Today, the Blackstone Foundation announced its most recent endeavor – Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network - a project with the potential to create 17,000 jobs in North Carolina. As part of its $50 million Entrepreneurship Initiative, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is developing and implementing programs in conjunction with local partners that it hopes will serve as national models for spurring economic growth through entrepreneurship.
The Foundation developed an idea to create regional “ecosystems” that better identify and support promising young companies by connecting entrepreneurs with the advice, capital and support needed to succeed. Blackstone teamed up with The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State and the Durham-based Council for Entrepreneurial Development to implement the first such regional network in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park region (RTP).
Founded 50 years ago around world-class research institutions with tremendous resources and potential, the RTP has lagged other regions in terms of new companies founded. The Blackstone Foundation is committing $3.63 million over the next three years to create a dense network of entrepreneurial support in the RTP, similar to networks that exist in Silicon Valley and the Boston Corridor.
Announced at an event today in Durham, notable attendees included Blackstone Chairman and CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman, North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, Senator Kay Hagan and Ginger Lew, Senior Advisor to the White House National Economic Council and the SBA Administrator.
“I am thrilled that the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network is partnering with our North Carolina universities to attract 21st Century companies and jobs to the Research Triangle. Business leaders in Washington and North Carolina tell me all the time how much they appreciate and respect the work ethic of North Carolinians, and I greatly look forward to seeing the ideas, businesses and jobs that our local entrepreneurs will generate through this project.” - US Senator Kay Hagan
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill estimates that the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network will create 17,000 jobs, attract $800 million in venture capital, and generate $4.8 billion in revenue over the next 10 years.
Watch a video about the program here. For more information visit www.blackstone.com/our-impact/blackstone-charitable-foundation.