The power of ideas
The Power Of Ideas
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.
The Blackstone LaunchPad network helps college and university students gain entrepreneurial experiences and competencies to build successful companies and careers.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Center at Bronx Community College
Center at Bronx Community College
The Blackstone LaunchPad network provides students and alumni at Bronx Community College with the resources and opportunities to support innovation, entrepreneurial endeavors, and career ambitions.
You don’t need to study business, have a huge network, or have a history of entrepreneurship to get involved. LaunchPad is for all students, no matter their background or future plans. Whether you are curious about building community with like-minded individuals, learning new skills, have an innovative idea you’re ready to take action on, or are prepared to take the next steps with your business, the BCC Blackstone LaunchPad is here to support you!
Did you know we have an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center on campus? Student Ambassadors are in the space to answer questions about programming and offer mentorship. Utilize it for creativity, collaboration, team meetings, workshops, and more.
Visit us in North Hall, Room 116!
The partnership with BCC, CUNY and the Blackstone Charitable Foundation will:
- Provide skill-building initiatives that will connect students and alumni with mentors, networks, and professional development opportunities.
- Ensure the development of an entrepreneurial mindset and skills.
- Facilitate a network of lasting professional relationships between students, faculty, and mentors through proven startup resources and unique virtual and physical opportunities.
- Provide students with the chance to participate in workshops, pitch competitions, fellowships, and live speaker series to pursue their desired career with the skills needed to succeed.
Introducing Fall 2022
Blackstone LaunchPad Ideas Competition Winners
This fall, Bronx Community College ran the Blackstone LaunchPad Ideas Competition powered by StartupTree. This network-wide competition offered students a chance to win $1,000 to start the next big thing. All current students with an idea, regardless of their major or career plans, were invited to apply.
Judges considered whether each applicant has a unique and compelling product or service, a solid plan of how they will sell, and the overall strength of the application. The judges included Members of BCC’s Blackstone LaunchPad Stewardship Council:
Ms. Tiffany Dubon-Yard, Dr. Sunej Hans,
Dr. Elise Langan, Ms. Luchy Martich,
Ms. Katherine Rodriguez from Level Up Ventures, and
Professor Paramita Sen.
After careful consideration, the BCC LaunchPad selected four finalists to receive $1,000 each:
Leilani submitted “Less Plastic is Fantastic!” under the Social & Climate Impact track.
Less Plastic is Fantastic! focuses on providing plastic alternatives on campus
Lachoy submitted “Rx Synergy” under the Health & Life Sciences track.
Rx Synergy is a software application that doctors use to communicate with insurance companies.
Studying Computer Science
Jaheim submitted “Acumen Technologies” under the Consumer Products & Services track.
Acumen Technologies is a time management software.
Studying Computer Science
Minhazul submitted “LetsLink” under the General track.
LetsLink is a social platform bringing together key features from platforms we currently use in one place.
The women from BCC’s Blackstone LaunchPad program (Professor Paramita Sen, Nicole Juarez-Flores, Kiran Khalid, Jordan Knoxx, Jennifer Aterta, Aryanna Chiraunjilal, Mathilda Asemota) were invited to Blackstone’s CUNY Women’s Networking Event on November 17 at Blackstone’s headquarters. Blackstone LaunchPad’s Program Director, Rachel D. Latimore, led a panel discussion with Ann Chung (Global Head of Consumer, Blackstone Growth), Kelley Morrell (Head of Asset Management, Blackstone Private Equity), Christine Anderson (Global Head of Corporate Affairs), and Jonny Bauer (Managing Director, Portfolio Operations), all of whom are senior leaders at the company. They discussed with attendees how to stand out as founders, best market themselves and their businesses, and provided career-development advice. Here are some snippets of wisdom shared during the panel:
- The best founders are magnetic and inspiring leaders. People gravitate towards these founders and want to help them reach their company’s dream.
