Blackstone LaunchPad Program

Entrepreneurial Skills for Career Success

The skills needed to build a successful business – creativity, problem solving, determination and clear communication – are the skills needed to build a successful career.

Our programming gives students the opportunity to hone these skills so they can compete in the job market and fully realize their potential.

We prioritize partnerships with institutions that serve Black, Indigenous, people of color and first-generation students who might not otherwise have access to these programs and this network.

How it Works

Bowie State Blackstone LaunchPad
LaunchPad Space on Campus

We help each participating school set up LaunchPad space – an on-campus innovation hotspot where students can build entrepreneurial skills, get support from a dedicated faculty director and connect with likeminded peers.

Events hosted by LaunchPad spaces include:


Students can attend workshops on core entrepreneurial skills, such as design thinking, creative problem-solving, market analysis, research, customer discovery, networking, and more. In addition to these in-person workshops, we also provide students with virtual workshops and career-readiness resources.

Speaker Series

We invite speakers from our alumni community, local businesses, our partner organizations and Blackstone to share stories of what entrepreneurship looks like in different careers and industries.

Blackstone LaunchPad Event
Real-world Experiences

LaunchPad focuses on hands-on learning where students can develop core skills like ideation, implementation and communication in a practical context.

LaunchPad’s experiential learning opportunities include:


LaunchPad students receive career-readiness training and can apply to paid internship roles aligned with their interests at Blackstone, Blackstone portfolio companies and select startups. During their 8-10 week summer internships, students receive additional professional development opportunities that help them apply their entrepreneurial skills to the role and succeed on the job.

Innovation Sprints

Companies present challenges and invite teams of students to create and pitch a solution. Winning teams may receive cash prizes, while companies build relationships with promising student talent.

A Powerful Network

The LaunchPad network gives students opportunities to learn from established entrepreneurs, business leaders and Blackstone professionals. Through this, they see what entrepreneurial skills look like in a day-to-day career context and are mentored as they bring their ideas to life. LaunchPad faculty directors across different campuses regularly meet to share best practices and uncover new ways to strengthen the student experience.

Students can build their networks through:

Startup Guidance

LaunchPad campus staff offer coaching and connections that help students bring their ideas to fruition. No matter the end goal – full-time founder, side hustle or entrepreneurial practice – LaunchPad’s direction and support builds an evergreen entrepreneurial mindset.

Career Readiness Support

LaunchPad taps thousands of Blackstone volunteers to offer career advice, resume feedback and interview tips. Students can build important professional relationships that last beyond graduation.

The LaunchPad Network


LaunchPad campuses


Minority-Serving Institutions


participants in 2022


in related grants since inception

Our Partners

We draw on the expertise of select partners to connect students with premier internship opportunities, entrepreneurial education resources and career support.

LaunchPad News & Insights

Note: All figures as of May 1, 2023 unless otherwise noted.

Blackstone_LaunchPad Event_Maura Pally Quote

“We know that talent is distributed equally, but opportunity is not. By connecting students with entrepreneurial education, we’re giving them access to the opportunities they deserve – whether that’s pioneering their own venture or bringing fresh ideas and practical experience to an existing company.”

Maura Pally

Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation