Happy April Fools' Day!
Enjoy our new video, made just for you!

Just as UC Irvine is becoming green and  luscious with color, Spring Quarter is here! And that means the time to turn  over a new leaf - both literally and figuratively - has arrived.

Although today marks a day for deception and humor, we've decided to take the high road: instead of playing a trick, we'll provide great ways to come out of hibernation.  From our staples like Tank Tuesday and free consultations to the new LaunchPad Lunacy, you will always  have something  to make your venture fresh and new!

Check out the buddin' news below!

The UCI Blackstone LaunchPad Crew!

What to look for at the Blackstone LaunchPad
April Fools' Jokes: We've chosen the Best ANTtrepreneur Ideas  

Do you want to know the best thing that you can do to a friend or loved one? Use their UCI email address so we can send them the most delightful email.
Want them to believe that the Blackstone LaunchPad has employed them to live abroad for a year and report back on the behaviors of local pigeons? Sign them up here!

If you are unsure about whether the person you'd like to prank is some other harmless named individual, double check the UCI Campus Directory.

Some other tricks you can use that will be sure to cause mischief are: 

1. Hitting CTRL + ALT + down arrow on many Windows computers. Doing so will flip the screen upside down and cause a great deal of confusion...
To reverse it, just hit CTRL + ALT + up arrow. This is one of our intern's personal favorites and is super simple. We never let her touch our laptops because she uses this trick on days other than April Fool's too. 

2. Inspire your friends with their favorite actor. Search, find, print, paste, repeat. Post pictures of Nicholas Cage everywhere.

3. Be sweet, and fill your roommates room with balloons or 
  bubble wrap or their favorite filler item *cough*  *cough* *glitter*  ;)

Go wild, and Happy April Fools'! (Just don't let your victims know that we gave you some tricks up your sleeves.)

A Night of Madness with LaunchPad Lunacy

"My mother has diabetes. I want to save her."

Top: The WeBack team. Bottom: Two Instabuttons members discuss plans with a spectator and fellow competitor.
This was the opening line of the second pitch for Justin Stovner, Hugo Salas, and Ahmed Zobi's startup, Syntr Health Tech TM, which facilitates diabetes treatment. Just four nights ago, over 75 pitches just as these were made at The Cove, the venue for the first two rounds of LaunchPad Lunacy. And in almost every way, the event met up to its title.

40 ANTrepreneurial ventures faced off against each other as they delivered 30 second pitches to a panel of six judges, who would determine the top 20 teams advancing toward the $2,500 grand prize.

But as startup faced off against startup, competitors quickly became a blur. The night would therefore be remembered by the most passionate, unique presenters and the unexpected.

To stay on top, some speakers employed humor to get everyone on their side.

Hai Truong from Cloak and Dagger Shirt Stay, which helps clothing stay in place, requested to the audience and judges: "raise your hand if your shirt gets untucked at least five to ten times a day."

Three ANTrepreneurs take off on our launchpad.
After a flurry of hands went up, Hai responded, "I bet you just untucked your shirt right now."

But perhaps the most intensive moment occurred in the second round, when the judges called for a deliberation immediately after Shelby Anderson of SolSisters and Justin Fursov of WeBack delivered their pitches. Even after twice as long as the usual time allowed for breaking a tie, five judges were still unable to decide on the winner of the head to head pitch.

But both ventures joined the ranks as the top 20, when Shelby advanced after the initial clash and WeBack filled a wildcard spot to defeat Tutor Space. 

The winning teams' victory could only be enjoyed for the night, however; the single-elimination tourney continues online with the Upvote round. Go to blackstonelaunchpad.org to vote for your favorite teams!

Launchpad Lunacy Upvote ends Sunday, April 3rd
Make sure to have your voice heard! Vote by this Sunday, April 3rd, to ensure that your favorite startup moves forward to the next round in  our first ever LaunchPad Lunacy competition. 

Check out blackstonelaunchpad.uci.edu and support your favorite startup by checking the discussion boards an pressing the Arrow on the left side of the Company name!

