Beyond coaching and mentoring, the LaunchPad offers many opportunities for students to network, and build out their own expertise and connections.
The LaunchPad kicks off each academic year with Startup Sprints. Over the course of an action packed day, students learn how to ideate, create a business model, work with mentors, find cofounders and pitch their ideas. The events are coordinated by the LaunchPad, and often feature prize packages from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. See the Syracuse Startup Weekend video here.
Mentor Matching Programs:
Each semester the LaunchPad hosts a mentor madness matching session to help Syracuse student startups find and connect with peer mentors who can help them shape their ideas, and get them started on their own unique entrepreneurial journey.
The LaunchPad is the home of the first inclusive design and entrepreneurship program in the country. The innovative, interdisciplinary program is a partnership of the Blackstone LaunchPad Syracuse University Libraries, the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education (InclusiveU) and the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) through a generous donation by Gianfranco Zaccai ’70 H’09 and the Zaccai Foundation for Augmented Intelligence (Intelligence++). Learn more here.
Business Plan Competitions
- ‘Cuse Tank, coordinated by the LaunchPad
- Orange Tank, coordinated by the Whitman School of Management
- EO GSEA – Global Student Entrepreneurship Award
- Founders Cup, coordinated by the LaunchPad
- Impact Prize, coordinated by the LaunchPad
- Panasci Business Plan Competition, coordinated by the Whitman School of Management
- ACC InVenture Prize, coordinated by the LaunchPad
- Hult Prize, coordinated by the LaunchPad
- Raymond von Dran iPrize, coordinated by the LaunchPad for the iSchool
- Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award, coordinated by the LaunchPad
- New York Business Plan Competition
Business Assistance Days
Need help from a professional service provider? The LaunchPad schedules regular business assistance days with attorneys, accountants, insurance providers, HR experts, bankers, alternative finance experts, and other professionals who can provide expert guidance. The Syracuse University Innovation Law Center hosts regular business assistance days to help startups navigate the landscape around intellectual property protection, including how to use specialized tools in the LaunchPad such as IP.com.
An SU Libraries business, management and entrepreneurship librarian hosts weekly hours to help ventures how to research their customers, competition and market. The director of Newhouse’s Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship hosts weekly media ventures office hours to help digital ventures think through strategy. Experts from The Tech Garden, CNY Biotechnology Accelerator and the U.S. Small Business Administration are also on call.
Entrepreneurs in Residence
The LaunchPad is fortunate to benefit from the expertise of successful serial entrepreneurs from the community, as well as alumni entrepreneurs, who are in residence weekly, providing personalized coaching and connections.
Fireside Chats and Toolkit Workshops
The LaunchPad hosts bi-weekly Fireside chats with successful entrepreneurs, as well as Toolkit workshops on specialized topics with outside experts. These salon style events, styled as engaging conversations, are great opportunities to learn from great thinkers, and to network and connect.
Meetups and Networking Events
Throughout the year, the LaunchPad hosts other meetups and networking opportunities, including panel conversations, social events, book talks, discussion roundtables, mentor mixers, product demos and launches, ‘Cuse Markets, and other pop-up events in the LaunchPad. Sign up for the newsletter and follow @LaunchPadSYR on social media for notifications.
Global Entrepreneurship Week at Syracuse University
The LaunchPad coordinates an entire week of activities across campus as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in mid-November, in conjunction with the Global Entrepreneurship Network. The Syracuse community joins 10 million people in over 170 countries around the world celebrating GEW through 35,000 different events, together with an international network of more than 30,000 partners.
GEW events stimulate, inspire and encourage entrepreneurial activities, and promote creativity and collaboration through local and global activities. During GEW, alumni entrepreneurs return to campus to share their stories and inspire current students, and events across campus “jumpstart” entrepreneurial thinking and activities. The LaunchPad organizes campus collaborators to design and produce multiple events that engage faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community around innovation and entrepreneurship each year at GEW.