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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Student-run organization helps aspiring entrepreneurs reach goals

The+Blackstone+Launchpad+program+offers+individualized+coaching+for+student+entrepreneurs.
Photo by Photo by Laura Haslam

The Blackstone Launchpad program offers individualized coaching for student entrepreneurs.

Blackstone Launchpad helps student and alumni entrepreneurs connect with mentors who will help them follow their business plans, and will be growing their audience with a grand opening April 28.
Under the May’s Business School Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, the Texas A&M chapter of Blackstone Launchpad is now one of 20 programs nationwide to focus and direct student entrepreneurs to success on an individual basis. After receiving their grant in the summer of 2016, along with the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Texas at Austin, Blackstone Launchpad began operating on campus in the fall semester.
Taylor Wismer, sociology senior and student venture consultant, said Blackstone Launchpad works as a middleman to filter people toward successful entrepreneurs as mentors who can assist them with their ideas.
“We are kind of a one-stop shop for entrepreneurship,” Wismer said. “We provide students with mentorship and all the different certificates, organizations on campus. We’re really the beginning hub that works to push students to where they need to go once they come to us with an idea or a business plan, anything like that.”

Program coordinator Sophia Mora said Blackstone Launchpad’s innovative mentoring style and attentive coaches are what leads to the organization’s success.
“The really cool thing about being a student in the Blackstone Launchpad program is we offer individualized coaching, so we’ll take a student on any part of their entrepreneurial journey, and get to know them and their needs, and then connect them to coaches and programs that are really important,” Mora said.
Alexander Riba, management senior and student venture consultant, said Blackstone Launchpad is unique from entrepreneurial programs on campus because it connects and communicates to the entire community and works as a path to direct students in a successful manner.
“There’s a lot of entrepreneurial things that go around on campus, but it’s not all connected,” Riba said. “This is the one program that’s kind of connecting everything, from things that go on in the engineering school, the things that go on in the business school, liberal arts — if it’s entrepreneurial, it’s all under the Blackstone Launchpad umbrella.”
Blackstone Launchpad aids students who may feel overwhelmed by directing them inthe next steps necessary to bring their ideas to fruition said Clare McDougall, co-direc- tor and mechanical engineering senior.
“We are creating the communication in- frastructure necessary to unite the entrepre- neurship programs on campus,” McDougall said.
Mora said Blackstone Launchpad will host a public grand opening for interested students.
“We are really excited about the grand opening,” Mora said. “Our goal with it is to be super student centered and have the room feel like it’s just full of Texas A&M entrepreneurs … We want to get some successful students who have been through existing programs in entrepreneurship at Texas A&M and get them kind of preaching about how Texas A&M has really grown and developed into this really innovative, research heavy institution that spreads that mindset.”
Blackstone Launchpad will host a grand opening April 28 for students interested in the program’s opportunities. If interested, students can come by the Blackstone Launchpad office from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday for open mentorship hours. For more information, visit https://maroonlink.tamu.edu/organization/blackstonelaunchpad.
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