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Structured as a semester-long independent study open to all EMBA students and second-year full-time students, the Lang Scholars program pairs approximately 16 selected Columbia Business School students with the 16 companies in Dreamit Ventures Fall 2016 cohort. Students benefit by experiencing entrepreneurship in a live setting, gaining exposure to the network and resources Dreamit brings to their cohort, and building relationships with dynamic, post-seed stage companies. Dreamit 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 Fall 2016 semester working with his or her paired company on a variety of business functions including marketing, financial modeling, market sizing, strategy formulation. The type of work done is at the discretion of your paired Dreamit company and is based on that company’s needs at that point in time.
The Dreamit Fall cohort runs from September 12 through December 16. You will be expected to start working with your team during the launch of the program on September 12, 2016. You should communicate any known absences (breaks, holidays, finals) to your team at the start of the program.
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 brand ambassadors of the Lang Center and Columbia Business School while participating in this program.
What is Dreamit Ventures?
Dreamit is the only growth accelerator designed for mature startups. Post-seed companies with product market fit, some revenue or early traction are often left with limited funding options and resources to scale before qualifying for today’s “super sized” A rounds.
Dreamit puts their cohort companies in front of customers and key strategic partners to drive pilot programs and distribution before matching them with larger venture funds and investor groups to raise follow-on funding.
This cohort will focus on companies in the Ed Tech and Health Tech industries. Other key elements of the program include:
- 3-week, multi-city Customer Immersions designed to help jumpstart sales through in-depth customer meetings with key strategic partners and customers you can reference in fundraising documents and marketing materials
- Access to some of the world's most active angels and VCs during the 2 week, East and West Coast, Investor Roadshow as well as one-on-one introductions from our vast network of early-stage investors
- Introductions to top industry leaders and other experts to build out your Advisory Board and mentor network, in addition to VC office hours throughout the program
- Coaching & insight via weekly office hours with our Managing Directors
- Weekly webinars and panel discussions with industry leaders around the topics that matter most for early-stage companies
Applications Announced: August 1, 2016
Application Deadline: 11:59pm on Sunday, August 21, 2016
Applicants Notified of Status: On or before August 29, 2016
Program Commitment Deadline: September 1, 2016
Add/Drop closes: September 6, 2016
Dreamit Cohort/Program Launch: September 12, 2016
Program Ends: December 14, 2016
EMBA students or second-year full-time students 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 work remotely and commit to the 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.
Applications to the Lang Scholars Program are due to Vincent Ponzo (the Independent Study sponsor) via email by 11:59pm on Sunday, August 21, 2016. There are no exceptions to this deadline.
Participating students will be notified of acceptance to the program no later than August 29th, 2016 and commitments to participate will be required by September 1st. This is in advance of the add/drop deadline of September 6th.
It is highly recommended that you bid on classes as you normally would. If you are accepted into the Lang Scholars program you can then drop a class and add the Lang Scholars Program as an independent study. OSA will work with the accepted students to refund any bid points.
You application should consist of the below items. Please email them to Vincent Ponzo (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject “Lang Scholars Application” by 11:59pm on Sunday, August 21, 2016.
You must submit an application consisting of:
- Your resume
- A two-page (max) letter outlining:
- Why the Lang Scholar program is appealing to you
- How you will benefit by participating
- What/how you will contribute to your paired team
- What/how you will contribute to the Lang Scholars Program
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.