A Time for Entrepreneurial Harvesting
The evening of November 15th gathered ventures that were as diverse and unique as the foliage of the season at Columbia Business School’s annual venture fair. The 10th Annual Lang Fund Venture Fair brought together nearly 200 students and mentors from the Lang Center’s Partnership Network Program.
The Venture Fair, designed to create a high-energy forum similar to that of a high school science fair, attempts to match accomplished mentors from across industries with budding entrepreneurs. The interactions provide student entrepreneurs with the pristine opportunity to practice their sales skills and assess the potential viability of a business with seasoned professionals. At the end of the evening mentors and students list their top three preferences, which the Lang Center collects and uses to make appropriate matches.
Participating mentors were impressed with the caliber and sophistication of the students as well as the variety of the ventures in the room this year. “It is a wonderful experience to participate in the Venture Fair every year and gain an understanding of what current trends or world views are driving our student's perspectives. The entrepreneurial spirit at Columbia is inspiring”, said adjunct associate professor and mentor Michael Preston.
This year’s portfolio of ventures included an apparel company targeting the career-forward and fashion conscious Indian woman, educational website services specific to the influential teen market, and electronic networking aids reflective of today’s geographically dispersed and mobile professionals.
The Lang Center celebrated its tenth year anniversary this summer and, over the years, has played a vital role in supporting entrepreneurial aspiration as a viable career choice for Columbia MBA students.
Established in 1996 with a $1 million gift from Eugene M. Lang, MS ’40, The Eugene M. Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund fosters an entrepreneurial environment at Columbia Business School by providing funds to qualifying student business ventures.
The Fall Venture Fair is the first phase of the Lang Fund process which concludes at the Lang Fund Final Event in the Spring. For the next few months, students are expected to work closely with their assigned mentors readying their business plan for the Spring term event. On that evening, students are required to formerly present their plan to a panel of evaluators, which help in the selection of which ventures go before the Lang Fund Board of Directors for potential investing.
To learn more about how you can participate and support the entrepreneurship program at Columbia Business School, please contact the Lang Center at email@example.com or at 212 854 3244.