The LaunchPad welcomes 29 Class of 2021 graduates to the Founders Circle

The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars has inducted 29 new graduate and undergraduate members of the Syracuse University Class of 2021 to its Founders Circle.  The annual distinction honors students who launched ventures during their Syracuse University careers and also contributed to building the LaunchPad community at SU Libraries.  Founders Circle members serve as alumni role models for future student entrepreneurs and the award exemplifies their passion for innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Founders Circle Class of 2021 include:

  • Aanya Singh. Newhouse & Whitman
  • Bruno Andres Gonzalez Hauger, Newhouse & Whitman
  • Cassianne Cavallaro, VPA Illustration
  • Daniel Green, iSchool
  • Emma Rothman, Food Studies, Falk
  • Erica Morrison, Newhouse & Whitman
  • Erica Jules, VPA Industrial and Interaction Design
  • Ethan Clearfield, VPA Museum Studies
  • Ethan Tyo, Food Studies, Falk
  • Gokul Beeda, VPA Industrial and Interaction Design
  • James Rudman, iSchool
  • Jules Moskowitz, Newhouse
  • Kyra Thomas, Engineering and Computer Science
  • Madison Worden, VPA Industrial and Interaction Design
  • Max Freund, Newhouse & Whitman
  • Patrick Prioletti, graduate program in Applied Data Science, iSchool
  • Patrick Linehan, Newhouse
  • Raul Guardans, VPA Acting
  • Ricardo Sanchez, VPA Industrial and Interaction Design
  • Russell Fearon, graduate program in Engineering and Computer Science
  • Ryan Ondocin, graduate program in Applied Data Science, iSchool
  • Sam Chazen, Whitman
  • Sam Hollander, Newhouse & Whitman
  • Sardor Askarov, Whitman
  • Shawn Gaetano, iSchool
  • Sloane Sexton, VPA Communications Design
  • Vaishnavi Subhedar, graduate program in Engineering and Computer Science
  • Zain Elwakil, Architecture
  • Zero Lin, Newhouse & Maxwell

The Founders Circle was started by Quentin Rosso ’18 Whitman who is co-founder of Gamercraft.  Rosso was named Student Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018 by the Whitman School of Management, founded four ventures as a member of the Syracuse University LaunchPad, and also created the Blackstone LaunchPad Global Fellows program.  He went on to co-found Gamercraft with another LaunchPad Founders Circle member Jose Javier “JJ” Garcia-Rovira ’19 Whitman.  Both Rosso and Garcia-Rovira continue to mentor LaunchPad student startups and have been frequent speakers at Syracuse University LaunchPad events.

See the complete list of Founders Circle alumni members here:

Nearly 5,000 students have participated in the Syracuse University LaunchPad program over the past five years.  They have launched more than 125 companies, raised more than $43 million in outside investment and won more than $3.5 million in business competitions.  Four were named to Forbes 30 Under 30 This Year.  They have had stories about them in Adweek, Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, GeekWire, Mashable, New York Times, Newsweek, TechCrunch, Venture Beat and WIRED.

They have launched their own companies in sectors like food, fashion, health, fitness, e-commerce, clean tech, medtech, media and entertainment, gaming, advanced tech like VR/AR and AI, blockchain, data analytics and the Internet of Things. And as they’ve grown, they have hired SU interns and SU graduates as full time employees.  This past year, in a pandemic, they raised more than $7 million in venture funding, which was no small feat.

Besides launching ventures, they’ve been hired by some of the leading innovation companies in the world like Virgin Orbit, Tesla, Amazon, Google, Deloitte Innovation, Netflix, Relativity Space and Millenium Space Systems, Johnson & Johnson medical innovation, Brain Lab at Memorial Sloan Ketting, and more.

The Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library is Syracuse University’s innovation hub, connecting the 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 venture creation and taking ideas for products, services or technologies from concept to commercialization. The program prepares participants to be trailblazers in an entrepreneurial world, and to launch lives and careers, as well as successful startup ventures.