Cornell in Tech: Starting a Startup



Join us for a panel discussion with three Cornell alums who have started technology companies in Los Angeles and hear what it took to go from idea to reality. 

Our panelists are Brian Hartnack '99 (Campus Explorer; $8.9M in funding), Ryan Hudson '02 (Honey; VC funded), and Claire Cannon '97 (Flexa and Statisfied). They'll talk about what worked, what didn't, and lessons they've learned along the way. Lizzie Francis '02, former Gilt Groupe CMO and co-founder of VC firm Brilliant Ventures, will be moderating. The panel will be followed by a Q&A session and networking.

This is the first of an ongoing series of events to deepen connections between members of the Cornell tech community in Los Angeles and will be a great opportunity to meet like-minded alumni. 

Complimentary beer and wine will be provided.

Date: Thursday, April 6, 2017

Time: 7:00pm – 9:30pm (Panel starts at 7:30pm)

Location: General Assembly,  1520 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Parking: There is ample parking nearby in the garages adjacent to the 3rd Street Promenade. Parking in these garages is free for the first 1.5 hours.
Cost: $20 per CCLA member ($40 for a CCLA member + 1 guest); $25 per non-members and each additional person

Limited space available

For any questions about the event please contact Adam Vagley '04 at

Click here to buy tickets!!!

Meet the panel 


Lizzie Francis '00

Lizzie is a founding partner of Brilliant Ventures. She has had a long passion for entrepreneurship and marketing and has worked at great companies including (sold to Experian Interactive), Fox Interactive and was a founding partner at Intelligent Beauty, where she held titles of CMO and President of (Fast Fashion).  Most recently she was CMO of (sold to Hudson Bay).


Lizzie has a BA from Cornell University and lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband Alan Hoffman, their son and two dogs, Brinkley and Franklin. 



Brian Hartnack '99
Brian Hartnack is a founder and CEO of Campus Explorer, a venture-backed digital marketing services and data company serving higher education.  Founded in 2007, Campus Explorer currently works with over 1500 colleges in the U.S. and is one of the largest and fastest growing companies in the billion dollar-plus higher education digital marketing vertical. Prior to Campus Explorer, Brian held senior product management roles at and During his time at, Brian helped grow the company from early stage to an eventual $415 million acquisition by eBay in 2005. 


Brian graduated from Cornell University in 1999 with a Bachelor's Degree in History. Brian splits time between Santa Monica where his company is located and Solana Beach where his wife, two boys and two dogs live.


Ryan Hudson '02

Ryan co-founded Honey when he hacked together a browser extension to save a buck on pizza.  Four years later, over 4 million shoppers are saving over $10 million every month on everything from pizza to hotels.
Ryan graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Operations Research and Computer Science and received an MBA from MIT Sloan.





Claire Cannon '97
Claire is the current co-founder of two companies. She's the CTO at Flexa, which is an analytics-driven startup that strives to be the best at matching workers to opportunities in the on-demand economy. She's the CEO of Statistified, which is "quantified self for league sports". For all of those weekend jocks and after-work ballers out there, Statisfied helps you keep track of your performance across leagues and sports. 
She was previously a product manager at and has consulted on other startup companies.
Claire graduated from Cornell with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and received her MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.