New York, NY, May 5, 2014. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation today announced that Alisha Chaudry Slye will serve as National Director of Blackstone LaunchPad, an innovative campus program that introduces entrepreneurship as a viable career option for students by offering a network of venture coaches and support resources. To create a national network of Blackstone LaunchPad programs in Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Montana, and California, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation has given a series of grants totaling $14 million as part of its five-year, $50 million Entrepreneurship Initiative. Blackstone LaunchPad fosters connections between university campuses, the business community, and local entrepreneurs to create environments that nurture aspiring entrepreneurs.
Since its establishment, Blackstone LaunchPad has created or supported more than 950 jobs, advised more than 3,000 ventures, sustained more than 460 businesses, and is now available to more than 350,000 students nationwide across fifteen campuses. The program, which is open to all students regardless of major, was recognized by the White House’s “Startup America” initiative in 2011 based on its early success, leading to its current expansion across six regions. Blackstone LaunchPad is modeled after a successful program developed at the University of Miami in 2008.
Alisha most recently served as Regional Director of Blackstone LaunchPad in Pennsylvania, where she managed the program’s development at Philadelphia University, Temple University, and the University City Science Center, the regional partner in Pennsylvania. In that role, Alisha supported the programs on campus and facilitated overall student entrepreneurship in the region’s collegiate entrepreneurial ecosystem. She previously held several marketing and business development roles at Deloitte, leading key national programs and initiatives targeting entrepreneurs and emerging and high-growth companies including Deloitte’s Fast 50 & Fast 500 Program and The Deloitte Accelerator Program. In her new role, she will continue to be based in Philadelphia.
Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, said, “Our search for a National Director for the Blackstone LaunchPad program included top candidates from diverse fields, and we could not be more thrilled to welcome Alisha to our team. Her broad experience and knowledge will ensure that both our partner regions and the many thousands of students engaged with Blackstone LaunchPad will continue to benefit from the program in the years ahead.”
Dr. William S. Green, Senior Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education at the University of Miami, said, “Blackstone LaunchPad is a unique experiment in American higher education and economic development. Alisha’s distinctive drive, energy, and experience will help to propel it forward and advance the shared goals of the University of Miami and the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. My colleagues and I warmly welcome her to the collaboration.”
Dr. Stephen S. Tang, President and CEO of the University City Science Center, said, “Since joining the Science Center, Alisha has immersed herself in the student entrepreneurial ecosystem. Her new role will allow her to leverage the insights she has gained – and her enthusiasm for supporting student entrepreneurs – to strengthen the LaunchPad network nationwide.”
Alisha Chaudry Slye said, “I look forward to working with all of Blackstone LaunchPad's academic and regional partners to deliver a consistent yet tailored program maximizing student impact and facilitating sustainable growth for years to come.”
About The Blackstone Charitable Foundation:
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of Blackstone’s initial public offering in 2007 with substantial commitments from the Firm’s employees. Influenced by the enterprising heritage of the firm and its founders, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is directing its resources and applying the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship in areas hardest hit by the global economic crisis. Through its investment expertise across several asset classes and geographies, Blackstone has a unique perspective on the global economy and a heightened understanding of how entrepreneurial activity is often the crucial catalyst in the growth of successful businesses, industries and communities. For more information, go to http://www.blackstone.com/citizenship/the-blackstone-charitable-foundation.
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