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SU to open new space in Bird Library to host entrepreneurial programs

Courtesy of Steve Sartori

SU will be opening a new space in Bird Library to centralize all entrepreneurial programs.

Syracuse University has been named the recipient of a grant that will establish a new entrepreneurship program at the university.

The grant comes after IDEA, a popular entrepreneurship program at the university, was said to be transitioning into a larger program as part of the restructure of entrepreneurship initiatives at SU. The university will receive $900,000 from the grant, which is given out by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, according to an SU News release.

SU being awarded the grant came as the foundation announced the largest expansion of its campus entrepreneurship program, Blackstone LaunchPad, to five New York state schools. Besides SU, Cornell University, New York University, the University at Albany and the University at Buffalo will receive parts of the three-year, $4.5 million grant.

“Syracuse University has a proud entrepreneurial spirit. It is a pillar of our present and of our future endeavors,” Chancellor Kent Syverud said in the release. “The Blackstone LaunchPad program will allow us to align all our entrepreneurial efforts within our schools and colleges. Additionally, the grant will help us further develop innovative opportunities for our students, and help us enhance the entrepreneurial efforts in Central New York.”

J.D. Ross, communications director for the School of Information Studies, said in an email that Blackstone LaunchPad was the program he was referring to when he told The Daily Orange in September that IDEA was being transitioned into a larger program. Ross added in September that a new space on campus is being planned to support entrepreneurship programs for students.

It appears that physical space will be in Bird Library.

Later this year, SU will open a new space in Bird for the Blackstone LaunchPad program “in order to help align entrepreneurial efforts of students, while connecting them with mentors and collaborators.”

Students receive training seminars, mentors and other resources as part of the LaunchPad program. The push to bring the program to campus was led by a steering committee that featured representatives from across the university.

Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost Liz Liddy, who was at the announcement of the grant along with three other SU representatives, said the program will allow for better networking and collaboration among students.

“The program will allow for the richest of exchanges of innovative ideas across our full student population and bring entrepreneurship into the greater community,” she said in an SU News release.

Rep. John Katko (R-NY) said he was “pleased” that SU was awarded the grant.

“This program will give young people the resources and training that they need to grow their ideas into profitable endeavors,” he said in a release. “The training of our next generation of entrepreneurs on Syracuse’s campus will both complement the budding technology and research hubs right here in Central New York and help to stimulate economic growth.”

The Blackstone LaunchPad initiative will be open to students of any major. Spread across the five New York state campuses, the program could generate about 6,000 jobs across the state over the next five years, according to a Blackstone Charitable Foundation release.


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