Marshfillows to Rosie!

Prize winning business concepts from Cornell's eLab
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The reputation of Cornell's eLab grew exponentially when two of its business concepts were selected from a statewide field of 96 for cash prizes this year.

Yorango and Rosie! Were among five finalists receiving $30,000 each from Startup Labs Syracuse, part of a national initiative designed to bring funding to "capital deserts."

Rosie! went on to win the top prize, an additional $150,000. "We're accelerating some of the best concepts across the state," said Dan Cohen, eLab director.

Rosie! — tagline "Never Run Out of Groceries" — identifies items needed by consumers through its online application or website, then connects orders with grocers — one in Ithaca and one in Syracuse, so far.

Buyers pick up prepackaged orders at the stores, rather than trolling the aisles for what they need.

Yorango aims to simplify life by connecting landlords and student renters.

Its website is a one-stop shop for finding rentals, paying rent, requesting repairs, listing rentals, managing them and scheduling tours.

Marshfillows is a patent-protected confection that makes for a seamless s'mores assembly.

So goes the pitch for the chocolate-centered marshmallow.

Then, there's Party Headphones, which plugs into the silent party phenomenon.

"Plug an audio source into the transmitter, turn on the headphones and allow guests to tune in from up to 100 yards away," its founders encourage.

Perhaps the headphones could be worn for a soundless game of Splat, an eLab concept that "turns your smartphone into this generation's version of the Super Soaker" using infrared technology.

Traffio enables creation of branded Facebook games "without writing a single line of code," and Sunn invented a bulb that replicates the quality of sunlight.

Using only a fraction of the electricity required by a standard bulb, Sunn's team says, the product delivers "a dynamic lighting experience that promotes circadian health." A federal grant is helping develop the product.