PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced today that it is bringing Blackstone LaunchPad to Pennsylvania to train Philadelphia’s next generation of entrepreneurs. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s $3 million grant establishes a partnership between the University City Science Center, Temple University and Philadelphia University to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option and provide university students and alumni with the skills, knowledge, and guidance to transform new ideas into viable companies. The Pennsylvania Blackstone LaunchPad programs are expected to generate some 100 ventures and hundreds of jobs over the next five years.
Blackstone LaunchPad replicates and implements a successful program developed at the University of Miami in 2008, which has generated 85 start-up ventures, 210 new jobs and drawn nearly 2,000 participants. Since 2010, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has opened Blackstone LaunchPads on six campuses in southeast Michigan and northeast Ohio. Each regional initiative will be linked together, drawing ideas and best practices from more established programs, and giving the student entrepreneurs at Temple and Philadelphia Universities access to a stronger network of expert advisers for their ventures.
“Entrepreneurship is a job multiplier. Our economy cannot create jobs or improve income quickly enough without more successful entrepreneurs. Through Blackstone LaunchPad, we are proud to foster a new generation of entrepreneurs who will transform local economies by creating new and innovative companies,” said Blackstone’s Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Stephen A. Schwarzman.
From new facilities at Temple University and Philadelphia University, Blackstone LaunchPad will multiply the connections between the campus, business communities, and local entrepreneurs to create an environment that nurtures young entrepreneurs and provides them the skills and network necessary to succeed. Unlike traditional college curricular programs available to limited school populations, Blackstone LaunchPad is open to all 41,000 students at Temple and Philadelphia University, regardless of major. Through the campus and Science Center partnership, students and alumni will have access to an expanded universe of resources and years of institutional knowledge, helping them launch ventures that can take root locally and strengthen the economy.
Philadelphia was chosen as the next region for a Blackstone LaunchPad because of its critical need for economic growth and job creation. This coupled with its dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem, where talent is abundant, and a strong set of support services are already in place made Philadelphia ripe for Blackstone Launchpad. Temple and Philadelphia Universities are two schools that already possess a rich entrepreneurial spirit, and as the first, and largest, urban research park in the United States, the Science Center is a natural partner for this initiative. Graduate organizations and current residents of the Science Center’s Port business incubator have created more than 15,000 current direct jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. The Science Center’s established relationships, network and preexisting experience managing partnerships among various institutions make it well suited to manage the Blackstone LaunchPad program in Philadelphia.
Funding for this program is made possible through The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s $50 million, five-year Entrepreneurship Initiative. Driven by the urgent need for job growth in the United States, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation seeks to support innovative projects and catalytic ideas that can accelerate start-ups, job growth and economic activity. Due to the early success of these programs and The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s commitment to expanding LaunchPad to five new regions over the next five years, LaunchPad has been recognized by President Obama’s “Startup America Initiative.”
What They Are Saying: A Quote Roundup
Governor Tom Corbett
"We are working hard to create jobs for workers today, but we must nurture tomorrow's companies and job creators. We want firms that can grow and succeed right here in Pennsylvania. Blackstone LaunchPad encourages our most talented students to learn about entrepreneurship and begin their careers here. It's the kind of program that deepens Pennsylvania's status on the entrepreneurship map."
Mayor Michael A. Nutter
"We are very excited that Blackstone has chosen Philadelphia as the next location for the 'Blackstone LaunchPad' initiative," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. "Philadelphia has all of the assets necessary to be an entrepreneurial hub and is fast becoming a place of choice for innovators, makers and founders. Blackstone LaunchPad - coupled with our new Startup PHL initiative - are just the latest efforts to support entrepreneurs, small businesses, and job creation in Philadelphia. Congratulations to Blackstone, the Science Center, Temple University and Philadelphia University on this exciting new initiative."
Senator Bob Casey
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, so the LaunchPad program of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is a wonderful opportunity for future entrepreneurs in Philadelphia,” said Senator Casey. “In Pennsylvania alone there are nearly 250,000 small businesses – four out of every five firms in the state. That’s why it’s important to give students the resources they need to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into real, successful businesses.”