The deadline for the upvote is Sunday April, 3rd at 11:59PM. 
Congratulations to Our Microgrant Recipients! 
Congratulations to Vespucci(left); Grant Overton(left) ,Chris Naguit(right) and Kino Carillo(Not depicted) and Au Solutions(right); Anthony Pham(left), Kelsey Fung(right). Both teams were awarded and  have received $350 and $400 respectively from the Blackstone Launchpad Microgrant Comeptition.   
Congrats to Versafit and Cubeform for Making It to Inc. Magazine's Coolest College Startup 2016!
Best of luck to our ANTrepreneur teams who made into the Coolest College Startup final round.  

N o matter what idea student s have, Blackstone Launchpad's free consultation allow anyone to try to start something for themselves! And if they fail, our resources enable ANTrepreneurs to try again till they succeed.
What BLP has shown is that anyone, from prodigies to the everyday person, can create something for themselves. 
Free Pizza, Free Discussions, No Joke!

Lunchtime LaunchPad is here! Each week (Mondays at 12pm and Thursdays at 12:30pm) we bring in guest speakers to talk about entrepreneurial topics.  Pizza is provided.
Lori Mazan

Choosing Your Co-Founder
A seasoned and certified Leadership and executive coach, Lori works with CEOs, senior executives and developing leaders in rapidly changing, growing, and innovative environments. She has been involved with leaders of Fortune 100 companies, the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and venture backed growth companies like Intellikine, Tapjoy, Coverity, Achaogen, the Chevron Corporation, Sprint/Nextel, and Citibank.

In this discussion, Lori offers advice on choosing your co-founder and different co-founder  relationships.  This is a great way to determine different partnership dynamics!
Sweet Treat: Root Beer Floats! 

When the sweltering heat of spring arrives, UCI Blackstone LaunchPad is providing a tasty way to cool down! 

Bring your friends and classmates to Ring Road, where every Wednesday we will be handing out free root beer floats. We'll be waiting for you to chill out with us! 

Tank Tuesdays for a New Quarter!

Every week this quarter, we will continue to host Tank Tuesdays! Join us in our office from 12-1pm, where we will gather for a viewing of a Shark Tank episode and a prize giveaway. Bring your lunch and check out who shares their companies with the sharks. Be ready to take a bite, and see you there!
Tips to Sharpen Your Startup
From Bad Blood to 
Wildest Dreams: Taylor Swift's Genius Business Move

When Taylor Swift accepted her Grammy for Album of the Year last February, she delivered a rousing acceptance speech that shut down Kanye West's criticisms against her. But what turned controversy into an advantage in the music industry doubles as leverage in the business world.

The speech, explains Lisa Abeyta, founder and CEO of APPCityLife, Inc., is rooted in a history of tensions between the two artists, including Kayne's assertion that he was instrumental to T-swizzle's success.  Directly disproving these claims seems obvious, but actually encourages the aggravators. By staying classy and shifting the conversation away from a personal issue and towards gender inequality, Taylor deepened her fans' loyalty and gained respect from others.

Although controversy will still exist, the pop artist's style of conflict-resolution should be applied by startups everywhere to achieve the same effect. To be fearless in turning your problems into solutions, check out Abeyta's article here.

Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Need to Avoid

Budding entrepreneurs eager to garner immediate success tend to lose sight of the demanding challenges that come with pursuing a startup. Razwana Wahid is a prime example, considering her ideal entrepreneurial path was turned upside down. Instead of everything coming to her easily, the harsh reality was replete with long hours, multiple failures, and countless expenses.   
To prevent making the mistakes often made entrepreneurs, consider the following tips:  

1. Maintain a monthly log of your progress and expect repeated disappointments before catching your big break.
2. Focus more on your business' progress, not the competition.
3. Build your business utilizing statistics and maintain a keen eye on which activities draw the most traffic.
4. Use your time efficiently and limit yourself to an hour a day building your brand on social media sites visited by your customers most often.
5. Online entrepreneurs should avoid succumbing to "shiny object syndrome" and purchasing courses in excess-apply the courses and tools you already have available to you.
6. Instead of being a "solo-preneur," try and create productive "co-working spaces."
7. Expand and diversify your network in favor of long-term, creative growth. Always keep in mind the bigger picture.
Fore more information what to expect heading into your own business, click  here.
Etsy Jewelry Shop  Pays for Tuition! 
Image Credit: LeiLei Secor 

LeiLei Secor is a student entrepreneur attending the University of Virginia, but she didn't let her busy schedule interfere with making dough to pay for tuition.

