History

History

NEO LaunchNET evolved from Blackstone LaunchPad, an innovative and co-curricular program that Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Burton D. Morgan Foundation adapted from University of Miami’s Launch Pad initiative, a model established in 2008 to provide students and alumni with the skills, knowledge, training, and guidance to start new ventures.

Since 2012: the region has had more than 2,100 students, 1,200 ventures, more than 200 companies, 200+ jobs, and in excess of $2,000,000 in follow-on funding.

NEO LaunchNET at Lorain County Community College

NEO LaunchNET at Lorain County Community College opened its doors to students November 17, 2015. NEO LaunchNET is located on the first floor of The Bass Library/Community Resource Center, LC114.

Since 2012, out of more than 1000 students, 500 explored their venture and created 50+ companies in Lorain County.
NEO LaunchNET was previously known as Blackstone LaunchPad at Lorain County Community College, but it – along with all of the colleges and universities in the Northeast Ohio group – transitioned to the new NEO LaunchNET name in 2015. NEO LaunchNET is supported by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation

In 2011, The Burton D. Morgan Foundation formed a partnership with The Blackstone Charitable Foundation to support the next generation of entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio by awarding $3.2 million in funding to four area institutions – Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, and Lorain County Community College – to implement BLP campus programs. BLP, a national initiative founded by the University of Miami, is a campus based entrepreneurship program designed to support and mentor students, staff, and alumni, regardless of major.

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation is committed to continuing to partner with all four campuses to promote collegiate entrepreneurship. Stay tuned for more news on this exciting transition, which will include details of program and support, as well as a new name.

During the past several years, entrepreneurship programming on all four campuses has grown by leaps and bounds, with more than 2,100 students participating in the program and close to 1,200 ventures explored, resulting in 200 companies that have attracted over $1 million in follow-on funding and created 230 full and part-time jobs. Further, the BLP program has been instrumental in advancing the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and its connectivity to the four campuses.

At the end of 2015, programs at the four campuses transitioned to a unique regional entrepreneurship program, building upon but separate from the BLP program, and supported by the Foundation and the four institutions. Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s support of this program tapered off, as it focused on nurturing its many other BLP programs across the nation and in Ireland.