Earlier this month a group of Blackstone LaunchPad student entrepreneurs and alumni met up at the 2018 Blackstone LaunchPad Techstars Training Camp at Hudson Yards in New York City. The event, sponsored by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, and coordinated by the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars partnership, was a great opportunity to bring together some of Syracuse University’s rockstar LaunchPad alumni and rising LaunchPad student talent, along with LaunchPad SU Global Fellows past and present. The training camp truly exemplified the “LaunchPad – Techstars for Life” and #GiveFirst mantra, focusing on our shared value system grounded in community building. The Syracuse team left energized, inspired, and grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a powerful global network.
During the two-day conference, top collegiate entrepreneurs from the Blackstone LaunchPad, powered by Techstars global network across the United States and the UK, heard from thought leaders, industry experts, award-winning authors, investors and mentors. Additionally, they met participants from across the 20-university Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars network.
A team from each LaunchPad across the global network could pitch to be considered for the first ever Blackstone LaunchPad – Techstars intensive student cohort program. Tay Lotte, co-founder of RAVLE pitched for Syracuse University, and wowed the audience with her presentation on RAVLE’s travel platform that pairs top travel filmmakers with travel destinations to produce high quality content that leads to instant bookings. She joined 17 other amazing founders from across the global network, showcasing innovative products, services and technologies being developed by LaunchPad startups.
The training camp built on a new Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Techstars partnership that is helping improve the chances of success for LaunchPad participants by providing them resources seldom available to collegiate entrepreneurs. Techstars provides LaunchPad participants access to its network of more than 10,000 mentors, and will take Techstars’ proven methodology for startups to help collegiate entrepreneurs navigate the complex landscape of fundraising, recruiting, and other entrepreneurial pain points.
Training camp opening speaker was SU alumn Josh Aviv, founder of SparkCharge, who “graduated” from the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University. Aviv won first place as a student in last year’s Blackstone LaunchPad – Techstars Training Camp Demo Day, and went on to graduate from Techstars Boston, and win $1M from the 43North startup competition.
Photo above: Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars Syracuse University alumni and student entrepreneurs meet up for training camp in NYC, and a networking reception sponsored by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Josh Aviv speaking at the training camp kick-off.
2018 LaunchPad Training Camp: Collegiate Entrepreneurs Turning Innovative Ideas into Growing Businesses
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, but with support, resources and guidance, anything is possible. Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars aims to supercharge more than 500,000 college students globally to help them develop entrepreneurial skills and enable them to independently achieve success in whatever venture they pursue.
Blackstone Charitable Foundation continued its promising and growing collaboration with Techstars by bringing together more than 70 collegiate entrepreneurs from across the US and Ireland for the 2018 LaunchPad Training Camp.
These creative and driven student teams got the exciting opportunity to take their ventures to the next level through insightful mentoring sessions and inspiring talks and pitches, all while experiencing beautiful views of New York City. They learned how to be an effective CEO from Blackstone’s Vern Perry and Cycle for Survival’s David Linn, got tips on thriving as a millennial from author Lindsey Pollack, got inside the process of creating a brand identity with Brand Solutions’ Chuck Pettis, heard advice on how to be fearless from author and CEO of the Case Foundation Jean Case, discovered the importance of tracking performance with kpiReady’s Alison Goldstein, and much more.
After the comprehensive two-day training camp, seven of the 18 student ventures will earn a spot in a new, 10-week virtual and intensive mentoring program. Participating in this cohort will give students access to a worldwide mentor network and help them break down barriers to growth and sustainability for their businesses.
Meet the 18 ventures that gave compelling pitches during the training camp in the hopes of becoming one of the lucky seven.
Combplex, founded by Cornell University’s Hailey Scofield and Nathan Oakes, is an innovative solution to beekeepers’ number one challenge: fighting the parasites killing their bees.
Soriya, founded by Thomas Jefferson University’s Elizabeth Schoenberg and Matthew Sharayko, created a system of products to treat scalp psoriasis and other skin diseases requiring treatment with topical medications.
Sellout, founded by Montana State University’s Joel Martin and Henry Vinson, is a next-gen digital ticketing platform built to protect fans from predatory ticket resellers and fraud while elevating promoters’ ability to facilitate unforgettable experiences.
My Wellbeing, founded by New York University’s Alyssa Petersel, matches therapy-seekers with compatible therapists and coaches in NYC.
SteriCISION, founded by NUI Galway’s Barry McCann and led by Padraig Maher and Maire Therese Maher, is a developing a novel medical device to make caesarean delivery a safer and more superior surgery.
Ravle, founded by Syracuse University’s Kevin Rieck and Tay Lotte, helps travel organizations reach and acquire new visitors by giving them the technology to co-create and share travel content creators’ adventures as interactive video itineraries in their digital marketing streams.
CALM, founded by Temple University’s Daniel Couser, is a small device that uses pulses of vibrations to influence the brain and de-escalate rising stress and anxiety attacks.
Bezoar Laboratories, founded by Texas A&M University’s Elizabeth Latham and Grace Tsai, is an R&D company developing microbiological solutions to the world’s problems, starting with climate change.
Luminary Hub, founded by Trinity College Dublin’s Joshua Mckee, Gabriel Ogundipe, and Vahe Sasunts, is a high-end digital consultancy and web development company for small- and medium-sized enterprises that leverages the untapped talent pool of graduate and undergraduate students.
MASH (Make All Students Happy), founded by the University of Albany’s Tiran Koren, is an interactive platform that advertises local businesses to its members through gamification, giveaways, prizes, and constant discounts.
Storillo, founded by the University of Buffalo’s Tim Adowski and Thomas Wilkie, is an education management platform that streamlines the design, assignment, and evaluation of group work for teachers, while making it more equitable and educational for their students.
Habitus Posture, founded by Ed Harnett and Breffni Allen of the University College Cork in Ireland, is a revolutionary wearable health technology that aims to rectify posture related illness for seated employees globally.
ClassCalc, founded by UCLA’s Daniel Haiem, is building an upgraded suite of math tools for students and teachers using cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence.
Wawwe, Inc., founded by the University of Central Florida’s Rafaela Frota, is a data-driven, mobile virtual assistant that makes it easy and fun to eat healthily.
Moxie Nosh, founded by the University of Montana’s Bridget Baxter, is helping people make better food choices with nut butters that are handmade in small batches, and free of added sugars, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives.
Inline Digital, Inc., founded by the University of Southern California’s Benjamin Choe and Grant Lacy, is redefining the wholesale process to automate, digitize and expedite previously manual and outdated processes in any industry in which physical B2B transactions occur.
Shower Stream, founded by Ian Howard of the University of Texas at Austin, is a smart shower
head adapter that installs as easy as a light bulb, saves the waste, proves the savings via a web interface and is completely unobtrusive to the user.
Aireal, founded by Kevin Hart of the University of Texas at Dallas, is an augmented reality platform that allows for 2D or 3D digital content to be placed anywhere in the world at longitude, latitude and altitude coordinates.