Blackstone LaunchPad

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The LaunchPad is virtual! Stop by our coworking space on Pragli from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday to talk to our staff members, host informal meetings, and more.

Mentors

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.

Mariam Matin
Company/Title: Co-Founder, Second Day
Specialties: Social impact and entrepreneurship, the job search, marketing and communications

LinkedIn | For the past three years, my team and I have been tackling the question: “If 60% of millennials want to make an impact in their careers, why do only 20% end up in social impact?” This question was compelling to me because we found two key themes emerge: (1) people not knowing enough about the industry (2) the pressure to follow more traditional paths of one’s peers.

Ashland Viscosi
Company/Title: Founder of Creatives Meet Business (CMB)
Specialties: Bootstrapping, general

LinkedIn | Ashland’s experience unites the disparate worlds of film, art, events, podcasts, fundraising, and entrepreneurship. She connects people and ideas, bringing lively energy to all of her endeavors—a “Jack of All Trades” empowering Austin’s creative community. And, it all started with a Master’s Degree in political science and Peace Corps service.

Sophie Johnson
Company/Title: Inventor’s Program Coordinator, College of Natural Sciences
Specialties: Team management, translational research, communicating science, mentoring

LinkedIn | Sophie directs the Inventors Program under the College of Natural Sciences. The Inventors Program builds a bridge between theory and application by pairing students with innovative faculty and engaged industry partners to delve deep into authentic STEM projects. Students apply their science education, think like entrepreneurs, leverage their unique backgrounds, and build their network.

Krystal Hawkins
Company/Title: Brand Strategist at GSD&M | Diversity Advocate
Specialties:

LinkedIn | When performing strategy needs for brands, I explore human emotion and determine how it can be used to cultivate more space for diverse audiences across the social and digital worlds.

Please contact Shannon Lundquist to schedule an appointment.

Anderson Smith
Company/Title: Principal, Unorthodox Ventures
Specialties: Venture investing, consumer products, femtech, operations, sales strategies

LinkedIn | An entrepreneur with a background in art history and biology, Anderson has a knack for appreciating and understanding the substance of things. In business, that means focusing on the whole picture — from breaking down the biggest ideas into workable processes to correcting the tiniest inefficiencies. Anderson’s experience includes international sales and continuous improvement, and she’s a self-taught

Eliott Lee
Company/Title: Co-Founder, ElecTrip
Specialties: Operations, Product, Networking, Pitching

LinkedIn | Eliott Lee is a recent graduate from The University of Texas at Austin and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Eliott has experience bringing products to market through co-founding ElecTrip, a city to city mobility transportation service. He led and scaled the operations side of ElecTrip during his time at UT Austin.

Matthew Saitta
Company/Title: Venture Investor, Silverton Partners
Specialties: Financial modeling, how to pitch to investors

LinkedIn | Matthew joined Silverton Partners as a Senior Associate in 2020. Before joining Silverton, Matt was an Associate at Providence Equity Partners in Boston, MA where he led growth and buyout investments in leading technology and payments companies. Early in his career, he worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Morgan Stanley. Originally from Long Island, NY, Matt earned B.S. degrees in both finance and psychology from Northeastern University.

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