Third Thursday

Third Thursday is a recurring open forum networking and info session for the Columbia University entrepreneurship community. It provides students, faculty, staff, and alumni the opportunity to hear ideas from across campus, form teams, and explore career options. You’ll hear from Columbia alumni and other experts on their experiences working in the field, how they’ve applied their Columbia experience in their careers, and more.

Have an announcement or idea to pitch to the group? Contact us in advance and come prepared to pitch it!  

Visit our Events page for upcoming Third Thursdays

Upcoming Third Thursdays

Perfect Your Pitch

Join us on Thursday, February 20 at 6 PM for live pitches and coaching from angel investors and venture capitalists! Register to attend and/or apply to pitch below.

Past Third Thursdays

*Tuesday, January 21, 2020 featured Megan Kludt, Partner at Curran, Berger & Kludt LLP, to discuss immigration and entrepreneurship. Megan is very knowledgeable on visa options for students after graduation, and specializes in complex immigration cases in the areas of business, academia, scientific research, and the arts.

Thursday, November 21st, 2019 was our Columbia Fast Pitch Competition, where teams had 60 seconds to sell their business ideas to a panel of judges to win up to $5,000.

Thursday, October 17th, 2019 featured Trish Culligan, John Kymissis, and BinIt! to discuss the launch of the India Innovation Challenge as a new track on the Columbia Venture Competition. 

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 featured David Olk, Managing Partner at The Founder Exchange and Co-Founder of ShopKeep, and Apoorv Agarwal, Co-Founder & CEO, Text IQ, to discuss the topic of building a team. 

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 featured Chris Wiggins, PhD, an associate professor of applied mathematics and Chief Data Scientist at The New York Times, and Ivy Shultz, Director of entrepreneurship programs at Columbia’s School of Engineering. The event also served as a networking opportunity with the startup teams participating in the NSF ICORPs short course bootcamp.

Thursday, March 28th, 2019 featured Matt Robbins’13BUS, CEO of  DeansList, and Dr. Sam Sia, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Faculty Co-director of SEAS Entrepreneurship, as part of Third Thursday: Social Entrepreneurship. The event was held in partnership with the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and featured entrepreneurs who use their engineering skills to solve some of today’s most pressing social and environmental issues.  

Thursday, February 28th, 2019 featured Associate Athletics Director for Championship Performance Brent Walker, PhD and Houtan Fanisalek, a seasoned CTO and SEAS grad.  Both speakers shared their knowledge in athletics, human performance, and the new technologies that can support better performance, recovery, tracking, and training. Brent also announced the Columbia Ignition Athletic grants, new funding for interdisciplinary startup projects. 

Thursday, January 24th, 2019 featured Megan Kludt, Partner at Curran, Berger & Kludt LLP, a boutique law firm specializing in all areas of immigration, including business, achievement, investment, family, and humanitarian bases for immigration status. She covered immigration and entrepreneurship, including topics such as options and requirements for various visas, such as: J1, O-1B, and H-1B, visa options and NYC/NYS immigration resources for foreign startup founders, and more.   Megan is very knowledgeable on visa options for students after graduation, and specializes in complex immigration cases in the areas of business, academia, scientific research, and the arts. Additionally, she was selected by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to provide emergency legal aid to children at the US/Mexico border and was honored as one of AILA New England’s Pro Bono Champions in 2016. 

Thursday, October 25th, 2018 featured Abby Lyall, Senior Associate at Quake Capital, who covered how to craft your perfect pitch in preparation for Columbia Engineering’s Fast Pitch Competition.  Abby Lyall manages the cohort operations for Quake’s New York office, as well as organizing Quake’s university outreach and internship program on the East Coast. She brings her entrepreneurial spirit to the team, having founded startups in the ed-tech and media spaces and qualifying as a finalist in the NYU Berkley Center’s $200K Entrepreneurs Challenge. She previously worked for Morgan Stanley’s private wealth management group, Blackrock’s Aladdin technology division and the aviation startup BLADE. Abby holds a degree in Finance and Data Science from New York University’s Stern School of Business

Thursday, September 27, 2018 featured Dr. Sam Sia, a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University and founder of the Harlem Biospace. Professor Sia also cofounded Claros Diagnostics, Inc., co-invented the Claros technology, and currently  serves as its Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board. His research areas include microfluidics, point-of-care diagnostics, 3D tissue engineering, and implantable devices, with a focus on technologies for use in the developing world. He was listed in MIT’s list of top 35 innovators under the age of 35 in 2010. Dr. Sia holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta (Canada), a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard University, and completed post-doctoral research in George Whitesides’ laboratory at Harvard.

