Startup Lab teams have been selected for Spring 2017. The next application will be posted in Fall 2017.

For more information contact Dan Cohen ( or Greg Pool (

Why Apply?

  • Mentoring from Seasoned Entrepreneurs
  • Thousands in Capital per Team
  • Earn 3 Academic Credits
  • Legal Consultation
  • Intense Coaching

The Startup Lab program is supplemented by a 3 hour class that will be offered during the spring term on Wednesdays from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm. There will also be required external events.


To support our student’s fervent beliefs in their startup by offering cutting edge teaching, access to experienced, industry specific mentors, provide them with the resources necessary for them to test their ideas and turn them into concepts, and, ultimately ventures.


By 2020, through a combination of outstanding teaching, mentoring, community building, and culture creation, Wake Forest’s new Startup Lab will become the destination for those supremely talented entrepreneurial students interested in creating entrepreneurial ventures and are looking for a Stanford, Cornell, or MIT-like experience in an intimate, liberal arts college setting.


2016 – 2017 Timeline

Event / Action



Information Session

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

5:30 PM – Farrell 352

Applications Due

Sunday, October 23, 2016

10:00 PM

Pitch Night I

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Pitch Night II

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Announcements Made

Monday, October 31, 2016

End of Day

Winter Assignments Distributed

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

End of Day

Startup Lab Begins / Reassessment

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Demo Day

Thursday, April 6, 2017

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Startup Lab Ends

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

9:30 AM – 12:00 PM





Dan Cohen is a successful entrepreneur that founded, grew and sold his first company and then founded eLab—Cornell’s Startup Accelerator that Forbes Magazine cited as a major driver of Cornell’s rapid ascent to a #4 national ranking in entrepreneurship.  Cohen also teaches entrepreneurship and business at Wake Forest University.




Greg Pool is an entrepreneur, lawyer, and teaches entrepreneurship at WFU.  He also serves as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Wake Forest University.





Ricky Van Veen is the Head of Global Creative Strategy at Facebook, where he helps develop the company’s approach to content and works with media partners to develop and create programming for the platform. Prior to joining Facebook, Ricky co-founded leading comedy brand CollegeHumor and the video sharing site Vimeo. He helped grow CollegeHumor into the largest comedy property on the web and the most viewed comedy channel on YouTube, with over ten million subscribers.

CollegeHumor and Vimeo were acquired by IAC in 2006, where Ricky spent the next ten years overseeing the TV, film, print, and digital content efforts of Electus Digital (which comprises CollegeHumor, fan culture site Dorkly, and hip hop property WatchLoud). Electus Digital’s TV successes include series such as “Adam Ruins Everything” on TruTV and “Chopped” on the Food Network.

Ricky has presented at conferences including SXSW, TEDx, and Recode, and has been featured on Crain’s 40 under 40 and Vanity Fair’s New Establishment lists. He is a board member of Horizons National, a non-profit organization with the mission of preventing low-income students from regressing academically during summer breaks. He lives in New York with his wife and dog.

dhruva-rajendraDhruva Rajendra is the founder of Fast Rope Labs, a product research, design, and development company based in DC. Fast Rope solves hard engineering, product design and strategy problems for clients spanning travel, healthcare, neuroscience and non-profits. Their work has been featured in Bloomberg, Fox Business, USA Today and others.

Dhruva started his career at a health informatics company where he led and managed technology strategy engagements with multiple Fortune 500 companies including UnitedHealth and Qualcomm. He then went on to found Latch, a smart access company which has raised over $16M to date from investors such as Tech Stars and Lux Capital.  

Following Latch, Dhruva became Head of Product for Main Street Genome, a startup focused on helping restaurant owners save money backed by Floodgate Capital and Revolution. Main Street Genome was acquired by Dining Alliance in 2015.

Dhruva lives in DC with his wife and her cat.