The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s team came to Los Angeles in 2013, and in the three years since, have created a program, the Blackstone LaunchPad, that has helped launch over 120 companies thus far. Through this program, three of our region’s leading universities — the University of Southern California (USC), the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), and University of California-Irvine (UCI) — have been able to provide a number of students with a pathway to entrepreneurial success, many of whom would only have dreamed of starting companies, but never ventured to do so without the program’s encouragement and resources. The program has helped those dreams become real, creating hundreds of jobs, with the prospect that these entrepreneurs will move forward to start more companies and create many more jobs in the future as well.
Based on the LaunchPad program developed by the University of Miami, Blackstone LaunchPad at USC, UCLA, and UC Irvine initially pairs students with consultants who help them develop their business ideas. As their ideas mature, students are then connected with Venture Coaches — entrepreneurs, lawyers, service providers, executives, investors, and others with professional expertise in the Southern California community and nationally — to help them bring their ideas to market. Through Blackstone USC, UCLA, and UC Irvine have expanded their entrepreneurship and support programming while also serving as a gateway to an extensive network of mentors, experts, and services. Click here for the full Impact Report.