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Blackstone Charitable Foundation Selects Morgan State University as One of Four HBCUs to Benefit From $2 Million Commitment

by Morgan State U
October 18, 2022

University’s Entrepreneurial Development and Assistance Center Partners with Blackstone LaunchPad to Expand Student Access to Venture and Entrepreneurial Skill-Building Programs

 

BALTIMORE — The Blackstone Charitable Foundation today announced that it has committed $2 million to expand access to its student venture and entrepreneurial skill-building program, Blackstone LaunchPad, to students at Morgan State University and three other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The partnership is part of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s broader $40 million commitment to expand LaunchPad to higher-ed institutions that have a majority underrepresented population or are serving under-resourced communities.

LaunchPad’s campus-based programming and national network will provide students at Morgan, Bowie State University, North Carolina A&T University, and North Carolina Central University with the resources and opportunities to support their entrepreneurial endeavors and career ambitions. On Morgan’s campus, student access to the Blackstone LaunchPad program will be facilitated through the University’s Entrepreneurial Development and Assistance Center (EDAC).

Blackstone“We are thankful for this new collaboration with the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, as it builds upon the great work we’ve already done to expose our gifted students to embracing innovative ideas and developing an entrepreneurial mindset,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “In leveraging the generous resources made available through the foundation, we look to further our student’s business acumen and creative approach to problem solving as they develop and launch the businesses of the future.”

In addition, LaunchPad will fund new programs on Morgan’s campus to help students experience building a startup and access a pipeline of internship and job opportunities. Additionally, students will be able to participate in national programming such as pitch competitions, fellowships and conferences, where they can build a lasting network of professional relationships. Blackstone LaunchPad is a co-curricular program available to all students, no matter their course of study. 

“We are thrilled to welcome this new generation of LaunchPad schools into our network and community,” said Maura Pally, executive director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “The first step in breaking entrepreneurial barriers is to bring entrepreneurship to those who need it most by meeting students where they are, and there is no better place to start than right on their campuses.”

The initiative to expand Blackstone LaunchPad to higher-ed institutions with majority underrepresented or under-resourced students began with an expansion to bring LaunchPad to six additional campuses in the University of Texas system, five HSIs and HBCUs, and nine schools in the City University of New York system, demonstrating continued dedication to increasing diversity among student entrepreneurs and the development of key skills for career mobility. With these new additions, Blackstone LaunchPad is well on its way to reaching its 2021 goal of expanding to 75 campuses over the next five years.

Coinciding with LaunchPad coming to Morgan, EDAC is hosting a “Bear Tank” live pitch competition giving participants an opportunity to present a business idea and win a cash award. Hosted by the University’s Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management the first round of the competition will take place on campus on Thursday, October 20, 2022, at 6 p.m. The top participants from each of the four competitive track areas (General Business, Social and Climate Impact, Health and Life Science, Consumer Products and Services) will be selected to win $1,000 each. The four winners will also move forward to participate nationally in the Blackstone LaunchPad Round, where they will compete for $10,000 in additional prize money to further develop their business idea 

For more than 18 years, the Entrepreneurial Development & Assistance Center at Morgan State University has played a major role in introducing entrepreneurship across campus and throughout the surrounding community. EDAC was established to offer entrepreneurship education to the Morgan community while providing resources to help individuals within the community start, operate and scale a business. Serving nearly 1,000 individuals annually with workshops, one-on-one business counseling, specialty training, live events, and informative podcasts, EDAC’s mission is to connect budding and existing entrepreneurs to resources for venture management and growth. EDAC is a unit of Morgan’s Division of Academic Affairs.


About Morgan

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.

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Media Contacts:

Larry Jones or Dell Jackson, for University PR
443-885-3022