On November 15, The Lang Center held its Annual Fall Venture Fair bringing together over 200 student entrepreneurs and members of the Center’s advisory community for a high-energy evening of pitching, collaboration and networking.
The fair, held this year at Google’s headquarters in New York City, is designed to create a forum similar to a science fair where students are assigned to tables they use to present materials and prototypes representing their venture idea. The interaction with advisors, comprised of entrepreneurs, alumni, industry experts and investors, provides students with the opportunity to practice their sales skills and assess the potential viability of a business with seasoned professionals.
“This year marks the sixteenth year we have held the Fall Venture Fair,” said Professor Murray Low, the director of the Center, during his welcoming remarks. “The interest of entrepreneurship has grown tremendously at Columbia Business School; certainly, hosting this event at Google is an indicator of how much the interest has grown,” he added.
This year’s portfolio of ventures included innovative new apps for social, nutritional and wellness purposes, environmentally-conscious youth hostels, an idea to build educational and engaging K-4 educational animations for children, and a site that allows consumers to buy localized products and services for clients and friends in Asia from anywhere in the world.
Participating advisors were impressed with the caliber and sophistication of the students as well as the variety of the ventures in the room. “It is a rewarding experience to participate in the fair every year,” said small business consultant, Michael Gansl. “It is a great way to understand what current trends or world views are driving our students’ perspectives.”
Established in 1996 with a $1 million gift from Eugene M. Lang MS ’40, the mission of The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center is to instill entrepreneurial thinking in all Columbia Business School students and to create a community of business practitioners with a lifelong commitment to achieving social and economic progress through entrepreneurship.
To learn more about how you can participate and support the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School, please contact the Center at entprogcolumbia.edu or at 212 854 3244.
Steve Gilman '15
“To organize a robust community, sometimes you have to put walls around it,” says Steve Gilman ‘15 about his company, Block Party Suites.