Third Thursday: Urban Works Kick-off 

In partnership with the Columbia Global Center | Mumbai, SEAS Entrepreneurship is launching a brand new track in the Columbia Venture Competition: India Innovation Challenge. This year, we are seeking applications from innovators and entrepreneurs who are passionate about producing viable and interdisciplinary tech-based solutions for transforming 21st century cities in India into sustainable and safe work environments. The top three startups in the challenge split $50,000 in non-dilutive grants.

We invite students from all schools at the university to our Third Thursday event to learn more this exciting opportunity.

Come join us on Oct 17 at 5:30 pm for the kickoff event. Register here.

Third Thursday is a recurring open forum and networking 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.

Not only will we announce the Venture Competition track, you will hear from:

  • Faculty lead, Trish Culligan, Civil Engineer, Co-founder of Data Science Institute, advisor to many green infrastructure projects
  • Prof John Kymissis, Electrical Engineer, multiple startup founder and advisor
  • Last year’s winning team, BinIt! (current SEAS and CC students)
  • Joe Heritage and Adeline Thompson, Design Studio Leaders
  • Ivy Schultz, Director of Entrepreneurship, SEAS

Learn more about the Fast Pitch Competition in November 2019 and the Columbia Venture Competition (CVC) in Spring 2020.

CVC applications will be available in January 2020. 

The 2019-2020 challenge will support tech-based solutions to transform 21st-Century cities into sustainable and safe work environments. Innovators get a globally competitive opportunity to propose and refine solutions for some of India’s most pressing social challenges and gain from tools, learning sessions, peer networks, and unrestricted capital to transform their idea into action.

Solutions may apply to a diverse range of industries and socio-economic backgrounds and address questions such as — By what means can we ensure workplaces effectively manage waste, are able to efficiently utilize renewable energy, and have access to clean air and water? How can the use of green technologies help workers in both manufacturing and service sectors? How can health and wellness platforms and apps improve workplace happiness and productivity? How can sensors and real-time data gathering tools be deployed to create safer and more productive working conditions for everyone, particularly women?

Participants are encouraged to design innovative solutions for sustainable and safe cities in the broad categories of:

Sustainable mobility

Gender security 

Health and well-being, including mental health

Clean air and water

Waste management

Green buildings and infrastructure

Renewable energy and energy efficiency 

The innovation challenge track is open to all students who are passionate about the future of Indian cities and improving urban work environments. You do not need to have previous startup experience to join. Alumni 5 years past graduation are welcome to enter the competition.

 Questions? Email us at