgan Stanley to Partner at a $1.85 billion private equity fund. During this time, she was struck by the lack of women in leadership positions and decided to take action. She pursued a Ph.D at Cornel in management, focusing on gender bias in the business world and how to reduce it. Today, she speaks across the U.S. on these issues. Fleming has served on the board of directors of numerous publicly traded companies, private companies, and non-profits. She also served as a senior lecturer for both Cornell's School of Hotel Administration and Johnson Graduate School of Management, teaching entrepreneurship, finance, women in leadership and negotiations courses, as well as running several business competitions and Cornell's university-wide minor in entrepreneurship and innovation. Prior to joining the business world, Fleming obtained her bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia. 

Alex Hagen Headshot

Alex Hagen

Previously, the Director of the Southern Tier Clean Energy Incubator, Hagen is the CEO at, an online order aggregation business that has the goal of disrupting the gardening industry. Prior to ShrubBucket, he was the CFO at Renovus Solar during a time of rapid growth from seven employees to over 60. Hagen was the founding CEO of Weaver Wind Energy Inc. and raised over $1M in grants and angel capital before joining Renovus. During his five years with the company, he managed the design, prototyping, testing, and manufacturing of the world's most reliable small wind turbine. Hagen has over 14 years of operational, financial, and business strategy experience at both startups and large corporations. He holds a degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell University. 

Elisa Miller-Out

Elisa Miller-Out

Miller-Out serves as the managing partner at Chloe Capital, a seed stage venture capital investment fund focused on women-led technology companies. She is also the co-founder of PollQ, a chatbot polling tool for higher education, and a board member at Women 2.0, the leading media brand for women in tech. Miller-Out co-founded and served as CEO of Singlebrook, a custom software services firm which engaged in a successful acquisition for one of its departments. Prior, Miller-Out founded two other companies and worked in a variety of industries in New York City.

Ken Rother

Ken Rother

Rother is the Director of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works as well as its Hardware Entrepreneurship programs. He is the Managing Director of Cornell’s eLab student accelerator program, teaches entrepreneurship at the Johnson School, instructs and coaches in several technology commercialization programs including NSF I-Corps, and is a Venture Partner at Cayuga Venture Fund. Rother has held multiple senior business and technical positions for organizations such as Discovery Communications, Reuters, Matrox, and the Toronto Stock Exchange. He has direct startup experience having co-founded a software business in Toronto and joining an early stage online media business in New York, both of these startups concluded with successful exits.

Steve Sauer Headshot

Stephen Sauer, Ph.D

Stephen Sauer, Ph.D, is a senior lecturer of Management and Organizations at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Sauer's research and teaching activities focus on issues of leadership, team process and status of diversity in management. His work has been published in a number of academic journals and his research has been featured in a variety of mainstream media outlets. Dr. Sauer graduated with a Ph.D in Management and Organizational Behavior from Cornell University, where he also earned an MBA and Master's in Business and Policy Administration. He holds a Bachelor's degree is Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to embarking on his academic career, he worked as an organization change consultant and plant manager after serving seven years as an armored cavalry officer in the US Army.

Brad Treat

Brad Treat

Treat is a career entrepreneur with an emphasis on technology-driven companies. He was most recently the Founding CEO of Mezmeriz, a high-tech company making interactive projectors and reality capture cameras to embed into mobile phones. Treat was also the co-founder and CEO of SightSpeed, an innovative video and voice communications company. SightSpeed was profitably acquired by Logitech for $30M. Earlier in his career, Treat worked for eight years in the automotive industry in both the US and Spain at Bowles Fluidics and GKN Automotive.

Brandon Wright

Brandon Wright

Brandon is a serial entrepreneur, serving most recently as the co-founder and CEO at Zibby. Zibby is a mission-driven finance company helping retailers sell life’s necessities to 100 million nonprime consumers seamlessly through every channel, from online to in-store. He landed his first job with a top-10 asset management team at Smith Barney, but quickly transitioned from analyzing companies to building them. He co-founded and successfully exited companies in residential mortgage, multi-family real estate, and retail coffee, all in the Pacific Northwest.