First global Blackstone LaunchPad opens at NUI Galway with €2m funding

19 Feb 2016

NUI Galway is now home to the first international Blackstone LaunchPad programme, led by Mary Carty, which has received €2m in funding to support budding entrepreneurs for at least three years.

LaunchPad was started by Blackstone in the US as a means of supporting student entrepreneurs through individual coaching, seminars and training related to building a business.

As part of the programme, students will also be shown how to write effective business plans, complete financial analyses, and design marketing campaigns with the help of external mentors.

Being the first Blackstone LaunchPad to be established outside of the US, last month saw Inspirefest 2016 speaker Mary Carty named its executive director, with Carty set to oversee the three-year €2m grant given to NUI Galway to help connect its 17,000 students to other campuses in Ireland and the US, the business community and local entrepreneurs through LaunchPad.

A ‘fantastic opportunity’ for students

Carty has become well known for her work with Stemettes where she helped co-found Outbox Incubator, the first incubator for young women involved in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Speaking at the opening of the Blackstone LaunchPad, Carty said: “To achieve success, students need to believe in their potential.

“Blackstone LaunchPad provides a fantastic opportunity for all students to participate: to test their ideas, to build a network of like-minded peers and to build their confidence and skills, all while undertaking their studies here at NUI Galway.”

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Join us again from 30 June to 2 July 2016 for fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity. Get your Early Bird tickets now.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic