Blackstone LaunchPad is on only 15 campuses across the country. Philadelphia has two of them.The program, which helps students pursue entrepreneurship as a career path, is helping early-stage startups at Temple University and Philadelphia University. Originally developed at the University of Miami, Blackstone LaunchPad, which is funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, has been recognized by President Obama’s Startup America Initiative as a way of encouraging students to stay on after graduation, strengthening the economies of their local communities. It’s a unique approach toward developing local entrepreneurs, one that helps students, regardless of major, turn their dreams into businesses and gain ties to the local business community. The Blackstone LaunchPad program, operated out of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Temple and the President’s Office at PhilaU, navigates students through a four-step process. Students begin by fleshing out their business concept, expected market, competition and development needs. A member of the LaunchPad staff has regular meetings with the student and provides them with advice on how to further their idea. Once the idea has matured enough, the student is introduced to mentors from the local business community.
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