Blackstone LaunchPad

The Blackstone LaunchPad at UCF supports students, regardless of level or focus of study. Located in the lobby of the Student Union, our LaunchPad serves as a hub for all students to develop a business mindset to be best prepared for professional success.  Whether students are looking to develop a business idea, start a side hustle, grow a business, or lead within an organization, our team is dedicated to educate, mentor, inspire, and support.

Welcome to The LaunchPad

Visit our location on main campus to:

  • attend a workshop, industry speaker, or social event
  • compete for cash prizes
  • meet with industry experts for 1-on-1 confidential coaching for your business and career goals


Skills for Career Success

The skills needed to make you more competitive in the workforce– creativity, problem solving, determination and clear communication – are the skills needed to build a successful business. The Blackstone LaunchPad gives students the opportunity to hone these skills so they can compete in the job market and fully realize their potential.

A Powerful Network

The LaunchPad network gives students opportunities to learn from established entrepreneurs, business leaders, and industry professionals. Visit our LaunchPad to connect learn more about industries, explore a career journey, meet a potential employer, or learn how to be more successful in your field of study.

Boost Your Earning Potential

Visit to learn more about our internships, jobs, and competitions.  Last year, student won over $45,000 in cash prizes from UCF’s Blackstone LaunchPad.  Do not miss out on competing for cash to grow your business idea.

Blackstone LaunchPad Coaches

Students are able to receive dedicated guidance from our renowned mentors.

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In Residence Coaches

Cameron Ford

  • Creativity and Innovation Expert
  • Edu-Tech Experience
  • Entrepreneurship Champion
  • Competition Organizer

Mike Pape

  • Biotech Entrepreneur
  • Cofounder of Esperion Therapeutics
  • Entrepreneurship Professor
  • Problem Solving Expert

Cameron Marsh

  • Finance Expert
  • Business Growth Strategist
  • Market Discovery Expert
  • Business Operations Expert

Kristen Unico

  • Analytical Skills
  • Marketing
  • Writing
  • Strategy

Cassandra Willard

  • Sports & Entertainment Lawyer
  • Nonprofit Law Expert
  • Intellectual Property Expert
  • Girl Scouts Board Member

Jesse Wolfe

  • Shark Tank Alumni
  • Food Industry Expert
  • Marketing Expert
  • Retail Sales Expert

Justin Buzzi

  • Social Media Marketing Expert
  • Web3 & NFT
  • Franchising Expert
  • Hit $10 Million in revenue

Michael Herman

  • Engineering
  • Negotiation
  • Strategy
  • Team Building

Mike Lynch

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship Professor
  • Serial Intrapreneur
  • Former BCG, NASCAR, ADT, VC


Elizabeth Trader

  • Computer Engineer
  • Fintech Entrepreneur
  • Sustainable Tech
  • Customer Discovery Expert

Rachel Flasterstein

  • Serial Entrepreneur
  • Founder of “The Tampa Mermaid”
  • SAAS Entrepreneur
  • Startup Weekend Winner

Keith Malberti

  • Business Development
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Legal


Connect through the FL Network

Explore other events, competitions and more happening at our affiliated schools throughout Florida!

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Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Miami Dade College
Florida International University
University of Florida
Florida State University
University of North Florida