Beijing Center Initiatives for Students and Alumni

Initiatives for Students and Alumni in China

Enrich Your Experience in China

Columbia Global Centers | Beijing works with our partner institutions, corporations, NGOs, and others at regional and local level to provide Columbia students and alumni with opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary in today’s interconnected world.

These partnerships and programs enable the University community of all backgrounds and expertise to develop their interests into meaningful engagement efforts that help them achieve significant growth in their professional and academic life.



Innovation and entrepreneurship have always been the driving force for the massive economic growth in China and the world. There is no doubt that they will play even more crucial roles in the fourth industrial revolution. 

Taking advantage of the rich capital resources, top-notch technology services, and advanced innovation parks of Zhongguancun, this new entrepreneurship series will provide communities of Columbia University and other Ivy League schools with access to life-changing opportunities to empower their talents and passion for innovation.

The Pioneer Open Mic program, inspired by the concept “comedy open mics”, will build an open platform and exclusive network for all participants where they can exchange business ideas, venture practices, academic and research projects, and other innovative adventures.

We strongly encourage aspiring entrepreneurs and industry practitioners to boost your chances of startup success on and off the stage in our series activities. Together, this community of possibilities will grow into a strong force that creates significant impact for people, business, and society.



Columbia University spaces and Zhongguancun ZLINK+ spaces in major cities of China


What we offer

Mentorship with Industry Leaders

  • Based on the evaluation and growth phase of your project or company, your startup team will be matched with multiple mentors who can advise you on startup operations and strategies, laws and policies, and management problems.
  • Mentors will be coaching alongside with you for at least one hour per week and more than 10 hours in total.

Startup/Project Services

  • Co-Working Space — discounted and cost-effective office spaces for qualified startup companies and entrepreneurs;
  • Financing Support — connections and cooperation with funds and investors to provide affluent financing opportunities;
  • Policy Interpretation — resources regarding government policies & programs and business channels;
  • Market Orientation — industrial connections that promote and grow your business across almost every industry from retail, technology to education.

Exclusive Events with Mentors

  • You will have exclusive members-only opportunities to network with mentors and successful entrepreneurs through our closed-door meetings and events.


Who can apply

All Columbia students and alumni are eligible to apply.


What you will acquire

Connect with Zhongguancun tutors of startup incubators, investment companies, and industry tutor teams as below:

  • Zhongguancun Angel Capital Association (Z Angels)
  • ZGC Co-Innovation Fund
  • Jinggonghongyuan Technological Transformation Fund
  • Beijing Qihang Investment Management Co., Ltd.
  • ZGC Group Frontier Industry Investment Fund
  • Kilo Angel Investment Fund
  • El Camino Fund
  • Beijing Zhongguancun Development Qihang Innovation Investment Fund
  • State Tonghui Venture Capital (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
  • Zhongguancun Angel Investment Guidance Fund
  • Zhongguancun Venture Capital Guidance Fund
  • Beijing Zhongguancun Development Qihang Industrial Investment Fund
  • Beijing Zhongguancun Development Qihang Innovation Investment Fund
  • Beijing Zhongguancun Dengling Venture Capital Center
  • Tsinghua Innovation Ventures
  • Eagle Fund
  • Beijing Intellectual Property
  • Zhongguancun Frontier Technology Research Institute
  • Beijing Zhongguancun Sci-tech Financing Guaranty Co., Ltd.
  • ZGC Sci-tech Leasing
  • ZGC Tianhe Technology Transfer Center
  • Zhongguancun IC Center (Beijing) Co.
  • Beijing Chuangtianlihe Consulting Co., Ltd
  • Zhongguancun Industry Research Center
  • Beijing International Engineering Consulting Co., Ltd.


Support and partnership opportunities from Columbia communities across the Greater China region.


How to apply?

For Speakers

  • Please send your resume and business plan as well as other inquires to [email protected].

For Public Audience

  • Please scan the QR code below to connect with Beijing Center's WeChat assistant and be part of our vibrant online community.
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Upcoming Event

May 16, 2020 | Big Data Response Mechanism of Post-COVID-China Urbanization



URBAN REFLECTION ON COVID-19 is a student initiative that asks participants to discuss the phenomenon and heuristic solutions within the field of Chinese Urbanism, and to provide ideas of how to manage this crisis in a post-pandemic future.

Echoing the theme of the 7th Urban China Forum held in October by UCN, this initiative expands the discussion and expects to bring in diverse perspectives of students, allowing them to have a deeper understanding of interested urbanism topics, and communicate their thoughts with fellow students and scholars. The submissions can be in the form of essays or designs that convey the idea.

