Almaworks is Columbia University's startup accelerator for Columbia student entrepreneurs. We take no equity and aim to help early-stage startups run by student entrepreneurs achieve significant, sustainable growth.

Program Structure

The program lasts for an intensive 8 weeks. Each week consists of 3 hour sessions on Fridays from 3pm to 6pm. While there is no typical Friday session, over the course of the program, teams will participate in workshops, attend office hours with mentors, hear from speakers and alumni, and connect with the extended CORE and Almaworks community. Students are expected to work on their startups throughout the program and maintain good relationships with Almaworks organizers and mentors. 

Program Benefits

You'll get direct access to some of the best startup mentors around. These include entrepreneurs who have built multi-bilion dollar businesses as well as startup growth experts, venture capitalists, and accountants and lawyers specializing in serving early stage startups. These mentors give personalized advice through weekly office hours. Throughout the program, we will bring in experts to conduct workshops on the fields of design, product/growth hacking, funding, and legal.

You'll be provided with valuable access to growth resources. Through Almaworks partnerships with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Brex, venture capital and law firms, and more, you’ll have access to a suite of products and resources that will let you focus on what is most important for your business.

You'll get help with market validation. Almaworks is well-positioned to help startups iterate towards strong product-market fit. You’ll have access to an enthusiastic pool of student product testers, and will be directly plugged into the Columbia University network through our parent organization CORE. We'll work with you to connect to the Columbia community through CORE's wide-reaching media outlets. 

You don't have to tolerate cardboard pizza. We offer non-pizza food at every meeting. Yeah, we know. It's pretty revolutionary. 

Program Costs

The program is free. We do not take any equity in your startup and you have full ownership of your startup IP. As of now we also do not provide funding, but we help jumpstart you for the annual $250,000 Columbia Venture Competition.


  • 1-6 founders, at least half of whom should currently be an undergraduate, graduate, or recent alumni (at most five years out of school) of Columbia University. Dropouts of college-age will be considered.

  • A burning passion for your startup, the problem it solves, and the product or service you offer. The ability to channel this passion into prioritizing growth over everything else for eight weeks.

  • Demonstrated progress with market validation and efforts to find initial product-market fit