FAQs

1. Who can apply to the program?

Anyone who is employed by Columbia University in any capacity (faculty, staff, administrator) and anyone who is a student of Columbia University may apply.

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2. How many people will be accepted into the program?

A total of approximately 12 teams will be accepted into the program. It is assumed each team will consist of members (limited to five) who will round out the various needs of the venture. Each team leader will have the responsibility to recruit their team members.

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3. If I have an idea for a venture, how can I find fellow team members?

If you are looking for individuals with complementary skill sets to join your team, use the Build/Join a Team page to find potential team members within the Columbia University community. You must have all necessary team members in place prior to applying for this program.

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4. Do teams of just one or two individuals stand a chance of being accepted into the program?

Yes, however, the program is most appropriate for teams of three to five individuals, where each member of the team has a particular skill set needed to take the idea from conception to execution stage and create commercial viability. You may apply to the program with a team of one or two individuals, but the chances of acceptance are much lower without a strong team of diverse talents.

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5. Can my team include members from outside of the Columbia community?

Yes, you may have team members who are not from the Columbia community, provided that they were previously active in the development of your company or idea. However, the leader/founder of the team must be an employee or student at the University.

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6. What type of people should be on my team when I apply to the program?

Your team should consist of experienced professionals with skill sets that correspond to the execution needs of your idea. Your team must have the capacity to take your idea to market without additional outside support.

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7. When is the application deadline?

The deadline for applying to the program is November 18, 2013. Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.

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8. How much does the program cost?

There is no fee to participate in the program. Selected teams must agree to be present for all sessions and to participate fully in the program. The program is being supported by Columbia Business School and the Lang Center for Entrepreneurship.

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9. What types of ideas and businesses are the judges looking for?

The judges will focus on the quality of ideas submitted. The idea must have viable, commercial potential. The proposed business model should be scalable, demonstrating far-reaching impact on its targeted customer base. Ideas from any industry and offering a solution to any issue are welcome.

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10. What is the University’s Intellectual Property Policy?

Depending on the source of the idea, Columbia University may or may not have a claim on the intellectual property. Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV) is the organization that oversees the commercialization of all University intellectual property. CTV will work with IE@Columbia and applicants to address any intellectual property issues prior to admission to the program. Relevant factors include whether the entrepreneurial idea is patentable, if the inventor(s) is employed in a research setting, and if the activity from which the invention arose made use of University funding and/or research materials.

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11. Can I participate in this program remotely?

No. Selected teams must agree to be present for all sessions and to participate fully in the program. Sessions will take place on Columbia’s Morningside Campus.

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12. What happens if I cannot make all the sessions?

Participants are expected to attend all weekly sessions of the program. If you cannot attend one or more sessions, you may be excused from the program.

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13. Where will be faculty come from?

The faculty will be drawn from across Columbia University, including the Business School, Law School and School of Engineering. Additional faculty from other schools will be sought for specific expertise as needed. Faculty will participate as instructors and as advisers and/or mentors. Members of the larger New York entrepreneurial and investor community will provide additional support and resources. Murray Low, director of the Lang Center and Clifford Schorer, entrepreneur-in-residence at Columbia Business School, will direct the program. Administrative support will be provided by Columbia Business School Executive Education.

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14. How can I learn about the curriculum for the program?

Read about the curriculum here.

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15. What’s the Lang Center?

The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center is the umbrella under which all entrepreneurship related initiatives and programs at Columbia Business School are housed.

The Lang Center was established in 1996 with a gift from successful entrepreneur and a distinguished philanthropist Eugene M. Lang, MS ’40, with the goal of creating a community of business practitioners with a lifelong commitment to achieving social and economic progress through entrepreneurship. Through a wide range of programs and initiatives, The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center brings together people, ideas, and resources in ways that transform nascent business ideas into viable strategies and, ultimately, thriving organizations.

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16. How can I get involved with IE@Columbia as a mentor?

Please send all volunteering inquiries to Mayra Reyes at mr2017@columbia.edu or 212-854-1686.

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17. What should I do if I have questions that have not yet been answered?

Please contact Mayra Reyes at mr2017@columbia.edu or 212-854-1686.