URBAN REFLECTION ON COVID-19 seeks creative and in-depth insights and discussions that identify urban issues and solutions related to COVID-19 in China, aiming to enhance the understanding in COVID-19 era through inclusive thinking. All submissions are required to include any elements of Chinese Urbanism, whether the work is a comparative thinking, an idea developed or inspired by planning in China or on the Chinese Urbanism itself.

This initiative is organized by Columbia Global Centers | Beijing and Columbia University Urban China Network, a student organization of the Urban Planning program within the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.


Who can apply?
  • Undergraduate and graduate students around the world in the planning field who are interested in Chinese Urbanism issues, as well as recently graduated students in relevant fields.


  • The submissions can be in the form of essays or designs that convey the idea. One participant is allowed to submit up to one essay plus one design work.
  • All submissions must be the original, unpublished work of participant(s).


We encourage students to study COVID-19 and its impact on cities and the planning field and think beyond our time to suggest possible future urban policies. Students may write on any topic from aspects of policy making, economic system, financial model, social equity, health services, science and technology, big data, regional planning, etc.

Possible essay topics might include:

  • What are the weaknesses of urban planning reflected by this outbreak?
  • How cities should be built after this crisis?
  • How can we better respond to current and future crises?
  • How can we utilize technology to connect with such social changes?

Abstract and Keywords:

  • Summarize your main ideas no more than 200 words in the abstract.
  • List no more than four keywords.


  • Essays should be no more than 2,000 words in length.
  • A complete bibliography should be included, if appropriate. The bibliography and/or footnotes will not count towards the word limit.


  • For color illustrations, the resolution should not be less than 350dpi; for black and white, the resolution should not be less than 600dpi.

Submission Formats:

  • Essays must be submitted in English.
  • Essays should be typed and double-spaced in an easily readable font (such as Times New Roman, 12pt).
  • The first page of the essay is required to indicate the title, author’s name, school, phone number, email address, and mailing address. The second page shall indicate the title, abstract, and keywords of the essay.
  • The main text body begins from the third page. Starting from the second page, no information reflecting the identity or background of the author shall appear, otherwise, the entry will be disqualified. Any opinion from others should be cited.
  • The essay should indicate a complete bibliography in the last page in an alphabetical order.
  • The essay must be submitted in both Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF format.

Design Work

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the public space in the city, whether temporarily or permanently. Possible explorations could include spatial interventions in both formal and informal urban space. Participants are encouraged to think beyond the conventional spaces like plazas and streets, and explore potential spaces that need interventions to meet both social distancing and social production needs. The participant can select any specific site as the context of their design. The subject can be architecture, urban design, interior design or system design.


  • No more than four digital boards at 20"x20", the resolution of the document should be no less than 300 dpi (PDF or JPEG files). The combined file should be no larger than 20MB.
  • Documentation must adequately convey the design’s relationship to the public space and daily activities under/after COVID-19 pandemic. All drawings should be labeled; indicate scale and orientation where necessary.

Project Brief:

  • Project brief should be no more than 250 words (Doc, Docx, or PDF file).
  • Submissions should include a brief description of the design, how it reshapes the traditional public space, and how potential users interact with it.

Project authorship must remain anonymous. The names of student participants, their schools, must NOT appear on the boards and program brief. If authorship is revealed on any submission materials the entry will be disqualified.



Out of all the works submitted, one essay and one design project will be selected as first prizes, and the other top four or five of the works will receive second prize, for essay and design, respectively.

First prizes will receive a reward of $1,000. Second prizes will receive a reward of $200. Winners will have the opportunity to present in the later exhibition and further explore the topic under the guidance of judges and other experts.


How to apply?

Please email your essay or design submission to [email protected] before the deadline in May, 2021.

  • Resume: Participants will need to submit Proof of Student Status (e.g. Student ID) along with their works as separate PDF documents to [email protected]
  • Essay: Please title both the DOC, PDF work, and the email subject as LastName_essay_title (example: Smith_essay_xxx)
  • Design Work: Please title both the work PDF and the email subject as LastName1_(LastName2)_design_title (example: Smith_Zhang_design_xxx)
  • If you have any questions or need any further information, please send an email to [email protected]


  • Shanghai International Creative City Think Tank
  • Wuhan Design
  • Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute (Group) Co., Ltd.
  • United Design Group

The 2021 Overseas Returned Scholars Unicorn Enterprise Training Camp will help you gain necessary entrepreneurial mindset and skills to turn your great idea into a profitable business.

