Todd B. Rubin ’04 Establishes Grant for Blackstone LaunchPad Innovation Mentors

Innovation Mentors

Todd B. Rubin ’04 (School of Architecture), Minister of Evolution and President of The Republic of Tea, established a grant through his family’s foundation, The Rubin Family Foundation, for the 2019-2020 academic year for five “Rubin Family Innovation Mentors” at Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries (LaunchPad). The grant will fund part-time employment of current Syracuse University students who are successful LaunchPad entrepreneurs to support student startup efforts.

“The Republic of Tea’s Charter states:  As an organization and as individuals, we must continually learn, grow and innovate in order to progress, succeed and accomplish our goals. We are excited as a family to support not only Syracuse University, but also these inspiring students. These talented leaders will learn the critical life-skills while being a part of the University’s ecosystem by giving back to their peers through entrepreneurial mentorship. I am proud that this continuous shared learning will help each student be successful in achieving their dreams and goals,” said Todd Rubin.

The five Rubin Family Innovation Mentors for the coming academic year are:

  • David Fox ’19 (School of Information Studies), Global Media Fellow, founder of Jumpstart Marketing, and currently enrolled in Syracuse University’s College of Law;
  • Kelsey Davis ’19 (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications), co-founder of CLLCTVE, and currently enrolled in Martin J. Whitman graduate EEE program;
  • 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.

The mentors will provide multi-disciplinary skill sets to help student startups develop business model roadmaps, and connect student innovators to the university’s robust network of entrepreneurial resources.  Developing a peer learning community will greatly expand the LaunchPad’s capacity to serve even more students.

“As part of Syracuse University, the LaunchPad provides students with experiential learning opportunities. Each of these Innovation Mentors have successfully brought a concept to commercialization, and have experience competing and winning University-wide, state and/or national competitions. LaunchPad students will greatly benefit from learning the ropes from a peer entrepreneur with similar recent experiences,” said Dean of Libraries and University Librarian David Seaman.

Photo of The Rubin Family Innovation Mentors:  Left to right, Matt Schumer, Quinn King, Alec Gillinder, Kelsey Davis, David Fox

About the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries:

The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars in Bird Library is Syracuse University’s innovation hub, connecting the entire University’s resource-rich ecosystem with a global network that provides support for aspiring entrepreneurs, inventors and creators. The program serves faculty, staff, students, and alumni across disciplines who are interested in innovation, invention, entrepreneurship, venture creation, and taking ideas from concept to commercialization. The program supports a key pillar of Syracuse University’s Academic Strategic Plan to create an innovation ecosystem across the institution that prepares participants to be trailblazers in an entrepreneurial world.