Blackstone Launchpad & Techstars
About the Blackstone LaunchPad
The Blackstone LaunchPad builds next-generation companies and careers. LaunchPad works with UC Berkeley and 29 other higher-ed institutions to deliver proven startup resources, facilitate access to a global network of mentors and advisors, and offer unique virtual and physical convening opportunities so thousands of diverse college students can go further, faster. Students learn by doing, gaining knowledge and critical skills to help them succeed as a founder or contributor to the innovation economy. LaunchPad’s ever-expanding network supports and elevates underrepresented students to level an unequal playing field.
LaunchPad at UC Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley joined the LaunchPad network in 2019, when a partnership between the University of California system and the Blackstone LaunchPad expanded the student entrepreneurship from one campus, UCLA, to eight.
The Berkeley LaunchPad makes entrepreneurship accessible and relevant for all students, regardless of their background, starting point, or future plans. They can start a company, change course, join forces with another founder, or pursue a traditional career. No matter their path, the Berkeley LaunchPad will equip students with the entrepreneurial mindset, skills, and network they need to succeed. Join BearX to start connecting with fellow Berkeley Changemakers.
LaunchPad complements Berkeley’s already thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem by funding and amplifying existing programming, acting as a central hub for entrepreneurial activities and providing curated content to deliver both experiential learning and entrepreneurial skill-building. Berkeley LaunchPad programming includes the Berkeley’s AccelerateHer program and the cross-campus StEP Pre-Accelerator & UC LAUNCH Accelerators, both offered each semester.
Through LaunchPad, Berkeley students have the opportunity to work closely with peers across the entire University of California network as well as connect to LaunchPad’s global network of mentors, events, funding, talent, job opportunities, and more. LaunchPad programming is designed to support students gain key entrepreneurship skills to build a successful company or build a resume for success in landing a job after college and advancing careers. Signature programming includes:
- Startup Weekend
- Annual Conference & Pitch Competition
- Demo Day
- Campus Director Retreat
- Speakers Series
Students can also request to meet with Blackstone or Techstars mentors, connect with peers through the LaunchPad LinkedIn group, and access the Techstars Entrepreneur’s Toolkit. You can read more about the LaunchPad network signature programming here.
Interested in booking your first 1:1 mentoring session or have other questions? Contact Jeremy Hammer | firstname.lastname@example.org
LaunchPad 2021 Summer Fellowship
In this LaunchPad Fellowship, up to 50 student founders will be awarded $5,000 in non-dilutive grant funding to support their time working on advancing technology ventures. The Fellowship is largely self-driven, but will include weekly skill-development workshops, goal setting, and peer and professional networking opportunities, as well as reporting requirements and regular check-ins with their LaunchPad campus Director. The Fellowship is open to all current students (graduate and undergraduate) of LaunchPad network schools as well as 2020 or 2021 graduates.
- Applications open: April 1st-27th
- Applications close: April 27th
- Students notified of selection: May 10th
- External team announcement: May 17th
- Fellowship runs: June 14th-August 6th
For more information on how to apply please click here.
Berkeley LaunchPad in the News
UC System-wide News:
- CalMatters: Student entrepreneurs adapt to pandemic and thrive
- The Fresno Bee: $5 million grant will bring startup coaching program to University of California campuses
- The Sacramento Bee: $5 million grant will bring startup coaching program to University of California campuses
- The Daily Californian: UC partners with Blackstone Charitable Foundation to expand LaunchPad
- SocalTech: Blackstone, UC System Expand Entrepreneurship Program
- Pulse 2.0: How University of California Students Are Gaining More Entrepreneurship Opportunities
UC Berkeley News:
- Blackstone Launchpad Fellowship: Midpoint Check-in
- LaunchPad Fellowship Startups on Cutting Edge of Healthcare (Part 2)
- Startup Profile: SuiteSocial
- Program Highlights: LaunchPad Virtual Mentorship Spring 2020
- Future Founders: Meet the Young Founders Making Education More Accessible to All
- International Student Entrepreneurs @ UC: Making an Impact
- UC LAUNCH Winner Spotlight: Santiago Pezzoni, Haas MBA ‘21
- Startup Profile: COBA, The Coffee Bar