Tuesday, September 24, 2019

But not Santa Barbara?

From the Sacramento Bee: The University of California is expanding an entrepreneurial guidance program to almost all of its campuses through a $5 million corporate partnership.

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s LaunchPad program, which brings startup incubator Techstars’ global network of business mentors to students, will soon be available at all universities in the system except UC Santa Barbara.

Victoria Slivkoff, global head of strategic partnerships for the UC system, said UCLA has been enjoying the benefits of Blackstone’s LaunchPad program since 2014.

“We’ve seen great results,” Slivkoff said, including facilitating more than 800 startup ventures and hosting more than 3,000 consulting meetings at the Southern California university.

The $5 million grant from Blackstone will go toward funding full-time staff to run the program and expenses for events over a period of three years, Slivkoff said.

LaunchPad is free to any business-minded student, regardless of major or academic focus, to assist at any point in their entrepreneurial process, from early conceptualization to growing and scaling an established business.

“Having an entrepreneurial skillset is really important,” Slivkoff said, regardless of one’s chosen professional field. “All these resources serve to democratize innovation and entrepreneurship.”...

Full story at

Poking around the website of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation indicates that it is linked to a private equity firm, Blackstone. The firm seems to have been politically connected to some degree to the current administration, although there seems to have been a falling out.

Until 2018, it was a major investor in the Hilton hotel chain. Some current environmental concerns have been linked to the firm: Does that issue have any connection for the absence of UC-Santa Barbara with its Bren School of Environmental Science and Management?* Just asking.

No comments: