The Blackstone LaunchPad welcomes Michael McCormack ’20 and Audrey Miller ’20 to the Global Media Fellows team for 2018.
Audrey Miller is a sophomore Political Science and International Relations major. Her engagement with the LaunchPad began in the fall semester of her freshman year. She spent her time working in the LaunchPad through Thrive Projects, a student startup focused on empowering communities through sustainable development and training. After working with Thrive Projects and its initiatives in Nepal, Audrey, along with other student entrepreneurs such as Amanda Chou ’18 (another Blackstone LaunchPad Global Media Fellow), created Thrive at SU in spring 2017.
Thrive at SU is a registered student organization (RSO), based out of the LaunchPad, that works with local Syracuse non-profit programs to help bridge the gap between the campus community and the surrounding city of Syracuse. It is separate from Thrive Projects which is a global nonprofit organization founded by SU alumni Brian Kam, Joshua Moon and Ryan Brinkerhoff. Thrive at SU is focused locally, and works to promote social entrepreneurship across campus and in the community. One such effort this past year included a major fundraiser, the “Thrive Together Fair,” which befitted local refugee initiatives through Interfaith Works.
As a Blackstone Global Media Fellow, Audrey’s main focus will be on outreach and marketing. She will be helping to build and launch a campaign specifically tailored to raise the awareness of the LaunchPad’s existence, and to help ignite that passion of students who are interested in the startup and business development landscape. She will help connect aspiring entrepreneurs to the resources available to them in the LaunchPad, and most importantly, how to go about using them.
Michael McCormack is a sophomore majoring in Finance and Cognitive Psychology, and is currently starting a venture in the telecommunications space utilizing blockchain technology. He has started multiple companies ranging from selling sneakers in the secondary market to operating a music blog website connecting and sharing with local artists in the Chicagoland area of Illinois. Entrepreneurship is his life and art is his love. And the LaunchPad is just that to him — a wonderful combination of those two forces.
Michael was introduced to the LaunchPad scene by fellow entrepreneur and gamer, Angelo (AJ) Damiano, founder of PowerSpike. While catching up over coffee in Cafe Kubal and sharing stories, Michael hinted at an idea that he had been toying with while working over the summer regarding the new and emerging blockchain technology. Angelo stopped the conversation and walked Michael over to the LaunchPad, where a door was opened to a whole new world of people who love to learn, work, create, and share ideas and build. Ever since then, Michael has made the LaunchPad his second home, working and learning and hanging out with fellow entrepreneurially minded students. Now, as a Blackstone LaunchPad Global Media Fellow, he will help tell their stories.
Besides being a LaunchPad Global Media Fellow, Michael is one of the founders and organizers of the new Blockchain club, based out of the Blackstone LaunchPad. The club meets each Wednesday evening in the LaunchPad and explores the inner workings of blockchain, what it is, how it works, and its applications in business. It is working on a number of entrepreneurial projects relating to blockchain.
As entrepreneurs and student organization leaders, Michael and Audrey are no strangers to the LaunchPad, which is why it is particularly exciting to add them to the team this semester. We are looking forward to the network connections they help make for students from all disciplines who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Story by Michael McCormack, Blackstone LaunchPad Global Media Fellow
Photos by Amanda Chou, Blackstone LaunchPad Global Media Fellow