- Despite economic uncertainty, now, more than ever is the time to start your business. The strongest companies came during times of financial crisis.
- No two companies should have the same purpose. Ask and answer, “Why is your company here?”.
- Be intentional early on in your career when building your personal brand. Presentation matters; recognize what you want to be known for.
- Surround yourself with people more intelligent than you so that you can improve.
“I had many confirmations that I am on the right track with my business. My biggest takeaway was when (the panelist) discussed ‘grit’ and the importance of being persistent while not letting the word ‘NO’ stop you.” Jordan Knoxx, BCC Blackstone LaunchPad Participant
After the panel, attendees were led into a room with a wide assortment of food. During this time is where the networking component of the event began. Free resources, especially those within the technology sector, were exchanged. This was valuable information to share, considering that the CUNY system is mainly composed of underrepresented students from low-income households. Nonetheless, all the attendees held high career aspirations for themselves, even if they did not intend on becoming innovators or entrepreneurs; It’s impossible not to feel excited on their behalf.
Left to right: Mathilda Asemota, Aryanna Chiraunjilal, Professor Paramita San, Nicole Juarez-Flores, Jordan Knoxx, Kiran Khalid
The LaunchPad Fellowship is a program in which student founders receive $5,000 to support their time working on advancing their startups. The LaunchPad Fellowship is largely self-driven, but also offers relevant startup workshops, peer networking events, mentor connections, and other opportunities to build entrepreneurial skills. This program is delivered virtually, in partnership Future Founders.
Jennifer Arteta, Jules Doua, and Kiran Khalid participated during Summer 2022.
BCC and QCC partnered to host the Blackstone LaunchPad Startup School in the summer of 2022. Startup School focused on three significant areas to consider when creating a business: finance, marketing, and law.
“I gained so much information; I will be revisiting my notes for at least the rest of this year as I start up my business. All the speakers were amazing. I love the community that we have built from last cohort to now.”“This Cohort was amazing and provided a great learning opportunity. It helped to bridge the gap from concept to actually making the business.”“I feel more confident moving forward with my LLC because of the information given during this program.”“Many of the presenters encouraged and stressed that we would have many problems and mistakes when starting up, but continuing to invest in your business will ensure that you succeed despite the barriers you may face. Also, I learned never to be afraid of asking questions and finding help.”
The Ideas Competition is a virtual competition hosted by Blackstone LaunchPad. It is designed for students without prior entrepreneurship experience or training. There are four tracks: general, consumer products and services, social and climate impact, and health and life science. The winner from each track received $1,000 and moved on to the network round for prizes up to $10,000.
The four winners at the college level for the Fall 2022 competition:
General: Minhazul (Haz) Islam for LetsLink, Consumer Products and Services: Acumen Technologies by Jaheim Archibald, Social and Climate Impact: Less Plastic is Fantastic! by Leilani Agostini, Health and Life Sciences: RxSynergy by Lachoy Harris
The four winners at the college level for the Fall 2021 competition:
General: Nicole Juarez for Curtain Rollup, Consumer Products and Services: Jen’s Pet Care by Jennifer Arteta, Social and Climate Impact: Pathway for Integration for Success by Elhadj Barry, Health and Life Sciences: Venus by Kiran Khalid
BCC and QCC partnered to host the Blackstone LaunchPad Community College Innovation Challenge in the spring and summer of 2022.
The cohort is designed for participants to understand the problem they are solving with their innovation and push them to get out of their comfort zones through customer discovery to understand the needs of potential customers. This virtual cohort included three workshops and mentorship designed for participants to begin understanding the market they are entering.
Participants focused on various ideas, including mental health, health care, nutrition, home product innovation, LGBTQ inclusion, creating an art business, and opening a storefront.
“Learning with my peers about the reality of starting a business, and all the things to consider, really impacted how I plan to tackle my business going forward. And making sure I don’t try to market myself to an audience that is too broad to be practical.”
