Blackstone Launchpad, a program to assist students and community members in launching their own businesses, received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA’s grant will fund a program designed to launch new businesses into market.
The program, called 406 Labs, will work with six ventures over a 90-day period to help them put their business into the marketplace. The first session will begin in spring of 2016. Les Craig, Blackstone Launchpad’s director, said the program will assist in various aspects of starting a real business, giving each business a personal mentor. Craig explained the program’s goal and means by which it will be implemented, saying, “This is going to be a very concentrated, resource-intensive program,” Craig said. “The whole intent is to offer a custom, tailored program to help ventures get to market and become real companies.”
Craig also cited the lack of similar programs in Montana, which is the “most entrepreneurial state per capita in the U.S,” according to Craig. The Blackstone Launchpad is the only program to receive the grant from the SBA, and Craig said Blackstone has seen “tremendous interest” from students and alumni in their services.
Blackstone Launchpad and its services are open to all students with an entrepreneurial interest and alumni of MSU. Those wishing to learn more about Blackstone Launchpad should contact Les Craig at 994-4383.