Blackstone Awards UTD $1M Entrepreneurship Grant

Blackstone Charitable grant

THE GRANT IS ONE OF THREE FROM BLACKSTONE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION TO TEXAS UNIVERSITIES


The University of Texas at Dallas was one of three Texas universities recently awarded a three-year, $1 million grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation with the expansion of its Blackstone LaunchPad, a campus entrepreneurship program. Texas A&M and The University of Texas at Austin also were recipients of the grant totaling $3 million.

A partnership between the three universities will be established and offer entrepreneurship career opportunities for the universities’ 130,000 students. It will connect the university campuses, the business community, and local entrepreneurs throughout the state, along with 14 other universities in the program, through its cloud-based program, to create an environment that nurtures students and provides them with the skills and network necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs, according to a release. 

GRANT HELPS EXPAND ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded in 2007 with a commitment to inspiring global entrepreneurship. It is the charitable arm of Blackstone, of the world’s leading investment firms.

Texas is the ninth region to join the Blackstone LaunchPad program. 

“ … Affiliating with a prestigious organization such as Blackstone and joining, the national network of top universities linked through Blackstone LaunchPad, along with UT Austin and Texas A&M, will raise student awareness and interest in entrepreneurship to the highest possible level,” Interim UT Dallas President Hobson Wildenthal said. “The Blackstone LaunchPad facility will be a strong attractor bringing the broad cross section of our great student body into direct contact with entrepreneurship and give them added direction and enthusiasm. It is going to make a huge difference inside and outside UT Dallas.”

UT Dallas already is making plans for its on-site, $300 thousand entrepreneurial space, which is expected to open in January 2017.

SCHOOL WILL REPURPOSE SPACE ON CAMPUS

The school will be repurposing and redesigning an existing 2,300-square-foot space on campus with an open concept design featuring glass walls and a concrete floor, said Jeremy Vickers, executive director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas.

It also will be staffed with two full-time employees to coach and mentor students and faculty.

“This grant positions the University of Texas at Dallas as a leading hub of innovation and entrepreneurship in Texas and enables the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to support faculty and study startups with resources and mentorship,” Vickers said.


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