Speaker Series

The Speaker Series features experienced leaders from the Blackstone, Techstars, and LaunchPad Campus networks to share stories, skills, insights and lessons learned around entrepreneurship in an interactive online format. Speakers range from entrepreneurs to investors, and other industry experts.

Spring 2021

Justin Lokitz, Innovation Mentor & Co-founder at Accelab, and three former Accelab participants, Diego Espanola Ramirez, JB Brathwaite, and Luísa Andrade

April 30, 2021

Justin Lokitz speaks with three former Accelab participants, Diego Espanola Ramirez, JB Brathwaite, and Luísa Andrade about college internships, diving into questions about applying for your dream position, making the most of a summer job, and working in a startup environment.

Patrick McGinnis

April 21, 2021

How can you balance entrepreneurship with other priorities? Patrick McGinnis, author of “The 10% Entrepreneur” and “Fear of Missing Out: Practical Decision-Making in a World of Overwhelming Choice” shares the stories of successful entrepreneurs who engage in entrepreneurship outside of their day jobs. Patrick explains how it is possible to have the stability of a day job with the excitement of a startup.

Malini Agarwal, Blackstone VP HR Recruiting, Caitlin Eldridge, Techstars HR Business Partner and Executive Recruiting Manager, and Colleen Grant, Hubspot Senior Manager

April 9, 2021

Malini, Caitlin Eldridge, and Colleen provide insight into key words and phrases that can highlight your entrepreneurial skills and experience to help your resume stand out.

Courtney Gerowitz, Techstars Director, Andrew Burrington, Product Manager at onXmaps; Kelsey Davis, CEO of CLLCTVE, Kyra Durko, investor at Two Sigma Ventures, and Zach Little, founder of CheckUp Health Technology

March 31, 2021

In this student panel, moderated by Courtney, LaunchPad students talk about the ways in which to leverage your entrepreneurial college experience to build an exciting career.

Nina Ho, UT Austin LaunchPad Director, Dresden Goldberg, UT Dallas LaunchPad Director, and Cam Houser, Founder of Actionworks

March 12, 2021

LaunchPad Directors Nina and Dresden speak with Cam Houser, Founder of Actionworks, about the entrepreneurship mindset as it relates to career readiness. What are the skills you need to succeed, how do you develop them, and how do you identify your own areas of improvement?

Fall 2020

Camila Pazos, Director – Investments, Echoing Green, Winson Law, Senior Talent Manager, Venture for America, Katie Sowa, COO, Future Founders, and Erica Lock, Vice President, Blackstone Charitable Foundation

December 10, 2020

Camila, Winson, and Katie speak to students on the potential pathways for social impact startups and the skills and steps required to access them.

Min Pease, Senior Community Manager at the Gates Foundation

December 3, 2020

Min discusses the various funding vehicles for social impact startups: traditional equity, impact investment, PRIs and MRIs, grants, credit, social impact bonds and more.

Kobby Amoah, CEO, River Health, (Techstars ‘19) and Matt Miller, Managing Director, Techstars

November 19, 2020

Kobby and Matt speak to student entrepreneurs about differentiation in healthcare and life sciences-focused startups and River Health’s experience in the Techstars Accelerator.

Heejae Lim, Founder & CEO of Talking Points, Jonny Imerman, Co-Founder of Cloztalk & Imerman Angels, and Danny Rojas, Executive Director of All Star Code

November 12, 2020

Heejae, Jonny, and Danny speak to student entrepreneurs about leadership in social impact startups. Sharing their journeys including the strategic decisions they’ve made around running and growing this unique type of startup.

Michael Broughton, Founder, Perch Credit, Manny Smith, Co-Founder, EdVisorly Educationand Takhani Kromah, Program Director, Blackstone Charitable Foundation

October 22, 2020

LaunchPad student entrepreneurs Michael and Manny speak at the 2020 HBCU Innovation Summit about their journeys and the importance of supporting inclusive entrepreneurship on college campuses.

Zach Nies, Managing Director at Techstars (Part 1)

October 1, 2020

Zach Nies speaks to student entrepreneurs about Metrics and KPIs that are critical to the success of early stage startups.

Zach Nies, Managing Director at Techstars (Part 2)

October 1, 2020

Zach Nies speaks to student entrepreneurs about Metrics and KPIs that are critical to the success of early stage startups

Summer 2020

David Brown, Co-founder and CEO of Techstars

July 16, 2020

David Brown speaks to student entrepreneurs about his own experience as a young entrepreneur and how that fostered a life-long passion to #givefirst supporting other founders through his work with Techstars.

Josh Aviv, Founder and CEO of SparkCharge

June 25, 2020

Josh Aviv speaks to student entrepreneurs about his journey as a young founder, Black founder, and LaunchPad and Techstars alum.

Tim Brown, Co-founder and CEO of Allbirds

June 18, 2020

Tim Brown speaks to our student entrepreneurs about his journey, the importance of values like sustainability and diversity, and some of the keys on how he’s achieved success.

Cecilia Corral, Co-founder and VP of Product for CareMessage

June 18, 2020

Cecilia Corral speaks to student entrepreneurs about how mentors helped her along the way from a low-income, immigrant household to becoming a startup co-founder, and her thoughts on diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.