Cornell University: 2022 Kessler Fellows secure summer startup internships

The 2022 cohort of the College of Engineering’s Kessler Fellows program has successfully accepted internship offers at startups around the country, doing innovative work from modern beekeeping to designer jewelry subscriptions.

Open to any undergraduate student in their junior year at Cornell University, the Kessler Fellows program gives students with a passion for entrepreneurship the opportunity to obtain firsthand experience of the day-to-day working for a startup.

Fully funded through the generosity of Andrew Kessler ‘80, the Kessler Fellows receive a weekly stipend that allows them to spend the summer focused on their internship full-time. The fellows also receive individualized mentorship and guidance from Cornell Engineering Entrepreneurs-in-Residence throughout the spring semester, when they take courses on entrepreneurship as they search for a startup that aligns with their passions and values.

Meet the 2022 Kessler Fellows and learn about their summer internship placements:

Ave Kludze ’23 (biomedical engineering) is interning at GRO Biosciences, a biotechnology company that expands the amino acid alphabet to overcome the limitations of protein therapeutics.

Dawn Zee ’23 (human development) is interning at SimpliFed, a telehealth company that provides virtual breastfeeding and baby feeding support that is fully covered by health insurance.

Elizabeth Madamidola ’23 (global and public health sciences) is interning at Health Quarters, a platform that brings together trusted clinicians, wellness practitioners, and brands to meet customers’ needs for long-term health.

Jacob Ritter ’23 (communication) is interning at Evtek, a tech company that is reinventing recycling by radically improving the system of collection, identification, and redemption through machine learning.

Jordan Roth ’23 (food science) is interning at UBEES, a company that is combining traditional beekeeping expertise with innovative science and technology to reduce bee mortality rates and sustain the beekeeping industry.

Kendall Hoffman ’23 (information science and environment & sustainability) is interning at Ecolectro, a startup working to create a cleaner, cheaper and more scalable green hydrogen to decarbonize the economy

Max Clouser ’23 (hotel administration and computer science) is interning at Wheel the World, an online travel marketplace that allows people with disabilities to book accessible travel experiences including accommodations, tours, and activities.

Michael Hansan ’23 (industrial and labor relations) is interning at Heimdal, a startup that is developing a scaleable and affordable solution for direct air carbon capture.

Phillip Teixeira DaSilva ’23 (food science and applied economics & management) is interning at Food.Partners, a company that helps independent, cooperative, and small to medium-sized businesses to develop, manage, and expand their hospitality, food, and beverage operations in a flexible and financially sustainable way.

Sanna Vedrine ’23 (chemical engineering) is interning at Transaera, a startup that is developing a new class of affordable, energy-efficient, sustainable cooling systems.

Somil Aggarwal ’22 (computer science) is interning at We3, a web3 professional network for women and non-binary individuals who bond through learning, investing, and accessing financial opportunities together in order to attain freedom, independence, and joy.

Tewodros Mitiku ’23 (computer science) is interning at Kurtosis, a platform that provides developers with the tools to create and manipulate customized development environments, optimized for prototyping and end-to-end testing in the blockchain space.

Yunhan Chen ’23 (hotel administration) is interning at SWITCH, an online platform that provides members with access to designer jewelry through a subscription-based service.

Several fellows will be working with Cornell-affiliated startups, including Zee’s internship at SimpliFed, founded by Cornell alum and lecturer Andrea Ippolito, BS ’06, MEng ’07, and Hoffman’s internship with Ecolectro, a Cornell-founded startup that’s deeply engaged with the Cornell clean energy ecosystem.

“Through the Kessler Fellowship, I hope to learn valuable skills and gain hands-on experience through a culture and community of innovation that can’t be found at a traditional company,” said Hoffman. “I hope to learn from an inspiring and mission-driven team and surround myself with people who share my passionate commitment to a common purpose.”

When the Kessler Fellows return to campus in the fall after completing their internships, they’ll present to their peers and mentors on their experiences, lessons learned, and future plans.

“This cohort of Kessler Fellows have used all of the advantages of this program and have set themselves up for an incredible summer,” said Alex Hagen, program director. “On average, each student had three internship offers to choose from so they were able to choose the best fit personally and professionally. I’m very excited for the recap in the fall where they will share their experiences with us as well as their plans for the future.”