Entrepreneurial Students and Mentors Connect at Lang Fund Venture Fair
Over 200 aspiring entrepreneurs and current business leaders gathered on November 9 for the ninth annual Lang Fund Venture Fair, a forum that matches students with potential mentors.
Students sharpened their sales skills by pitching their venture ideas to accomplished entrepreneurs, faculty and alumni. At the end of the forum, held in the Low Library Rotunda, students and members of the Lang Fund Mentor Network listed their top three choices for mentor connections, which the Lang Center will use to make matches.
Since 1996, the Eugene M. Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund has provided seed money to help Columbia Business School MBA students launch their own businesses. In the late spring, students present their formal business plans to a panel of judges who select ideas to go before the Lang Fund Board of Directors for investment. This year’s ventures include an online brokerage firm that serves the youth of India, a healthy eatery chain in Shanghai and a software tour guide for independent travelers.
MBA ’06 students Adrian Seet, Ben Grossman, Jonathan Gordon and Dave Lewis promoted their Safe and Happy Foods at the Venture Fair. “The most enjoyable aspect of the fair was interacting with the people — the mentors, the faculty, administration and our peers,” said Lewis. “It was exciting to see so many of our classmates trying to make things happen and to having the opportunity to gather feedback on our business.”