Thirteen Organizations Awarded $2 Million to Support Entrepreneurship
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Blackstone Charitable Foundation today announced that it has awarded
grants totaling $2 million to non-profit organizations that strengthen
entrepreneurial ecosystems and support promising entrepreneurs. Now in
its fourth year, the Blackstone Innovation Grants program supports
innovative regional initiatives and events that foster entrepreneurship.
Through these grants, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is helping
outstanding organizations pilot, expand or replicate programs and
convene high-impact events that will catalyze the growth of successful
businesses, industries, and communities in their regions. As part of
this program, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is working to create
a global network of entrepreneurship-focused organizations across
sectors in which participants can share best practices, methodologies
and intellectual capital.
“Over the past four years, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is proud
to support a diverse set of dynamic organizations that complement the
work of our Entrepreneurship Initiative and build momentum around
entrepreneurship in their regions,” said Amy Stursberg, Executive
Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “This year’s cohort of
Blackstone Innovation Grant recipients have already helped hundreds of
companies and entrepreneurs to create over 9,000 jobs – we couldn’t be
more excited to support them as they continue that work in the year
For the 2016 grants, more than four hundred and fifty organizations
submitted proposals through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process
established by the Foundation for both program and event-focused grants.
The reach of the grantees’ programs and events extend across eight U.S.
states, Washington, D.C., and the United Kingdom, and the entrepreneurs
supported by these programs represent communities from across the globe.
The grant recipients are:
4.0 Schools (New Orleans, LA and New York, NY), $200,000 – Our
grant will support expansion of 4.0’s Communities of Innovation
program to 10 local ecosystems across the US and expand capacity and
diversity of 4.0’s entrepreneurship training program for leaders
creating breakthrough schools, learning spaces and ed tech companies.
Ashoka (London, England), $75,000 – Our grant will fund
Ashoka’s Change Maker Summit in November 2016, which convenes world
class social entrepreneurs for a two day conference in the UK to share
best practices, showcase entrepreneurs global impact and strengthen
the Ashoka community of social entrepreneurs and supporters.
Coalition for Queens (Queens, NY), $175,000 – Our grant will
help catalyze low-income entrepreneurship by funding a product
development track within Access Code, a program to teach low income,
diverse participants how to develop their own custom-built mobile apps.
Idea Village (New Orleans, LA), $100,000 – Our grant will fund
Idea Village’s New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week in March 2016, a
unique festival experience that celebrates and elevates the New
Orleans entrepreneurial ecosystem through a week of entrepreneurship
Iowa Startup Accelerator (Cedar Rapids, IA), $150,000 – Our
grant will fund the next iteration of Iowa Startup Accelerator, an
intensive program that matches tech-based startups, with world-class
mentors, Midwestern work ethic, seed funding, and development
expertise to take entrepreneurs from concept to successful launch in
Launch Tennessee (Nashville, TN), $75,000 – Our grant will fund
Launch Tennessee’s 36 | 86 conference in June 2016, which brings
together top talent from across the south to further the conversation
about entrepreneurship, investment and culture, and to identify and
highlight some of the top early stage companies throughout a 12 state
Mass Challenge (Boston, MA), $75,000 – Our grant will support
the MassChallenge Awards in November 2016, an event which brings
together key stakeholders and top entrepreneurs at the conclusion of
the 4-month accelerator program to share best practices and pitch
their companies for $1.5 million in no-equity cash awards.
Rising Tide (Trenton, New Jersey), $200,000 – Our grant will
fund the programming and expansion of the Start Something Challenge –
a statewide initiative across New Jersey that teaches entrepreneurship
to business owners through a yearlong interactive program focused on
the power of technology, social media and marketing.
Social Capital Markets (San Francisco, CA), $100,000 – Our
grant will fund Social Capital Markets’ SOCAP 2016 Conference in
September 2016, which convenes a global community to share best
practices in entrepreneurship, social enterprise and impact investing.
Social Innovation Summit (Washington, DC), $75,000 – Our grant
will fund the Social Innovation Summit in June 2016, which brings
together cross-sector entrepreneurs and leaders to come together to
investigate solutions for the world’s most pressing problems and to
catalyze inspired partnerships.
TEDWomen (San Francisco, CA), $200,000 – Our grant will fund
TEDWomen in October 2016, which will gather some of the world’s most
insightful and influential women to celebrate the vital ideas
percolating through their dynamic and diverse communities. Through the
Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s support, TEDWomen 2016 will offer
structured opportunities for female entrepreneurs and game-changers to
meet, learn and share.
Penn Medicine and DreamIt Ventures (Philadelphia, PA), $325,000 –
Our grant will fund the Dreamit Health Philadelphia 2016 program. In
this cohort, Dreamit will partner with Penn Medicine and Independence
Blue Cross to reimagine and expand a world class health
care entrepreneurship program.
Village Capital (Houston, TX), $250,000 – Our grant will fund
the Village Capital Energy: US 2016 program, a three month venture
development program that will find, train, and fund US-based
entrepreneurs solving major energy problems nationally and globally
through a unique peer-selection methodology.
About the Blackstone Charitable Foundation
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of
Blackstone’s IPO in 2007 with substantial commitments from the Firm’s
employees. Influenced by the enterprising heritage of the firm and its
founders, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is directing its
resources and applying the intellectual capital of the firm to foster
entrepreneurship in areas nationwide and globally. Through its
investment expertise across several asset classes and geographies,
Blackstone has a unique perspective on the global economy and a
heightened understanding of how entrepreneurial activity is often the
crucial catalyst in the growth of successful businesses, industries and
communities. For more information, see http://www.blackstone.com/foundation.
Christine Anderson, +1 212-583-5182