Applications open for The Rubin Family Innovation Mentors thanks to a gift from The Rubin Family Foundation

Innovation mentors
Photo of 2019-2020 Rubin Family Innovation Mentors:
Left to right, Matt Schumer, Quinn King, Alec Gillinder, Kelsey Davis and David Fox

The LaunchPad at SU Libraries is now accepting applications and nominations for the second class of The Rubin Family Innovation Mentors for the 2020-21 academic year. The program is funded through a gift facilitated by Todd B. Rubin ’04 (School of Architecture), Minister of Evolution and President of The Republic of Tea. The gift from The Rubin Family Foundation will fund part-time employment of five Syracuse University students who are seasoned entrepreneurs to peer mentor other student innovators at the LaunchPad.

Applications and nominations for undergraduate and graduate students will be accepted from every academic discipline. Applications are online here.

“We are excited as a family to continue supporting inspiring entrepreneurial students at Syracuse University,” said Rubin. “I’ve seen the inaugural class of The Rubin Family Innovation Mentors grow personally and professionally, while teaching life and leadership skills to so many other student entrepreneurs. The entire ecosystem benefits from this kind of community building. Our family believes in entrepreneurial mentorship that helps students achieve their dreams and goals, and we have been impressed with their many accomplishments over this past year, along with the leadership provided by the LaunchPad’s executive director, Linda Dickerson Hartsock.”

The Rubin Family Innovation Mentors provide multi-disciplinary skill sets to help student innovators learn both hard and soft skills to launch businesses and careers. Building a peer mentoring and learning community greatly expands the LaunchPad’s capacity to serve even more students.

The five Rubin Family Innovation Mentors for the past academic year were:

  • David Fox ’19 (School of Information Studies) and student at Syracuse University’s College of Law, co-founder of Smarta;
  • Kelsey Davis G ’20 (Whitman) and ’19 (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications), co-founder of CLLCTVE;
  • Alec Gillinder ’20, an industrial and interaction design major in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and co-founder of MedUX LLC;
  • Quinn King ’20, an industrial and interaction design major in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and co-founder of MedUX LLC; and
  • Matt Shumer ’22 an entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises major in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, and founder of Visos VR.

Together, they mentored more than 50 student teams, organized and ran Startup Weekend and Mentor Madness, prepared teams for campus, state and national competitions, and helped them with research and discovery, team building, goal setting and achieving milestones. Along the way, The Rubin Family Innovation Mentors also continued to build their own ventures, win national awards, and raise investment to take their ideas from concept to commercialization.

“The LaunchPad provides students with experiential opportunities that compliment what they learn in a classroom,” said Dean of Libraries and University Librarian David Seaman. “Learning these personal characteristics and practical skills help them become better global citizens. We are very grateful to The Rubin Family Foundation for continuing to support the university’s innovation hub at Bird Library which has become the campus crossroads of exploration and discovery.”

“LaunchPad alumni achieve success after graduation, whatever path they pursue,” added Hartsock.  “They are distinguishing themselves as business and civic leaders who create meaningful impact around the world. Todd and his family are helping to create a culture of giving that inspires young alumni to remain engaged and give back to Syracuse University as they mentor the next generation of student innovators.”

The Rubin Family Innovation Mentors class of 2019-2020 will be part of the selection committee to pick the next five mentors for the coming academic year.