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Innovation and Entrepreneurship @ Columbia
Innovation and Entrepreneurship @ Columbia (IE@Columbia) is a new program, first begun in the fall of 2012 by the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School. The program provides students with a competitive platform to generate and build ideas that have the potential to be created into a new product, process, licensing revenue, or strategic alliance.
All Columbia staff, students and faculty are invited to compete in the semester long, cost-free program, preferably in small teams, to present a high-potential business idea for submission. All submissions will be taken during the months of October and November, choosing a group of about thirteen finalists in the first week of December, and beginning the program with a three-hour informational orientation during the end of December. The orientation will provide critical information on guidelines such as assurance that all team members participate equally, that there is no violation of intellectual property, and that all team members are successfully pre-registered. IE@Columbia officially begins in January, wherein each team develops their ideas and products alongside the stimulation of a weekly three-hour module, held each Friday through April for a total of twelve modules, and led by faculty, staff, alumni and business leaders. Topics of the modules will include how to pitch an idea to investors, keys for negotiation, financial forecasting, legal issues, and the entrepreneurial process, among other related topics. During the four-month course of the program, each team will also have three one-hour private consultations with directors to discuss project issues, concerns and development.
At the end of the program, each team should have developed a fundable business proposal. In a final event, teams will present their final proposals to angel investors and venture capitalists for the opportunity for funding. Columbia University students and faculty are also invited to attend this final event.
IE@Columbia 2013 participants brought creative and modern ideas to the table, including an online peer lending platform for refinancing credit card debt, a new treatment for traumatic brain injury, and an iPad game to educate children on plants and animals.
IE@Columbia aspires to become a self-sustaining program. Successful teams will be expected to provide a small stake in equity to the program with the hopes that, over time, the equity will generate sufficient returns to grow the program, encourage greater entrepreneurial participation, and enrich innovation and entrepreneurship at Columbia.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com