Join Alan Rosenhoch for an October 12 Fireside Chat on Impact Entrepreneurship

Alan Rosenhoch, Managing Director of Endeavor Western New York (EWNY), an affiliate office
of Endeavor Global, the leading global community for high-impact entrepreneurs, will be the
featured speaker at a Fireside Chat on Thursday, October 12 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. at Bird
Library, Room 004, in partnership with Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and
Blackstone LaunchPad at SU Libraries. Attend the chat and learn about impact
entrepreneurship and its role in transforming local economies. Register here

EWNY identifies and selects the top entrepreneurs in and around Buffalo, Rochester, and
Upstate NY, providing curated connections into its global network of deeply experienced
entrepreneurs, mentors, and capital providers. These invaluable resources and connections
accelerate their growth and provide them a platform to pay-it-forward, thereby multiplying their
impact in their ecosystem.

Prior to EWNY, Alan spent 12 years in business development for Invest Buffalo Niagara, the
private, non-profit business attraction organization, driving job growth and capital investment in
the eight-county Buffalo Niagara region. He studied political science and sociology at the
University of Toronto, before pursuing his MBA at the University at Buffalo. Alan is an avid fan of
the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, enjoys playing competitive soccer and traveling. He lives in Buffalo
with his wife and two young daughters.

Organized by Azadeh Tajdar (PhD), Professor of Practice in Community Impact at Syracuse
University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Sarah Schreiber ’26 (Maxwell), Syracuse
University LaunchPad Global Fellow and Hult Prize Campus Director for 2023-2024

Kelsey Davis ’19 G’20, takes the stage at Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad Ideas Festival on Sept 15

Photograph of Kelsey Davis by @jdthecombo for @hellobeautiful x @madamenoire.

Syracuse University LaunchPad alumni Kelsey Davis ’19 G ’20, Founder and CEO of CLLCTVE, is visiting from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and will give welcome remarks to kick off the Ideas Festival, a 60-second fast pitch fest designed for innovative students who are just testing out first ideas. Join the live event on Friday, September 15 at 12:00 p.m. in Peter Graham (Room 114), or register to pitch here.

Davis studied television, radio, and film at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and earned an M.S. in entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. She is the founder and CEO of CLLCTVE, a portfolio platform connecting creators, and was involved with Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University Libraries. Her impressive startup experiences got her featured as a GenZ leader in Forbes 30 Under 30, Adweek, and The New York Times. and more. She was also named one of 2022’s Influential Leaders by AACSB International, the accrediting body of business schools.

It is being organized by Innovation Mentor Andrew Kim ’24 (Whitman). “Kelsey has always been a celebrity name in the LaunchPad ever since I stepped foot in the glass box. I am very excited to have her speak at the Ideas Festival, especially in front of new and aspiring entrepreneurs potentially taking on their first competition ever. Kelsey has years of experience in the start-up space and her knowledge is truly valuable. Even if students don’t compete, coming to the event to see and learn from Kelsey is well worth the time,” says Kim.

Kim has dedicated his time at the LaunchPad to engage students from across campus, particularly those from underrepresented groups, to feel welcome taking the first step and exploring the realm of innovation, ideation, and team-building.

Participating teams will have the opportunity to win $500 in cash prizes. Winners of the on-campus competition with have the opportunity to participate in the national round of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s IDEAS Competition with a grand prize of $10,000.

All are welcome to attend and hear from Kelsey Davis or support the student teams.

Office Hours with Business Librarian Steph McReynolds in the LaunchPad

Interested in business research databases for your business idea, project, or paper? Starting September 13, 2023, drop by the LaunchPad in Bird Library on Wednesdays from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm to meet with Librarian for Business, Management, and Entrepreneurship, Steph McReynolds. Students, staff, and faculty are welcome to stop by and ask questions or just say “Hello!” Drop-in office hours will be held September 8 throughout Spring 2024.

Karla Lellis offers data privacy office hours in the LaunchPad

The Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad is pleased to welcome Karla Lellis ’25, Doctor of Judicial Science (S.J.D) at the College of Law, as an Innovator-in-Residence. Karla will offer seven office hours on Fridays starting September 8 through December 1, 2023 at 1 p.m. in the LaunchPad in Bird Library.

Data Privacy Office Hours Schedule

  • September 8, 2023, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • September 22, 2023, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • October 6, 2023, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • October 20, 2023, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • October 27, 2023, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • November 17, 2023, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • December 1, 2023, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Karla has been an active member of the LaunchPad. Her office hours will provide startups with a foundational understanding of data protection principles, regulations, and best practices for small and medium-sized companies (SBS). in New York.

Karla Lellis is a Brazilian lawyer and professor specializing in Compliance, Data Privacy, and Cybersecurity, with a strong passion for technology. She is dedicated to assisting companies and individuals in implementing effective data protection measures to safeguard their privacy. Her Compliance and Technology Law expertise has guided organizations in meeting regulatory requirements and ensuring ethical practices. As a Data Privacy Advocate, she offers risk management advice on cybersecurity implications.

Her professional philosophy revolves around empowering individuals and organizations to embrace data protection as a fundamental right. As Innovator-in-Residence, she has developed the “DataSafe for Startups” workshop series to bridge the gap between data privacy regulations and emerging businesses, which is focused on equipping startups with the necessary tools to implement comprehensive privacy strategies. Learn more.

“DataSafe for Startups” Schedule

  • Data Protection Policies for Startups on September 25, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. Register here
  • Responding to Data Incidents in Small Business on October 2, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. Register here
  • Data Protection Policies for Startups on October 23, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. Register here
  • Responding to Data Incidents in Small Business on October 30, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. Register here

All students, staff, and faculty are welcome to stop by and ask questions or just say “Hello!”

Applications are now open for Ideas Fest

Do you have a business idea somewhere in your notebook? Have you plotted out a great idea with a friend, but find yourself stuck on what to do next? Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad Ideas Fest on Friday, September 15th at 12:00 p.m. in Bird Library could give you a chance to win up to $500 and support you in turning that idea into something bigger. Go to this link to apply before September 13, 2023.

The event will be a 60-second fast pitch fest designed for students who are just testing out first ideas and aren’t yet ready for prime-time business plan competitions.  You don’t need a business plan, or a pitch deck, or a polished pitch.  But you have to be “in it to win it.” 

The format is simple:  What is the problem or opportunity you are working on, and what is your idea?  Refreshments will be served, and fun prizes will be awarded for best idea and audience choice. Each entrant will win a free personal consultation on their idea with the Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library. 


  • Applicants must be current students (undergraduate or graduate-level) in the earliest stage of their entrepreneurial journey.
  • Applicants must be the founder or co-founder (i.e., the person with the original idea), and may apply individually or in teams of two.

With a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, the IdeasFest especially encourages students from underrepresented and under-resourced communities, from all majors offered on campus, and students who represent multiple genders and ethnicities.

The event is being organized by Innovation Mentor, Andrew Kim ’24 (Whitman).  For more info, e-mail:

Fall opportunities at the LaunchPad

four people standing together

We are looking forward to welcoming new and returning members to Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad, located on the first floor of Bird Library, this coming 2023 – 2024 academic year! This fall features a series of events with amazing guest speakers.

Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad offers collaborative space, mentorship, programing, and more, all of which is open to all Syracuse University students, alumni, and staff, with more details below.

Collaborative Space
Flexible and accessible space at Bird Library for ideation activities, co-working, team meetings, workshops, classes, training sessions and more.

Personalized coaching from an expansive and diverse network of peers, alumni and subject matter experts who can help you build personal and professional development skills, as well as shape your path to venture creation.

Technical assistance workshops, guest speakers, professional service providers, demonstration days, talent recruitment fairs, networking events, innovation challenges with leading companies, idea festivals, pitch competitions, innovation grant programs and more. View events calendar

Personnel Changes
Welcome Traci Geisler ’90, MBA/JD, the LaunchPad’s new director, who joined in March 2023. Traci has 25+ years of business and legal experience with expertise in assisting start-ups and entrepreneurs with venture development.

About Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad

The Blackstone LaunchPad connects Syracuse University’s resource-rich ecosystem with a global network. We provide technical assistance, programming and personalized mentoring within a supportive community for aspiring creators, inventors and entrepreneurs. The LaunchPad serves faculty, staff, students and recent alumni from every academic discipline interested in research and discovery, building innovation career pathways and learning principles of venture creation. The multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural program inspires and empowers future global innovation leaders who want to be trailblazers in an entrepreneurial world.

FuzeHub now accepting applications for its 2023 Commercialization Competition

Applications are now open and closes August 10, 2023 (at 4 p.m. EST).  Apply on-line here:

As part of the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund, FuzeHub will hold a New York State Commercialization Competition on October 16 and 17, 2023 in Saratoga Springs, NY, with an opportunity to win up to $150,000. This competition is intended to help small-to-medium size manufacturing and technology companies strengthen their “go-to-market” strategies as they move from new product/production method to marketplace.

FuzeHub is entering its seventh year hosting the Commercialization Competition, part of the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund. The $450,000 Commercialization Competition will feature a pitch competition showcasing innovative early-stage companies, panel discussions and networking opportunities.

