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Roadrunners gain entrepreneurial tools with Blackstone LaunchPad

Roadrunners gain entrepreneurial tools with Blackstone LaunchPad

JANUARY 27, 2021 — There’s no shortage of innovative and entrepreneurial students at UTSA. For years UTSA students have pitched their startup ideas at business plan competitions, participated in tech showcases and attended entrepreneurship boot camps, receiving support primarily through the university’s Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship. Beginning today, creative Roadrunners will be able to tap into a new network that will provide additional experiential learning opportunities to improve their career readiness.

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has expanded its signature Blackstone LaunchPad student entrepreneurship programming from two to eight campuses in The University of Texas System, as reported on the Blackstone LaunchPad blog, bringing the initiative’s network and resources to a more diverse set of students.

The $5 million expansion will give even more students critical access to resources, opportunities and mentorship at the following campuses: UT El Paso, UT Permian Basin, UT Rio Grande Valley, UTSA, UT Medical Branch and UT Southwestern. UT Austin and UT Dallas have been LaunchPad sites since 2016. With four of the six campuses included in this expansion designated Hispanic Serving Institutions, LaunchPad doubles the number of HSIs in its network, demonstrating a commitment to increasing inclusion in student entrepreneurship.


“Expanding LaunchPad to more UT institutions helps develop a more robust pipeline of student entrepreneurs in Texas.”



“Expanding LaunchPad to more UT institutions helps develop a more robust pipeline of student entrepreneurs in Texas. This experience will encourage them to generate new ideas and some day launch companies and drive job growth,” UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken said. “We are grateful to the Blackstone Charitable Foundation for its generous contribution and for its effort to reach a more diverse student population across Texas.”

UT System students will be able to expand their ideas outside of the classroom by utilizing LaunchPad’s events, mentorships and an exceptional network to help them succeed in their entrepreneurial ventures. At UT Austin and UT Dallas, LaunchPad has been available to more than 60,000 students with more than 14,000 engaged in programming annually.

“We are incredibly excited to help student entrepreneurs bring their ideas to fruition,” said Amy Stursberg, executive director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “LaunchPad provides an invaluable experience by helping students acquire entrepreneurial skills that will help them contribute to Texas’ economic growth and prepare them for today’s workforce.”

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation established LaunchPad in 2008 and partnered with Techstars eight years later to provide participants with access to its network of more than 10,000 mentors, invitations to signature events like Startup Week and Startup Weekend, and access to world-renowned content and startup services. With Future Founders, Blackstone LaunchPad provides a seasonal eight-week fellowship, during which student founders receive $5,000 in nondilutive grant funding to support their time working on advancing their ventures as well as access to workshops and adviser networks. Startup Grind also serves as an event partner and offers new student membership for LaunchPad participants. 


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Get involved in the Blackstone LaunchPad program at UTSA.

Blackstone LaunchPad also helps student entrepreneurs navigate the complex landscape of fundraising, job placement and recruitment. LaunchPad has achieved success across 24 campuses in the U.S. and Ireland, providing nearly 750,000 students with the access to resources, personal connections and professional networks they need to get their companies off the ground.



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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


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UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.