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New Entrepreneurship Program Kicks Off at NYU

Generous grant from Blackstone provides valuable support to NYU entrepreneurs


Earlier this month marked a milestone for NYU’s aspiring entrepreneurs—the official kickoff of Blackstone LaunchPad at NYU. This new initiative is designed to support students, as well as faculty and staff, at any stage in their startup journey.

Established in 2007, Blackstone LaunchPad is an international campus entrepreneurship program. The newly established chapter at NYU is part of the LaunchPad’s latest New York State expansion supported by a generous, three-year, $4.5 million grant from its parent organization and founder, Blackstone Charitable Foundation. It is the largest expansion in the program’s history, making New York the eighth Blackstone LaunchPad’s region, following California, Florida, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Ireland.

Blackstone LaunchPad’s mission is to demonstrate that entrepreneurship is a viable career option. What that means for the NYU community is the opportunity to take advantage of practical training and tools to help launch new ventures.

“You cannot study entrepreneurship by sitting in a classroom,” stated Kurt Becker, the Vice President for Research and Entrepreneurship at the Tandon School of Engineering, who spoke about Blackstone LaunchPad’s advantage during its kickoff reception on Tuesday, February 2, 2016.

Frank Rimalovski, Director of the Leslie eLab, emphasized the importance of the plethora of resources now available to NYU startups through the Blackstone LaunchPad program. They include:

  • one-on-one coaching,
  • networking opportunities,
  • community knowledge and support, and
  • exclusive access to online tools available for free or at discounted price.

“You all have creativity and potential to create jobs for yourselves and others. We want you to have access to resources to make those goals a reality,” assured Blackstone’s Managing Director Brian Gavin who represented the organization at the event.

While entrepreneurship can be often associated with disciplines such as business and science, Blackstone LaunchPad is open to students, researchers and staff coming from majors and fields across all NYU schools. No prior experience is necessary and companies at all stages of development are welcome to attend the coaching sessions held at the Leslie eLab, the home base of Blackstone LaunchPad’s NYU chapter.

“There is only one key to starting a successful company, and that is execution,” declared Andy Moss, named Director of Blackstone LaunchPad at NYU.

Moss, who has been with the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute since 2014 as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence and a mentor to many, promised that he and his co-mentors “are here to help [everyone] develop skills around marshaling resources and figuring out how to execute plans for an entrepreneurial venture.”