Blackstone LaunchPad, an entrepreneurial skill-building program for university students, is coming to nine CUNY Colleges.
The program works to connect students with mentors, internships and job opportunities to encourage students to pursue entrepreneurship as a career path.
As a part of the network, participating students will also be able to take part in pitch competitions, live speaker-series as well as virtual and in-person events.
Blackstone LaunchPad’s expansion to Baruch College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College, Brooklyn College, City College of New York, College of Staten Island, Lehman College, Queens College and Queensborough Community College was a part of Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s $40 million commitment to expand to institutions of higher education that serve under-resouced communities.
Recently, the program also expanded to three historically Black colleges; Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation plans on spending $6 million on its CUNY program.
“As we emerge from a pandemic that has recalibrated the future of work, programs like Blackstone LaunchPad are essential to ensuring that our economic recovery embraces and extends to all New Yorkers proportionately and equitably, ” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.”We thank the Blackstone Charitable Foundation for their commitment to CUNY and our students, and for supporting institutions of higher learning that share our bedrock values of diversity and inclusion.”
The initiative began with an expansion to bring Blackstone LaunchPad’s network and resources to six additional campuses in the University of Texas system, designated Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), demonstrating continued dedication to increasing diversity among student entrepreneurs and the development of skills for career mobility. By September, Blackstone LaunchPad will be available to over one million students at 45 schools across the United States and Ireland and plans on further expanding the program to 75 campuses over the next five years.
“Given our charitable foundation’s longstanding commitment to serving the communities in which we live and work, we are very excited for the opportunity to bring Blackstone LaunchPad to all five boroughs of New York City,” said Amy Stursberg, executive director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation in a statement.” Our partnership with these outstanding schools is an exciting step in our broader commitment to increasing access to entrepreneurial skills, networks and resources among underrepresented students to build successful companies and careers.”