Syracuse alum Dayanna Torres headlines CBT Startup Showcase at the LaunchPad on September 10, joined by rockstar founders

woman looking at camera

Syracuse University alum Dayanna Torres, Director, Blackstone Charitable Foundation, will deliver keynote remarks as part of the Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad CBT Startup Showcase on Friday, September 10 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. The hybrid event, hosted both in the LaunchPad at Bird Library and online via Zoom, also features conversations with a panel of rockstar innovators who are also Syracuse alumni.

Headshots of female founders

Panelists include, from left to right above:

Kelsey Davis, founder of CLLCTVE, a graduate of Techstars, and recently named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List

Victoria Lawson, founder of  Weird & Woke (digital marketing, rapid prototyping, videography, photography, and video art design firm), and Design Associate for Techstars LA and Techstars Founders Catalyst with JP Morgan

Caeresa Richardson, founder of Ecodessa

Kristina Taylor, founder of Melux

Yathniella S Lubin, founder of The Balance Sanctuary

Samadhi (Moreno- Rodriquez) Aviv, SparkCharge and innovator at Mass General Brigham

Join us in person at the LaunchPad or attend virtually by Zoom (link here to join by Zoom).

About Dayanna Torres:

Dayanna holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and rhetorical studies, a Bachelor of Science in information management and technology, a Master of Science in public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a Master of Arts degree in international relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, all from Syracuse University.  She is a member of the Syracuse University VPA Young Alumni Council and a Maxwell School Ambassador. 

As a student, she was part of the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and was actively involved in student organizations including RAICES Dance Troupe, BLISTS, The Black Voice, Citrus TV Noticias en Español and Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Senoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. always dedicated to culture, diversity, inclusion and equity. Her awards and recognition for her leadership at SU included the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO)/ Latino University Magazine Leader Award, Syracuse University Student Affairs C.O.R.E Award for Excellence in Leadership and the Syracuse University Office of Multicultural Affairs La Fuerza Community Enhancement Award. Upon graduation she went on to shape a career in social impact and equitable economic development.

Dayanna recently joined the Blackstone Charitable Foundation as the Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad Network. She brings over thirteen years of experience in higher education, nonprofit, and the public sector. In her role at the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, she helps empower entrepreneurs and bring entrepreneurial skill-building to students who need it most through the Blackstone LaunchPad program. In 2020, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced a $40 million expansion of LaunchPad to exclusively support colleges and universities that have a majority diverse population or are serving under-resourced communities. In doing so, it will increase its program from 46 to 75 campuses over the next five years. Blackstone LaunchPad will work with UNCF, the largest scholarship provider for students of color, as a strategic advisor to help identify schools for growth and develop plans to support students.

Previously she worked as a consultant and for a nonprofit intermediary playing a leading role in working with local communities to develop new partnership and investment solutions that are responsive to the unique needs of underserved neighborhoods in New York City. Prior, she formed part of the inaugural partnerships department at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), leading projects aimed to spur inclusive economic development and talent pipeline solutions for the city’s high growth industry investments, city assets undergoing Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and company expansions.    Prior to NYCEDC, she served as the Founding Manager for Single Stop at CUNY John Jay College in partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation, connecting first generation college students and their families with financial counseling, legal aid and customized support services to navigate public systems and resources. She also held roles at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) where she launched and managed partnerships that connected public housing residents with adult education and training, financial literacy and business development, and launched the Goodwill Industries Jobs Plus site and the North Bronx Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability (REES) Zone.  Prior to NYCHA, Dayanna served as the first Outreach Recruiter for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Brooklyn & Queens Mentoring Children of Prisoners program where she established partnerships with the NYC Department of Corrections and community organizations to connect youth impacted by incarceration to mentors. She started her career as HEOP undergraduate counselor at Syracuse University Office of Supportive Services. She serves on the nonprofit Board of Women Creating Change and serves as a Technical Advisor at the economic development consulting firm, Grella Partnership Strategies. 

This event is part of Welcome to Coming Back Together 2021, September 9 – 12 at Syracuse University. Starting in 1983, Coming Back Together (CBT) was the first reunion of its kind. Every three years, Black and Latino/a alumni come back to campus to celebrate their accomplishments, meet current students, and remain connected with the University.

The theme of this year’s reunion is “Celebrating 151 Years of Black and Latino/a Excellence at SU”. Over the four-day weekend, there will be numerous workshops, receptions, social events, and cultural activities. Highlights include: CBT Celebrity Classic Basketball Game, CBT Concert, CBT Lecture, CBT Tailgate on the Quad, SU Football Game vs. Rutgers University, CBT Fundraising Gala and Awards Ceremony, and the Sunday Worship Service. The Multicultural Advancement Team, along with its alumni and student reunion co-chairs, invite you to what they expect will be the best CBT ever.

See the complete CBT schedule and register here.

Can’t attend in person, but want to mentor a Syracuse University student startup? It’s easy to sign up to be a mentor here: