The Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars network makes entrepreneurship accessible and relevant for all college students, regardless of their background, starting point, or future plans. We build next-generation companies and careers by offering startup resources, access to mentors, and unique convening opportunities to UCF Knights. Our clients learn by doing, gaining knowledge and critical skills to help them succeed as a founder and contributor to the 21st century economy.
Click the LaunchPad logo below to learn more about programming, partnerships, and resources available to students at participating Blackstone LaunchPad universities.
LaunchPad was founded in 2008 and has been committed for over a decade to helping students, with a focus that has evolved from supporting student ventures to include entrepreneurial skill-building so students can succeed in any career they choose.
Invest in Students
You can start a company, change course, join forces with another founder, or pursue a traditional career. No matter your path, we will equip you with the entrepreneurial mindset, skills, and network you need to succeed.
Keep Equity at the Forefront
Diverse backgrounds and perspectives make for better leaders. We support and elevate underrepresented students to level an unequal playing field.
Create a Lasting Community
We provide a global network that facilitates lasting professional relationships between students, mentors, faculty, partners, schools, and others who can help you succeed in college and beyond.
Exclusive Opportunities for LaunchPad Clients
LaunchPad Startup Fellowships
We offer occasional opportunities to participate in 8-week Fellowships, supported by Future Founders, where participant ventures will be awarded $5,000 in grant funding to support their time working on advancing their startup companies. Check our CEL News, emails, and social media for announcements.
Techstars Talent Network
Techstars offers connections for highly qualified students to internships and jobs within the Techstars portfolio of companies. Students must earn a recommendation from UCF’s LaunchPad Director before they can apply to these opportunities to work at exciting, emerging startups. Click here to learn more.
Blackstone LaunchPad Speaker Series
The Speaker Series features experienced leaders from the Blackstone, Techstars, and LaunchPad Campus networks to share stories, skills, insights and lessons learned around entrepreneurship in an interactive online format. Speakers range from entrepreneurs to investors, and other industry experts. Click here to learn more.
Techstars Entrepreneur’s Toolkit
Techstars offers an online educational resource to help student founders learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and accelerate their success. Videos, content, and worksheets straight out of Techstars Accelerator programs. Click here to access the toolkit.
Techstars and Blackstone Mentor Request
Student founders who are established clients of our UCF LaunchPad can access the Blackstone and Techstars networks by making a specific requesting for help with our LaunchPad Director.
LaunchPad Startup Weekends
These occasional events are designed for students early in their entrepreneurial journey with no prior training or existing venture. They offer an entrepreneurial experience where students learn how to work in teams, start a company and develop a pitch in 54 hours. Check our CEL News, emails, and social media for announcements.
LaunchPad Annual Conference
Each year we send student to transformational experiences at the LaunchPad’s annual global conference that brings together world-class speakers and subject matter experts from the Blackstone and Techstars networks to help early-stage student founders get the learning and advice they need to grow a successful business. Check our CEL News, emails, and social media for announcements.
LaunchPad Demo Day (and Lift cohort)
This annual showcase of the top ventures from across the LaunchPad network provides students the opportunity to pitch for up to $75,000. Preparation for this event is supported $10,000 grants and 10 weeks of mentoring. Check our CEL News, emails, and social media for announcements.