The LaunchPad Fellowship has provided a remarkable experience and the perfect balance of mentorship and autonomy. The framework that this fellowship offers is the right recipe for success, and has helped me create structure and think more critically about goal setting, accountability, scaling myself, trusting my team, and delivering results. I am grateful for the support of the program leadership cadre, speakers, mentors, campus directors, and corporate partners.

Manny Smith, CEO & Co-Founder, EdVisor, University of California, Berkeley (‘21)

Startup Weekend is a unique opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and discover alternative career paths for your major. The most important aspect of the weekend was learning process of creating a startup and making connections. I recommend Startup Weekend for anyone who is a problem solver and wants to help find solutions for the problems of our world. If you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and be innovative Startup Weekend is the place for you.

Brigid McCormack, The State University of New York at Buffalo (‘22)

Being part of the LaunchPad fellowship greatly improved our entrepreneurship skills and knowledge. During these 8 weeks, we accomplished things that seemed like a dream to us before joining the program, and now we are set on a pathway to success thanks to the effort and support of their amazing team members and mentor network.

Raiza Pilatowsky Gruner, Co-Founder Planeteando, University of California, Davis (‘22)

The Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars network has helped me build an entire company over the course of my years in college. If it wasn’t for this program and their amazing events, I would’ve never explored the world of entrepreneurship.

Michael Broughton, Founder of Perch, University of Southern California ‘21

The best thing I took away from the Launchpad was having a mentor-driven ecosystem and network. It’s an iron sharpens iron community where people are able to give themselves – whether it’s time or talent they’re centered on bringing the entire entrepreneurial community upward.

Kelsey Davis, Founder of CLLCTVE, Syracuse University ‘20

The Launchpad Fellowship set us up for success! We were able to launch our company and get valuable advice from mentors on how to differentiate ourselves in the fitness space

Audra Huffmeyer, Cofounder of Aptitude, Founder of Fil2R, UCLA ‘21

Learning from experts in the field and growing your network are definitely the best ways I’ve been able to grow my brand, and the LaunchPad Virtual Mentorship Program did just that. There is always so much to learn, no matter what stage you are at. Each week in this program helped me move my brand and myself as a leader forward in a meaningful way.

Jamika Martin, ROSEN Skincare, University of California, Los Angeles ‘17

The Launchpad program is a truly eye opening experience that helps you and your team expand your network to a wide variety of mentors in multiple industries. Because of this opportunity, we’ve been able to receive feedback that really challenged us and help us grow as entrepreneurs.

Eliott Lee – Cofounder of ElecTrip, UT Austin ‘18

LaunchPad pushed our company to set goals and stay on track when building our startup. We were able to lean on the support of the network and the entrepreneurs in the program to help us with any of our needs.

Riley Rojas – Aptitud, Co-founder of Aptitud, University of California, Los Angeles ‘21 UCLA

Structure amongst chaos’ is the definitive benefit that LaunchPad has provided to NwaBebé. LaunchPad helped us create actionable milestones that gave focus to our pivot. Through their resources, we are able to conduct product validation tests and valuable market assessments that yielded deep customer insights. There is still much work to be done. But we are beyond grateful for the actionable guidance offered during the chaos that is entrepreneurship. 

Dara Chike-Obi, Co-founder of NwaBebé, University of Texas at Austin Red McCombs School of Business ‘19

Blackstone Launchpad & Techstars really helped us at ReFuel hone in on some goals that we had on our list, but had not prioritized yet. This was the catalyst for us to take action and get a better grasp on what our future as a startup looks like!

Justin Redmond, Co-founder of ReFuel Technologies,  University of California, Santa Cruz ‘20,

My time with LaunchPad pushed me to a level of focus on my business that I had not yet reached… Through the Blackstone Launchpad I was connected with a very successful entrepreneur in my field and this one introduction has helped me concentrate my efforts and enhance my focus on the things in my business that will make the difference. The networking opportunities that I have had have been amazing. LaunchPad has allowed me to connect with people I never would have met from all around the world. 

Charles Luther, Founder of Red Patch Outdoors, University of Montana ‘21

LaunchPad provided me with vital connections to grow as an entrepreneur and further develop the business. The mentors available through the Blackstone and Techstars network have a wealth of information and are more than happy to make further connections with their network. The speakers, peers, and coordinators provide a great environment to learn and grow in.

Mark O’Sullivan, Founder of NeuroBell, University College Cork ‘15

Campus Directors

Our partnership with LaunchPad accelerates our ability to deliver value to our Syracuse University innovation ecosystem.  It’s a highly collaborative model, based on the Techstars mentor-focused #GiveFirst model, giving us access to best practices, tools and strategies from top thinkers in the startup world.  The outcomes of this relationship are extraordinary.  There is no doubt our students are better equipped to become trailblazers in a global world – whether they start their own ventures, or pursue careers with companies that are innovation leaders.  This program builds a solid framework for success.

Linda Dickerson Hartsock, Executive Director, Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at Syracuse University

The NYU Entrepreneurial Institute is grateful to be part of the network and collaborate with leaders from other Launchpad universities. Our students have benefitted from participating in global events, networking with other student entrepreneurs and working with world-class mentors. The Launchpad community is vibrant and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.

Frank Rimalovski, Executive Director, Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at New York University

The University at Buffalo (UB) has benefited tremendously from the catalytic force of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s implementation of Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars. UB’s affiliation with LaunchPad has encouraged innovation and creativity initiatives on our campus. It affords us the opportunity to collaborate with LaunchPad network institutions and provides us language and programming to embrace intrapreneurship in support of students’ skill-building. Most importantly, it provides us the resources to enhance our support of student-led ventures and student opportunities in the innovation economy.

Hadar Borden, Director, Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at The State University of New York at Buffalo


We believe that building skills in presentation, problem solving, collaboration, and resilience, combined with the more traditional academic curriculum, provide students the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century workforce. Today’s young entrepreneurs are motivated by purpose and share our belief that you can achieve economic growth in a way that lifts others up and benefits our communities. We’re inspired by and committed to supporting these innovative young entrepreneurs who are using their creativity as a catalyst for positive change.

Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation

At Techstars, we believe entrepreneurs can change the world. Startup founders – especially young founders – see opportunities differently, and have the courage to take risks. By providing them resources, experiences, and mentorship through the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars network, we hope to help them grow their ideas into startups that ultimately solve the greatest challenges of our time.

John Hill, VP of Network, Techstars