Key Points
·        Students have access to more than 10,000 mentors
·        Gift is from Blackstone Charitable Foundation
 The University of Texas Medical Branch now is a part of a global network that promotes student entrepreneurship, training and mentoring with academic and industry professionals.
Through the support of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, students, trainees, and fellows can access Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars resources, including hands-on learning experiences, fellowships, startup services and more than 10,000 diverse mentors.
The global network, which now includes 30 schools, brings a wealth of expertise to support and accelerate student ventures and complements the work of UTMB and its partners to encourage innovation and translation.
UTMB LaunchPad activities are aligned with the institution’s Clinical and Translational Science Award, led by the Institute for Translational Sciences,now in its 12th year of working to accelerate discoveries made in the laboratory and clinic to practices, treatments, and services that improve health.
UTMB’s Chief Research Officer and ITS Director, Dr. Randy Urban, sees the LaunchPad collaboration as a way to focus talent and resources on transforming disease to health. 
“Success of our students, and improved health of individuals and communities are top priorities for UTMB, and LaunchPad really brings these things together,” Urban said.
He also noted that UTMB is the only member of the LaunchPad program in the greater Houston area. Many opportunities will be open to the public through academic and community partnerships. By engaging diverse learners, LaunchPad will help generate new ideas and prepare people to solve problems, succeed in the workforce, and grow the local economy.