Yoga Equipment Company Wins Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition

Pranjal Jain ’23 took home the grand prize at the eLab Pitchfest on September 8th, part of Entrepreneurship at Cornell’s year-opening event.

Jain’s company Pranam will create a line of yoga clothing made by women in India from sustainable, organic materials.

“I want to empower women and help them understand the power of their identity,” said Jain, a new member of eLab, one of Cornell’s premier business accelerator programs for undergraduates. “It struck me as odd that there is a shortage of yoga apparel companies in South Asia, where yoga began.”

Pranam’s clothing line will embrace all body types and identities and be beautiful and comfortable to wear, said Jain, who also founded a nonprofit Global Girlhood when she was 17.

“I’ve dreamed of this idea for two to three years, but last Sunday I went to an entrepreneurship workshop with Tiffany Norwood ’89, the 2022 Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year, who has mentored me for the past year. I realized I wanted to be part of this crazy community and make my dream come true.”

Jain was one of four new elab company founders to pitch during the event, which also included a presentation session featuring entrepreneurial resources from across campus.

“The energy we see each year at this student-focused event inspires our work to connect and expand resources for Cornell’s entrepreneurial students,” said Zach Shulman ’87 JD ’90, director of entrepreneurship the cornell. “These students have ideas, enthusiasm, and persistence, and there are so many opportunities for them to grow as entrepreneurs at Cornell.”

More than 200 students flocked to the eHub space in Collegetown for the launch event.

Ragini Balachandran ’23 and Meera Balaji ’23 occupied the Cornell Venture Capital Club table. The group takes on projects with venture capitalists, many of them Cornell alumni, to help them make better investment decisions. Club members also work with VC portfolio companies.

“I worked with Kleiner Perkins when they were looking for what was new to them in the dating app industry and helped them explore what the dating app space would look like,” Balaji said.

Balachandran said the club helped her acquire new skills.

“I work in mechanical engineering and this has helped me transition to a finance position. Because of the research skills I have developed at this club, I can also manage my career in finance.”

Jake Jeramaz ’23 and Jack Lowe ’25 occupied the table at Epsilon Nu Tau, a business association founded four years ago.

Their organization focuses on students with an entrepreneurial mindset, whether they want to start their own business or not.

“We have events where people learn how to present their ideas and how to formulate their presentations, which gives them the confidence they need,” Jeramaz said. “We have actual elevator pitches (in an elevator) so it’s a lot of fun. We offer the tools if you want to develop an idea.”

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