ATI to oversee $1M Blackstone LaunchPad program at UT Austin

Today Blackstone LaunchPad, a global student entrepreneurship program, announces the expansion of its global network to include The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Dallas, and Texas A&M University.

The campus-based entrepreneurship program, available to more than 600,000 students in the United States and internationally, helps students turn ideas into small businesses while supporting local economies. The program has the potential to generate 3,900 new business ventures and 9,000 new jobs across Texas over the next three years.

The $1M grant to UT Austin will be overseen by the IC² Institute’s Austin Technology Incubator (ATI).

Blackstone LaunchPad at UT AustinThe grant award will be presented today at a press conference at UT Dallas and include U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX); Blackstone CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman; Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) CIO Britt Harris; Blackstone Charitable Foundation Executive Director Amy Stursberg; and UT students.

“This generous grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation will help more UT Austin students engage in our robust startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem,” UT Austin President Gregory Fenves said in a written statement.

The program will become a sort of home base for students with ideas they want to develop, whether as entrepreneurs themselves or in collaboration with others, said Isaac Barchas, ATI director.

The program can help connect students here with like-minded people across the state, country and the world. The foundation typically sets up Launchpad at a set of schools in hopes of building on regional networks and interactions. Depending on how it evolves, Launchpad “may allow students to access the scale of Texas,” Barchas said. On a more local level, it will open up access to the dozens of entrepreneurship programs already operating at Austin Technology Incubator and across the UT campus.

About Blackstone Launchpad:

Blackstone LaunchPad is a campus-based entrepreneurship program through which aspiring entrepreneurs can grow ideas of any size – whether they came up with the concept an hour ago or have thought about it for years – and gain access to expertise and outside resources (legal, marketing, insurance and sales specialists, etc.). The program aims to drive economic development in communities around partner universities, increasing the likelihood that students remain and develop their ideas within the region. It is funded through the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, which was recognized by the Obama Administration’s “Startup America” Initiative.

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