RICHARDSON, Texas, Aug. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Texas at Dallas announced today that two additional UT System institutions have joined the Texas Network of Blackstone LaunchPad. Beginning September 1, UT Arlington and UT Tyler are both members of the Texas Network, bringing the number of UT institutions in the Blackstone LaunchPad network to 10. In addition to the new universities, UT Dallas also announced new advisors joining the Texas Network System Stewardship Council. The council represents faculty, staff and student leaders from across the UT System providing advice and counsel to the Texas Network member institutions.
The Texas Network was established in summer 2020 when the Blackstone Charitable Foundation made a $5 million, three-year grant to expand the presence of its signature Blackstone LaunchPad program in Texas. UT Dallas is the administrator of the statewide grant, and its associate vice president for innovation and commercialization, Steve Guengerich, serves as the partnership director.
Nationwide, Blackstone LaunchPad includes more than 30 colleges and universities, with more than 175,000 student participants. Blackstone LaunchPad makes entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills accessible and relevant for college students to help them build thriving companies and careers. The Texas Network is only the second statewide system that has partnered with the Foundation, after the University of California System in 2019.
With the addition of the new member institutions, UT System schools in the Texas Network of Blackstone LaunchPad are UT Arlington (UTA), UT Austin (UT), UT Dallas (UTD), UT El Paso (UTEP), UT Medical Branch (UTMB), UT Permian Basin (UTPB), UT Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), UT San Antonio (UTSA), UT Southwestern (UTSW) and UT Tyler (UTT).
New members in the Texas Network System Stewardship Council include:
Natalia De La Garza, UTRGV
Clairissa Hansen, UTMB
Victoria Miranda, UTEP
Devanshi Patel, UTSA
Tezin Walji, UTSW
They join current council members, including:
Chris Bhatti, assistant vice president for development and alumni relations, and associate dean for external relations in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, UTD
Amanda Billings, vice president for development, UTSW
Shawn Farrell, assistant vice president for corporate and foundation engagement, UTSA
Julie Goonewardene, chief talent and innovation officer, UT System
Steve Guengerich, associate vice president for innovation and commercialization, UTD
Dr. Brent Iverson, dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies, UT
Mitch Jacobson, executive director of the Austin Technology Incubator, UT
Dr. Lance Nail, dean of the Robert C. Vackar College of Business & Entrepreneurship, UTRGV
Dr. James E. Payne, dean of the College of Business Administration, UTEP
Wendell Snodgrass, vice president for institutional advancement, UTPB
Dr. Randy Urban, vice president and chief research officer, and vice dean of clinical research in the School of Medicine, UTMB
"I am thrilled with the new schools and advisors who have joined the Texas Network System Stewardship Council," said Mitch Jacobson, chairman of the council. "They bring a tremendous range of backgrounds and skills to join the already outstanding team of leaders from across the state of Texas, as we together seek ways to help students launch tomorrow's great ventures."
About the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship The mission of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Dallas is to enable the next generation's new ventures. We fulfill this mission by educating, empowering and equipping our students, alumni, faculty, and the global UT Dallas community. In daily terms, this means utilizing world-class academic education, industry-leading experiential training, venture mentorship and advisory support, and other resources to support the launch of new businesses.