Blackstone LaunchPad at UCLA Leads New Era of LA Entrepreneurship

Blackstone LaunchPad at UCLA Leads New Era of LA Entrepreneurship

The Los Angeles entrepreneurship community will come together November 10th to celebrate the official grand opening of the Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of California, Los Angeles. Blackstone LaunchPad is UCLA’s first interdisciplinary, cross-campus entrepreneurship program, and is designed to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career path and develop students’ entrepreneurial skills and mindsets through individualized coaching, idea and venture creation support. The LaunchPad signifies UCLA and Blackstone’s long-standing commitment to developing the next generation of leaders and innovators in entrepreneurship and Los Angeles.


Modeled after a program at the University of Miami and further developed and expanded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Blackstone LaunchPad is currently available to more than 350,000 undergraduate students, graduate students, alumni and faculty at 15 colleges and universities nationwide. In February of 2014, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced Blackstone LaunchPad’s expansion into Southern California, with a three-year, $3.5 million grant to establish a 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. This partnership will provide over 110,000 university students in Southern California, with a network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support system. In addition to the Blackstone LaunchPad at UCLA event scheduled for next week, Blackstone LaunchPad has recently celebrated official grand openings at The University of Southern California and University of California, Irvine.


UCLA has a long history of nurturing leaders across a variety of industries and the Blackstone LaunchPad will expand the extent of services available to students. Services like the ones that helped launch Enrou, a company that recently benefitted from the Startup UCLA accelerator and Blackstone LaunchPad program. Enrou won this year’s Forbes Under 30 $400,000 pitch competition and, more recently, was selected as one of 20 venture finalists to compete at Blackstone LaunchPad’s Demo Day in New York City.


Remarks from UCLA and Blackstone:


“UCLA is proud to be partnering with the Blackstone LaunchPad California initiative to advance the emerging entrepreneurial landscape of the region and the state as a whole. As one of the nation’s top research universities, and one with a very public mission, UCLA has a vital role in promoting entrepreneurship in the communities we serve. We look forward to collaborating with our partners in making this initiative a huge success.”

-UCLA Chancellor Gene Block


“We are pleased to partner with UCLA to bring Blackstone LaunchPad to Los Angeles,” said Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “Through the work of Blackstone LaunchPad, we are able to provide local entrepreneurs with the resources and support they need to bring their ideas to market and remain in the Southern California region. These new and innovative companies have the potential to strengthen and create new jobs within their surrounding entrepreneurial ecosystem, and we look forward to seeing them do so.”


Grand Opening Ceremony Breakdown


What: Blackstone LaunchPad at UCLA Grand Opening & Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony. Student entrepreneurial endeavors will be featured and a live demo of 2014 Forbes Under 30 pitch competition winner, Enrou, will conclude our program.


When: Monday, November 10th, 2014 from 4 – 6 PM


Who: The event will feature prominent representatives from Blackstone, UCLA, and Silicon Beach. Special guests include:


  • Gene Block, Chancellor of The University of California, Los Angeles
  • Patricia A. Turner, Vice Provost and Dean of UCLA Undergraduate Education
  • Sean Madnani, Blackstone Senior Managing Director
  • Peter Marx, Chief Innovation Technology Officer, Mayor Garcetti’s Office
  • Jon Congdon, President and Co-Founder of Beachbody, LLC
  • Ann Wang, Forbes Under 30 Pitch Competition Winner, Enrou Co-Founder and CEO


Where: Covel Grand Horizon Ballroom, 200 De Neve Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90095

RSVP: To RSVP or for more information please see media contact, above.

Chancellor Gene Block will kick off festivities with welcoming remarks. We will also enjoy the company of a wide variety of Los Angeles leaders; notable attendees include Blackstone Senior Managing Director Sean Madnani, Beach Body President and Co-Founder Jon Congdon, and Chief Innovation Technology Officer from Mayor Garcetti’s Office. Ann Wang, the Co-Founder and CEO of Enrou, will be doing a live demo. Enrou recently won $400,000 at this year’s Forbes Under 30 pitch competition sponsored by Steve Case and participated in Blackstone LaunchPad’s Demo Day in New York City.


About The Blackstone Charitable Foundation:

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of Blackstone’s IPO 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 nationwide and globally. 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

About The University of California, Los Angeles:

UCLA is California’s largest university, with an enrollment of more than 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university’s 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer 337 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Seven alumni and six faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize. For more information, visit


UCLA Blackstone LaunchPad Press Release