BCC Helps Students Pursue Entrepreneurial Experiences And Build Successful Companies Through Blackstone Launchpad Initiative
Many students at Bronx Community College (BCC), like students at college campuses across the country, have ideas for starting their own business but don’t know where to begin. With proper networking, skill-building, support and resources, made possible by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, BCC students are learning core competencies to equip them for success.
“Whether students choose to start a small business, make a social impact by starting or becoming involved with a non-profit, or ultimately work for a company, they are learning about the power of ideas, innovation and solutions,” BCC Vice President of External Relations and Blackstone LaunchPad Campus Director Eddy Bayardelle said. “The connections students are making beyond our campus walls to the real world of work are invaluable for every student in any discipline.”
Now beginning its third year, a full calendar of activities is planned, including workshops on topics such as “Idea Generation” (9/22); “Beginning a Side Hustle” (9/29); “First Step to Starting a Business” (10/20); “Planning for Profitability” (11/17), and more. The Blackstone program has extended beyond entrepreneurship and innovation and also is rolling out an internship program.
Elana Diaz, Blackstone LaunchPad Program Director for BCC said, “Our program provides important mentorship opportunities that enable students to overcome their fears and build the skills and confidence they need to get a business off the ground.”
Take for instance, BCC student Jaheim Archibald, who just this past summer participated in Blackstone’s signature Summer Fellowship Program, which supported him through a $5,000 grant to further develop Acumen (formerly Acumen Technologies), a time management software company he founded based on his own struggles with time management.
Archibald, one of the winners of last year’s Blackstone Ideas Competition, has been working with cohorts and with student ambassadors to create a brand identity for his company. “Being a part of the Blackstone LaunchPad program at BCC gave me the confidence to take risks and go for it,” said Archibald. “I saw a need to assist people with managing their time, and there was no app out there like this. I wanted an app to solve the problem the way I thought it should be solved.”
Archibald taught himself how to code and then created the app, which is primarily targeted to college students and uses calculus equations to estimate and automatically spit out designated time periods for tasks, unlike other apps on the market that require one to input the times themselves. The length of time that the app allots for each task is based on how much someone enjoys doing the task and how difficult it is.
Archibald will serve as a panelist on the Sept. 26 Ideas Competition student panel. His advice to his fellow students will be: “If you have an idea for something, try it. It could fail, but it could work, and you will learn so much in the process.”
More About Blackstone LaunchPad
Since its founding in 2008, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation has been committed to creating economic opportunities for diverse and historically underrepresented communities. Blackstone LaunchPad currently operates at 60 college campuses nationwide, including eight CUNY schools. BCC’s Blackstone Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center is located in Rm 116 at North Hall