It’s been two semesters since the Blackstone LaunchPad opened inside the University of Central Florida’s student union — so how’s the incubator doing?
In just two semesters, the Launchpad has drawn 4,277 people into the student union with events. Those students have created 544 new ventures, including 81 companies that are revenue positive.
“A real key to startups and technology is to get people of different backgrounds in the same place talking to each other,” said Paul Jarley, dean of the UCF College of Business Administration, at OBJ’s industry outlook on technology earlier this month. “We’re trying really hard at UCF to bend the culture, to give the students on campus the chance to have an entrepreneurial experience. And with 60,000 students, that’s a lot of opportunities.”
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced in March 2013 it was putting $1.4 million over three years into the Blackstone LaunchPad program. The program is expected to create 318 new businesses and 780 new jobs in five years, based on how the Miami project performed.
“An incubator in the student union: That’s world-class,” said Randy Berridge, president and CEO of the Florida High Tech Corridor.
Revenue positive companies include: