The Path to Empowerment
The Entrepreneurship Launchpad is the hub for entrepreneurship at Spelman College. Consistent with the philosophy and general approach of the Innovation Lab, the Entrepreneurship Launchpad serves students of any major at any skill level from vision through early stage. The goals of the Entrepreneurship Launchpad include
helping entrepreneurial students start or advance their existing business.
provide formal training in marketing, pitching, customer discovery, business planning, branding, business financials and other foundational elements of business startup.
connect students with entrepreneurial leaders in the community, business mentors and the Atlanta startup ecosystem.
To these ends, the Launchpad houses a number of co-curricular programs that engage individual students where they are in the startup process. These programs include a student run entrepreneur's club (Entrepreneurs Club), a dedicated space for entrepreneurship training (The Entrepreneurship Hub, Science Center 240), a student fellowship program (Blackstone LaunchPad), a comprehensive educational initiative, Spelpreneur, which consists of a workshop series on startup fundamentals, an entrepreneur chat series, and an annual 10 Day Startup pitch competition, one-on-one mentorship through an "office hours" program that leverages a strong network of alumnae entrepreneurs, corporate and community partners and participation in an international travel training program (European Innovation Academy).
In 2021, The Innovation Lab became home to the Spelman Blackstone LaunchPad. The Blackstone LaunchPad is a campus resource for students, alumni, and faculty interested in supporting the growth and development of aspiring and fledgling student entrepreneurs. The program aims to develop entrepreneurial skills and an entrepreneurial mindsets of these future changemakers through individualized coaching, ideation and hands-on mentoring.
The centerpiece of the LaunchPad is the Blackstone Entrepreneurship Fellowship--a year-long immersive program for student entrepreneurs with a fledgling business seeking the necessary skills to accelerate growth. Through a balanced exposure of the practical language, concepts. technologies, methods, and practices the student entered the program at any skill level and leaves with a well-defined, well-articulated, market-researched business plan, and understanding of financial and funding, appropriate branding and a pitch. The student is also connected to a network of alumnae entrepreneurs, corporate and community partners as well as the Atlanta startup ecosystem.,
The Blackstone LaunchPad program was developed as part of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation's Entrepreneurship Initiative and modeled after a successful program at the University of Miami, the program is currently available to over 500,000 students on 20 campuses globally.
The Blackstone Entrepreneurship Hub is a new centralized location for student makers, entrepreneurs, and business owners at Spelman College. Located in SCI 240, the space serves as the meeting space for entrepreneurship organizations and programming on Spelman's Campus. It is also a gathering spot for our community of student changemakers.
2 students have been accepted into the HBCU Founders Initiative Summer Accelerator program in Silicon Valley. This 16-week program culminates with participants pitching their business ideas to a panel of investors.
2 students will be participating in the European Innovation Academy in Porto, Portugal. Developed through a partnership with Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley, and Google, EIA has become a recognized leader in tech entrepreneurship education. Participants are immersed in a multicultural ecosystem of over 15,000 alumni and faculty hailing from more than eighty-five countries.
1 student has been accepted into the Blackstone LaunchPad Fellowship Program. Powered by Future Founders, the Blackstone LaunchPad Fellowship is an immersive 8-week program run in partnership with Blackstone LaunchPad designed to support student entrepreneurs with resources, mentorship, education, and financial assistance.
Blanca Burch is the winner of the Black Public Media PitchBLACK 2022-23 Nonso Christian Ugbode Emerging Media Fellowship award. Blanca will use the fellowship to develop the AR components of her new interactive coloring book, The ABC's of Who I Can Be.
Spelman senior Blanca Burch was invited to pitch at the Collision tech conference in Toronto. The Collision Conference is the largest tech conference in North America.