Last fall, LaunchPad teams Farm to Flame Energy, Inc., and Envision Biopolymers, LLC, took home top prizes in the 2022 FuzeHub Commercialization Competition with our assistance. SparkCharge and other LaunchPad companies have also won these grants in the previous competitions.

(SparkCharge Founder Josh Aviv ’15, G’17 pictured above, far left).

FuzeHub’s Commercialization Competition was developed to support pre-revenue businesses and to target to a specific phase in a company’s product development. Funds must be used to produce, or improve upon, a working prototype or beta phase to enable the applicant to pursue additional investment and customers, leading to the commercialization of their product concept.

The Jeff Lawrence Manufacturing Innovation Fund, consisting of $1 million annually for five years, supports a set of activities designed to promote technology development and commercialization across New York State, including Manufacturing Innovation Grants, a Commercialization Competition, challenges, strategic memberships, training programs, and other resources serving small and medium sized manufacturers and companies.

FuzeHub is administering this fund as part of its role as the Empire State Development (ESD)-designated statewide Manufacturing Extension Partnership center. For more information about the Jeff Lawrence Manufacturing Innovation Fund, visit

About Jeff Lawrence

During his more than 20 years at the Center for Economic Growth, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) affiliate in the Capital Region where he served as executive vice president, and MEP Center Director, Jeff Lawrence directed programs of direct assistance to manufacturers and technology companies to increase their competitiveness. He is remembered for being an invaluable and generous mentor to many in the area’s business community and a tireless advocate for manufacturing innovation throughout New York.

Join Entrepreneurial Mindset Bootcamp with the LaunchPad at the University of Texas at Austin, applications due by Friday, May 26

Join the Launchpad at the University of Texas at Austin for an Entrepreneurial Mindset Bootcamp (EMB). It’s a four-week virtual bootcamp (meets once a week) to help undergraduate and advanced students to learn an entrepreneurial approach to work and life.

This bootcamp is for both students wanting to start their own businesses and those wanting to cultivate entrepreneurial skills for the modern workforce. Check out this 3-min video to learn more!

This event is FREE and open to all undergraduate and advanced students at any school in the Blackstone LaunchPad network.


  • Develop your confidence as an entrepreneurial leader
  • Learn tangible skills such as how to approach solving a business problem, pitching, prototyping, etc.
  • Find a community of like-minded students across the United States


  • Undergraduate or advanced student at any university within the Blackstone LaunchPad Network
  • Any major and background
  • Curious and open to learning about entrepreneurship skills
  • Open to collaborating with peers and participating in workshop exercises – this is not a lecture-based experience! 


  • Deadline to Apply: Friday, May 26th, 2023 at 11:55 PM ET
  • Program Dates (Thursdays): July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27
  • Program Time: 3:00 – 4:30 PM ET 
  • Program Location: Virtual 

Learn more here.

Photo credit: LaunchPad at UT Facebook

Global Entrepreneurship Week

Decorative graphic

This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 12 – 18, 2018 celebrates four themes— women, youth and inclusion in entrepreneurship, and connecting innovators and ecosystems from around the world.

One week each November, thousands of events in 170 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and investors.

Syracuse University is joining the celebration, powered by the Kauffman Foundation, with a lineup of campus and community events coordinated by the Blackstone LaunchPad at SU Libraries.

GEW Syracuse will showcase the rich innovation ecosystem on campus, and help connect campus entrepreneurs with local and global resource partners.  The LaunchPad will use the four themes to highlight powerful voices and innovators who promote, encourage and support the development of entrepreneurs within each of these four spaces.

  • GEW Women celebrates female entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders, investors and other startup champions, while offering opportunities to expand their networks, identify resources and share knowledge with other women around the world.
  • GEW Youth inspires and shapes the next generation of innovators, stresses the importance of entrepreneurship education, helps blaze pathways of opportunity for business and civic leaders in an entrepreneurial world.
  • GEW Inclusion highlights the work startup champions are doing around the world to minimize barriers and obstacles for entrepreneurs by maximizing inclusion, valuing diversity and promoting access for all students to enhance equity and provide a platform for innovation and inclusion.
  • GEW Ecosystem Connect supports organizations around the world like the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars that facilitate collaboration and partnership between startup ecosystems. Sharing knowledge and connecting local ecosystems with global resources, and bringing different cultural perspective together, is at the heart of building healthy and thriving entrepreneurial communities.

Here is a lineup of Syracuse events.  All are open to the community, and free unless otherwise indicated.

Follow activities on social media:  Facebook:  LaunchPadSYR and Twitter:  @LaunchPadSYR, and read more about the events on the Blackstone LaunchPad news page:

Tag posts with the official Global Entrepreneurship Week hashtag — #GEW2018.