On March 6th, 2019, we hosted 15 startups from around NYC to meet Columbia students and share their experiences in the startup world. Two hundred students joined us in Carleton Commons for a fireside chat with Monday.com and DealCloud followed by a rapid-fire Q&A and networking session. Here are some of our top takeaways from the evening.

Crowd at Startup Alley

Top 10 Takeaways from Startup Alley 2019

1. Failing is necessary if you ever want to innovate. Don’t fear failure, it’s a part of the process.

2. They all agree — don’t be afraid to ask questions. You cannot try new things effectively without asking questions.

3. Knowing what you don’t want to do is just as important as knowing what you do like. The important thing is to get started somewhere. Don’t worry about getting the perfect job fit right the first time.

4. Three words to describe life working at a startup…Figure. It. Out.

5. In the matchup of East Coast vs. West Coast, the East Coast wins! (according to our NYC-based startups).

Networking at the event

6. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Startups can recognize that interviews aren’t always the best format to demonstrate your skills to an employer. That’s OK, do your best and demonstrate your skills in other ways.

7. Startups can have anywhere from 5-250 employees — do your research on what it’s like working at startups of varying size and reflect on what type of fit works best for you.

8. Never stop learning: the ever-changing, fast-paced startup environment is for the go-getter.

9. A given day of work at a startup is always changing but often involves building relationships and solving problems.

10. Alumni love to come back and speak with students about opportunities at their organizations.

Alumni networking


Check out our Startup industry page to learn more about the field.