What is the Blackstone Charitable Foundation?
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms headquartered in New York, New York. Blackstone LaunchPad is funded by Blackstone Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Blackstone. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of Blackstone’s IPO in 2007 with substantial commitments from the Firm’s employees. Influenced by the enterprising heritage of the firm and its founders, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is directing its resources and applying the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship in areas nationwide and globally. Through its investment expertise across several asset classes and geographies, Blackstone has a unique perspective on the global economy and a heightened understanding of how entrepreneurial activity is often the crucial catalyst in the growth of successful businesses, industries, and communities. For more information, see http://www.blackstone.com/foundation.
What is Techstars?
Techstars is a global platform for investment and innovation. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships, and Techstars Communities. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 2,200 companies with a market cap of more than $2 billion.
Are the events, programs, and services offered by the LaunchPad free?
Yes, all Blackstone Launchpad services are free for students, including the one-on-one mentoring sessions, events, online resources, and negotiated resource deals.
Does Blackstone or Techstars take a stake in my idea or venture?
Neither Blackstone nor Techstars retain any stake or claim to any idea or venture in the Blackstone Launchpad & Techstars programs. LaunchPad 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, Launchpad staff can help you explore the option of outside investment, participation in an Accelerator, as well as other capital and debt 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?
Your campus-based Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars staff, all of whom have signed NDAs, have access to information you input online, with the sole goal of providing support, mentorship, and resources.
Who is the mentor or coach who will meet me? How are they selected?
To learn more about the mentor network available on your campus, please connect with your LaunchPad Campus Director. 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 Campus Director, 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 many resources and tools to help build your venture at no or low cost. That said, LaunchPad also offers opportunities to compete for funding.
Do you help nonprofit startups?
Yes, we are committed to advising and resourcing all ideas and ventures through the program. Additionally, your college/university may have specific mentors, resources, tools, connections, or workshops specifically geared towards nonprofit organizations as well as mission-driven for-profit companies.