Blackstone LaunchPad Syracuse University wins global #WeAreEntrepreneurs campaign challenge

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The Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University is proud to have won the $5,000 first place award for the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s global #WeAreEntrepreneurs campaign.  The Foundation’s initiative sponsored the campaign across the 20 Blackstone LaunchPad universities in the United States and United Kingdom, and challenged each campus to develop content about entrepreneurship, and campus innovators.  Our Blackstone LaunchPad Syracuse University Global Media Fellows worked with LaunchPad staff to rise to the challenge.  Over a three-month campaign, we created ingenious ways to engage faculty, staff and students, and tell stories about inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs at SU.  Not only did we win, but we expanded the number of active LaunchPad program participants by 200 during the campaign.  Here’s how we did it.

Social Media Platforms Utilized

Entrepreneurs @ Blackstone LaunchPad SU

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E-Newsletters:  Startup Thinking, each Tuesday and Startup Spotlight, each Thursday

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# of students entrepreneurs who participated in campaign from across the Syracuse University campus
  • 40 student entrepreneurs were profiled in #WeAreEntrepreneurs feature stories written for the campaign by other student entrepreneurs
  • 40 student teams participated in photo booth popup at iPrize
  • 25 student teams participated in Polaroid popup at Bird Library
  • 12 student volunteers worked on the campaign, doing outreach and tabling across campus
  • 4 student entrepreneurship clubs worked on the campaign (total membership of approximately 400), with campaign promos at their meetings.

200 student entrepreneurs signed up to become new active members of the LaunchPad during the campaign, as a direct result of these outreach efforts! 

We also gained 150 Twitter followers as a direct result of the campaign.

Our Blackstone LaunchPad Global Media Fellows eam did an impressive job generating original content for the campaign, with weekly articles in Startup Thinking promoting #WeAreEntrepreneurs and Blackstone EI, along with four student feature stories each week, and articles for SU news and the Daily Orange.

# of articles written on program during the campaign  Totals for original content creation:

  • 2 articles written for BlackstoneEI Medium
  • 4 articles written for SU News
  • 4 articles written for SU Library News
  • 5 feature stories about our entrepreneurs written by the Daily Orange student newspaper
  • 10 web stories written for LaunchPadSYR distribution
  • 12 original articles for Startup Thinking
  • 40 student features for Startup Spotlight
  • 68 original posts on Facebook
  • 177 original #WeAreEntrepreneurs tweets on Twitter
Creative ways that promoted the campaign
  • We leveraged National Entrepreneurship Week to launch the campaign
  • We engaged our Blackstone Global Fellows to table across campus, visit classes, and run promotional campaigns.
  • Polaroid “WeAreEntrepreneurs popup photo booth events across campus
  • #WeLoveEntrepreneurs campaign during Valentine week, with a giant red heart that visited dean’s offices, faculty, classrooms and special events for photo ops promoting entrepreneurship
  • Co-promotions with the Entrepreneurship Club (E-Club), Vision student entrepreneurship club, TEDx Syracuse University, Women’s Business Network, Entrepreneurship Roundtable, and the IDS (Idea to Startup) group at the iSchool
  • “Out of the box” Fridays with our Global Fellows setting up interactive games to chat about entrepreneurship in popup locations around campus
  • Created a new weekly newsletter, Startup Spotlight, just to highlight student ventures, and built a student news team to go out and do 40 original entrepreneur profile feature stories.  This turned out to be a great way to entrepreneurs to meet each other, network, and learn the art of storytelling.
  • Integration of #WeAreEntrepreneurs in our weekly Startup Thinking newsletter
  • #WeAreEntrepreneurs photo popups at our business plan competitions
  • #WeAreEntrepreneurs sandwich boards around campus, created by our Blackstone Global Fellows
  • #WeAreEntrepreneurs animations and short videos, created by our Blackstone Global Fellows, that ran on LED TV displays in Bird Library
  • Creation of new page on our website featuring some of our best startup profiles
  • Daily social media posts

At our weekly team meetings, we challenged our Global Fellows to create innovative ways to promote the campaign that week, and they rose to the challenge each week.  The entire team had an enormous amount of fun with this campaign, really thought out of the box, engaged stakeholders across the entire campus, pushed creative limits, and mobilized a grassroots news team to go out and find, and tell, stories about innovators and entrepreneurs at SU.

We are confident that we touched every corner of campus with this innovative campaign!