About the Summer Startup Track

Summer Startup Track (SST) fosters a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship for rising second-year Columbia Business School students who are dedicated to advancing their ventures over the summer. The program provides tailored advisory, a network of peers, talks with industry leaders, and a pitch competition for a limited number of $5k - $10k (TBD) grants (taxable*) at the end of the summer. 

See the Summer 2022 Grant Winners 

Important Dates

Please note the dates below are from 2022.

Applications are open from March 10 until April 21.

Summer Startup Track program dates: May 29 through August 4

Grant pitch date: Friday, Aug 5 - Two sessions: 11am-1pm and 5pm-7pm ET (tentative). Students can request a specific time frame for their pitch.

Eligibility & Program Description

The primary applicant on the team must be a rising second-year student who is:

  • Enrolled in CBS through fall 2023, including J-Term, EMBA, and MS students
  • Dedicated to advancing their startup over the summer
  • Note that students on leave of absence are not eligible

SST is designed to accommodate full-time or part-time work/internships and summer coursework. 

Startups of all stages are welcome to apply.

One application per team. Solo founders welcome.

Preference is given to founders who have not been in the program previously.

Students may apply to the Full-time or Part-time Track. Only students that fulfill all requirements for the Full-time Track may pitch for a grant at the end of the program. Part-time Track students have fewer requirements but must maintain a minimum amount of participation to remain part of the community.

Please review the following carefully before applying.

Full-time Track requirements for eligibility to pitch:

  • Attendance of the kick-off event
  • Attendance of at least 5 of the Speaker Series events (more info below)
  • Attendance of at least 3 one-to-one advisory meetings
  • Attendance of at least 3 peer group meetings
  • Submission of weekly status reports to the Lang Center
  • Participation in the closing event pitch for grant awards

Part-time Track requirements:

  • Attendance of the kick-off event
  • Attendance of at least 4 of the weekly Speaker Series events (details below)
  • Attendance of 1 one-to-one advisory meeting
  • Peer groups are optional and can be formed upon request
  • Ineligible to pitch for grants, although attendance of the closing event is encouraged

SST Speaker Series

The program will feature weekly talks from successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, faculty, and others within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Events will be a mix of in-person and virtual, and will accommodate work/class schedules as much as possible. There is no requirement that you need to be in the NYC area. Please check back for more details for the 2023 program.

Example topics include:

  • Customer Discovery
  • Financial Modeling
  • Startup Legal 101
  • Pitch Deck Formation
  • How to Raise Capital
  • Growth Hacking Tools for Startups


  • Applications are open from March 10 until April 21.


Grant Process and Closing Pitch and  Grant Awarding Event

Students who meet all criteria are eligible to apply for a grant at the end of the program. Please note these grants are taxable.*

Grant eligibility requirements:

  • Fulfillment of requirements for the Full-time Track program
  • Recommendation from a Summer Startup Track advisor 
  • Personal statement outlining your progress over the summer and intent for using these funds to further venture beyond SST program (up to two pages)
  • Presentation at the closing pitch event. Every member of the venture team should take part in the presentation to the extent possible.

All materials outlined above will be due one week in advance of the closing pitch event.

*Any payments (including, but not limited to prizes, awards, non-qualified scholarships, grants, fellowships, stipends, etc.) to U.S. and international students are potentially subject to withholding. Please contact your tax advisor regarding individual tax implications.

Each team will have sole responsibility for deciding to which student the check will be made out and how to use the grant proceeds.

Questions? Contact [email protected].