- Events and Networking
About the Summer Startup Track
Summer Startup Track (SST) fosters a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship for rising second-year Columbia Business School students who are dedicated to advancing their ventures over the summer. The program provides tailored advisory, a network of peers, talks with industry leaders, and a pitch competition for a limited number of $5k-$10k grants (taxable*) at the end of the summer.
NOTE: While we hope to hold some in-person events, all programming for SST 2020 will be accessible virtually. There is no requirement for participants to be based in the NYC area.
Summer Startup Track Program: Approx. Monday, June 1, 2020 through Friday, August 7, 2020
Grant Pitch Date: Friday, August 7, 2020
Please check back for dates regarding 2021.
Eligibility & Program Description
SST is open to all rising second-year students who are:
Enrolled in CBS through fall 2020, including J-Term, EMBA, and Masters students
Dedicated to advancing their venture over the summer
SST is designed to accommodate full-time or part-time work/internships and summer coursework.
Ventures of all stages are welcome to apply.
Students may apply to the Full-time or Part-time Track. Only students that fulfill all requirements for the Full-time Track may pitch for a grant at the end of the program.
Part-time Track students have fewer requirements but must maintain a minimum amount of participation to remain part of the community.
Please review the following carefully before applying, since the 2020 program has been updated from prior years.
Full-time Track requirements for eligibility to pitch:
- Attendance of the kick-off event
- Attendance of at least 5 of the weekly Speaker Series events (details below)
- Attendance of at least 3 one-to-one advisory meetings
- Attendance of at least 3 peer group meetings
- Submission of weekly status reports to the Lang Center
- Participation in the closing event pitch for grant awards
Part-time Track requirements:
- Attendance of the kick-off event
- Attendance of at least 4 of the weekly Speaker Series events (details below)
- Attendance of at least 1 one-to-one advisory meeting
- Peer groups are optional and can be formed upon request
- Submission of 3 status reports to the Lang Center
- Ineligible to pitch for grants, although attendance of the closing event is encouraged
SST Speaker Series
The program will feature weekly talks from successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, professors, and others within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
All events will be accessible virtually this year, and will take place at either 8 am or 6/7 pm to accommodate work/class schedules as much as possible.
Example topics include:
- Customer Discovery
- Financial Modeling
- Startup Legal 101
- Pitch Deck Formation
- How to Raise Capital
- Growth Hacking Tools for Startups
The application deadline has passed.
Grant Process and Closing Pitch and Grant Awarding Event
Students who meet all criteria are eligible to apply for a grant at the end of the program. Please note these grants are taxable.*
Grant eligibility requirements:
- Fulfillment of requirements for the Full-time Track program
- Letter of recommendation from matched SST advisor
- Letter of recommendation from at least one member of assigned peer group (200 words max.)
- Personal statement outlining your progress over the summer and intent for using these funds to further venture beyond SST program (up to two pages).
- Presentation at the closing pitch event. Every member of the venture team should take part in the presentation to the extent possible.
All materials outlined above will be due one week in advance of the closing pitch event, which will take place on or about Friday, August 7, 2020.
*Any payments (including, but not limited to prizes, awards, non-qualified scholarships, grants, fellowships, stipends, etc.) to U.S. and international students are potentially subject to withholding. Please contact your tax advisor regarding individual tax implications.
Each team will have sole responsibility for deciding to which student the check will be made out and how to use the grant proceeds.
Questions? Contact [email protected].
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