Entrepreneurs will learn the latest entrepreneurial policy, channels, and techniques in China, helping you stay abreast of the industry trends and valuable information that are important in making business decisions.

This immersive program features master classes with successful entrepreneurs and Chinese leading economists, salon series with top-tier investment institutions, a set of practical business courses, company and startup tours, customized fitness trainings and more. In this program, you will have exclusive opportunities to expand your network with potential mentors, clients, and partners who are able to help you succeed in business and in life.

Jointly organized by Columbia Global Centers | Beijing, Shanghai Overseas Returned Scholars Association, and Science and Technology Committee of Huangpu District in Shanghai.


Who can apply?

Columbia students and alumni with business development and entrepreneurial experiences are welcome to apply.


How to apply?

Send your introduction and enterprise profile (at least 500 words in text; at least 10 pages of PPT) to b[email protected].



Module 1: Master sharing

  • Chinese first-class economists will analyze international and domestic economic development from a macroeconomic perspective.
  • Representative entrepreneurs will discuss their achievements and share their experiences.

Module 2: Pujiang Salon

  • The investment salon will invite the heads of well-known investment institutions, serving as instructors, to share knowledge about entrepreneurial financing.
  • The education salon will invite senior experts to share their working experiences and answer questions.

Module 3: Practice Entrepreneurship

  • Students will attend specific sub-module courses such as law, finance, equity incentive, and local entrepreneurial support policies

Module 4: Company Visit

  • Students will visit mature entrepreneurial companies, such as WuXi AppTec, SenseTimes, and so on.
  • Seminars will be organized after the visit for the students to discuss their feedbacks.

Module 5: Potential Improvement

  • Professional coaches and outstanding mentors of the camp will customize fitness training courses to help entrepreneurs activate and enhance their internal energy.

In response to the National Strategy for Poverty Alleviation in China, Columbia Global Centers | Beijing has partnered with Huaneng Guicheng Trust Co., Ltd. to launch the Read for the Countryside 2021 summer program, providing opportunities for teenagers in rural communities to access quality reading materials.

This program is seeking members of the Columbia community to support voluntary teaching for at least one week in the villages of Guizhou province. Educators will need to develop a poverty alleviation project that cultivates self-consciousness of local villagers, inspires teenagers to reach their potential, and helps them explore a bigger world.



Lianyin village, Fake village, and Guanfang village in Guizhou province



Local villagers, especially teenagers


Who can apply?

All Columbia students and alumni are eligible to apply.


What you will acquire?
  • Funding support for travel expenses and living allowance
  • Internship opportunity at Huaneng Guicheng
  • Share your experience and stories at Columbia Global Centers network


How to apply?

Please send your resume to [email protected] with the subject line: Name–School-Read for the Countryside.

Read for the Countryside 2021 Summer Program

Columbia Global Centers | Beijing is thrilled to support the Ivy Wall™-Teng Zhan Project, an international visual art exhibition initiated by three Columbia alumni with the purpose of advocating the establishment of a truly global perspective of multi-angle aesthetics.

To deepen the integration of social resources and art works of the Ivy League alumni, the project board will organize a variety of online and offline events to engage artists, wallers, and the whole Ivy League community through art salons, lectures, and seminars.



Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and other cities in China


Who can apply?
  • Young artists who share the same values as this project.
  • Ivy League alumni to serve as "wallers" who exhibit the artwork(s) of their selection for 30 days, and share their stories during the exhibition by making videos, writing articles, posting on social media, or other forms.
  • For non-Ivy League graduates who have a strong will to participate, you must have a referee of an Ivy League school alumna/alumnus, and this referee must be a recruited waller for the project. Each waller can recommend up to three non-Ivy League participants in an operating circle/year.


How to apply?

The Ivy Wall-Teng Zhan project is seeking Ivy league wallers and 50 young artists. Please send us your relevant works and personal profile (50-100 words) to [email protected].

Ivy Wall™-Teng Zhan Project
Alumni Mentor Program

The program is designed to sustainably foster meaningful relationships between alumni and students. The connections made in this program help prepare students and junior alumni for a successful future and leave a lasting impact on our regional community.

Alumni mentors are selected to mentor applicants, especially those who are participants of the Open Mic initiatives for entrepreneurship and innovation, by exchanging start-up and innovative project ideas, sharing their experiences and knowledge of career paths, as well as providing guidance, network, and recourses on business development.

Alumni Mentors
Other Mentors