By Sophia Mora
On Friday, April 28, Texas A&M University held a grand opening event for a new entrepreneurship program – Blackstone LaunchPad – with tours of their studio space and the unveiling of their mobile office space.
During the event, remarks were made by Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones, Blackstone LaunchPad at Texas A&M Director Don Lewis, Blackstone LaunchPad Global Director Alisha Slye, and Blake Teipel of Essentium Materials.
Student entrepreneurs spoke about their journeys through entrepreneurship thus far and their excitement to have Blackstone LaunchPad as another entrepreneurial touchpoint on campus. The program showcased the Blackstone LaunchPad studio space in the Koldus building (Suite 105), a permanent location to conduct meetings and mentorship sessions, and a mobile kiosk, which is a traveling office used to increase the accessibility of entrepreneurship on campus.
Jones addressed the attendees, saying, “Blackstone LaunchPad is going to be a megaphone across the entire campus to get students of all majors to consider being an entrepreneur.” He said the new partnership with Blackstone is “an endorsement by a major organization that A&M is on the right path” with its entrepreneurship program offerings.
With the goal of helping spread the entrepreneurial mindset to all Aggies, Blackstone LaunchPad at Texas A&M and their services are open to students of all majors, ages, and disciplines. Blackstone LaunchPad offers free one-on-one mentorship, a community where you can share and grow with other entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, and the tools and resources needed on an entrepreneurial journey.
Slye also spoke at the grand opening event. “[Blackstone LaunchPad is] for those people who are curious, those who have ideas they want to see come to fruition, and those who have companies they want to grow,” she said.
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation expanded its campus entrepreneurship program, Blackstone LaunchPad, in 2016 to three Texas universities: Texas A&M, The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas at Dallas.
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s three-year, $3 million grant establishes a partnership between the three institutions to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option and offer opportunities to the universities’ 130,000 students with a network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support system.