The Eugene M. Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund, now in its ninth year of supporting student ventures, recently announced seed capital investments totaling $250,000 in four student ventures.
The ventures cut across diverse industries: Boden Furnishings (Bob Angus ’05 and Dan Ryan), a luxury furniture company that contracts with top designers to create high-end furniture collections for growing markets; CyanLine LLC (Steven Branigan ’05), a provider of wireless security consulting services, products and training; Hill Country (Marc Glosserman ’06), a Texas barbecue and sausage restaurant in New York designed to look and feel like an authentic country marketplace; and Wikispaces (Adam Frey ’05 and James Byers), a Web site where groups of people can work together to build content around topics they care about.
The four investments were chosen from 38 venture proposals submitted by students and presented at the annual spring Lang Fund event in April. A panel of judges evaluated each of the plans, providing feedback and recommendations before making its final determination.
The Lang Fund, established in 1996 with an initial gift of $1 million from Eugene M. Lang, MS ’40, has been a cornerstone of the entrepreneurial environment at Columbia Business School since its inception. Students who submit applications to the Lang Fund have access to a community of more than 100 mentors, faculty advisers and alumni who help them refine and strengthen their business plans.