David J. BenDaniel
Don and Margi Berens Professor of Entrepreneurship
PhD, MIT

Professor BenDaniel holds degrees in physics and engineering. He has been a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration. At Cornell, he serves as a Senior Fellow of the Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise Program. In addition to his teaching and research, he has been active in investing venture capital. He held a senior vice presidency in …more


Rhett Weiss
Faculty Advisor

Rhett is the Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. In addition, he serves on the faculty, teaching or advising graduate students in the entrepreneurship, private equity, and venture capital areas.

Before joining Cornell in July 2011, Rhett had over 25 years of successful leadership and management roles. Rhett is an experienced executive, entrepreneur, consultant, and attorney who has led domestic and foreign strategic transactions totaling over $30 billion. Throughout his career, he has been involved in dozens of entrepreneurial ventures and innovation initiatives. Rhett also has held board chairman and other leadership positions at professional, educational, civic, and other non-profit organizations. …more


Marlon Nichols
Alumni Advisor

Marlon Nichols started his career in the software industry where he successfully led the deployment of many global enterprise software and business process improvement initiatives for Fortune 100 enterprises. During his time as a technologist, Marlon played a key role in the European expansion of a Cambridge based software company. Upon returning to the United States, Marlon worked as a principal strategist and senior manager for a strategy consulting firm focusing on new business development. While working fulltime as a consultant Marlon pursued what started out as a passion project and later evolved into an education focused nonprofit company called Rise to College. Under Marlon’s leadership Rise to College continues to grow while positively impacting the lives of over 200 hundred inner city high school students each year. Marlon studied Entrepreneurship and Private Equity at Johnson where he was a Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow and served as President/Chief Operating Officer of the BR Venture Fund, Johnson’s $1.2M evergreen Venture Capital Fund. After completing his MBA degree at Cornell Marlon joined Intel Capital as an Associate Director. Marlon actively works to identify, invest in, partner with, and advise early stage high growth companies that operate in the digital media, digital home, and internet sectors. …more


Aaron Holiday
Alumni Advisor

Aaron co-founded Cornell Connections, a private social mobile network that that unites Cornell’s global entrepreneurial community and facilitates technology commercialization. Aaron co-founded Cornell Connections while completing his MBA at Cornell University, where he studied entrepreneurship and venture capital investing. At Cornell, Aaron was the COO of BR Venture Fund, a seed stage venture capital fund. Aaron managed the fund’s first portfolio company IPO (generating a 5.2x return on an $801M market capitalization), instituted a deal screening process, and spearheaded a VC partnership program. Aaron also worked with 13 startups on growth, commercialization, and capitalization strategies as a leader of the eLab. Prior to Cornell, Aaron worked for Goldman Sachs building proprietary technology for its program trading and algorithmic trading desks. After four years at Goldman, Aaron joined GFI Group, a global inter-dealer brokerage, to work with the head of Product Development in the redesign of the firm’s Foreign Exchange Options derivatives trading platform.

Aaron holds a BS from Morehouse College, earning the most outstanding computer science student award. Aaron is also a Kauffman Fellow Finalist, a selective global network of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. He is currently an advisor to SocStock, a FinTech startup, he sits on the E@C Advisory Council and and he has served on nonprofit boards such as iMentor.


Chris Kurdziel
Alumni Advisor

Chris Kurdziel is 2012 graduate of Cornell’s Johnson school and BR Venture Fund alumnus. He currently runs business development for TechStars New York startup Shelby.tv and is actively involved in both the New York and Cornell startup ecosystems. Prior to business school, Chris worked in various product and customer oriented roles for McKesson on their enterprise document management product suite. He has a BS in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and in his spare time he enjoys rock climbing, golf, playing guitar, cooking, travel, and tinkering with technology. Follow him on twitter at @ckurdziel or check out his blog at chriskurdziel.com.