Check out her shop DesignedbyLei on etsy.

Here are the five things LeiLei learned about the makings of being an entrepreneur:
1. Don't be afraid to pivot.
2. Branch out from the well-worn path.
3. The difference is in the details.
4. Use the resources you have available and learn from others.
5. Use your time wisely.

For more, go here to know more about LeiLei's startup.
Have any advice for fellow ANTrepreneurs? Stop by Blackstone and talk to us about your venture!

A Lesson Visualized
Opportunists Apply Here!
Below are some startups looking for some members to join their team! See the instructions below to apply for these student run businesses!
RaNews is a project that developed by Anteater Jasmine Hang Ngo and her MBA classmates. Realizing the lack of supply of and massive demand for real-time, user-generated local news, the group aims to target this market niche by creating a trial product that will start as an insider news channel from UC Irvine campus, then expanding to other campuses and regions. 

RaNews is looking for students with experience in computer science who are interested in a hands-on experience in building a real product, researched and hatched from the MBA program. If interested, contact Jasmine Hang Ngo at ngoht2@uci.edu.  
Newport Flips

Newport Flips is looking for a marketing coordinator! 
Contact Eric Casavant at casavane@uci.edu for more about what the position entails and how to apply.  

Check out NewportFlips.
Some Serious Business(es)

Hillotask is a platform developed by UCI students, for college students to help each other with skills, earn money with knowledge, and have your tasks taken care of. If you enjoy making money by doing what you like, suiting your various needs (from math help, laundry run, to piano lesson), making friends and connections, and having a better college experience, our application is for you!

Download our application or visit our website.

Facebook |  Twitter |  Instagram  |  YouTube

ANTrepreneur: Adrian Wang

Uptrend is a student run tutoring service and would love to create a better employment and service place for UCI students!

We hope to improve the foundations within the course to give our students the best education they can possibly have in STEM or the Arts.  

 Apply |  Website 

ANTrepreneurs: Abhishek Yellapu
Jon loui, and Rahil Jetly   

Need your button fix? InstaButtons is the perfect accessory for your next campaign or promo for your club. Custom buttons and on campus FREE delivery.
-InstaButtons team

instabuttons@gmail.com  |  Etsy
ANTrepreneurs: Kristie, Alec, 
Cameron, Caden, and Zach  

Filter through people around you.

The best way to know who's around you and what's going on. View and post to a local feed unconstrained by a limited number of followers. Anyone can reach anyone else locally. Adjust Radius, Age, and Gender preferences to broaden or narrow your Overlapp community.

Upvote posts and get upvotes to gain popularity in a community. Fill your picture reel to share what you're about. Direct message to share who you are.

When you leave home your friends, followers, and reputation stay behind so Overlapp was designed make sure you don't skip a beat in finding people to have a good time with.

Features |  Android Download |  Apple Download

Patrick Dumas
What to Know!
Come and Network for a New Season:  
Lunch and Learn 
at The Cove

Are you curious or do you have any interest in forming your own startup? Come out and network with Experts-in-Residence (EiRs) at our Lunch & Learn events every Friday from 12-1pm. They will present informal talks and host Q&As with startup teams working at The Cove. Be sure to mark your calendar because your idea could be worth millions.
1 Million Cups 
1   Million   Cups  is an awesome event, and a great platform for feedback on your pitch. 
Each week two entrepreneurs give a six minute presentation, followed by a 20 minute question and answer session led by the audience members. It is a friendly environment for early startups to gain valuable help from the community. 
The event is free and coffee and tea are provided. Each 1MC is 
held at The Cove at Wednesday mornings, beginning at 8am.
If you would like to apply to be a presenter, please apply here.
Do You Know TEA?
The Entrepreneur Association's mission is to develop and foster entrepreneurial spirit and passion at UC Irvine. We at TEA believe that it is our duty to educate students and spark their innovative fire by providing workshops, programs, resources and connections in a network of startups. We believe in solving problems. We believe in serving others. We believe in carving our own path. 

