Blackstone Charitable Foundation Launches Entrepreneurship Program In Southern California

March 5th, 2014 by

A few days ago, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced it was expanding Blackstone LaunchPad, its campus entrepreneurship program, to Southern California. The region will be the sixth Blackstone Launchpad region, following Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and Montana.  The $3.5 million grant by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation will cement a partnership between the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the University of Southern California, the University of California, Irvine, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

The goal is to launch entrepreneurship as a workable career option and offer more than 110,000 university students with an entrepreneurial support system and a network of venture instructors.

Blackstone LaunchPad California will encourage discussions between the business community, university campuses and local business people to foster an environment that nurtures a culture of entrepreneurship among students and provides them with the network and skills required to become successful entrepreneurs. Blackstone LaunchPad will have a physical presence on each of the participating university campuses. It is estimated that the project could generate up to 1,400 new business ventures in California between now and 2019.

Stephen A. Schwarzman, the CEO, chairman and co-founder of Blackstone, said that when one nurtures talent and supports budding entrepreneurs, one furthers the development of innovations that could shift existing paradigms.

He added: “Through Blackstone LaunchPad, students have access to the right tools to take their ideas to market and to truly become successful entrepreneurs with their ventures rooted in California, ultimately strengthening the local economy.”

Blackstone LaunchPad is based on a highly successful program that originated at the University of Miami six years ago. This program has drawn more than 3,600 participants, generated more than 1,700 business proposals and created 559 new jobs since it was first established.

Every regional program that is established via the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is interlinked, drawing best practices and ideas from 11 participating campuses. This provides student entrepreneurs in Southern California with access to a countrywide community of more than 350,000 expert advisers and peers.

After its initial implementation, the program was so successful that it was recognized by the President’s Startup America initiative.

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About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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