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Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program

Watch a video by David S. Rose '83 on Pitching to VCs

2014 Important Deadlines To Be Announced

The Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program helps Columbia Business School students to 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.

A highly selective screening process determines entrance into this class. To apply, current students submit a complete business plan and make a formal presentation to the Greenhouse Selection Committee in the fall semester.

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 Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund. 



  • Executive Summary 3-5 pages including an overview of the business, its revenue model, market & competitive analysis, and team
  • Summary Financials a break even model (Simple P&L by month) with two years projections thru break-even.
  • PowerPoint Presentation for 7-min presentation: Max: 15 slides.
  • Two-Minute Venture Video answering the following: Video covers company, products, and competitive position. This can be a live video of student talking or employ animation, etc. Include “what is your/team’s background and why are you/team the "right" person/group to launch this venture?”

Quick Pitch Event

Peer-voting Event: November 20, 2014
A MANDATORY quick pitch event, led by the CEO-student selection committee, will be held in the fall prior to the admissions event. Through this competition, peer evaluators will select 35 teams that will be invited to present to the Greenhouse Selection Committee on December 5, 2014.

What to Expect December 5th

Finalists present to members of the Greenhouse Selection Committee comprised of faculty, alumni, industry professionals, and School administrators. The length of your presentation will be 7 minutes followed by 2-3 minutes of Q&A. The 7 minute time frame is a strict and hard one – please practice! The remaining time will be used to complete evaluation forms by those in your room. We will do our best to stay on schedule. To prepare for delays, however, please plan on being available at least 5-10 minutes prior to your presentation time and plan on staying at least 15 minutes after.


Please wear business attire and your official Columbia Business School name badge.

Evaluation Criteria

The presentation should cover the highlights of your business plan. 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 

Admission decisions

You will receive an email from The Lang Center informing you of your admittance into the program very shortly after the admissions event.

Have a question or need help?

Sandra Merrill
The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center
2M Uris Hall

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.


Summer-Fall 2014 Events

August 12, 2014

Columbia Startup Lab-Summer Closing Event
5:45-8:00PM - by invitation only

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