Blackstone LaunchPad welcomes Global Fellows


Yong Zhang “Lawrence” Lin ’19 (left) and Quentin Rene Marcel Rosso ’19 (rught) have joined the LaunchPad team as its first student Global Fellows, bringing both international perspective and startup skills. Both started ventures when they were teenagers, are recognized thought student entrepreneurship leaders, and have been speakers on the global stage.

Lin, from Beijing, has a background in the nonprofit and NGO world, working with the World Food Program while still in high school.  He was a featured speaker at the United Nations Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo, has traveled to many Southeast Asia countries as a volunteer, and is the two time recipient of the International Student Award from the Council of International Schools.  He became one of the youngest Climate Leaders trained by Al Gore as part of the Climate Reality Project.  While in high school, he founded Climate Action Generation, a social enterprise dedicated to environmental issues.  Now an Arts and Science student at Syracuse University, he also serves as an International Student Advisory Board Member for the Slutzker Center for International Services.

Rosso, from Paris, has been an entrepreneur since he was 13, and was a TEDxHECParis speaker in high school on “How I Became a Teenage Entrepreneur.”  He is a Whitman School of Management finance major, but has also quickly become recognized as an expert in IT, SEO, blogging, web development and multi-channel marketing.  His high school venture, Nirvasite, launched five years ago as a webflow of fun stuff on the Internet, from e-books to video games, film, and high-tech or personal development.  The blog had 150,000 visits per month, was ranked in the top 200 High-Tech Blogs in France by Ebuzzing, and was named among the top 50 personal blogs by Les Echos.

Since meeting as SU freshmen through the Slutzker Center, where they are both mentors to other international students, they have been ideating a venture they are developing together, called Savofair.  They developed a multimedia platform and networking community for students from around the globe to share their experiences and cultural perspective, and to also connect for travel experiences.  The team is developing its model, and over the past year has quickly grown its volunteer network of content developers to 100 collaborators from 31 countries.  It has been featured in campus news, as well as global outlets such as BuzzFeed.  While starting as a content developer, with beautifully curated articles, photos and videos from correspondents around the world, the team has now pivoted, and is exploring an on-line “sharing economy” student travel service.

Along the way, they are also serving as peer mentors to the nearly 50 ventures that are now ideating in the LaunchPad, serving as our first Blackstone Global Fellows.  They are assisting the LaunchPad with student outreach, and developing special events such as Meetups and Makers Markets to encourage more students to engage in entrepreneurship across campus.  They organize and lead programs such weekly Friday Founders Forums that bring student venture leaders together to support business model development and creative team problem solving.  As part of the Blackstone Global Fellows Council, they interface with other Blackstone campuses, and support Blackstone network challenges. They also serve as student connectors across the Syracuse University entrepreneurship ecosystem, helping the LaunchPad connect with a multitude of academic program areas.  They have been instrumental in developing the first campus-wide database of students interested in entrepreneurship, and developing a dynamic multi-channel communications program to reach the increasing number of students on the Syracuse University campus who are interested in pursing ideas around innovation and product, service and technology development.

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