Thursday, March 22, 2018 featured Nikos Theodosopoulos ’84. Nikos Theodosopoulos runs an independent board  and  advisor  practice  as part  of NT Advisors LLC, which he founded in 2012. He currently serves as an independent director at: ADVA Optical Networking SE (Frankfurt Exchange: ADV) where he is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Arista Networks (NYSE: ANET), and Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ: HLIT) where he is also Chairman of the Audit Committee. He has also served as a board  member  and advisor to  multiple  start-­‐up companies and is currently a member of the Columbia University Engineering School Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. Nikos is also an active angel investor and is a member of the New York Angels, which is one of the top ten most active angel  groups in the world.

Thursday, February 15, 2018 featured Abby Lyall, who covered “crafting your executive summary” as well as a number of other topics in Startup A to Z. Abby Lyall manages the cohort operations for Quake’s New York office, as well as organizing Quake’s UIS, CVP and internship programs for university students. She brings her entrepreneurial spirit to the team, having founded startups in the ed-tech and media spaces and qualifying as a finalist in the NYU Berkley Center’s $200K Entrepreneurs Challenge. Abby previously worked for Morgan Stanley’s private wealth management group, Blackrock’s Aladdin technology division and the aviation startup BLADE. Abby holds a degree in Finance and Data Science from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Thursday, January 25, 2018 featured Megan Kludt, an attorney at Curran & Berger, LLP, a boutique law firm specializing in all areas of immigration, including business, achievement, investment, family, and humanitarian bases for immigration status. Megan is very knowledgeable on visa options for students after graduation, and specializes in complex immigration cases in the areas of business, academia, scientific research, and the arts. Additionally, she was selected by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to provide emergency legal aid to children at the US/Mexico border and was honored as one of AILA New England’s Pro Bono Champions in 2016. Megan holds a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, a Master of International Relations from Boston University, and a JD with an international concentration from Boston University School of Law.

Thursday, October 19, 2017 featured Hicham Oudghiri ’06, the co-founder and CEO of Enigma, an operational data management and intelligence company. Previously, he managed the private sustainable finance program at BMCE Bank, in partnership with the World Bank Group, to create energy models for large-scale alternative energy projects across Africa. Prior to that, he supported an energy fund in Dallas, Texas where he was responsible for hedging physical energy assets against modeled counterparts in the electronic markets. Hicham received a B.A. from Columbia University, where he studied Philosophy and Mathematics. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017 featured Steve Jacobs ’98, the Senior Vice President of Digital Technology for Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and Demand Marketing for Gilt. He is responsible for overseeing HBC Digital’s technology and product execution and strategy. He also leads Gilt’s Demand Marketing efforts. Jacobs holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Columbia University. He is a founding member of DoSomething.org’s technical advisory board and is also on the Board of Advisors for Zaius, a marketing automation platform. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017 featured Ryan Bubinski ’11 and Tom Yee in a discussion on the first steps that startups should consider. Ryan Bubinski graduated Columbia College in 2011 with degrees in biophysics and computer science. He is the co-founder of Codecademy, an online interactive platform with 25 million users that offers free coding classes in many different coding languages. Thomas Yee graduated from the Engineering School with a degree in biomedical engineering, and then went on to Georgetown Law for his JD. He is currently an attorney and partner at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, an intellectual property law firm with offices in California, Washington State, and D.C.

Thursday, February 16, 2017 featured Nelly Yusupova, who discussed how to pitch to investors, tell an effective story, and get that “Yes!” from potential backers. Nelly is an experienced web technology specialist, consultant and strategist, and motivational speaker. She is currently the CTO of Webgrrls International and has been at the forefront of the women’s movement online since 1999. Nelly is responsible for building and maintaining the technical infrastructure of the organization that supports the 100 chapters across the country and around the world. She also works with entrepreneurs and teaches them how to use and leverage technology in their business.

Thursday, January 26, 2017 featured Megan Kludt, an attorney at Curran & Berger, LLP, a boutique law firm specializing in all areas of immigration, including business, achievement, investment, family, and humanitarian bases for immigration status.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 featured Sean Kelly, CEO of SnackNation, an Inc. 500 ranked company that delivers healthy snacks to offices across America. Sean is also the Founder of AwesomeOffice.org, an association dedicated to helping companies maximize employee engagement, productivity and well-being. Sean talked about product-market fit and the multiple pivots he took with his company.

Thursday, September 15, 2016 featured Georg Petschnigg ‘00, CEO & Founder at FiftyThree (Formerly Microsoft) and the theme of Ideation and Team Building.  During the Networking session, we met the Yank Technologies team and their product, the Motherbox.