Feb 11, 2013

Blackstone Charitable Foundation Awards $1 Million to Support Entrepreneurship and Innovation Across the United States

Nine Organizations Awarded Grants

New York, February 11, 2013 – The Blackstone Charitable Foundation today announced that it has awarded grants to nine organizations totaling $1 million. The grants were made through the Blackstone Organizational Grants Program, an annual $1 million program targeting organizations that focus on fostering entrepreneurship and innovation. Through this program, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is helping innovative organizations pilot, expand or replicate projects or programs that will catalyze the growth of successful businesses, industries, and communities.

“We are pleased to announce this year’s grant recipients and look forward to helping them succeed in advancing their goals,” said Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “The future of the global economy depends upon a pipeline of creative, talented, and inspired entrepreneurs. Through this program, we are able to direct the Foundation’s resources towards connecting the best non-profit partners with entrepreneurs to help them on a path toward innovation and discovery.”

The grantees were selected through a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation as part of its 5-year, $50 million Entrepreneurship Initiative. Nearly one hundred organizations submitted proposals, of which the top nine were selected to receive grants. The nine organizations were selected by a committee of Blackstone employees and subsequently approved by the board of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.

The grant recipients are:

  • Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona), $145,000 - Blackstone’s funding will help Arizona State University pilot a new model to educate and support early stage entrepreneurs by targeting non-traditional populations including retirees, veterans and recently unemployed yet highly skilled workers.
  • The Idea Village, Inc. (New Orleans, LA), $100,000 - Blackstone’s funding will allow The Idea Village to scale its entrepreneurial support network and maximize the delivery of resources to entrepreneurs in the greater New Orleans area.
  • Launch Tennessee (Nashville, TN), $100,000 - Blackstone’s funding will allow Launch Tennessee to provide additional resources to the top 10 highest potential start-ups from these business accelerator programs allowing these start-ups to increase the amount of capital raised and to accelerate job creation.
  • Learning through an Expanded Arts Program, Inc. (New York, NY), $60,000 - Blackstone’s funding will allow the organization to reestablish a program that would expose entrepreneurship to 1,600 disadvantaged, at-risk 3rd-6th grade New York City public school students.
  • Pacific Community Ventures (San Francisco, CA), $120,000 - Blackstone’s funding will allow Pacific Community Ventures (PCV) to pilot its Remote Business Advising Platform, an automated version of PCV’s successful program, which will make high-quality, customized, industry and discipline-specific support available to entrepreneurs across the country.
  • StartX (Palo Alto, CA), $100,000 - Blackstone’s funding will allow StartX to link (and ultimately expand) its successful startup accelerator program and network in Silicon Valley with the entrepreneurial academic hubs of New York, Boston, and the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina.
  • Tumml (San Francisco, CA), $65,000 - Blackstone’s funding will allow Tumml to pilot its Urban Venture Accelerator, an accelerator focused exclusively on entrepreneurs who solve urban problems.
  • Venture for America (New York, NY), $150,000 - Blackstone’s funding will allow Venture for America to replicate its program to Providence, RI. With the grant funding, Venture for America will be able to recruit 10 Fellows to be placed at start-ups in the region.
  • United Negro College Fund (Washington D.C.), $160,000 - Blackstone’s funding will allow the United Negro College Fund to expand the scope and delivery of its education around entrepreneurship and expose more African American students to entrepreneurship as a career option across its 38 colleges and universities.

About the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative

Funding for this program is made possible through The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s $50 million, five-year Entrepreneurship Initiative announced in April 2010. Influenced by the urgent need for job growth in the United States, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation seeks to support innovative projects and catalytic ideas that can accelerate start-ups, job growth, and economic activity. The Foundation focuses its resources on producing large-scale results in geographies hardest hit by the global economic crisis.

About The Blackstone Charitable Foundation

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of The Blackstone Group’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, see www.blackstone.com/CharitableFoundation.htm)


Oriane Schwartzman
New York
+ 1 212 390 2250