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How to start a startup at Columbia

Student Groups

Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs (CORE)

The undergraduate entrepreneurship society - works to inspire, educate, and launch the next generation of student entrepreneurs at Columbia University.

Columbia Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO)

Works to inspire Columbia students to become entrepreneurs, to help and mentor founders and establish Columbia as the place to go for thought-leadership. Holds a business pitch competition and the Lang Fund competition (MBA students).


A student group at Columbia that aims to foster a community of students interested in technology. Learn to code or hone your skills if you're a veteran. Hosts the annual DevFest.

Columbia Women Rock Entrepreneurship

The members of Columbia Women Rock Entrepreneurship are a group of students who are interested in women empowerment and entrepreneurship.

Columbia Women Inventors Network

Dedicated to engaging, encouraging, and empowering women inventors from Columbia's research labs.

Columbia Fintech and Blockchain

Centralizes and develops education, community and innovation initiatives in the field of financial technology.

Columbia Venture Community (CVC)

Aims to foster entrepreneurship among Columbia students, alumni, and employees.

Incubators and Accelerators


8 week startup accelerator for student entrepreneurs in teams of 1-5 founders, helps jumpstart founders for the annual $250,000 Columbia Venture Competition. Applications due late September.

Columbia Biomedical Technology Accelerator

Aims to catalyze the advancement of biomedical technologies by providing funding, education, resources and mentorship to teams of clinicians, engineers and scientists working to develop solutions to clinical unmet needs.

The Columbia | IBM Blockchain LAUNCH Accelerator

A non-dilutive program for building and scaling successful companies utilizing blockchain and data transparency. The goal of the program is to help the best emerging companies succeed through education, mentorship, and business model design.

CBS Summer Startup Track

Summer program supporting entrepreneurs heading into the final year of business school - $10,000 grant per startup at the end of the program.

Hackathons and Competitions

Columbia Venture Competition (CVC)

The CVC has five tracks or challenges. Each challenge will split $50K among the top three winners. First round deadlines are in mid-February each year, with final rounds being held in April.


A week-long learnathon that culminates in an 18-hour hackathon. DevFest focuses on fostering community and helping new developers end the week with a completed project. ADI hosts DevFest every Spring. There even is a beginner track for those with no prior coding experience!.

FastPitch (SEAS)

Columbia Engineering's annual campus-wide elevator pitch competition; teams have 60 seconds to sell their business ideas to a panel of judges. Held throughout November each year. Win up to $5000.

University Resources

Columbia Undergraduate Startup Internship Fund

Enables undergraduate (CC, SEAS, GS) students to pursue a quality unpaid or low-paid summer internship at a high growth, innovative startup company.

CBS Executives in Residence Program

Executives in Residence Program at Columbia Business School integrates senior executives into the life of the School.

Columbia Tech Ventures

Facilitates the transfer of inventions from academic research to outside organizations for the benefit of society on a local, national and global basis.

Digital Storytelling Lab

Designs innovative stories and narratives for research ideas and ventures.

Amazon Activate

SEAS partnership with AWS offering discounted services to those startups which have raised less than $1.5M.

Columbia Startup Lab

The Columbia Startup Lab is co-working facility located at WeWork Soho West that provides subsidized space for 71 Columbia alumni entrepreneurs to house and nurture their fledgling ventures.

Center for Spatial Research

The Center for Spatial Research was established in 2015 as a hub for urban research that links design, architecture, urbanism, the humanities and data science.

Columbia Entrepreneurship Design Studio - Design Fellows Program

Cohort for students and alums to move an idea further along using Design Thinking. Fellows receive a grant in their second semester.

CBS Summer Startup Track

Summer program supporting entrepreneurs heading into the final year of business school - $10,000 grant per startup at the end of the program.

Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Office Hours

Notable Courses

Launch Your Startup

Starting and Running an Entrepreneurial Company

Venturing to Change the World

Organizing Innovation

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Engineers

Lean Launchpad

Launch Your Startup: Tech

Hacking for Defense

Columbia Entrepreneurship Courses



University-focused venture fund investing up to $2M in emerging startups launching from the university scene around the US.

Dorm Room Fund

First Round Capital's pre-seed investing branch - providing up to $20k to student startups.


General Catalyst's pre-seed investing branch - student team building a large network of student founders.

NYSERDA's $6 million Co-Investment Fund

NYSERDA's goal is to mobilize more early-stage capital in the clean energy space.

Data Science Institute Seed Funds

Research seed grants of up to $100k to accelerate collaborative cutting edge research in applied data science.

Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund (CBS)

Provides early stage investing opportunities to graduating CBS students, typically in the amount of $25,000-$50,000.

Tamer Center for Social Ventures

Provides seed grants up to $25K to nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid early-stage Columbia University affiliated social and environmental ventures.

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