Carnegie Mellon University

Building Startups and Transformative Innovation in Corporations

CMU’s Corporate Startup Lab (CSL) was founded with the unique belief that startups can exist and thrive anywhere, including in large corporations. Not only can they exist within a company, startups are critical to ensure competitive advantage, growth and even survival for corporations.

Fundamentally, a startup within a company is the same as one inside a garage: a group of entrepreneurs trying to make the world a better place using new ideas and inventions. However, growing an internal startup requires a unique understanding of venture best practices in startup incubation, acceleration and investment and how to apply them to the unique challenges (and advantages) of larger corporations.

CMU’s Corporate Startup Lab, a Swartz Center - Tepper initiative, advances the mission of startup growth within corporations by bringing together leaders and innovative approaches from across venture, academia and industry. CSL delivers this through several multi-disciplinary programs which include education, events, roundtables and sponsored student projects and fellowships. 

The CSL team brings significant real-world experience to this mission and all of our programs. The team has founded and invested in startup ventures across multiple stages of growth, built new businesses within existing companies and created nationally ranked accelerators (including corporate accelerators) across the major technology verticals.

The project course pairs teams of graduate students with companies looking to be more entrepreneurial. 

Have an idea you want to explore? Want a fresh perspective to examine how it could be transformative for your company? Join a cohort of peer companies and work with Carnegie Mellon University graduate students to investigate what’s possible over the course of a semester.

CSL Fellows

The Corporate Startup Lab looks for interdisciplinary graduate students at CMU to work as paid Innovation Associates. Fellows are placed in teams of two for the course of the semester, working closely with corporate sponsors on a weekly basis.


Corporate Startup Week

Hosted annually, our Corporate Entrepreneurship Forum brings together the brightest and most exciting minds in the field of corporate innovation.  Uniquely themed each year, the Forum strives to address expanding trends in  topics such as healthcare, artificial intelligence, Fintech, and more.

Past Corporate Startup Week Events and Corporate Entrepreneurship Forums


CSL Case Competition 

Since 2022, Corporate Startup Wide as hosted a nationwide, all graduate student Case Competition.  CSL challenges students to develop real, viable business solutions to problems in equity in a particiular industry.  The Case Competition kicks off in August with team registrations and culuminates in an in person Final Round at Carnegie Mellon, this year on October 23rd, 2024.

CSL Tools

CSL Research

CSL AI Case Studies

CSL strives to create Tools and Resources to jumpstart thinking, planning, and communicating for corporate startup ideas.

We are continuing to grow our tools and resources to support corporate entrepreneurs. We'd love to hear feedback if you try them.

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