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Spring Venture Showcase

The Process
Submission Guidelines
Conditions of Investment

The Process

Established in 1996 with a $1 million gift from Eugene M. Lang, MS ’40, the Eugene M. Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund fosters an entrepreneurial environment at Columbia Business School by providing early stage investing opportunities to qualifying student business initiatives. It also allows the School to share in the success of funded ventures through negotiated equity or other participation.

The Spring Venture Showcase offers students serious about launching a business upon or shortly after graduation an opportunity to present their plan to a distinguished panel of judges who together help select which students will advance to present to the Lang Fund Board of Directors. Approximately 20 students will have the opportunity to make a formal 7-minute presentation followed by Q&A.

Up to six companies will be selected from the event to present to the Lang Fund Board for investment consideration.

Congratulations to the 2014 Lang Fund Recipients.

All presenters will receive written and oral feedback on their business after the event.  

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Second-year students are eligible to participate in the Spring Venture Showcase and eligible for funding from the Lang Fund Board only.

Students may work individually or with a partner. The Lang Fund will consider  investment proposals for all types of enterprises: small- or large-scale, high- or low-tech, start-ups or acquisitions and service, manufacturing, or retail operations.

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The Lang Fund’s Board of Directors evaluates those selected from the Spring Venture Showcase event pool according to the following criteria:

  • Feasibility of the proposed venture and its prospects for success
  • Strength of the student’s commitment to the venture and his/her qualifications to make it succeed
  • Prospects for raising additional funding as may be required
  • Technical or conceptual originality or social value

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Applications are due at 11:59PM, Sunday, April 5, 2015 — late applications will not be accepted.

The Spring Venture Showcase event will take place on Monday, April 20, 2015 at Columbia Startup Lab within WeWork Soho West – 69 Charlton Street, 1st Floor

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Submission Guidelines

All applicants must complete the following application, which includes a 5-7 page Executive Summary:

Want to review the application questions you will be asked to answer?  Download the Application Question Doc.

Executive Summary- 5-7 pages. This document should include the following information:

  1. An overview of the market, the competition, and the positioning of your product or service. Validation from customer interviews will prove beneficial.
  2. A detailed description of your product or service concept.  Preference will be given to those who have developed a minimally viable product.  For example, if it is a web-based venture, it is anticipated that the overall design of the website be complete and hosted for demonstration purposes.  If the company already has revenue, please provide details.
  3. Highlights of a marketing plan including the direct sales strategies and media outlets you plan to utilize to reach your targeted customer.
  4. A profile of your management team and the skill sets vital for success.
  5. A high level financial plan including a break even analysis, sales goals, after the first year and the amount of investment required to support needed capital investments and negative cash flows during the start up phase.

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Conditions of Investment

In order to provide more access to seed funding in a venture’s early stages, the Fund will make an immediate initial investment, typically in the amount of $25,000-50,000, in the form of a convertible demand note in ventures that meet its investment criteria.  This criteria requires that ventures have a viable business plan with good chances of success and a full time commitment by the graduating student to the business as its owner or prime mover.  The Fund retains the right to make an additional equity investment in the business when the business raises its first round of equity backed by professional investors.
The Board retains sole discretion for deciding which businesses it will fund each year and may decide in a given year to forgo the funding of any projects if none of the ventures presented meet its investment criteria.

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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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