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Four Columbia Student Ventures Get $225,000 in Funding

Four student-founded ventures at Columbia Business School have been awarded a total of $225,000 in seed funding through the school’s Eugene M. Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund.

Every year, graduating students at Columbia Business School have the opportunity to apply for early-stage investments from the fund, which was created in 1996 with a $1 million donation from Eugene M. Lang, MS ‘40.

Somewhere around five companies are selected each year to present their plans to the fund’s board. Those selected usually receive between $25,000 and $50,000 each.

According to the fund, ventures receiving funding need to “have a viable business model with a good chance of success.” The graduating Columbia student also needs to be making a full-time commitment to a primary role in the venture.

This year, four companies were selected to receive a total of $225,000 in funding.

BrainCreek puts together workplace simulations and workshops, where students can try out different jobs and corporations can look for talent.

mint&rose is a company based in Spain that offers “affordable luxury” items aimed at “the millennial woman,” including shoes, bags and accessories.

Sable Money describes itself as “the bank that welcomes internationals to the US,” providing people relocating to the US with checking and savings accounts as well as credit cards.

Finally, on the healthcare end of things is SiteRx, which is focused on “integrating clinical research into the continuum of care” by way of a marketplace that connects doctors and patients with clinical trials.

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In applying for funding, each team submitted a five- to seven-page executive summary, plus an application outlining their accomplishments so far and their commitment to work on the venture full-time after graduation.

Graduating MBA and EMBA students were eligible to apply. In providing the seed-stage funding, the fund says that it “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.”

The Eugene Lang fund is one of several opportunities for student and alum entrepreneurs that Columbia Business School offers through its Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center.

Others include the Columbia Startup Lab, which provides coworking space to recent alumni, and the Summer Fellowship Program, which offers a salary supplement to students working for startups over the summer.

Opportunities like these show the real opportunities being at a top MBA program can provide for students interested in entrepreneurship.

Of course, programs like Columbia’s attract many applications from students with entrepreneurial aspirations. That makes submitting an application that emphasizes the unique strengths you bring all the more important.

We can give you feedback on how to do that and how your profile stacks up at business schools like Columbia. Ask us for a free MBA application assessment!