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David Lerner’s Blog: Rise of Tech @ Columbia: Part 1, The Founders

From David’s March 17th, 2017 Blog Post

Now entering my 11th year at Columbia I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the remarkable flourishing and momentum that I’ve seen develop in the entrepreneurial ecosystem at the University over the past decade. It has no doubt mirrored the ascent of NYC’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and ridden the tidal wave of university entrepreneurship that we have all witnessed nationally.  Yet it’s also been great to see the work of so many internal champions at Columbia see the light of day; students, alumni, faculty, and trustees alike. We over at Columbia Entrepreneurship take the view that we’re simply helping to harness and facilitate what can only be described as a cultural transformation and help tell the stories that need to be told. Hence this series of posts I’m going to write.

It’s also important to mention that so many of us at Columbia are inspired by the legacy of the late Bill Campbell (photo above) who served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for many years and inspired us through his encouragement and mentorship to step on the gas pedal of entrepreneurship as an institution. Many people only know of his legend in Silicon Valley — but he’s just as much of a legend around Columbia where he was once an undergraduate and then the beloved head football coach before returning years later as Chair of the Trustees.

As for this Series of posts – I thought we’d first have a quick look at a sampling of some of the great companies and founders that have emerged from the ecosystem over the past decade in Part 1, then have a look at the Columbia alumni in the venture capital space in Part 2, and lastly have a glance across all the great programs percolating and the terrific entrepreneurship faculty across the university ecosystem in Part 3.

We’ll keep the main Columbia startup directory updated here so we have an evergreen resource over the coming years. You should go there for the larger list which we continue to curate and build upon.  Many are helping us build this master list and I want to especially thank Naval Ravikant for helping us out with this. We will be using Angellist data and other sources over time to enrich the startup directory of Columbia founders page over time, so please send any more submissions of tech companies founded by Columbia alumni you come across to entrepreneurship AT columbia DOT edu as we continue to build this record on an ongoing basis. [Rest of Story]

 

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