An iPad game to teach kids about plants and animals. A new treatment for traumatic brain injuries. An online peer-to-peer lending platform for refinancing credit card debt. A fantasy cricket game. These are among the 13 projects selected for the first Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Columbia program, launched by the School's Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center.
IEColumbia is designed to nurture and leverage ideas and technologies from within the University that have the potential to generate positive returns through new products or services, processes, and licensing revenues. Beginning in February, participating teams will attend 12 sessions designed to aid in the development of fundable, high-potential businesses. 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.
All Columbia students, as well as faculty and staff members were invited to form teams, submit ideas, and apply to the program last November. A total of 102 groups applied. From that pool, 26 teams were asked to present their projects to the members of the selection committee, which then chose the program participants. The program is being offered at no cost to the attendees and will be taught by faculty members from the Business, Law, and Engineering Schools. By the end of the semester, teams will have developed fundable business proposals and will pitch their projects to angel investors and venture capitalists.