In The News

October 2021 – LaunchPad in the News


Kelsey Davis ’19 G’20 selected for Google for Startups Black Founders Fund

October 2, 2021

Blackstone LaunchPad alum Kelsey Davis was selected as one of 50 Black founders to participate in the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. The program provides non-dilutive cash awards to Black led startups that have participated in or been nominated for Google programs. Founders selected for the fund receive up to $100,000 in capital along with Google Cloud credits, Google.org Ads grants, and hands-on support to help their startups grow. 

Davis started CLLCTVE with a Syracuse University student team as an undergraduate, winning numerous competitions and seed funding for her idea. She quickly expanded it to a national multi-campus portfolio platform and network that connects GenZ creators. Davis, who was recently named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, leads CLLCTVE with her co-founder, Syracuse University alum Brendan O’Keeffe. She has employed numerous Syracuse University students as interns and early employees.

Read more on Syracuse News.


Erie Hack – Cleveland Water Alliance Kicks Off Innovation Competition To Solve Lake Erie’s Challenges

October 5th, 2021

Cleveland Water Alliance launched Erie Hack 2021, a bi-annual competition to accelerate innovative solutions to Lake Erie’s most pressing challenges. Erie Hack brings together the best and brightest techies, creative thinkers, students, and passionate citizens from the Lake Erie Basin and beyond to develop solutions for problems such as water quality, infrastructure, and social awareness.

The program is delivered through a partnership between the Cleveland Water Alliance and The University at Buffalo Blackstone LaunchPad, TechTown Detroit, Midstory, and WEtech Alliance. This year’s competition will include several engaging events – a hybrid of virtual and in-person gatherings.

Read more on MI TechNews.


Announcing ‘Cuse Tank 2021 winners

October 12, 2021

Syracuse University’s Blackstone LaunchPad hosted its annual ’Cuse Tank entrepreneurial competition on Friday, October 8 at Bird Library. Twenty-four student teams from various schools and colleges across campus competed in a “Shark-Tank” style business pitch in front of a panel of judges consisting of Syracuse University parents and successful entrepreneurs. Families were invited to attend this event to experience the entrepreneurial spirit of University innovators.

Blackstone LaunchPad Summer 2021 Fellow Selim Dangoor won second place and $10,000 for his startup, MUNCH Jerky.

Read more about the winners on Syracuse University News.


Early-stage founders in Buffalo share their stories — and there’s a common theme

October 12, 2021

Buffalo Inno recently gathered three early-stage founders who graduated from The University at Buffalo to tell the stories of how and why they decided to pursue entrepreneurship. The speakers included 2021 Blackstone LaunchPad Pitch Competition 3rd place winner Ryan Young, co-founder and CEO of med-tech company Opollo Technologies, as well as Blackstone LaunchPad Fall 2020 Fellow Sonya Tareke, co-founder of online social learning platform Team Real Talk. They were joined by co-founder and CEO of MemoryFox Chris Miano, who also participated in UB’s Blackstone LaunchPad programming.

The three student founders’ conversation, “State of Innovation: Starting From Scratch,” touched on their decisions to pursue entrepreneurship instead of a more traditional career path because they were each excited about the idea of building something tangible.

Read more on Buffalo Business First.


UTMB students to join ‘hackathon’ to help solve community problems

October 14, 2021

At least 21 University of Texas Medical Branch Blackstone LaunchPad students are set to compete in Incubate Galveston: A Collective’s Innovation Hackathon to come up with solutions to tough community issues. The three day event fosters creative thinking to develop innovative new concepts, ideas, or prototypes. For UTMB students, the hackathon is an ideal environment for learning about entrepreneurial thinking and working as a team to solve problems in the community, which are priorities of the UTMB LaunchPad.

Event sponsors included UTMB, Texas A&M University at Galveston and the City of Galveston, Blackstone LaunchPad, Galveston Economic Development Partnership, Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ion Houston and Vision Galveston.

Read more on UTMB News.


The Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business launches up and coming opportunities for students

October 20, 2021

The Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business at CSI will be launching a new promising initiative for entrepreneurs: The Blackstone LaunchPad Ideas Competition.

“Anyone can get involved,” said CSI alumna and Blackstone LaunchPad Coordinator Natalia Sandor… “This is for whoever is interested. There is a stigma that entrepreneurship/entrepreneurs are just those pretending to be business owners. Rather, this is a mindset. It is complex and encompasses leadership, thinking, and problem solving.”

In addition to winning $1,000, the four finalists from the CSI round of the Ideas Competition will go on to the Network Round, where they will compete against finalists from schools across the LaunchPad network for a chance to win $10,000.

Read more on The Banner.


Is Bird Library the new location for intimate concerts?

October 25, 2021

Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad student Jackson Siporin recently launched Tiny Desk Cuse, a live and virtual concert series that aims to showcase SU artists in acoustic, intimate settings. Performances will occur every Thursday in Bird Library, which is also home to SU’s LaunchPad.

Jackson, a music industry major, first became involved with Blackstone LaunchPad during the spring 2021 semester as a copywriter for the hub’s weekly newsletter. He is currently working as an intern for the hub through the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

 Read more on The Daily Orange.


Temple grad Camille Bell’s inclusive Pound Cake lipstick line sells out overnight

October 29, 2021

Temple University Blackstone LaunchPad student Camille Bell has made one of the hottest lipsticks on the market right now. Camille created the lipstick specifically for darker-skinned people who often have a hard time finding a good red lipstick that’s also moisturizing and vibrant. Called Pound Cake, the lipstick sold out in hours when it launched last month. Pound Cake has one color, red, with five different variations of red to account for various skin and lip tones.

“We want to help empower and bolster the black and brown community, folks that identify as fat, folks that are queer, and just make folks feel beautiful,” said Bell. “Most of the time in the beauty industry, those are the folks that are marginalized. So we want to uplift those folks.”

Read more on Philadelphia 6ABC Action News.