Guide for Investors/Judges

Welcome! Thank you judges for your support of the founder’s journey at these early stages of venture formation.  We are seeking a mutually beneficial relationship for all of you participating.

Venture Formation State & Access

There will be teams who have just come together with an idea to flesh out into a new venture and others whose ventures have existed for a few months or more and need to get traction.  

You will have access to our Airtable gallery to peruse all participants in addition to those you are judging.

Hacking for Humanity Weekend Objectives

Our objective is to provide programming, mentoring, and networking opportunities for these teams to identify, research, and test key business components to determine if their venture is addressing a problem for which a large number of people will pay for a solution (and in the way their venture proposes). This involves customer discovery and validation, assessing and measuring meaningful impact, appropriately sizing the market opportunity, evaluating the competition, and figuring out how to launch or adjust existing go to market strategy plans. These ventures are mission driven and seeking large market opportunities.    

We seek to bring together the talent and resources of our Columbia community to create the diverse and cross-functional teams required to effectively launch a startup and attract investor interest. This weekend is a jumpstart for a productive entrepreneurial journey.  This is a unique opportunity to crowdsource solutions for problems affecting people and the planet.

Investor Matching

We are looking to match these ventures with interested investors to get meaningful feedback for their entrepreneurial journey and to create a mutually beneficial dialogue to source promising investment opportunities for impact.

Venture teams will have access to a range of follow up programing to keep working on their startups. Columbia Business School’s impact startup incubation course, Social Venture Incubator is one of those options that will offer an additional demo day to interested investors.  To clarify, we define “Social Venture” equivalent to “Impact Venture.”  It is a mission driven organization seeking sustainable market returns and large business opportunities while delivering tangible and measurable solutions to problems affecting people and the planet. Such ventures span many sectors including: health and wellness, climate impact, environmental sustainability, edtech, foodtech, civtech, fintech, insurtech, journalism/new media, urbantech/smart cities, sustainable tourism, real estate/community development, human rights/social issues, and economic or digital inclusivity, etc.

Thank you and enjoy the experience!

Please contact Joy Fairbanks with any questions.