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Spring Venture Showcase

The Process
Eligibility
Criteria
Deadlines
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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Eligibility

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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Criteria

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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Deadlines

Submission deadline are due midnight, April 7, 2014. **Upcoming Spring semester important dates will be posted January 2015.**

The Spring Venture Showcase event will take place on April 21 at WeWork - 175 Varick Street, 8th Floor.

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Submission Guidelines

Executive Summary- 5-7 pages.

This document will 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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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
12:30-2:00PM

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
6:30-8:30PM

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
6:30-9:00PM

November 6, 2014

Entrepreneurs in Residence Workshop - Laurence Blumberg '94
12:30-2:00PM

November 11, 2014

"Pitch to an Entrepreneur in Residence" Session
12:30-2:00PM

November 13, 2014

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Wim Sweldens
12:30-2:00PM

November 18, 2014

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Asha Saxena
12:30-2:00PM

November 20, 2014

The Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program Peer-voting Event
12:30-2:00PM

December 2, 2014

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Jim Moore '95
12:30-2:00PM

December 5, 2014

The Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program Admissions Event
9:00-5:00PM