This is part of my ongoing Series on University Entrepreneurship.
Fourteen years ago, Eugene Lang '40 endowed a Fund at Columbia Business School intended to help foster student entrepreneurship at his alma mater. Today the Lang Fund is part of a robust year-long process at the business school's Lang Entrepreneurship Center that culminates in the most promising ventures receiving seed funding. Our most recent venture-backed high-flier is Recycle Bank, which is backed by RRE, Kleiner, Sigma Partners, Coca-Cola, and others:
"RecycleBank is a company focused on recycling rewards. It does this by measuring the amount of material each home recycles and then issuing RecycleBank Points based on the amount of materials recycled. These points can be used at participating local and national rewards partners. These partners include Regal Entertainment Group, Green Mountain Coffee, CVS Caremark Corporation, Whole Foods Market, Starbucks and ActiveCause."
Hearty congrats to this year's recipients, all of whom worked incredibly hard. Below I am re-posting the announcement which was made here:
Olapic LLC: Olapic helps brides and grooms easily collect all the pictures taken by the guests during their wedding. Pau Sabria ’10, Luis Sanz ’10 and Jose De Cabo ’10
RightsCube: RightsCube is the standardized source for all of the world's film and TV rights information. More purchasing power for buyers. More monetization for sellers. Josh Brody ’10
FSA-Store.com: A new website for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s) that allows employees to spend and manage their FSA funds efficiently and with ease. Jeremy Miller ’10
Peartree Preschool: Peartree Preschool is the first eco-healthy preschool in New York City. Denise Adusei ’10
The four selected were chosen from 26 ventures submitted by students, who presented their ideas at The Annual Spring Venture Showcase (formerly The Lang Fund Final Event) in April. A group of evaluators comprising over 60 mentors, faculty advisers, alumni, and administration heard business plan presentations and made recommendations to the Lang Fund Board regarding final funding decisions.
The Fund makes an immediate initial investment, typically in the amount of $25,000-50,000, in the form of a convertible demand note, in ventures that meet its investment criteria.