Blackstone Innovation Grants
Blackstone Innovation Grants, a flagship program of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, supports entrepreneurial organizations that spread the ideals of entrepreneurship and benefit local communities through targeted, year-long grants.
Each year, the Foundation makes a series of targeted grants to non-profit organizations that support entrepreneurship and benefit regional ecosystems. In coordination with its regional efforts to spur entrepreneurship, the Foundation is creating a global network in which the participating organizations can share best practices, methodologies, and contacts, and are connected with Blackstone’s intellectual capital and resources. The Foundation releases an annual request for proposals (RFP) as part of this program to evaluate and select eligible organizations and programs.
This year, the Foundation selected 20 outstanding organizations from a group of more than 500 non-profit applicants, totaling $3 million in gifts.
Now in its third year, the Blackstone Innovation Grants program is an important part of the Foundation’s commitment to spur entrepreneurship around the country and the world.
Existing Innovation Grants:
Coalition for Queens (Queens, NY) - $175,000
Our funding will allow Coalition for Queens, an organization that fosters the Queens tech ecosystem to increase economic opportunity, to pilot a program to engage unrepresented populations in the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem of Queens through a fellowship, conference and hack-a-thon.
Enterprise Institute (Brookings, SD) - $100,000
Our funding will allow Enterprise Institute, a non-profit that provides customized business development to start-up companies in South Dakota, to create an accelerator program to support South Dakota’s aspiring entrepreneurs.
Idea Village (New Orleans, LA) - $125,000
Our funding will allow Idea Village, an organization that identifies, supports, and retains talent in New Orleans, to continue and improve the user experience during New Orleans Entrepreneurs Week and increase community engagement.
Launch Tennessee (Nashville, TN) - $250,000
Our funding will allow Launch Tennessee, an organization that promotes entrepreneurship, fosters the commercialization of technologies, and raises the profile of the state, to conduct a series of entrepreneur-investor summits across the SE leading up to the 36/86 conference in Nashville, TN.
Social Enterprise Greenhouse (Providence, RI) - $200,000
Our funding will allow Social Enterprise Greenhouse, a network of business and community leaders, and the Founders League to engage students from across the state’s university and colleges, and connect them to Rhode Island’s startup ecosystem.
UP Global (Seattle, WA) - $200,000
Our funding will allow UP Global, a global organization dedicated to providing resources and programs to entrepreneurs, to create the spring edition of the “Global Startup Battle” in up to 50 communities, and host an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Symposium.
Accion US Network (New York, NY) - $150,000
Our funding will allow Accion US Network, an organization that brings microfinance solutions to small business owners around the country, to create Accion Fast Track – a virtual accelerator for a select group of high-performing entrepreneurs from across the national network.
Bethnal Green Ventures (London, UK) - $150,000
Our funding will allow Bethnal Green Ventures, a technology-focused accelerator program, to build a robust support program for the graduates of its accelerator program for high growth social technology entrepreneurs in the UK.
Cornell Tech (New York, NY) - $200,000
Our funding will allow Cornell Tech, an innovative program that develops pioneering leaders and technologies for the information age, to support Cornell Tech student entrepreneurs through Seed Award grants.
Energy Excelerator (Honolulu, HI) - $100,000
Our funding will allow Energy Excelerator, an accelerator program that helps start-ups solve the world’s energy challenges, to build a pipeline of companies and entrepreneurs in the energy sector through events and other ecosystem support activities.
MaroonX Accelerator (Starksville, MS and College Station, TX) - $200,000
Our funding will allow Mississippi State University & Texas A&M to pilot the Blackstone MaroonX Accelerator, a program that will support startups in rural areas, better positioning them for national accelerators and funding opportunities.

SEED SPOT (Phoenix, AZ) - $100,000
Our funding will allow SEED SPOT, an incubator that supports early state social entrepreneurs, to expand its successful accelerator model to the Latino community through targeted recruitment and marketing efforts.
Telluride Venture Accelerator (Telluride, CO) - $125,000
Our funding will allow the Telluride Foundation, which supports the Telluride community through grants and programming, to refine and grow the accelerator’s mentor program to create meaningful relationships between the mentors and companies.
Tumml (San Francisco, CA) - $175,000
Our funding will allow Tumml, an urban impact accelerator supporting early stage companies developing innovative consumer products and services, to host the Blackstone Urban Impact Entrepreneurship Summit, which will serve as a major recruitment and outreach tool and be the premier convening for urban innovation.
Venture for America (New York, NY / Philadelphia, PA) - $200,000
Our funding will allow Venture for America, an organization that recruits fellows to work for two years at emerging start-ups in lower-cost cities, to build the VFA Accelerator, a business plan development curriculum and training for its 2012 and 2013 fellows.
African Leadership Academy (South Africa) - $150,000
Our funding will allow African Leadership Academy, a pan-African secondary institution that aims to educate and develop outstanding students into principled, ethical leaders for Africa, to pilot entrepreneurial training camps across Africa to allow young people to design and lead ventures.
Black Founders (San Francisco, CA) - $100,000
Our funding will allow Black Founders, an organization that focuses on increasing the number of successful black entrepreneurs in technology, to conduct HBCUHacks, a series of hack-a-thons for students at HBCUs, to provide training that will empower black students to explore technology careers.
MyBnk (London, UK) - $100,000
Our funding will allow MyBnk, a non-profit that delivers financial education and enterprise directly to 11-25 year olds in schools, to develop and pilot Business Battle Plus, a program that will provide students the opportunity to run a real business to test their entrepreneurial skills.
Seeds of Peace (Middle East / Washington, D.C.) - $50,000
Our funding will allow Seeds of Peace, a non-profit that helps teenagers form regions of conflict learn the skills of making peace, to pilot its Seed Fellows Program, an incubator for social entrepreneurs from the Middle East and South Asia.
TechnoServe (Mumbai, India) - $150,000
Our funding will allow TechnoServe, an international NGO that works in developing countries to help people build competitive farms and businesses, to pilot an accelerator program for women led entrepreneurs in Mumbai, India.

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