Pre-Seed Workshop

Do you have an innovative technology or idea?
Are you looking for business input?

Pre-Seed Workshop can help you find answers!

PSW logo

The Pre-Seed Workshop (PSW) is a systematic approach designed to take a raw idea from a university lab or other source and investigate its marketplace viability and potential as the foundation of a startup business using a preliminary commercialization plan developed in this unique, collaborative, hands-on workshop.

Teams are created around a central technology, product or business idea and typically include a technology champion, a legal advisor, an industry expert, an MBA student and an experienced entrepreneur.

PSW is an intense, two and a half day workshop to efficiently:

  • Vet projects and business ideas
  • Launch pre-seed stage companies
  • Increase the entrepreneurial activity within the community


It will answer three questions:

  • Is my idea worth commercializing?
  • What should my role be?
  • What are my next steps?


80% of your time is spent in hands-on group sessions with team members with diverse backgrounds in technical, business, financial and legal areas.

At PSW you will work through 9 modules with break-out sessions to answer 20 key business questions related to the technology and its market, competition, business potential, etc. At the end, participants create an overall presentation of their idea and deliver it to a panel of experts. The expert panel then provides feedback on the merit of the opportunity.

There are no losers in PSW! Everyone comes away with a rich understanding of what it takes to form a successful startup, and how to reshape plans if preliminary ideas aren't feasible.

Next PSW at Cornell University: March 13, 14, and 21, 2017

Read the Cornell Chronicle article about our most recent PSW here.

Read what participants are saying.

For a complete background please visit


AM&T, Phillips Lytle, CCMR, AM&T, Cornell University College of Engineering, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Harris Beach, Miller Mayer, Bond, Schoeneck & King, TCAD, LaunchNY, Cornell Business and Technology Park, Johnson Cornell University Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute, Entrepreneurship @ Cornell, Energy Materials Center at Cornell, Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology  & Innovation (NYSTAR)

Supported in kind by: CTL, HTR, Blue Highway, EXCELL Partners, eLab, King Ferry Winery, Hosmer Winery, Hiscock & Barclay, The Tech Farm, Sciencenter, BestWestern Ithaca, and especially the Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences

Please contact Marla Coppolino by email ( or call 607/254-6541 to discuss the status of your idea and your expectations of the Pre-Seed Workshop.

PSWteam   PSWteam2013