Columbia Business School offers its students a variety of entrepreneurial programs—the Lang Fund grants an initial investment of between $25,000 and $50,000 to student ventures, the entrepreneur’s organization makes $10,000 available to the students who win the school’s Outrageous Business Plan Competition and the Entrepreneurial Greenhouse program provides support for those who intend to start a business immediately upon graduation. But what if you just want to test your idea to determine whether it is worth pursuing? Students with less-refined ideas can first pitch their proposed venture to a member of the faculty through the Entrepreneurial Sounding Board, a program that provides students with 30-minute feedback sessions, regardless of the development level of the proposed idea(s). Often, however, professors will do more than just give these students feedback, also suggesting action items and facilitating networking opportunities. After a student’s idea has been thoroughly considered, the student will then be prepared to propose it to the Greenhouse and seek funding, fully aware of the challenges and opportunities ahead.
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