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Columbia Business School Expands Effort to Support Student Entrepreneurs

Columbia Business School (CBS) has created a new cooperative working space open to all Columbia students who hope to launch entrepreneurial ventures, the school’s Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center announced yesterday. The new Columbia Entrepreneurs Lab (CEL), modeled after the successful Columbia Business Lab, will provide participants who are accepted into the program with free access to resources and mentorship opportunities to get their ventures up and running.

“The Entrepreneurship Lab is a collaboration between multiple schools across campus and an important milestone in Columbia University’s efforts to prioritize the importance of entrepreneurship programming for all Columbia entrepreneurs,” professor Murray Low, director of the Lang Center, said in a statement announcing the launch.

An inaugural class of more than a dozen entrepreneurs will be the lab’s first participants. Their proposed ideas span the fields of healthcare, environmental protection, media and entertainment and include both new technologies and innovative products. One venture, called WordsEye, combines cutting-edge language processing with a 3D graphics engine to create a scene based purely on the words someone uses to describe it. Its creators recently won the $100,000 grand prize in the New York Business Plan Competition.

“I think this class of entrepreneurs provides a solid start to the CEL initiative,” CBS alumnus Derek Lee (MBA ’08), one of the program’s lead facilitators, said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide them with skills and perhaps more importantly, experiences they can bring with them into the fall.”

The Entrepreneurship Committee of the Dean’s Advisory Board at CBS – including alumni Patrick Crosby ’14, Justin Belmont ’14, and James Grant ’13 – led the effort to create the new lab, which is located on Columbia’s Morningside campus.

Learn more about the CEL’s inaugural class of entrepreneurs.