The global COVID-19 pandemic may have created an especially volatile and unpredictable business climate, but according to Dr. Arthur M. Langer, Ed.D., the fundamentals of starting a business have never been more solid and enduring.
In a recent article for Entrepreneur, Dr. Langer, the Academic Director of the Executive M.S. in Technology Management program, outlines three key questions that any aspiring entrepreneur needs to consider before seeking investment. Along the way, he highlights several core tenets of the Technology Management program curriculum.
“I always recommend my students come to the table with a well-thought-out, long-term business plan,” he writes. “Now that we’re dealing with an unprecedented economic situation, I insist all entrepreneurs do the same.”
Elaborating on his first question—“Is there a market for this idea?”—Dr. Langer points to the rigorous vetting process Columbia students undergo to ensure their business plans are sound. Urging entrepreneurs to proceed by asking themselves who they can trust to help them, he touts the mentorship component of the Technology Management program, in which technology professionals choose the students they mentor based on their project proposals. Finally, Dr. Langer stresses that entrepreneurs plan far enough ahead to determine whether or not their idea is scalable.
“We instilled this methodical ideology in our students at Columbia long before the current crisis disrupted the international economy,” he writes in closing, “but we urge all entrepreneurs or tech execs seeking capital to practice the same techniques.”