Blackstone LaunchPad takes off

Blackstone Launchpad takes off to support future entrepreneurs at the University of Central Florida.

On Sept. 26, the university opened the new Blackstone LaunchPad, a program that provides students with a network of venture coaches and entrepreneurial support to transform ideas into viable companies. Created by a $1.4 million grant by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, the program is open to all students, regardless of age or field of study.

“As America’s leading partnership university, UCF is proud to participate in an exciting new alliance to launch the next generation of Florida entrepreneurs,” comments UCF President Dr. John C. Hitt. “This effort will greatly benefit our students and enhance the economic prosperity of our community, which is good news for all of Central Florida.”

UCF is the 10th school in the country to launch the program, which encourages entrepreneurship as a viable career path. It was developed by the University of Miami and expanded by Blackstone.

“Entrepreneurship is the single most effective way to spur economic growth and job creation,” says Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone’s co-founder, chairman and CEO. “We must all play a role in nurturing talent, and through Blackstone LaunchPad, we can foster new generations of entrepreneurs who will transform local economies by creating new and innovative companies.”