In its second year, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship @ Columbia Program, run by the School’s Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center, will welcome 14 groups as participants.
Among the teams chosen, a number have ideas for health-related businesses, including a platform to give patients easy access to second opinions and a tool to help hospital staff predict patient discharge dates in order to make their workflows more efficient. The projects span other areas as well, including a proposal to aid citizen journalists in disseminating information on political protests and a Wikipedia for the law, which would include the texts of statutes, regulations, and legal opinions.
“We’re very excited about this class,” said Vince Ponzo ’03, the director of the Lang Center. “These budding entrepreneurs represent the breadth of expertise at Columbia University. They come to us from a range of schools, including the Columbia University Medical Center, Columbia Law School, and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. With our help, and their great ideas, we believe they’ll impact the world.”
Launched last year, IE@Columbia is designed to nurture and leverage innovations and technologies from within the University that have the potential to generate positive returns through new products or services, processes, and licensing revenues. Participating teams attend sessions designed to aid in the development of fundable, high-potential businesses. Topics covered include the entrepreneurial process, the market, the customer, financial forecasting, product design, sales, 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 again this year. A total of 51 groups did so. From that pool, 25 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.