We love to see the explosion of startups in cities like NYC but admit we’re surprised that college campuses have been slightly behind the trend. Until 2014. We’ve noticed more and more university administrations going out of their way to expose students to the world of startups. Some schools have expanded their career fair requirements, and even subsidized the cost, to include young companies. Other enlightened campuses, such as Harvard and Columbia, have set up fairs specifically for jobs and internships at startups and have been able to recruit some of the hottest names in tech. SquadUP is proud to attend such events (usually sandwiched in between Square and Snapchat, as pictured below).

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Harvard Startup Fair 2014 @ The Innovation Lab

Columbia is known as a forward thinking community and is of course embedded in NYC. So it comes as no surprise that this prestigious university has begun hosting a startup conference on campus. The Columbia Startup Conference is a symposium introducing students to the many opportunities available and gives them access to the experiences of today’s top founders and CEOs. The highly anticipated conference took place this past weekend and was a big success.

All ticketing was done through SquadUP, where general admission got you a seat at the panel discussions and VIP meant the opportunity to mingle and network with the panelists and recruiters! Both levels also included the option to electronically submit your resume to recruiters from any of the presenting companies.

Josh Miller, co-founder of Branch

Panelists included:

Christopher Altchek, co-founder of Policy Mic

Tom Brown, co-founder of Grouper

Maxine Bédat, co-founder of Zady

Nick Panama, co-founder of Cantora Records

Josh Miller, co-founder of Branch (pictured above)

Paul Berry, founder and CEO of RebelMouse

Lee Hnetinka, co-founder and CEO of Wun Wun

Alexis Tyron, co-founder and CEO of Artsicle

Jon Stein, founder and CEO of Betterment

-Pau Sabria, co-founder and CEO of Olapic

The panel questions focused on the successes and struggles these innovators faced when growing their ideas into multi-million dollar companies. Students from the four Columbia undergraduate schools, including their all-female Barnard College, benefitted greatly from the personal and professional experiences that speakers shared with them.

Gloria Steinem, co-founder of Women’s Media Center

The Barnard community was particularly inspired by the event and is in the midst of planning a Women’s Leadership Conference in April. The conference is expected to be even bigger than Columbia’s Startup Conference and has already locked up some well known speakers, such as Gloria Steinem, esteemed journalist and co-founder of the Women’s Media Center (pictured above), Susan Lyne, CEO of AOL brand group, and Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls. Stay tuned for more details…

If your campus is missing these important introductions to the startup community we strongly recommend reaching out to your administration. Open up a dialogue about the opportunities that forward thinking universities are presenting to their students and offer to be involved in the process. And when it comes time to plan your conference, SquadUP can help your organize, promote, and fund the event.


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