On November 12, more than 40 student entrepreneurs showcased their businesses at the Annual Lang Center Fall Venture Fair at AppNexus’s New York headquarters. Over 100 alumni, mentors, advisors, entrepreneurs, and investors were on hand to hear the students pitch their concepts and provide feedback.
The Annual Fall Venture Fair provides students with the opportunity to present their ideas and receive critical feedback from members of our community in a fun and energized forum. This year’s Venture Fair featured student startups in a variety of industries including food, technology, media, healthcare, fashion, retail and sports.
First year student and aspiring entrepreneur Christina Sarelakos ’15, showcased a customizable lotion company called “The Lab” which offers preventative, anti-aging products to young adults. "The Lang Center’s Fall Venture Fair gave me the chance to receive honest feedback on my venture. I left the evening with some great ideas on how to take my vision from concept to consumer,” Christina said. “Columbia Business School has allowed me tap into an entrepreneurial network that I had little access to before, and this has been a defining characteristic of my first year so far."
Participants were encouraged to contribute to the live twitter feed using hashtag #EntProgFair for a chance to win a goodie bag full of Columbia Business School swag. Tweets were instantly displayed on the monitors around the room. Elizabeth Allina ’14 tweeted “what a great evening! So much inspiration in this room!” with handle tiny_updates. Entrepreneur Andy Smith, a Principal of Vonavona Ventures used kabbenbock to post “I can't think of anything more energizing than spending an evening with eager creative and smart entrepreneurs.”
Elliot Koss ’14, Founder & CEO of Entertainment Hound, a social discovery platform for film and television, was moved by the experience. "I love seeing the amazing ideas that my classmates are working on,” he explained. “The fair is a great opportunity for the CBS community to get together and celebrate new ventures. It's always inspiring.”
Adjunct Professor David Lerner, Director of Entrepreneurship at Columbia University, has served as a venture fair advisor for over 10 years. “The energy and enthusiasm, coupled with the setting at AppNexus was like no other Lang Venture Fair I'd been to,” Professor Lerner said. “The Columbia entrepreneurship ecosystem is on a roll."
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.