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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 11:59PM, April 5, 2015.

The Spring Venture Showcase event will take place on April 20, 2015 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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The Marketplace

Startup Week 2014

Browse the Columbia Business School Marketplace and experience the breadth of businesses from our community this holiday season.

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Spring 2015 Events

January 11, 2015

Lean LaunchPad Block Week Class
Orientation
6:00-8:00PM

January 12-16, 2015

Lean LaunchPad Block Week Class
Professors Steve Blank and Bob Dorf
9:00-5:30PM

January 13, 2015

Lean LaunchPad-Steve Blank (Moderated by Faculty Director Sheena Iyengar)
Alumni Event
6:00-9:00PM, Columbia Startup Lab-WeWork SoHo West, 69 Charlton Street

January 27, 2015

Lang Center Info Session
12:30-2:00PM

February 22, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab-Summer
Applications Due By 11:59PM

February 24, 2015

Summer Fellowship Program
Info Session
12:30-2:00PM

February 25-March 6, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab-Summer
Interviews
12:30-2:00PM

February 26, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - topic to be announced
12:30-2:00PM

February 27, 2015

Columbia Shark Tank Competition
Led by the CEO
12:30-5:00PM

March 3, 2015

David S. Rose '83 Investor Pitch Workshop
12:30-2:00PM

March 5, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - topic to be announced
12:30-2:00PM

March 8, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - WeWork
Applications Due By 11:59PM

March 13, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - Summer
Admission Decisions

March 23-31, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - WeWork
Interviews

March 26, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - topic to be announced
12:30-2:00PM

April 3, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - WeWork
Deliberations

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

April 9, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - topic to be announced
12:30-2:00PM

April 20, 2015

Spring Venture Showcase
6:30-9:00PM

April 22, 2015

Inaugural Lang Advisory Board Dinner
6:30-8:30PM

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
6:30-9:00PM

May 5, 2015

Lang Fund Board Meeting

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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