“This was beyond an amazing experience. I am feeling proud of myself and so thankful to the leadership/mentors/sponsors etc. Thank you so much!”
“I wish I could do it again because it has changed my life and how I view the way things work in the business world. My big idea is no longer a dream. Blackstone has given me the tools to make this a reality. I have a lot of work to do.”
Bronx Community College Team
Stewardship Council Members
The Rise and Fall of the Hoverboard
Presented by Max Ringelheim
Room 116 in North Hall
Whether you have experienced the thrill of zipping around on one or jumped out of the way as one zooms by, it is safe to say you are familiar with hoverboards.
Join Max Ringelheim, Co-Founder of PhunkeeDuck Hoverboards as he shares a fascinating, one-of-a-kind startup story and then puts you in real-life business situations through interactive scenarios unlike any other.
While entrepreneurship does take many twists and turns, Max will also share why right now is the best time to begin working with your innovative idea!
The first 20 BCC students to register and attend will receive a $25 gift card!
Contact Elana Diaz at Elana.Diaz@bcc.cuny.edu with questions about the event.
August 19, 2022 12-3 PM at Lehman College
A student mixer allows peers to connect, share resources, and showcase their entrepreneurial skills. Students can network and create teams across campus for ideas and/or pitch competitions.
The Rise and Fall of the Hoverboard Presented by Max Ringelheim
Whether you have experienced the thrill of zipping around on one or jumped out of the way as one zooms by, it is safe to say, you are familiar with the term hoverboard.
Join Max Ringelheim, Co-Founder of Vonvo.com, PhunkeeDuck Hoverboards & When Going Viral, as he shares about the rise and fall of the hoverboard.
He will share a fascinating, one-of-a-kind startup story and then put you in real-life business situations through interactive scenarios unlike any other.
While entrepreneurship does take many twists and turns, Max will also share about why you should be excited about entrepreneurship.
This event is open to all CUNY schools.
Summer 2022 Blackstone LaunchPad Fellowship
March 11, 2022 – April 02, 2022
Summer Blackstone LaunchPad Fellowship empowers student startups with entrepreneurial resources, mentorship, education, and financial assistance. Student participants will benefit from a community of fellow student entrepreneurs that will motivate them to explore and build on their ideas, and further develop their skills as founders.
Winners received $5,000 in prize money and attend an immersive 8-week Blackstone LaunchPad Fellowship to support student entrepreneurs.
BCC & QCC Blackstone Community College Innovation Challenge
March 29, 2022
The event featured 28 students from both schools who presented their entrepreneurial ideas in five-minute pitches. The ideas ranged from portable beds for the homeless and fresh food for babies to house cleaning services and a virtual health app. The students competed for intensive mentorships and $2,000 stipends.
More information about the Innovation Challenge.
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, January 18,19 & 20, 2022
- An invent-a-thon is where people come together to workshop their ideas.
- This is the place where an idea becomes a reality. Any BCC student with an idea and willingness to brainstorm in order to walk away with a clear picture of the next steps was invited to attend!
- At the end of the workshop, qualifying ideas had the opportunity to receive continuing mentorship through the Spring 2022 Blackstone Innovation Cohort. Students who complete the program will receive a $2K stipend.
Thursday, February 10, 2022
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
- 8 CUNY colleges participated.
- BCC had the second highest number of participants
- Final presentations shown on April 29, 2022.
Blackstone Launchpad IDEAS Competition powered by startuptree
Deadline: Thursday, October 21, 2021
Designed specifically for students with no prior experience, the Ideas Competition is an easy way to get your toes wet and see if entrepreneurship could be right for you. All you need to apply is an idea, no matter how small, or a prototype, no matter rough. The competition is completely virtual, run on the Startup Tree platform.
- 36 ideas ranging from social and climate impact, health and life sciences, consumer products to general
- 45 participants
- 4 winners announced at college level
- Each winner awarded $1,000
- BCC won the award for maximum number of participants in east zone
Monday, October 10th at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM
This training is hosted by the Microsoft team. Excel 100 Teaches the fundamentals of Microsoft Excel.
