- Specialty Courses
- Columbia Startup Lab
- Student Resources
- Community Events
- Support Us
Structured as a semester-long independent study for eligible first and second-year students, the Lang Scholars program pairs selected Columbia Business School students (usually 10-15) with an incoming cohort of one of New York City’s top accelerators.
Students benefit by experiencing entrepreneurship in a live setting, being exposed to the network and resources of the partnering accelerator, and building relationships with dynamic, early-stage companies and mentors from the NYC entrepreneurial ecosystem. The participating companies benefit by gaining access to the world-class business knowledge, experience, and talent of Columbia Business School MBAs.
Each selected student is expected to spend 10 hours a week over the semester working with his or her paired company on a variety of business functions – marketing, financial modeling, market sizing, strategy formulation. The type of work completed is at the discretion of your paired company and is based on their needs at that point in time.
Students are expected to treat the Lang Scholars Program as a professional career opportunity and a learning experience no different from that of a formal class or a formal internship. The honor code and all other behavioral and ethical expectations of Columbia Business School students apply. Students are also reminded that they will be acting as representatives and ambassadors of the Lang Center and Columbia Business School’s brand while participating in this program.
Application dates, acceptance dates, and program duration dates will be announced prior to the start of each semester and vary based on the partnering accelerator for that semester.
Second-semester first-year students and second-year students (full-time and EMBA) with a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship, a strong work ethic, an ability to juggle multiple priorities, and an ability to work well with others in a fast-paced and dynamic environment. Ability to commit 10 hours a week of work over the course of the semester is also a requirement, as the teams Lang Scholars are paired with will be factoring this commitment into their resource planning.
Flexibility, interpersonal skills, communication skills, leadership skills, perseverance and the ability to thrive in uncertain situations and unstructured environments are also strongly favored.
Application dates and processes will be posted and communicated upon the launch of each program.
Please note that acceptance into the Lang Scholar’s program is at the discretion of the Lang Center director and Independent Study sponsor Professor Vincent Ponzo. Application for the program is no promise of acceptance.
Lang Scholars Spotlight
Rahul Bansal '16
"This program gave me significant exposure to the New York venture and entrepreneurial scene. The opportunity to network with the Techstars companies provided the thrills and challenges of working for a seed-stage company."
I was assigned to Sailo, an online marketplace connecting boats, captains, and renters. I helped Sailo analyze and develop its partnership priorities. I determined which partnership categories were most appealing based on a detailed evaluation, and then developed a comprehensive list of all potential partners within each category. Additionally, I worked with Sailo to pursue several partnerships within each category.
Although the internship was limited to ten hours a week, it provided me with the benefit of experiencing life at an early-stage startup. The experience served as a basis of comparison to my prior roles at a venture capital firm and a growth-stage startup. Furthermore, having access to the breadth of top tier speakers and workshops lead by venture capital thought leaders at Techstars was invaluable.
Bejoy John '16
"This was an incredible opportunity to experience entrepreneurship. I learned that early-stage ventures are extremely fast-paced and you need to be prepared to make u-turns at any moment."
I designed SmartScreen’s system architecture and managed their entire Amazon web service stack. This was my first experience working with a remote team so closely; working with people in an entirely different time zone (+12hrs) and culture was a great learning experience.
Through my participation in the program I learned that it is critical to be disciplined and set deadlines to reach goals. It is also important to be prepared to pivot.
The Lang Center proudly partnered with Techstars NYC for the Fall 2015 Lang Scholars Program
- I am very excited to announce the launch of a unique program and partnership between my alma mater, Columbia Business School, and Techstars NYC. This new program will take advantage of our organizations’ shared home in New York City to provide students with a unique blend of world-class educational programming and real-world experience.
Managed by the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School and with oversight provided by the center’s Director, Vince Ponzo, the Lang Scholars Program embeds a second year Columbia Business School student in each of the incoming Techstars NYC 2015 Fall Class. A total of fourteen hand-picked, high caliber Columbia Business School students are matched with each of our equally high caliber 14 Techstars NYC Fall Class.
Participating Columbia Business School students benefit from this program by having a front row seat into the hectic and rapid pace of an early stage startup and in the process, determining if such a career path is for them. In addition, these MBAs are able to call upon their MBA caliber education and previous work experience to make a direct, tangible impact at their matched company. Finally, Lang Scholars have an unprecedented opportunity to build their networks by being members of the amazing Techstars programming, environment and ecosystem.
For our fourteen Fall Techstars NYC companies, the benefits of gaining an extra pair of hands and having access to the experience and education of world-class MBA students will no doubt be an added advantage to them as they continue to scale. And for many of these fast growing companies, the possibility of adding a Columbia Business School MBA to the team, one that can hit the ground running on day one, is another huge plus.
For us, this initiative allows Techstars to further its vision of making entrepreneurship more accessible by encouraging students to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career path. I am so excited to see what this synergy brings over the next three months and look forward to keeping you updated on its progress.
This post originally appeared on October 27, 2015 here.