Senator Pat Toomey
“Our system of free enterprise needs – and thrives on – those individuals who are willing to innovate, take risks and start new businesses. They pave the path to more and better jobs and a stronger, healthier economy in Southeast Pennsylvania. I’m pleased that The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is partnering with some of the city’s finest universities to make this investment in Pennsylvania’s entrepreneurs and future job creators.”
Congressman Chaka Fattah
Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA-02), a champion for entrepreneurship as senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee for commerce and scientific research, joined the announcement ceremony to welcome the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to Philadelphia.
“Entrepreneurs are the men and women who will lead us to winning the future in a competitive global economy,” Fattah said. “Blackstone LaunchPad is entrepreneurship squared, infusing these outstanding educational institutions with the blueprint and the means to train today’s brightest students for economic and manufacturing leadership tomorrow. Thanks Blackstone: Planting LaunchPad in Philadelphia is the right move in the right place.”
Stephen S. Tang, President and CEO of University City Science Center
“At the Science Center we excel at developing communities and making connections. We look forward to connecting the community of student entrepreneurs at Temple and Philadelphia University to the advisers and networks that will help them develop their ventures and their skills," said Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA, President and CEO of the University City Science Center. “We hope the connections these student entrepreneurs make and the networks they build through the Blackstone LaunchPad program will give them one more reason to remain in the region after they graduate.”
Richard Englert, Acting President of Temple University
"The Blackstone LaunchPad is a tremendous opportunity for Temple University. This initiative will significantly enhance our ability to spread entrepreneurship across campus, and work with significantly more students to develop their entrepreneurial thinking and skillsets. As a result, our students will be well positioned to recognize entrepreneurial opportunity and develop their own ventures while creating jobs for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the nation," said Acting President Richard M. Englert.
Stephen Spinelli, President of Philadelphia University
“Blackstone LaunchPad’s leadership in entrepreneurship partnered with Philadelphia University’s leadership in innovation will be a powerful combination to create new opportunities for our students to become entrepreneurs and amplify their impact on our economy and the world,” said Philadelphia University President Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D. “Our partnership with Blackstone will create a new hub for Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial assets, further enabling our students to become the leaders of tomorrow.”
About The Blackstone Charitable Foundation
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of The Blackstone Group’s Initial Public Offering in 2007 with substantial commitments from the Firm’s employees. Influenced by the enterprising heritage of the firm and its founders, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is directing its resources and applying the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship in areas hardest hit by the global economic crisis. Through its investment expertise across several asset classes and geographies, Blackstone has a unique perspective on the global economy and a heightened understanding of how entrepreneurial activity is often the crucial catalyst in the growth of successful businesses, industries and communities. (For more information, see www.blackstone.com/CharitableFoundation.htm)
About University City Science Center
The University City Science Center supports entrepreneurship, innovation and technology commercialization in the life sciences and emerging technologies by providing office and lab space, access to investors and business-building advice, and a community of entrepreneurship and innovation. Together, this support helps companies move technology into the marketplace where it can have a positive impact on people’s lives. Established in 1963 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, the Science Center is the oldest and largest urban research park in the United States. Graduate organizations and current residents of the Science Center’s Port business incubator have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. The Science Center will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013. For more information, go to www.sciencecenter.org.
About Temple University
Temple University is one of the leading urban public comprehensive research universities in America. Founded in Philadelphia in 1884 by Russell Conwell, Temple now enrolls nearly 39,000 students at campuses on three continents. The university offers more than 300 degree programs, making it the nation's 28th largest university and fourth largest provider of professional education. Temple is dedicated to offering an excellent education that is both accessible and affordable.
About Philadelphia University
Philadelphia University, founded in 1884, is the model for professional university education in the 21st century. Today, it is a private university with 3,600 students enrolled in more than 60 undergraduate and graduate programs in the innovative Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce; the College of Architecture and the Built Environment; and the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts, as well as in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. With its award-winning curriculum and outstanding, collaborative and state-of-the-profession faculty, Philadelphia University prepares students to be leaders at every level of their careers through its Nexus Learning approach – active, collaborative, connected to the real world and infused with the liberal arts. It is an approach that focuses on innovation and providing students with an academic experience that will give them a real competitive advantage. For more information, go to www.philau.edu.