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Entrepreneurship News

May 10, 2013

The 2013 Lang Fund Investments

The 2013 Lang Fund Investments


The Eugene M. Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund, now in its 17th year of supporting student ventures, announced seed capital investments totaling $175,000 in four student ventures.

The ventures provide aid across diverse industries:

BlocPower
markets a portfolio of low cost renewable and energy efficiency products to property owners in domestic underserved communities. Donnel Baird ’13

BUZZtheBar
is a free ordering app that increases efficiency within the hospitality industry to create a world with no lines for customers. Richard Liang ’13

Plenishable turns recipes into groceries by providing eCommerce infrastructure linking recipe content & grocery services. Jeff Freedman ’13

Travefy
solves the coordination headaches of group travel. David Chait ’13

“It's an incredible honor to receive an investment from the Lang Fund and a privilege to join a community of startups that have received Lang investment, including giant successes like Recyclebank, founded by my mentor Professor Ron Gonen ’04,” said BlocPower founder, Donnel Baird ’13. “It is moving to receive the endorsement and vote of confidence from Columbia and be associated with Eugene Lang ’40, and what he stands for as the founder of the I Have a Dream Foundation, focused on economic opportunity in the same American inner cities that BlocPower targets. We are thrilled,” he added.

The investments were chosen from 23 venture proposals submitted by students and presented at the annual Columbia Entrepreneurs Showcase earlier in May. A panel of judges evaluated each of the plans, providing feedback and recommendations to the Lang Fund Board.

In order to provide more access to seed funding in a venture’s early stages, the Lang Fund Board makes an immediate initial investment, typically in the amount of $25,000-50,000, in the form of a convertible demand note in ventures that meet its investment criteria. This criteria requires that ventures have a viable business plan with good chances of success and a full time commitment by the graduating student to the business as its owner or prime mover. The Fund retains the right to make an additional equity investment in the business when the business raises its first round of equity backed by professional investors.

Richard Liang ’13 shared what the investment means to his company. “The Lang Fund's investment in BUZZtheBar gives us the seed capital to deploy our service into numerous NYC venues, and provide ongoing marketing support, he said.  “The investment also marks a significant milestone for BUZZtheBar as we emerge from the Greenhouse program with the tools to build a sustainable business.”

About the Lang Fund
Established in 1996 with a $1 million gift from Eugene M. Lang, MS ’40, the Eugene M. Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund fosters an entrepreneurial environment at Columbia Business School by providing early stage investing opportunities to qualifying student business initiatives. It also allows the School to share in the success of funded ventures through negotiated equity or other participation.
 

Spring 2014 Events

June 17, 2014

Columbia Business Lab Demo and Mentor Appreciation Reception

 

May 27, 2014

Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Columbia Demo Event
6:00-9:00pm
Venue - Morgan Stanley

 

May 21, 2014

Commencement

 

May 8, 2014

Entrepreneurs in Residence Workshop #6
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 301

 

May 6, 2014

Lang Fund Board Meeting
9:00-2:00pm
Venue TBD

 

April 28, 2014

Greenhouse Class Reunion Dinner
6:00-8:30pm
Felberg Space, Warren Hall

 

April 21, 2014

Spring Venture Showcase
6:30-9:00pm
Uris Hall Classrooms 301, 303, 329, 331, 333

 

April 17, 2014

Brian Cohen Workshop
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 142

 

April 15, 2014

Entrepreneur in Residence Austin Okere Workshop
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 140

 

April 14 2014

Columbia Entrepreneurs Lab Deadline

 

April 11, 2014

#StartupColumbia Festival
Columbia University
 

 

April 10, 2014

Entrepreneur in Residence Jim Moore Workshop
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 332

 

April 8, 2014

Pitch Workshop with David Rose
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 301

 

April 7, 2014

Spring Venture Showcase Applications Due
MIDNIGHT via Gust

 

April 3, 2014

The Ecademy Awards
3:30-4:30pm
Alfred Lerner Hall Auditorium

 

March 27, 2014

Entrepreneurs in Residence Workshop #3
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 307

 

March 27, 2014

Columbia Entrepreneurs Lab Event
6:00-9:00pm
Calder Lounge, Uris Hall

 

March 25, 2014

Columbia Entrepreneurs Lab Event
6:00-9:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 332

 

March 10-20, 2014

Columbia Business Lab Interviews
9:00-6:00pm
Uris Hall Conference Room TBD

 

March 7, 2014

A. Lorne Weil SharkTank Competition
1:00-6:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 332

 

March 6, 2014

Entrepreneurs in Residence Workshop #2
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 307

 

February 27, 2014

Entrepreneurs in Residence Workshop #1
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 307

 

February, 2014 - TBD

Columbia Business Lab Application - Link opens for submissions
(closes Sunday, March 9)


February, 2014 - TBD

Columbia Business Lab Info Session
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 140

 

February 6, 2014

Lang Center Info Session
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 140

 

February 4, 2014

Columbia Entrepreneurs Lab Lunch 'n' Learn
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 333

 

February 3, 2014

Entrepreneurial Sounding Board Begins

 

January 13-17, 2014

Lean LaunchPad Block Week Course