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The germ of a successful entrepreneurial venture is a critical insight. This insight might be the discovery of a new technology, an awareness of a shift in customer need, or a change in the competitive landscape. However, this insight is only the beginning. The journey from idea to viable venture requires significant research, financial analysis, legal work, and, in many cases, technical or scientific knowledge. All of these assets exist within Columbia University; a coordinated effort to evaluate and develop the best of the opportunities presented will pay sizable rewards.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship @ Columbia* provides a platform to explore and develop these ideas by leveraging the cross-functional capabilities, knowledge, and intellectual capacity of the University at large. In the fall of 2014, faculty members, staff members, and students from across the University are invited to compete for admission to Innovation and Entrepreneurship @ Columbia. Participation will be free of charge. Preference will be given to well-balanced teams of three to five people with a compelling idea for a high-potential venture.
A three-hour orientation session was held later in December to provide guidance on issues of equity participation among team members, intellectual property, and pre-course preparation. The program will run from late January to May and will consist of 12 sessions held on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The sessions will feature leading faculty members from the Business School, Law School, and Engineering School, and will be divided into lecture, discussion, and workshop activities. The goal is for each team to develop a fundable business proposal by the end of the program. In addition to the 12 sessions, there will be a final event where teams present to angel investors, venture capitalists, and other invited guests for possible funding.