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The Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program helps second-year Columbia Business School students prepare their businesses for investment by providing support and guidance throughout the semester, funding for pre-launch expenses, access to experts in key fields, and opportunities to present business concepts to professional investors. In its inaugural year, more than half of the ventures incubated in the Greenhouse were launched by graduation.
During their participation in the class, students consult with seed funders to refine their presentations. Sponsors — which include venture capital firms, Internet incubators, law firms, technology providers, and accounting and consulting firms — provide financial support, pro bono services, and advice.
The Greenhouse class provides seed funders with the opportunity to invest in student projects and also helps many students prepare for application to the Spring Venture Showcase and ultimately, the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund.
The course takes place in the spring term. Course details will be announced in fall 2016.
Second-year students are eligible to apply. A highly selective screening process determines entrance into this class. Presentations will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- Feasibility including market assessment
- Profitability for profit-making ventures/financial sustainability for not for profit ventures
- Competitive insulation and strategic differentiation/advantage
- Risk identification and management
- Passion and commitment of founder
- Quality of presentation
- Knowledge of key elements of the business
Application details will be announced in fall 2016.