It’s the week after graduation, which means it is officially summer. We’re still here for you and want to stay connected. We’ll continue our “Tea Talks” on a bi-weekly basis to keep conversations going around interesting topics, featuring great speakers. The newsletter will be brief and bi-weekly to keep you up in the loop on programs, activities, events, and resources. The LaunchPad remains open virtually through the summer, with the LaunchPad team and mentors available to faculty, staff, students and alumni. We are also planning an Innovation Showcase, featuring our top ventures in an east coast-west coast pitch venue. Here are five fun ways to be engaged this summer:
- Get coaching. We’re still running all programs virtually this summer, so now is the time to double down on coaching. Connect with us by e-mail LaunchPad@syr.edu to get paired up with a mentor. Our mentor list rapidly expanding through alumni and industry connections who are happy to help provide feedback and guidance. Learn more about our mentorship program here.
- Catch up on summer reading. The Blackstone Launchpad Innovation and Entrepreneurship Book Collection continues to grow, with many titles available in electronic editions. This award-winning collection, crowdsourced with the help of faculty, staff and students, is one of the most widely circulated categories of books at SU Libraries. Entrepreneurship starts with exploration, and there is no time like summer to kick back and read. Here’s a link to the Innovation and Entrepreneurship book collection.
- Earn some startup badges. Blackstone Global Fellow Nick Barba has created an ingenious badge system to track progress of LaunchPad ventures. As you continue make progress, be sure that you are connecting with our official “Badge Master” Nick to document your milestones and award you badges. The badges follow students from idea to commercialization, including badges like Incorporation, First Sale and Investment Ready. They are a fun and motivational way to track student entrepreneurs in their progress developing their business ideas. See the badge book for a full list of badges with descriptions.
- Be part of a virtual accelerator program. This summer we’ll be hosting our first virtual accelerator program for students who want to work on their business in a more intensive way. With meeting meetings and check-ins, and a more structured approach to mentor-driven venture development program. The program will start mid-June and run through late July and will include some guest speakers. If interested, e-mail us LaunchPad@syr.edu
- Apply for a Summer Startup Fellowship. As LaunchPad students approach graduation the first summer during/following the COVID-19 crisis and following economic downturn, their concerns are centered on more challenging job and internship prospects. In an effort to both distribute financial assistance and to encourage continued work on some of the most promising graduating LaunchPad startups in a remote setting, The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars network will host a unique, new opportunity for a LaunchPad Summer Startup Fellowship. The Summer Startup Fellowship program is funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation and administered through Techstars. Applications are now online here, with an application deadline of May 18, 2020. The virtual program will run June 8 through July 27, 2020. Accepted applicants will be notified by the first week of June. In this eight-week Fellowship, participants will be awarded $5,000 in grant funding to support their time working on advancing their startup companies. The Fellowship is largely self-driven, but will include weekly reporting requirements, a number of webinars to support the program, and a final report. The Fellowship is open to all current students with priority to recent graduates in the LaunchPad Network and will accept 50 participants. Learn more and apply here.