Blackstone Foundation Creates National LaunchPad Model with $20 Million Pledge
Deering Companies’ CEO and LaunchPad Advisory Board Member Irving Padron visited Detroit along with LaunchPad’s Dr. William Green and Dr. Susan Amat for the announcement of The Blackstone LaunchPad. The team met with Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman and CEO of Blackstone.
The Blackstone Foundation—the corporate foundation of the publicly traded private equity firm—has pledged $20 million to jump-start business formation in the Motor City. The grant will be used to bring LaunchPad—a program that provides emerging entrepreneurs with practical skills, networking, and advice, and concentrates its effort among undergraduates, grad students, and recent alumni—to Detroit. Since its founding at the University of Miami in 2008, LaunchPad has attracted more than 1,000 students and led to the creation of 45 businesses and 102 new jobs. “A sustained period of job growth depends on the creativity, innovation, and ultimate success of entrepreneurs in creating new businesses,” said Mr. Schwarzman.