UB’s Blackstone LaunchPad to host free workshops for entrepreneurs

Highlights include a visit from Buffalo native Erin Bagwell, producer of the acclaimed documentary ‘Dream, Girl’

Release Date: September 13, 2016 This content is archived.

“We are laying the foundation for people to become entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs within their companies or organizations. ”
Hadar Borden, program director for Blackstone LaunchPad at UB
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A University at Buffalo program geared toward entrepreneurs is offering two free workshop series, with events focused on topics such as revenue models, venture capital and building a brand.

The workshops, hosted by Blackstone LaunchPad at UB, are free and open to the public, with all taking place on UB’s North Campus in Amherst.

A listing of events, running from September through early December, is available on the LauchPad’s Facebook page.

The first workshop series, the LaunchPad Workshop Series, helps attendees develop a broad range of skills tied to starting a successful business.

Highlights include a Sept. 19 session on protecting intellectual property with Jordan Walbesser, a UB alum and senior associate with Hodgson Russ LLP, and a Sept. 22 event on how innovative businesses can benefit the social good. This latter workshop will be presented by Dan Gigante, president of You and Who, a T-shirt company that donates a shirt to a person in need for each T-shirt sold.

The second workshop series, Empowering Women Through Entrepreneurship, covers topics that range from meeting facilitation to building a personal brand.

Highlights include a visit on Sept. 27 from Buffalo native Erin Bagwell, producer of the 2016 documentary “Dream, Girl,” which tells the stories of five women entrepreneurs in different industries.

The White House hosted a screening of the film this May, and the public premier in New York City this June drew a sold-out audience of more than 600 people. The film has inspired women across the country and the world, with Bagwell and her fellow producer Komal Minhas selected to the Oprah Winfrey Network’s Supersoul 100 list of “awakened leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity.”

Bagwell’s Sept. 27 visit to UB will include a screening of the documentary, followed by a short talk by Bagwell. It will take place at 6:30 p.m. that day in the Student Union Theater on UB’s North Campus.

Blackstone LaunchPad at UB, which debuted in 2016, is a university program funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. The LauchPad’s goal is to help students, faculty, staff and alumni develop entrepreneurial skills and mindsets.

The workshops provide students and the public “with an opportunity to develop the skills and capabilities to help them become successful innovators,” says Hadar Borden, program director for Blackstone LaunchPad at UB. “Once they have acquired these skills, they will be more confident and willing to take risks. We are laying the foundation for people to become entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs within their companies or organizations.”

In addition to the fall workshops, the LaunchPad is offering free weekly events targeting students with an interest in entrepreneurship.

These include Shark Tank Tuesdays, at which students watch and dissect episode of ABC’s hit reality show “Shark Tank,” which features entrepreneurs pitching a business idea to a panel of potential investors; Innovate N’ Caffeinate, a weekly Wednesday networking event in which students and professionals share entrepreneurial ideas; and Female Founder Fridays, each of which features a talk by a local woman entrepreneur who shares her startup story and tips for success.

The weekly events are also listed on Blackstone LaunchPad at UB’s Facebook page.

Media Contact Information

Charlotte Hsu is a former staff writer in University Communications. To contact UB's media relations staff, email ub-news@buffalo.edu or visit our list of current university media contacts.