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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Grand Opening of Blackstone LaunchPad at USC

Local entreprenuers gather with USC students, staff and alumn to launch USC's first cross-campus entrepreneurship program. 

Blackstone LaunchPad at USC celebrated their grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon at USC's Annenberg Innovation Lab

Blackstone provides venture counseling for student leaders, and is currently available to more than 350,000 students and 15 colleges and universities nationwide. 

Wednesday's ceremony showcased a number of projects from USC students studying engineering, business, medicine, journalism, and more. 

Student projects include Desert Farms, America's first retail camel's milk company; Piggy, which helps users save money by depositing all change from purchases back into their bank accounts; and more. 

Blackstone LaunchPad at USC supports over 200 registered students and 70 startup teams. 

Special guests include USC Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Quick, Dean of Annenberg Ernest Wilson, Los Angeles Chief Innovation Technology Officer Peter Marx, Annenberg Innovation Lab Director Jonathan Taplin, and Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation Amy Stursberg. 

Blackstone LaunchPad at USC aims is to help students develop entreprenuerial skills and mindsets by providing a recurring workshop curriculum and counseling. The staff is comprised of Trojan Alumni and local trained professionals.

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced in February a three-year, $3.5 million grant partnership between The University of California Los Angeles, The University of California Irvine, The University of Southern California, and The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. The partnership will provide access to Blackstone LaunchPad's program to over 110,000 university students in Southern California.  

"Blackstone Launch Pad is a college and University-based program that treats entrepreneurship as a mainstreem career path with the goal of teaching students and alumni how to create jobs, not just find jobs," Blackstone stated in a press release

The LaunchPad program began at the University of Miami and further expanded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.

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