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Entrepreneurial Sounding Board

The Entrepreneurial Sounding Board provides opportunities for Columbia MBA students and alumni to meet individually with faculty members and practitioners affiliated with the Lang Center to discuss their entrepreneurial ideas and potential business opportunities.

These 30-minute sessions provide students and alumni with a platform to receive preliminary feedback, next-step action items, and, in many cases, links to additional support from appropriate mentors. You may be at any stage of development of your venture. All sessions are confidential.

How to Reserve a 30-Minute Session with a Practitioner

You must have a Columbia Business School affiliation to take advantage of the Sounding Board. To sign up for a session:

1. Review the biographies for each practitioner below. Decide who you would like to meet.

2. Log on to the Genbook Sounding Board e-Calendar

3. Click on "Speak with Practitioner" and select the person you wish to speak to. Note, this e-schedule only allows you to reserve an appointment up to 4 weeks out.

4. Review availability and reserve a session. You will receive an email confirming your appointment and a way to save the details on your calendar.

If your session is off-campus:  The practioner will be in touch a couple of days before your session with the location.

Need to cancel the appointment? Cancel using Genbook.  At the bottom of the confirmation email, click on the “Manage your Appointment” blue button to cancel.

Can't book a session with practitioner(s)? If you receive the message "Staff member not available. Please try another member of staff” on Genbook, this indicates a practitioner is booked and/or does not have any available slots. If this happens, and you are in urgent need of a Sounding Board session, please contact the Lang Center.  We will attempt to set up a special Sounding Board session for you with a practitioner.

Have advice for us that can help improve the Program? Your insights are important; please fill out our feedback form.

Please cancel your appointment directly with the practitioner at least TWO DAYS in advance if you are unable to keep your appointment. If you are late for your appointment or miss it entirely without having given advanced notice, you will be barred from participating in the program for the following term.

Fall semester Sounding Board practitioners (check back for additional practitioners in September!):

Michael Chang: retail, fashion, small business, business process, consulting, design

Philip Josephson: entrepreneur, capital raise, securities, legal counsel, private equity, software, technology

John-Paul Lee: retail, food, beverage, branding, international, business development, management consulting

Ann Mills: entrepreneur, technology, social media, branding, business development, management consulting, SEO, marketing, web design, content management, blogging, Quickbooks

Pau Sabria: fund raising, tech startups, operations

Maneesh Sagar: venture capital, tech startups, coaching, fund raising, M&A

Luis Sanz: internet, technology, ecommerce, Saas

Sapna Shah: retail expert, angel investor, entrepreneur, early-stage

Grant Son: e-commerce, subscription commerce, mobile commerce, sports, big data, social enterprise, social media, marketing, branding, go to market strategy, elevator pitch

Mark Tang: healthcare, M & A, strategic licensing, Investment banking and venture capital advisory services

Additional resources for students:

The Entrepreneurs in Residence Program engages successful business school alumni and other accomplished practitioners who can provide entrepreneurial advice and guidance to students, faculty and staff of Columbia University. 

Current Columbia MBA students may also request an appointment with members of the Executives in Residence Program. Please contact Julie Adams at

If you are a member of the Columbia community and are a fledgling entrepreneur that has been thinking seriously about a start-up, schedule an appointment to get guidance from the Columbia Technology Ventures Lab Team.

Other advisory programs.

Featured Video

Robert Reffkin '03, founder and CEO of Urban Compass, reflects on the power of the Columbia Business School network and recalls a personal leadership course that helped him follow his passion.


Fall 2014 Events

September 23, 2014

Lang Center Information Session

September 30, 2014

Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Columbia Program Information Session
12:30-2:00PM (Columbia Business School)

October 27, 2014

Entrepreneurs in Residence Program Kick-Off Event

October 28, 2014

Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Columbia Program Information Session
12:30-2:00PM (Engineering School) and 6:00-7:15PM (CU Medical Center)

October 29, 2014

Annual Fall Venture Fair

November 6, 2014

Entrepreneurs in Residence Workshop - Laurence Blumberg '94

November 11, 2014

"Pitch to an Entrepreneur in Residence" Session

November 13, 2014

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Wim Sweldens

November 18, 2014

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Asha Saxena

November 20, 2014

The Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program Peer-voting Event

December 2, 2014

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Jim Moore '95

December 5, 2014

The Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program Admissions Event