Leading programs team up to build the largest ever global network of college entrepreneurs
Austin, TX, March 7, 2018 – Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Techstars announced today at SXSW EDU that they are teaming up to supercharge Blackstone LaunchPad, the preeminent campus-based entrepreneurship program.
Blackstone LaunchPad, a program that encourages entrepreneurial thinking and startup activity, is currently available to over 500,000 students globally. It provides support and mentorship to students, staff and alumni - regardless of major, experience or discipline. Since its foundation, it has successfully supported and created over 8,900 companies and 24,000 jobs, serving as a catalyst for economic growth in regional campus communities.
Beginning in 2018, Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, will provide Blackstone LaunchPad participants access to their network of over 10,000 mentors, invitations to signature events, and access to world-renowned content and startup services. In addition, Techstars will help student entrepreneurs navigate the complex landscape of fundraising, job placement, and recruitment. All of these opportunities and resources are seldom available to collegiate entrepreneurs and campus-based programs, and are crucial to the long term success of ventures.
By joining forces, Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Techstars will enable LaunchPad to scale beyond the campuses in which it is currently present and reach more than a million new students over the next 3 years.
Speaking at SXSW EDU, John Hill, Vice President of Network, Techstars, said, “Techstars helps entrepreneurs succeed and, by partnering with Blackstone LaunchPad, we are amplifying the number of entrepreneurs that we can help around the world. We'll apply Techstars' proven methodology to startups created by amazing university entrepreneurs so they can do more faster. Techstars is excited to play an impactful role in students chasing their dreams.”
The idea for this partnership originated last fall when Blackstone and Techstars teamed up to host its first training camp for student entrepreneurs. During this two day conference, student ventures had the opportunity to access Techstars’ resources and programs, including one-on-one mentor meetings with Techstars’ Managing Directors. Speaking about the experience, Syracuse University student Josh Aviv, who won the Training Camp Demo Day competition, said, “For my company, SparkCharge, the training camp was an unforgettable opportunity to be able to work with and learn from Blackstone and Techstars. This event has been a game-changer for us, and opened up many more opportunities, like attending Techstars Boston. We will take everything we learned to grow and scale our company, and pay it forward to other student entrepreneurs who are also working on their big ideas.”
Alisha Slye, Global Director of Blackstone LaunchPad
“Since starting Blackstone LaunchPad, we have seen incredible entrepreneurs, ideas, and companies emerge from campuses, and witnessed the transformational power entrepreneurship can have in driving institutional change. I am excited to team with Techstars to further scale our LaunchPad success and help many more entrepreneurs who can start and grow their businesses as a result of this additional expertise and support.”
David Cohen, Founder and Co-CEO, Techstars
"Techstars has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs over the years and we've seen that entrepreneurship is not only a life choice, but it's also a career choice. It's powerful that, together, Techstars and Blackstone Charitable Foundation will have the ability to impact these choices and will be a part of these decisions earlier in the career process for students on university campuses worldwide."
John Hill, Vice President, Network, Techstars
"Techstars helps entrepreneurs succeed and, by partnering with Blackstone LaunchPad, we are amplifying the number of entrepreneurs that we can help around the world. We'll apply Techstars' proven methodology to startups created by amazing university entrepreneurs so they can do more faster. Techstars is excited to play an impactful role in students chasing their dreams."
Amy Stursberg, Executive Director, Blackstone Charitable Foundation
“Over the past 10 years, the collegiate entrepreneurship landscape has changed dramatically. As we look to the future, Techstars is a perfect partner for Blackstone. They will meaningfully expand our support for student entrepreneurs on a global scale. I am thrilled that we have found a like-minded organization to work with us towards the shared goal of increasing economic impact through entrepreneurship.”
Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder, Blackstone
“Helping entrepreneurs in the early stages of their careers has been a natural extension of Blackstone’s work – launching businesses and helping them grow. I could not be more pleased that Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Techstars are partnering to turbocharge the networks and access of LaunchPad’s student entrepreneurs on their path to success.”
About Blackstone Charitable Foundation
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of Blackstone’s IPO 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 nationwide and globally. 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 http://www.blackstone.com/foundation.
About Blackstone LaunchPad
Blackstone LaunchPad is a campus-based experiential entrepreneurship program open to students, alumni, staff and faculty offering coaching, ideation and venture creation support. It is modeled on a successful program originated at the University of Miami and was further developed and expanded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. For more information, see www.blackstonelaunchpad.org
Techstars helps entrepreneurs succeed. Through the Techstars Worldwide Entrepreneur Network, founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates four divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships, and the Techstars Venture Capital Fund. For more information, see www.techstars.com