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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 60-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 60-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 
    (**Looking to set up a session with an Entrepreneur in Residence? Visit the program's webpage.**)

  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.

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.

2015 Spring Semester Sounding Board Practitioners

Adam Banks: entrepreneurship, start-ups, strategy, marketing, consumer package good distribution, restaurant, healthcare, medicine, business development, angel investor

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

Alex Dickinson: venture capital fund raising, medical, healthcare, diagnostics, genetics, cloud computing, DNA sequencing

Stefan Doering: sustainability, green, retail, environment, conservation, innovation, business model, marketing, positioning, viability

Anindo Dutta: global emerging markets (India, China, BRICS etc.), market entry & growth, global financial services, IT & BPO solutions, CEO strategic issues

Michael Garrett: legal, business, nonprofit, law, business, finance, public policy

Andrea Giacobbe: creative entrepreneur, business model developer, international entrepreneurial and business experience in the finance, marketing, advertising and digital media field, e-commerce

Ron Guida: sales, marketing, technology, fundraising, alliances, partnering, strategic planning

Omar Haroun: entrepreneurship, founder, early stage, private equity, angel investing, revenue, digital, marketing, and sales strategy & execution, social media, product management, legal, strategic partnerships

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

Lenore Kantor: branding, marketing, communications, coaching, presentation/pitch skills, PR, social media, product launch, fintech, B2B, innovation, growth

Christopher Kelly:  serial entrepreneur, real estate, strategy, branding, hospitality, work-place culture development

Peter Knitzer: financial services, consumer goods, new ventures, career mentoring, business key success factors, consulting, marketing & sales

George Papaioannou: entrepreneurship, financial forecasting, financial modeling, valuation, business plans, investor presentations

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

Kim Rust: technology, marketing, retail, in-store/e-commerce/ mobile consumer experience delivery, strategy, digital marketing, mobile app optimization, mobile applications, management building

Luis Sanz: internet, technology, ecommerce, Saas

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

Henry Shi: startups, consulting, technology innovations, US/China corporate management, investment

Grant Son: CEO 2x, founder, advisor, board member, entrepreneur, digital veteran, and experienced marketer.  Specialties include: disruptive innovation, smart data, e-commerce, marketing, social media, sports, social enterprise

Erik Syvertsen: law, venture capital, fundraising, entrepreneurship, pitching, crowdfunding, edtech, legaltech, adTech, hardware, M&A

Mark Tang: healthcare, M & A, strategic licensing, life science and high tech investment banker and venture capital advisory services

Didem Ün Ates: business development, online media, digital, mobile, technology, startups, entreprenership, account management, partner management, strategy consulting, product management

Have Feedback?

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

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

Other advisory programs.

Summer Fellowship Program

The Summer Fellowship Program enables MBA students to contribute management expertise to growing startup organizations.

Apply by April 6th>


Spring 2015 Events

March 13, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - Summer
Admission Decisions

March 19, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Asha Saxena
"Big Data"
12:30-2:00PM, Uris Hall 142 - Register

March 23-31, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - WeWork

March 26, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Barbara Roberts
12:30-2:00PM, Uris Hall 307 - Register

April 3, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - WeWork
Deliberations, Alumni Center, 302 Kluge Room

April 5, 2015

Spring Venture Showcase
Applications Due By 11:59PM

April 6, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - WeWork
Decisions Announced

April 6, 2015

Summer Fellowship Program
Applications Due By 11:59PM - Apply Now

April 9, 2015

David Rose ' 83 Investor Pitch Workshop
12:30-2:00PM, Uris Hall 331- Register

April 16, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Kevin Quinn '91
"Spring Training for Entrepreneurs: Avoiding Unforced Errors"
12:30-2:00PM, Warren Hall 209 - Register

April 20, 2015

Spring Venture Showcase
6:00-9:00PM, Columbia Startup Lab-WeWork SoHo West, 69 Charlton Street

April 22, 2015

NY TechDay
10:00-5:30PM, Pier 92

April 23-24, 2015

#Startup Columbia Festival

April 24, 2015

Summer Fellowship Program
Selected Students Announced

April 27, 2015

Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program
Annual Alumni Reception

May 5, 2015

Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Columbia
Demo Event
6:30-9:00PM, Morgan Stanley

May 20, 2015

Columbia University Commencement

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Innovation and Entrepreneurship @ Columbia provides a platform to develop new ideas by leveraging the cross-functional capabilities and knowledge of the University at large.