“CSL has been instrumental in advancing our startup Filos. The regular check-ins with mentors Dave and Andrew have been particularly beneficial, helping us align our efforts and stay on course.” – Mehdi Bouassami, ’24 Engineering

Columbia Startup Lab (CSL) Uptown, located on the Morningside campus, provides a host of campus-wide programming, open working space, mentorship, and connection to other entrepreneurship nodes around the University for aspiring student founders currently enrolled at Columbia and Barnard. 

Our on-campus programming is structured to catch students at 2 distinct points in the entrepreneurship journey: CSL: COMMUNITY (students looking for information) and CSL: INCUBATE (students building a specific startup).

Rolling admission: APPLY HERE*

*If you’re uncertain about which category you fall into, not to worry! You do not have to indicate which category you would like access to. Submit the application and once we know a little more about your interests and questions, and we’ll be able to help you wherever you are.

CSL Updatown - Group Picture
Students listen to Entrepreneur in Residence Justin Wenig, Founder of Coursedog and Overture

CSL: COMMUNITY

If you are a student who is new to entrepreneurship and wants to learn what it’s all about, we have you covered. Via introductory sessions, video content, and events throughout the year, we will give you a sense of what the world of startups is all about. All currently-enrolled Columbia and Barnard students are welcome to participate; this is a way to onboard into the entrepreneurship ecosystem throughout the academic year.

CSL: COMMUNITY includes: 

  • Students who have a specific startup idea or who just want to learn and participate on a team for the class are also invited to register for our campus-wide Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in the Fall Semester designed for Columbia students to get their initial, idea-stage ventures stress-tested, and to form their founding teams. The Fall 2023 Entrepreneurship Bootcamp is a for-credit class. The class is open to enrolled Columbia students and may be open to participating without receiving academic credit
  • Workshops on customer discovery, building a pitch deck, fundraising and more throughout the year

CSL: INCUBATE  

“The experience and hands-on approach of the staff at CSL Incubate were significant contributors in the early stages of our company’s journey.”

Torben Leowald ’26LAW

Director of Entrepreneurship Dave Lerner mentors student founders
Director of Entrepreneurship Dave Lerner mentors student founders.

CSL: INCUBATE program is for students who are actively working on a specific startup. Here, we work with teams in a more customized manner to help guide them as they build their product, engage with early customers, and iterate. This is particularly helpful if students are competing in Columbia’ annual Spring venture competition, StartupColumbia, which offers non-dilutive prize money to winners.

“CSL Incubate has been a supportive, helpful community and network with responsive and active faculty advisors who have the student founders’ best interests in mind. We are grateful for the time that we have spent and will continue to spend here.” – Richard Zhang, ’25SPS, Y Combinator Winter 2023 & Winter 2024

CSL: INCUBATE includes:

  • Tailored weekly mentorship with CSL Leadership, EIRs and Mentors throughout the semester
  • Access to all CSL: COMMUNITY opportunities
  • Weekly open Workspace hours
  • 5,000 AWS credits as participants in the AWS Dreamers program

“CSL Incubate gave me the affirmation I needed to ignore the fluff and commit to my real dreams.” – Vignesh Karthik ’26 Engineering