Oct 18, 2016

Blackstone Charitable Foundation Hosts Competition for Ventures at Forbes Under 30 Summit

Jon Gray, Global Head of Real Estate at Blackstone, speaks to 500 entrepreneurs

Boston, Massachusetts, October 18, 2016. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation today announced its sponsorship and participation in the 2016 Forbes Under 30 Summit, where its Blackstone LaunchPad program hosted a pitch competition for top ventures from twenty schools within the network. Blackstone LaunchPad announced three winners that were awarded prize money to support their ventures.

Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation said, “I am thrilled that Blackstone is participating in the Forbes Under 30 Summit. The entrepreneurial spirit runs deep within Blackstone today, which is why the Blackstone Charitable Foundation works in targeted regions with local partners, serving as a catalytic funder to create programs that offer the networks and resources that aspiring entrepreneurs need to succeed.” She continued, “The 20 student ventures that we have with us today from the Blackstone LaunchPad program are really inspiring, and I look forward to seeing how they grow and make a difference in the world.”

Jon Gray, Global Head of Real Estate at Blackstone, participated in a conversation with Randall Lane, Editor of Forbes, during the four day conference, which brought together thousands of global entrepreneurs and game changers of all ages to Boston for motivating panels, pitch contests, networking and recruiting.

Gray said, “At Blackstone, we combine our expertise, relationships and capital to accelerate the growth of promising businesses.” He continued, “In the same way, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is proud to help young entrepreneurs realize their visions by providing the resources and mentorship needed to build out their ventures in a variety of fields.”

Hero App – First Place Winner
Hero App, was founded by Alex Crosby of Montana State University. The mobile app reduces drunk driving by empowering bars and restaurants to reward customers for getting home safely and those who act as designated drivers. HERO is the first venture from the entire state of Montana to participate in TechStars Mobility accelerator program, which makes entrepreneurship accessible by opening doors to capital, mentorship, marketing, business development, customer acquisition and talent recruitment. Twenty-eight states have requested to work with HERO, and the platform is now preparing to launch in Austin, Texas, this holiday season.
 
Rope Lace Supply – Second Place Winner
Rope Lace Supply, founded by Eric Delgado and Victoria Weiss of the University of Central Florida, produces unique and high quality shoelaces. They started their company as sophomores with $300. Two years later, their laces are currently in the market in over 25 countries and has generated over $750,000 in revenue. They are currently in discussion with major athletic brands regarding partnerships.

Centech – Third Place Winner
Centech is developing an alternative to a 60 year old technology in the oil & gas industry for measuring sediment and water in crude oil. The company, founded by Omar Kunbargi at UCLA, will reduce costs by 50%, eliminate 6,000,000 gallons of hazardous waste, and make the process safer and easier to perform. Centech has major oil companies signed up for product trials in December of this year.
 
Learn more about the 20 student ventures here.

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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.

Media Contact:
Courtney Comiskey
Blackstone
(212) 583-5929
courtney.comiskey@blackstone.com