What is Blackstone?
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.
What is Techstars?
Techstars enables entrepreneurs, large companies, and city governments to access proven resources to innovate faster and accelerate their business success. Techstars proven programs include Techstars Startup Weekend, Techstars Startup Week, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerators, and more.
Are the services offered by the LaunchPad free?
Yes, all Blackstone LaunchPad services are free, including the one-on-one mentoring sessions, events and online resources, and negotiated resource deals.
Does Blackstone, Techstars, or my University take a stake in my idea or venture?
Blackstone nor Techstars retain any 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. All intellectual property is retained by the entrepreneur, unless joint ownership was previously determined by the university or other entity.
Will the LaunchPad, Blackstone, or Techstars 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, participation into an Accelerator, 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 idea and information?
Blackstone LaunchPad personnel who have signed NDAs affiliated with your campus program have access to information you input online, with the sole goal of providing support, mentorship and resources.
How does the LaunchPad process work?
The LaunchPad network helps students succeed in entrepreneurship and in their careers by:
Who is the mentor or coach who will meet with me? How are they selected?
To learn more about the mentor network available on your campus, please connect with your LaunchPad staff person. The goal is to pair you with mentors and advisors whose interests, skills, expertise, and background align with what would be most helpful to you and your idea.
I don’t have an idea yet and/or I want to work on another startup’s team. What should I do?
Connect with your LaunchPad staff, 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 LaunchPad startups in need of someone with your skills, we may connect you.
I have an idea, but I don’t have any money to build a business. How can LaunchPad help me?
The program and mentoring are structured around the principle 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 checking out our the Techstars Entrepreneur’s Toolkit.
Do you help nonprofit startups?
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 organizations.
Who does LaunchPad help?
Where do LaunchPad events and programming benefit student entrepreneurs across the startup lifecycle?
Though LaunchPad campus-based and global resources and events may help companies at any stage, some programming is more designed for three primary phases:
Idea-generation: LaunchPad Startup Weekends are where great ideas are sparked and the next big companies are started. (Link to video.)
Seed: At LaunchPad Propel, exceptional university entrepreneurs build technical skills and amplify their knowledge and network.
Growth: LaunchPad Lift takes student-led ventures to the next level by providing dedicated mentoring and strategic education on advanced startup topics.