Meet the 2023-2024 LaunchPad Team

A few new LaunchPad team members, Jacob Tilem, Kishan Rathor, Sai Bolla, and Brandon Gilbert.

Welcome to another exciting year of entrepreneurship and innovation brought to you by a dynamic new team at the Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad. Thanks to generous donor gifts to SU Libraries, this year’s student team includes roles as mentors, subject matter experts, outreach and engagement specialists, and ambassadors for diversity and inclusion. Meet the new 2023 – 2024 student team here.

This year’s team includes Global Fellows, Innovation Mentors, Innovators in Residence, Todd B. Rubin Diversity and Inclusion Scholars, a Hunter Brooks Watson Scholar, and a Hult Prize Campus Ambassador.

2023 – 2024 Innovation Mentors

Innovation Mentors serve as peer advisors to a portfolio of student startups, coaching them on strategy and venture development. They are funded through a generous gift from the Rubin Family Foundation. They include:

  • Andrew Kim, ’24, Whitman, Marketing Management and Finance
  • Natasha Lauren Brao ’23 G’24, Whitman, Marketing
  • Alan Malekar G’24 School of Information Studies, Information Systems
  • Sai Bolla G’24, School of Information Studies, Information Systems
  • Aiden Turner ’25, School of Architecture, Minoring in Real Estate at Whitman School of Management

2023 – 2024 LaunchPad Global Fellows

LaunchPad Global Fellows are subject matter experts in various disciplines such as engineering, software and data management, industrial and interaction design and product development, graphic design, web design, UX-UI, all forms of digital media and content development, as well as marketing, sales, and finance. They include:

  • Renee Kurie ’26, Maxwell, Economics and Arts and Sciences, Writing and Rhetoric
  • Christy Liu ’24, Maxwell, Policy Studies, and Newhouse; Advertising
  • Priscilla Cruz ’24, School of Information Studies, Information Technology, and Innovation, Design, and Start-ups.
  • Kishan Rathor G ’24, School of Information Studies, Data Science
  • Sarah Schreiber ’26, Maxwell, International Relations and Psychology

2023 – 2024 Blackstone LaunchPad Community Managers

The Blackstone LaunchPad is composed of students who are talented in the areas of finance, business analytics, and marketing. They are available to help student ventures and manage the backend operations of the LaunchPad and. They include:

  • Sam Schreiber ’25; Maxwell, Economics, and Whitman; Finance
  • Jacob Tilem ’25, Falk, Sport Management
  • Brandon Gilbert ’25, Falk, Sport Management
  • Di Wang G’24, Whitman, Business Analysis

2023 – 2024 Todd R. Rubin Diversity and Inclusion Scholars

Todd B. Rubin Diversity and Inclusion Scholars, funded through a generous gift from Todd B. Rubin ’04, Architecture, work to broaden diversity and inclusion outreach and programming, expand participation in entrepreneurship by underrepresented groups, and support the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. They include:

  • Ud Joseph, ’24, School of Information Studies, Information Security
  • Motolani Oladitan, ’24, College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology, and School of Information Studies; Innovation, Design and Startups.

2023 – 2024 Hunter Brooks Watson Scholar

Hunter Brooks Watson Scholars are supported through a generous gift from the Hunter Watson Memorial Fund. It is Inspired by Syracuse University’s Remembrance Scholar program and was established to honor the life and entrepreneurial spirit of Hunter Brooks Watson, a Syracuse University student who passed away after injuries suffered in a tragic 2016 distracted driving car accident. The Syracuse University Hunter Brooks Watson Scholar mentors students and builds a pipeline of innovative students who exemplify the “spirit of entrepreneurship.”  This year’s Scholar is:

  • Jack Rose ’23, Whitman, Business Administration

2023 – 2024 Syracuse University Hult Prize Campus Ambassadors

The Syracuse University Hult Prize Campus Ambassador helps organize the campus Hult Prize competition at Syracuse University. It is part of a global competition that is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize” of student impact entrepreneurship.

  • Sarah Schreiber ’26, Maxwell, International Relations and Psychology

2023 – 2024 Innovators in Residence

The LaunchPad’s Innovators in Residence are talented entrepreneurs who are incubating in the LaunchPad while providing technical assistance and mentoring to LaunchPad student ventures. They are multi-talented subject matter experts who provide guidance for students who are building ventures from the ground up. They include:

  • Jack Adler ’23, Whitman, Business Administration
  • Karla Lellis ’25, College of Law, Doctor of Judicial Science (S.J.D)

Together, the LaunchPad team provides multi-disciplinary skill sets and expansive services to help all members of the Syracuse University community explore innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and building professional and personal skill sets to succeed.

“The Libraries are grateful to SU Libraries donors for continued support for Syracuse University’s innovation community and encouraging diversity and inclusion,” said David Seaman, Dean of Syracuse University Libraries and University Librarian. “The LaunchPad is an incubation environment for students from 134 countries around the world to grow and flourish. It provides experiential opportunities for innovative students and significantly compliments what they learn in a classroom, helping them understand how to become thoughtful and engaged citizens and change-makers.”