ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar)- The Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced today a five-million-dollar expansion of its Blackstone LaunchPad student entrepreneurship program from two to eight campuses in The University of Texas System.

The expansion will give more students critical access to resources, according to a release.

UT students will be able to expand their ideas outside of the classroom by utilizing
LaunchPad’s events, mentorships, and an “exceptional” network to help them succeed in
their entrepreneurial ventures.

Campuses at UT El Paso, UT Permian Basin, UT Rio Grande Valley, UT San Antonio, UT Medical Branch and UT Southwestern are included in this expansion, a program already being utilized on the Austin and Dallas campuses.

“Expanding LaunchPad to more UT institutions helps develop a more robust pipeline of
student entrepreneurs in Texas. This experience will encourage them to generate new
ideas and someday launch companies and drive job growth,” UT System Chancellor
James B. Milliken said. “We are grateful to the Blackstone Charitable Foundation for its
generous contribution and for its effort to reach a more diverse student population
across Texas.”

“We are incredibly excited to help student entrepreneurs bring their ideas to fruition,”
said Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.
“LaunchPad provides an invaluable experience by helping students acquire
entrepreneurial skills that will help them contribute to Texas’ economic growth and
prepare them for today’s workforce.”

Blackstone LaunchPad helps student entrepreneurs navigate the landscape
of fundraising, job placement and recruitment. LaunchPad has achieved success across
24 campuses in the U.S. and Ireland, providing 750,000 students with the access
to resources, personal connections, and professional networks they need to get their
companies off the ground.