Blackstone Charitable Foundation Commits $5 Million To Five New Colleges in Florida, Including New Historically Black College and University and Hispanic Serving Institutions
December 8, 2022, New York & Miami – The Blackstone Charitable Foundation today announced that it has committed $5 million over three years to expand LaunchPad, its entrepreneurial skills-building program to help students launch successful companies and careers, at five new colleges, including one Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and three Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). The partnership is part of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s broader $40 million commitment to expand LaunchPad to higher-ed institutions that have a majority underrepresented population or are serving under-resourced communities. LaunchPad’s expansion is being celebrated today at an event hosted by Miami Dade College and Florida International University, with attendance from Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Miami Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, among other elected officials.
Blackstone LaunchPad has supported University of Central Florida for the past decade, delivering entrepreneurial skill-building programs to help their students launch successful companies and careers. As part of Blackstone’s broader commitment to Florida, Blackstone LaunchPad recently partnered with Miami Dade College, Florida International University, Florida State University, Florida A&M University and Florida Atlantic University to expand its signature program. Blackstone LaunchPad looks forward to advancing career and economic mobility in Florida by equipping students with skills, resources and opportunities to succeed.
“We are thrilled to welcome this new group of Florida LaunchPad schools into our network and community,” said Maura Pally, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “Blackstone continues to be committed to Florida and to connecting students with professional networks and opportunities to help them build successful companies and careers.”
These valuable partnerships are part of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s effort to provide entrepreneurship skills-building opportunities to a diverse set of students. Blackstone believes entrepreneurial skills make candidates more attractive to potential hires as they provide a lifelong learning mentality, creative and critical thinking capabilities, and an ability to build social capital.
For students at these colleges, LaunchPad provides students with entrepreneurial skills-building content and programs for success in any career path they choose to pursue. Additionally, students will be able to participate in national programming such as pitch competitions and fellowships where they can build lasting professional relationships.
“Miami’s growing entrepreneurial and tech ecosystem calls for transformational investment in the home-grown talent who will fuel that growth,” said Miami Dade College President Madeline Pumariega. “Miami Dade College has a long track-record of enabling entrepreneurship in this community through The Idea Center and this partnership with Blackstone LaunchPad will allow us to further expand our entrepreneurial skills-building across the College. We look forward to having MDC scale its ability to support even more aspiring young entrepreneurs in the years to come. We know they become the backbone of this community.”
“We are extremely grateful to the Blackstone Charitable Foundation for providing us with this opportunity to expand the entrepreneurship programs at FIU,” said William Hardin, Dean of FIU School of Business. “This grant will enable us to strengthen our commitment to providing our students with the tools they need to assess new enterprise opportunities and start new ventures.”
The 2021 initiative to expand Blackstone LaunchPad to higher-ed institutions with majority underrepresented or under-resourced students has brought the program to 22 Hispanic Serving Institutions, 7 HBCUs and 4 community colleges, demonstrating continued dedication to increasing diversity among student entrepreneurs and the development of key skills for career mobility.
About Blackstone Charitable Foundation
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has led Blackstone’s philanthropic initiatives since 2007. We are driven by the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and providing access to opportunity in the communities in which we live and work. Blackstone LaunchPad helps college students learn entrepreneurial skills for success to build thriving companies and careers, with an increasing commitment to schools that have a majority diverse student population or engage with underrepresented communities. BX Connects engages Blackstone’s global employee base to partner with non-profits, supporting their missions through volunteer opportunities, fundraising, board service and other charitable activities.