Coming Up in Entrepreneurship – Summer 2021

Here’s a quick look at what’s available Summer 2021!



2021 Summer Design Challenge (Jul 7): Columbia-IBM Center is launching a Design Challenge to advance innovation in blockchain, data transparency and closely associated topics for the good of society and will be led by Professor Rongui Gu, formerly at Google, who has extensive experience in computational engineering science, computing systems, and cyber security. Register here.

Info Session: Hacking for Humanity (Jul 14, 10AM & 7PM): Are you someone with a promising startup? A highly skilled individual with interest in helping propel venture ideas to reality? Or a collaborative faculty or alumni advisor? Join for an information session about Columbia University’s Hacking for Humanity to ask questions, learn about the hackathon, and network with the cross-campus and beyond community of students, researchers, faculty, alumni, professionals, and community experts interested in startups that will make a tangible impact on humanity and the planet. Hosted by the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School and collaborators.

Start Me Up Bootcamp (Rolling, Jul 15): Join a select group of entrepreneurs for a two-week virtual program designed to build your startup. The bootcamp, hosted by Columbia Engineering (but open to all students) introduces participants to the Lean Launchpad methodology and techniques to direct customer discovery through field interviews. Apply here.

Columbia Alumni Virtual Accelerator (CAVA) Info Session (Jul 30)CAVA, open to CBS alumni, has opened applications for its Fall 2021 cohort. CAVA’s mission is to enhance CBS alumni’s early-stage startups through resources and mentorship.  CAVA Fall ’21 Info Session (July 30th, Noon ET) is a time when interested companies can learn about the program and the application process. Graduates have gone on to accelerators like Techstars and RLab, and have raised millions in venture capital, including from the CBS Lang Fund. Applications are due August 24.

Design For Social Innovation Course (Deadline, Aug 6): (DFSI) is a semester-long course where Columbia University students and faculty support social enterprises, nonprofit organizations, and the public sector to address complex, ambiguous global problems through human centered design. The course is open to students from Columbia’s 20 undergraduate and graduate schools via an application and interview process.

  • The 3.0 credit course is a collaboration between the Columbia Entrepreneurship Design Studio and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).

  • The class will take place in-person on Wednesdays from 2:10pm – 4:00pm.

  • The application-only course will accept a total of 16 students for the Fall 2021 term.

Tamer Fund for Social Ventures (Aug 15): The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School is now accepting applications for the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures. This fund provides seed grants of up to $25,000 to nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid early-stage social and environmental ventures. Ventures must be led by Columbia University students, alumni, faculty or researchers, or be advised and have significant involvement by Columbia University faculty or researchers. Tamer Fund seed grants will be made to approximately seven ventures each year. Application deadlines are the same dates every year, August 15 and March 1: Apply here.

Hacking for Humanity Mixer (Aug 18, 5:30pm): The 2021 Hacking for Humanity Hackathon is designed to harness Columbia’s talent and energy to tackle global problems and crowdsource innovative solutions with a compelling business model. The mixer is an opportunity to ask questions, meet other participants, and form venture teams!

Social Venture Incubator Course (Deadline, Aug 19): This course is open to all students at Columbia (with alumni and external team members welcome to audit online, if there is at least one Columbia student team member in the class). This course is an incubator for startups making a tangible impact on people or the planet. The spirit of the course is to foster cross-campus access and collaboration to leverage Columbia talent and resources to build your team, access any necessary technology, advance your venture, and gain investor interest. To foster team formation and connect with advisors and mentors, students are also invited to participate in Columbia’s Hacking for Humanity, which will be offered in Hyflex format on September 10-12.

GSAPP Incubator Prize (Aug 31): Applications for the 2021–2022 cycle of the GSAPP Incubator Prize are now being accepted through August 31, 2021. As a platform for entrepreneurship and expanded modes of practice, the Prize supports projects led by GSAPP alumni that bridge critical discourse with active practice and engagement. The Prize encourages a wide range of experiments while focusing on a specific topic of inquiry each year, and in 2021 is aligned with the School’s ongoing work of advancing racial equity in the built environment as outlined in the GSAPP Anti-Racism Action Plan. The 2021-2022 GSAPP Incubator Prize is dedicated to supporting new forms of anti-racist professional practice and seeks to fund alumni-led initiatives that critically redefine community engagement and participation. Special consideration will be given to proposals serving BIPOC communities, in particular projects that engage communities in Harlem.



Global Emerging Technology Summit (Jul 13): The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence will convene key democratic nations, international organization leaders, and private sector entities to define parameters for collaboration on global emerging technology issues. Featured speakers include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).

Polar Vortex – Hacking the Arctic (Jul 19): Open to anyone who is creative and interested in developing concepts, technologies or systems to help collect, analyze, process, and visualize geospatial data in the austere and mobile environments in the Arctic. Coding experience not required.

Recruiting at Nucleate (Jul 20): Nucleate [] is a nonprofit, non-dilutive entrepreneurship program for aspiring biotech startup founders. The program is advised by George Church and Bob Langer, among 100+ world-class innovators/startup founders and investors hailing from Lux Capital, Flagship Pioneering, Polaris Partners, Alexandria Venture, Pfizer Ventures, Leaps by Bayer, and many more.

Nucleate launches Fall 2021 in New York, and is actively recruiting for its leadership team at Columbia [MBA, PhD, and Master’s programs, postdocs, or others welcome!]. Critical roles would include coordinating and organizing mentor office hours, workshops, social events, communications, and many other operations roles. These roles would give you an opportunity to support the NYC life sciences ecosystem, meet like-minded innovators, successful entrepreneurs, and investors in New York life sciences and across the country. To apply to join the leadership team, please fill out this form by 11:59 PM EST, Tuesday July 20th; applicants will be reviewed and interviewed on a rolling basis.

More about Nucleate NYC:

Nucleate [] is supported by folks from the tech transfer and commercialization offices of Albert Einstein, CSHL, Columbia, CUNY, Mount Sinai, MSKCC, NYU, Rockefeller, Rutgers, and Weill Cornell. Participating teams will be early-career scientists and/or business-minded graduate students with an ambitious, biology-driven vision. Teams will meet potential co-founders, receive one-on-one mentorship, and gain opportunities for non-dilutive funding and perks valued at $250,000.

Joining Emergent Need Projects Through NSIN (Rolling): Opportunities are open for those looking to be involved in new projects supporting DoD customers. Upcoming topics include autonomy, AI/ML, gaming, ad tech, cyber, and intelligence applications. Especially strong submissions of interest will be considered for SBIR letters of support. Apply here.


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