Blackstone LaunchPad

Home » launchpad » Mentorship

COVID-19 Update

All LaunchPad mentorship sessions will occur online through Zoom until further notice. After scheduling your appointment, you will receive instructions on how to attend your appointment via Zoom. If you cannot use Zoom for any reason, please email to discuss alternatives.


Every semester, we introduce a new cohort of startup mentors from the UT and Austin community to support our students on their entrepreneurial journey. Learn more about our mentors and schedule meetings with them through their bios.

Nina Ho
Company/Title: Assistant Director, Blackstone LaunchPad at UT Austin
Specialties: general, branding, marketing, design, customer discovery, event production

LinkedIn | In addition to being the Assistant Director of the LaunchPad, Nina Ho is also an entrepreneur, creative director, and educator. She is the founder of collective blue – a lifestyle brand that celebrates diverse creators through digital storytelling and event production as well as missfits fest – an annual festival and event series for self-identifying Asian American women in entrepreneurship and the arts.

Mitch Jacobson LaunchPad mentor
Company/Title: Executive Director, Blackstone LaunchPad & ATI
Specialties: general, clean tech, sustainability, sales

LinkedIn | Mitch is the Executive Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad at The University of Texas at Austin. He also serves as the Director of the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) – the university’s business and technology incubator. As the past director of the Clean Energy Incubator at ATI, Mitch helped build the $2.5B clean tech ecosystem in Central Texas over the past 8 years.

Alex Shahrestani
Company/Title: Principal, Shahrestani Law
Specialties: law, intellectual property

LinkedIn | Alex Shahrestani is a small business, technology, and entertainment attorney and founder of Lawtomation, a tech startup that brings legal work into the 21st century and lowers the high cost of legal services. Prior to opening his own practice, Alex founded the Journal for Law and Technology at Texas and served as president of a local 501©3.

Mark Murdock
Company/Title: Executive in Residence, Austin Technology Incubator
Specialties: law, intellectual property

LinkedIn | Mark is an Executive in Residence at Austin Technology Incubator and a retired attorney. He was with IBM for 30 years and Thompson & Knight, L.L.P. for 5 years. Mark has 20+ years in the entrepreneurship Ecosystem, mentoring, and judging.

Sandy West LaunchPad
Company/Title: Director of Development & Partnerships, Blackstone LaunchPad at UT Austin
Specialties: marketing, branding, corporate communication

LinkedIn | Sandy West is an entrepreneur at heart. She’s the founding president and director of a management consultancy dedicated to strategy development, integrated marketing communication, thought leadership initiatives, and go-to-market plans. Her personal passion is for brand creation, activation and launch execution; her favorite mantra is “it’s all about the brand.” Clients have included Fortune 500, emerging growth companies, and 100+ startups.

Jonathan Alba
Company/Title: Researcher at IC2 Institute
Specialties: communication, networking, persuasion, pitching, team dynamics

LinkedIn | Jonathan is a researcher at the IC² Institute at UT Austin where he conducts large-scale studies investigating how cities and regions can create innovative economies. He has worked with city leaders and organizations in Sweden, India, Ecuador and across the United States to foster entrepreneurial cultures. Before joining the IC2 Institute, he worked in Dr.

Gregory Pogue
Company/Title: Deputy Executive Director, IC² Institute
Specialties: general, technology commercialization, early venture creation, research

LinkedIn | Dr. Gregory Pogue is Deputy Executive Director and Senior Research Scientist of the IC² Institute of The University of Texas at Austin. He leads research, instructional and implementation programs surrounding technology commercialization, early venture creation and entrepreneurship. He organizes Institute-campus research programs and coordinates IC²’s regional and international programs with campus initiatives. He served as Interim Executive Director from 2016-2018.

Trevor Boehm
Company/Title: Program Director, Techstars Austin and Impact Accelerators
Specialties: product strategy, early-stage growth, team culture & dynamics

LinkedIn | Trevor Boehm is currently the Program Director for the Techstars Austin and Techstars Impact Accelerators, where he leads sourcing and manages the alumni, mentor, and investor networks in Texas. He is also a Founding Partner at Assemble, a facilitation company that helps organizations build better teams, have better conversations, and get more done. His expertise is in product strategy, early-stage growth, and team culture and dynamics.

Madison Gove
Company/Title: Program Manager, Social Innovation Initiative at McCombs
Specialties: marketing, social entrepreneurship, public affairs, education

LinkedIn | Madison received a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree from the Business Honors and Marketing programs at The McCombs School of Business in 2017. She also earned a Master of Public Affairs (MPAff) degree from The LBJ School in 2019. Her primary interest is in using entrepreneurship to foster sustainable social change, especially in education.

Calvin Mays
Company/Title: Principal, Qubicle Design
Specialties: human-centered design, design strategy, marketing, entertainment

LinkedIn | Calvin is a Design Strategist by profession, and has held several executive positions with Global corporations in Entertainment, Marketing, and Technology. His latest ventures have involved investors, foreign dignitaries, and entrepreneurs from Los Angeles, the UK, Israel, Africa, and Switzerland, where he consulted on digital product design, user insights, and innovation strategy.