Support Innovation at Syracuse University

Support Opportunities

There are several opportunities to support innovation at Syracuse University through SU Libraries.

There are four easy ways to help SU students interested in exploring innovation, invention and venture development. Find the list below, along with contact information for a legacy gift, or other support.

Gifts & Funding

For a legacy gift, annual gift, or to create a special donor advised fund, please contact:

Ronald Thiele
Assistant Dean for Advancement, SU Libraries
T:    315.443.2537
M:  315.560.9419

LaunchPad Innovation Fund

The LaunchPad’s Forever Orange Innovation Fund helps move student ventures from concept through research and discovery, to proof of concept and commercialization. The fund helps overcome barriers to launching potentially transformative student innovations, especially given the lack of early pre-seed funding in Upstate New York. This non-dilutive fund (not taking any equity stake), would help make funding available to the most promising student ventures on a rolling basis to help with product development, prototyping, market testing, legal or accounting needs associated with incorporation, patent work, third party testing and certification, or other specialized needs. The fund would be open to all students, from across all disciplines. An interdisciplinary team reviews requests, and students would be required to achieve milestones.

To make an annual gift to the LaunchPad Innovation Fund, visit

  1. Check “Choose a SU Libraries Fund";
  2. Check “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” – the LaunchPad Innovation Gift Fund  (this may require you to scroll down).
Student Experts in Residence / Peer Innovation Mentors

The Blackstone LaunchPad employs student entrepreneurs who are “experts in residence” to serve as mentors and coaches for student teams, enabling us to deliver specialized skill sets such as full stack software development and data analysis, finance, digital media strategy, engineering and industrial design, graphics and web development, professional writing, UX/UI, and innovation law. These not only provide meaningful employment opportunities for students across disciplines, but also a tremendous professional development experience. These students, working collaboratively, are essentially a “Startup Studio” that delivers value to other student innovators, creators and entrepreneurs across the Syracuse University innovation ecosystem.

Opportunities for support exist on an annual basis, as well as on a permanent endowed basis with naming rights, to support student Experts in Residence and Peer Innovation Mentor positions.

To discuss funding a position, please contact Ronald Thiele.

Support for Business Plan Competitions

The LaunchPad coordinates many campus competitions, as well as qualifying events that lead to prestigious state and national events. Opportunities exist to fund these competitions through corporate sponsorships or philanthropic gifts on an annual basis, or at an endowment (with naming rights).

Current campus competitions that are seeking sustained support include:

  • ‘Cuse Tank
  • Impact Prize
  • Syracuse University ACC InVenture Prize
  • Syracuse University Hult Prize
  • Compete CNY (regional qualifier for the New York State Business Plan Competition
Support for Campus Innovation and Entrepreneurship Events

The LaunchPad coordinates a robust event series, including Fireside Chats with accomplished entrepreneurs who come to campus to share their stories in a highly engaged, immersive format. Other programs include a Toolkit Workshop series with subject matter experts, and large-scale events such as the campus-wide Global Entrepreneurship Week. Opportunities exist to fund these events, through corporate sponsorships, philanthropic gifts on an annual basis, or at an endowment level (with naming rights).

To discuss funding campus innovation and entrepreneurship events, please contact Ronald Thiele.

Learn more about the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars global network at