Designed to help Columbia MBAs launch startups upon graduation, Columbia Business School's Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program is a semester-long spring Master Class. According to Crain's New York Business, the Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program focuses on teaching students how to refine their business plans.
Like all Columbia Business School Master Classes, the Entrepreneurial Greenhouse program is a hands-on, project-based elective open to second-year MBA students. More than just a seminar, the Entrepreneurial Greenhouse program provides students with mentoring, funding for their pre-launch expert advice, and opportunities to give presentations in front of professional investors. Students regularly consult with seed funders as part of class participation. Much of the advice, support and funding comes from sponsors which include venture capital firms, Internet incubators, law firms, technology providers, and accounting firms.
In order to get into the Entrepreneurial Greenhouse program, students must undergo a highly selective screening process, which includes making a presentation and submitting a business plan. According to Columbia, 54 ventures applied to the program but only 25 were accepted. Columbia's Entrepreneurial Sounding Board gives students a chance to get feedback on their business ideas before they apply to the Entrepreneurial Greenhouse program.
The 2012 Entrepreneurial Greenhouse ventures represented a variety of industries beyond Internet startups, including healthcare, and the food and beverage industry. Businesses included an interactive social planner, a taxi dispatch tool, and a local produce food hub.
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