Wednesday, October 12th at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM
This training is hosted by the Microsoft team. Excel 200 introduces intermediate-level users to the powerful analytic tools and techniques nested in Excel® and ready to harness and use — so you can illuminate the data you’ve worked so hard to collect.
Monday, October 17th at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM
This training is hosted by the Microsoft team. Powerpoint 100 Teaches the fundamentals of Microsoft Powerpoint.
Thursday, October 20th at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM
This training is hosted by the Microsoft team. This training will build on foundational knowledge about Powerpoint (Powerpoint 100) and take presentations to the next level!
Thursday, November 3rd at 1:00 PM
Rock Your LinkedIn Profile
You will learn the basics of creating a LinkedIn profile from the Microsoft Team. BCC students are eligible for a free headshot for completing the training!
Ideas Competition 2021 Winner Panel Discussion on Zoom
Tuesday, October 11th at 11:00 AM
Speaker Series: Our Entrepreneurial Stories with John Frias and Don Dinero
Thursday, October 13th at 12:30 PM at North Hall, Room 116
John Frias serves as the Ascend New York City Program Manager in the BOC Minority Business Program. Click here to learn more about the speakers and RSVP. In addition, Frias has worked on Entrepreneurship Training and Business Development in the Bronx for 3 years. Considering himself a connector, Frias enjoys bridging people, ideas, and cultures. Don Dinero is known as the first major American-born, Spanish-rapping hip-hop artist to make the major-label jump and find widespread commercial acceptance. Currently, Don Dinero is the Latin President of ADDVENTURES MUSIC and continues to Educate & Empower Independent artists to own operate & Monetize their music.
Speaker Series: The Entrepreneurial Mindset
with Michael Robinson on Zoom
Thursday, November 10th at 12:30 PM
Speaker Series: The Entrepreneurial Mindset
with Michael Robinson on Zoom
Thursday, November 10th at 12:30 PM
2022 Blackstone LaunchPad by StartupTree Ideas Competition
Have you noticed a problem at school, at home, or in your community that you want to solve? Have you imagined solutions and creative new systems to major problems but been frustrated at not knowing where to start?
Introducing the 2022 Blackstone LaunchPad Ideas Competition!
Designed specifically for students without prior experience, the Ideas Competition is an easy way to get your toes wet and see if entrepreneurship could be right for you. All you need to apply is an idea, no matter how small!
The first round of the competition will take place on campus, and top students from each of the four tracks will be selected to win $1,000 each. These four winners will join finalists from each school in the Blackstone LaunchPad network for a national round of the competition for the chance to win a $10,000 prize. Apply now before it is too late!
The application will open until October 18. Click here to apply.
Reach out to your LaunchPad Program Coordinator, Elana Diaz, if you have questions or need help with the application. Good luck!
Thursdays from 12-2 in Room 116 North Hall
Whether you have a notebook full of ideas or are curious to know how creativity fits into a program about innovation and entrepreneurship, join us for Creative Collaboration!
During this one-hour session, we will come together (virtually) to talk about ways to tap into your creative nature.
You will have time to put pen to paper and let the ideas flow.
Did you know creativity leads to innovation?
All you need is a pen, paper & an open mind.
Who knows… You might walk away with an idea you’d like to pursue! Our team will stick around at the end to offer mentorship about the next steps with any idea you’d like to pursue.
Creative Collaboration is open to ANYONE! Join us during Club Hours and bring a friend!
Do you want to be surrounded by curious and innovative individuals ready to think outside of the box?
Join a Creative Collaboration session
Do you want to learn more about what it takes to be an innovator?
Attend our speaker series
Do you have an idea you are ready to pursue?
Apply for the IDEAS COMPETITION
Are you wondering where to go next with your idea?
Schedule a mentorship session