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Participants in the program will develop a comprehensive business model ready for launch. The focus is on developing fundable, high-potential businesses. Faculty members, alumni, industry mentors, and others will help students hone their execution strategy. The approach will be a combination of relevant, practical education and action learning. Participants will be expected to advance their businesses in concrete ways by engaging customers and strategic partners, developing prototypes, and developing and testing business-model hypotheses. In addition to class sessions, participants are expected to make tangible progress in the real world.
Each of the 12 sessions will feature one or two Columbia University professors for a three-hour block. Topics covered will include the entrepreneurial process, the market, the customer, financial forecasting, product design, selling, legal issues, intellectual property, entrepreneurial finance, negotiations, operations, leadership, and how to pitch to investors. In addition to the featured professors, each session will end with a 45-minute integration session by the program directors.
Each team will have three private consultations with the directors during the course of the program. These one-hour sessions will be held on Friday afternoons between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. In addition to private consultations with the directors, other faculty members from across the University will serve as consultants and advisors.