Are the services offered by Blackstone LaunchPad free?
Yes, all Blackstone LaunchPad services are free, including the one-on-one mentoring sessions, events and online resources such as the discussion board, job postings, digital guides and negotiated resource deals.
Will my idea be kept confidential? Will you sign my NDA?
We take privacy very seriously. All Blackstone LaunchPad mentors and personnel have signed blanket NDAs and are prohibited from discussing your idea with anyone without your consent. Given Blackstone LaunchPad has their own binding confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, the program staff will not sign outside NDAs, contracts, or agreements.
Who is Blackstone? What do they get out of funding this program?
Blackstone is the global leader in alternative asset management headquartered in New York, New York. Blackstone LaunchPad is funded by Blackstone Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Blackstone. The Foundation’s focus is dedicated to building and supporting sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems across the world. As a catalytic funder for a set period of time, the Foundation provides mentoring and resources to students, staff and alumni to empower venture creation to yield lasting results for the entrepreneur, campus and regional community. The program focuses on developing the entrepreneur, rather than the idea.
Does Blackstone take a stake in my idea or venture?
Blackstone retains no stake or claim to any idea or venture in the Blackstone LaunchPad program. The program guides and empowers students, staff and alumni to make their own decisions about their venture and to do the work themselves.
Will Blackstone LaunchPad or the Blackstone Group fund my idea?
The program provides free, confidential one-on-one mentoring and resources, tools, and network to enable venture creation and does not provide capital. However, if seeking capital, Blackstone LaunchPad staff can help you explore the option of outside investment, as well as other capital options. We can also provide support and assistance putting together a pitch deck for investors, help refine and practice pitches, create and compile the appropriate reports, documents, and summaries, and advise where and how to find investors.
Who sees my information?
Does the University get a stake in my idea?
No. All intellectual property is retained by the entrepreneur, unless joint ownership was previously determined by the university.
How does the Blackstone LaunchPad process work?
Blackstone LaunchPad pairs students with coaches who help them develop their business ideas. As their ideas mature, Blackstone LaunchPad connects students with experienced entrepreneurs, lawyers, accountants, venture capitalists and others with professional expertise to help bring their businesses to market.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
Bring something to take notes with (paper or a computer will do). No research or preparation is required beforehand, but if you have notes, drawings, research or examples it is advisable to bring those. Note: Appointment slots are limited, so we ask that if you need to cancel your appointment, please provide 24 hours notice.
Who is the mentor or coach who will meet with me? How are they selected?
To learn more about the Blackstone LaunchPad staff on your campus, check out their LinkedIn profiles on your university’s campus page. The goal is to pair you with a mentor whose interests, skills, and expertise to see if they have a background that would be helpful specifically to your idea.
I don’t have an idea, but I want to work on another startup’s team. What should I do?
Come in for a 30 minute career mentoring session, so we can learn more about your interests and goals to help clarify what you want out of a startup job experience. If we know of any Blackstone LaunchPad startups in need of someone with your skills, we may suggest them. You also have access to the online job postings via the Global Discussion Board to browse startups that have open positions and also post a candidate profile about yourself and what you’re looking for. Start by clicking here.
I don’t have an idea yet, but I want to find one that I can get excited about and start working on. What should I do?
Come in for a 30 minute brainstorming session, so we can learn more about your passions and talents. We’ll help you think about what kinds of unsolved problems there are in industries that you’re interested in, and then help you brainstorm ideas for ventures that would solve those problems. Remember, your venture is yours, and you always have the decision making power about what you’re working on, when you start and stop, and where you want to go with it. Start by clicking here.
I have an idea but I haven’t done any work on it. Can I still come in for an appointment?
Yes, Blackstone LaunchPad staff can help clarify your goals and think through your idea. We’ll advise you on what we think the next step should be, and connect you to any resources, tools, or people who could be helpful to you right now. Start by clicking here.
I have an idea, but I don’t have any money to build a business. What should I do?
The program and mentoring are structured around the idea that “validating” an idea (i.e. figuring out if people want it, who those people are, how much they would pay for it, etc.) should be fast and inexpensive to do. There are lots of resources and tools to help build your venture at no or low cost. Start by clicking here.
Do you help non-profit and for profit businesses?
Yes, we are committed to advising and resourcing all ideas and ventures through the program. Your college/university may even have specific mentors, resources, tools, connections, or workshops specifically geared towards nonprofit businesses and organizations.
What if there is more than one person on my team?
Great, you can add them to your venture and invite them to your mentoring sessions.