$1M Donation Spurs Entrepreneurship Among UT Dallas Students, Staff, Alumni

PHOTO GALLERY | The opening of UTD's Blackstone LaunchPad creates the opportunity for entrepreneurial ideas to grow and foster

UTD Blackstone LaunchPad

UTDallas_University of Texas at Dallas_ Dallas Innovates is a Gold Founding SponsorWith a $1 million donation from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, The University of Texas at Dallas opened Blackstone LaunchPad, a 5,000 square-foot space on the university’s campus in Richardson. 

The facility opened in late April and is equipped with conference rooms and offices.

“Since most entrepreneurship happens in twos and threes, you’ll see lots of breakout areas to accommodate small groups of individuals,” said Bryan Chambers, the Blackstone LaunchPad program director.

“We welcome students, faculty, staff, and alumni — anyone who has an interest in learning about entrepreneurship,” Chambers said. “From the student who might have an idea but doesn’t know where to begin, all the way to our most accomplished professors who are inventing new materials in their laboratories and still need entrepreneurial-level support — our programming will be able to accommodate the entire spectrum of needs.”

“From the student who might have an idea but doesn’t know where to begin … to our most accomplished professors who are inventing new materials … [we] will be able to accommodate the entire spectrum of needs.”
Bryan Chambers 

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has set up similar programs at UT Austin and Texas A&M. The goal is to give 130,000 combined students in the state the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship and generate as many as 4,000 new ventures and 9,000 jobs in Texas.

Blackstone LaunchPad at UT Dallas is part of the university’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, led by Steve Guengerich, its executive director.

“In addition to serving as an entrepreneurial center of gravity for UT Dallas and North Texas, Blackstone LaunchPad is very complementary with our highly ranked academic programs, headlined by UT Dallas’ top 25-ranked master’s degree in entrepreneurship,” Guengerich said.

PHOTO GALLERY

UTD focuses on entrepreneurship for its students, staff, and alumni by opening the new Blackstone LaunchPad. 

UTD Blackstone LaunchPad

The new Blackstone LaunchPad facility focuses on flexible, collaborative space where innovators can meet in groups large and small, with amenities, such as a kitchen, that will allow work to continue regardless of the time of day. [Photo: Courtesy of UTD]

UTD Blackstone LaunchPad

Rafael Martín, interim vice president for research at UT Dallas, said university founders Cecil H. Green, J. Erik Jonsson, and Eugene McDermott would have been delighted with the Blackstone LaunchPad initiative. “Our founders were entrepreneurs, and our growth as an institution is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that they imprinted on our institutional DNA.” [Photo: Courtesy of UTD]

UTD Blackstone LaunchPad

Cosmunity CEO and co-founder Cole Egger, along with student co-founders Chance Hudson and Zac Cooner, introduced attendees to their app, which received a $25,000 grant from the UT Dallas Seed Fund. [Photo: Courtesy of UTD]

UTD Blackstone LaunchPad

Will White, co-founder of TraceIT, talked to ceremony attendees about the value of innovation education. He and co-founder Kiran Devaprasad were both students in the UT Dallas Executive MBA and MS/Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs when they developed a geo-location service for the transport industry and won the 2015 Business Idea competition, graduate division, at UT Dallas. [Photo: Courtesy of UTD]

UTD Blackstone LaunchPad

Steve Guengerich, executive director of UT Dallas’ Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, explains the benefits of the Blackstone LaunchPad facility to 150 people who attended the space’s official opening. [Photo: Courtesy of UTD]

UTD Blackstone LaunchPad

UT Dallas built out space for Blackstone LaunchPad near residence halls on the north side of campus, giving it high visibility to budding entrepreneurs walking by. [Photo: Courtesy of UTD]

 


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