Three from UB School of Management tapped for global entrepreneur fellowship

Release Date: November 23, 2020


BUFFALO, N.Y. — Two MBA students and one alumna from the University at Buffalo School of Management have been accepted to the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars Global Fellowship program for their venture, Real Talk, a platform that brings people from all backgrounds together for open discussion about important issues.

Janelle Fore, BS ’20, MBA ’21; Malkijah Griffiths, BS ’19, MBA/MPH ’22, and Western New York Prosperity Fellow; and Sonya Tareke, BS ’17, MBA ’20, will receive resources, support and mentorship to help them advance their startup ideas over the eight-week program. Each fellow will also receive $5,000 in grant funding to support their time working on advancing their startup.

Real Talk is one of only 40 student startups from across the U.S. and Ireland selected for the fall LaunchPad Fellowship program.

This cohort of the fellowship is focused on social impact student startups—those with a positive societal outcome, beyond financial success. The program features LaunchPad coaching sessions and weekly entrepreneurial workshops, as well as mentoring from Blackstone campus ambassadors and Techstars entrepreneurs during a “LaunchPad Mentor Week.” 

Students will also have the opportunity to hear firsthand from social impact entrepreneurs from such organizations as TalkingPoints, All Star Code, River Health, Cloztalk and Imerman Angels.

“The Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars global network allows us to leverage resources we wouldn’t otherwise have access to,” says Hadar Borden, director of UB’s Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars. “It’s a great way to support student ventures beyond our own campus programming.”

The Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars entrepreneurship network helps students build next-generation companies and careers and works with higher educational institutions to deliver proven startup resources, facilitate access to a global network of mentors and advisors, and offer unique virtual and physical convening opportunities for college students to go further, faster.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

Media Contact Information

Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
Assistant Dean and Director of Communications
School of Management