January 2022 LaunchPad in the News

From a former Fellow raising $1.4M for her company that makes plastic-free, sustainable hair extensions to LaunchPad leaders engaging in conversations about ESG and accessibility, our network started the year off on a strong foot.

Science, conscious consumers, and next-gen founders will drive ‘ESG’ innovation in 2022 

January 1, 2021 

According to members of the Fast Company Impact Council—an invitation-only collective of leaders that includes UC Santa Cruz Blackstone LaunchPad Campus Director Andrea Carafa—2022 will be the year that innovations and innovators propel ESG forward in new and exciting ways.  

Read what Andrea and other members of the council have to say: Fast Company

Heart monitor, ‘tinder for musicians’ win Big Ideas Competition 

January 3, 2022 

Four teams of undergraduate students were named winners of the Big Ideas Competition at Cornell, with ideas that help musicians connect, detect heart problems, train unemployed young adults and help with pollution issues in developing countries. 

Read about the exciting student ideas on Cornell News

Baruch Student Wins Blackstone LaunchPad National Ideas Competition 

January 4, 2022 

Baruch College student Bruno Stantos Rodrigues ones on of four students selected to win $10,000 in the national round of the Blackstone LaunchPad Ideas Competition. Born in Brazil and raised in Peru, Bruno was inspired by the Incas to create a socially responsible, environmentally friendly brand called Chasqui Outdoor Clothing. 

Read more about Bruno and Chasqui Outdoor Clothing on Baruch College News

Turning Ideas into Real Business 

January 10, 2022 

Blackstone LaunchPad at University of Central Florida transforming students from all backgrounds and majors into something they might never have imagined: entrepreneurs.  

“People who develop an entrepreneurial mindset will be better prepared to take risks and adapt, no matter what they do for a career,” says LaunchPad Director Cameron Ford. 

Read about the students developing entrepreneurial mindsets alongside interesting companies: UCF News

Temple alumna receives accolades for inclusive lipstick line 

January 17, 2022 

Temple University Blackstone LaunchPad alumna Camille Bell is receiving accolades and glowing reviews for her new inclusive lipstick line, Pound Cake.  

Read more about Allure Magazines Best of Beauty Award for 2021 winner on Temple News

Rebundle raises $1.4M for plant-based hair extensions 

January 17, 2022 

Blackstone LaunchPad Fellow Ciara Imani May raised $1.4M for her startup Rebundle, which creates and sells hair extensions made from plant-based materials. Unlike existing synthetic braids which are made from plastic, Rebundle’s plant-based extensions are not only sustainable but cause less scalp irritation. 

Read more on TechCrunch

Student entrepreneurs win $10,000 in MSU’s annual Big Idea Challenge 

January 19, 2022 

Twelve student semifinalists, chosen from 28 applicants, delivered pitches about their ideas during the third annual Big Idea Challenge hosted by the MSU Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the MSU Blackstone LaunchPad.  

“Our semifinalists tackled diverse and challenging problems with their ideas, and the judges were extremely impressed with all of the innovative solutions and strong pitches,” said Trevor Huffmaster, director of the MSU Blackstone LaunchPad. 

Read more on MSU News

8 up-and-coming Gen Z founders to watch right now 

January 20, 2022 

Blackstone LaunchPad Syracuse Founder Kelsey Davis was named by Fortune as one of the top eight up-and-coming Gen Z founders to watch for her company CLLCTVE, a platform that connects Gen Z creatives to brands.  

“Our ultimate goal is really democratizing the playing field within the creator economy,” Kelsey says. “We think everyone’s a creator. I think it’s a matter of people being able to see themselves as such.” 

Read more on Fortune

Business For Good: Pound Cake 

January 24, 2022 

Temple University LaunchPad student Camille Bell’s search for the perfect shade to “rock a red lip” prompted her to launch her own Philly-based lipstick brand tailored to every lip color. The first batch sold out in just 48 hours. 

Read a profile of Camille and her company in The Philadelphia Citizen

Big Idea Competition Supports Local Entrepreneurial Spirit 

January 28, 2022 

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Blackstone LaunchPad hosted their second annual Big Ideas Competition, which brought together students, staff, faculty, alumni, and members of the Valley community to pitch innovative startup ideas to a panel of judges in a Shark Tank-like competition. 

Read about the winners on Texas Border Business