We are now offering an opportunity to become more involved with the Rotational Internship Program, in which students will work directly with our executive board members and UCI Blackstone LaunchPad.
For more information, visit teauci.com or contact Asher Yeh at ashery@uci.edu.
Heard About TEDxUCIrvine?

"Every Spring, TEDxUCIrvine 

never ceases to deliver a 
mentally r einvigorating event."
-Tim Casasola


"TEDxUCIrvine was awesome! 
 Thanks for organizing an event
 that has literally changed my
 life and perspective."

 Are you ready for what TEDxUCI 
 has planned this quarter?
Eureka! Time to Party!

In two weeks, Eureka Fest 2016 begins! The  event will be h eld at the Eureka Building , 1621 Alton Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92606 , from 12:30pm - 8pm. 

Be a part of the largest festival in Orange County celebrating startups with live music, tech demos, food, pitches, parties, innovative speakers, and more.

Speakers include CEO Digsy Andrew Bermudez on "How to Build a Billion Dollar Startup in Orange County" on top of a panel on how to sell your startup, featuring owner and the CEO of US Alliance Group and Electronic Cash Systems, Fadi Cheika; so this is a gathering you will not want to miss!

Tickets are just over $22, but  use the code LAUNCHPAD to get 50% off. Hurry before prices spike tomorrow!
TCVN Workshop: How To Compensate Your Team with Stock

Join TCVN (Tech Coast Venture Network) in a  round table workshop in which you will learn the best ways to properly develop equity incentives for your employees, consultants and advisors.  You will learn how to:
  • Use equity incentives to compensate employees, consultants and advisors and thereby reduce your cash burn.
  • Create performance incentives by rewarding employees, consultants and advisors with equity.
  • Protect yourself if an employee, consultant or advisor with an equity interest should decide to leave.
  • Avoid some nasty labor and tax issues.
Equity incentives to be highlighted include direct stock grants (both restricted and unrestricted), grants of stock options (both qualified and non-qualified), and share appreciation rights, also known as phantom stock plans.

Get your tickets HERE! Student tickets are only $10 with a valid student ID.

RECESS Music+Ideas Festival
You wait for your grades, you wait for the weekend...but you won't have to wait long to get into the Pitch + After Party!

Bring your Student ID with you and you'll get priority entry into the Regional Semifinals and the FREE After Party concert!

Make sure you RSVP.

Deadline to Pitch has been EXTENDED through April 7th! Apply Today at www.RecessPitch.com

The University of California is now accepting applications for  Carbon Slam 2016 as part of its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2025. Competitors  will gain experience in pitching skills crucial for entrepreneurship, learn about climate change and the green industry, and have the chance to win a $4,000 grand prize.

A product of  UCI's Sustainability Initiative, the UC President's Climate Change Leadership Council, and system  faculty, Carbon Slam 2016 send the top four entries to Silicon Valley, CA, on May 23. Regional finalists and runner ups will present three minute pitches and posters to investors, industry representatives, and community leaders to foster more environmentally friendly public policy and markets.

If you wish to be more experienced in pitching, involved in making a greener planet and UC system, or just want to make cash in a meaningful way, read the rules and apply  here  before registration closes on April 10.
Changing The Face of STEM: Entrepreneurial & Career Opportunities

"This is What a Scientist Looks Like: Changing the Face of STEM, Internships & Research Opportunities," participants were reminded of the dismal statistics facing women seeking careers in STEM fields.

While females make up 47 percent of the U.S. workforce, they account for a mere 13 percent of engineers, and barely 25 percent of computer and mathematical scientists. More troubling are the numbers for minority women, who represent fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. scientists and engineers.

The final workshop in the series, "Entrepreneurial and Career Opportunities," is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15, 4 p.m. - 6 p.m., in the Calit2 Auditorium.
Mark Your Calendar 
Get Organized! Mark Your  Calendars! 
TONIGHT: BarkLA Kickoff at General Assembly, Los Angeles, 6:30-8:30pm. RSVP.

April 3rd, 2016: LaunchPad Lunacy Round 3: Upvote ends 11:59pm.

April 4th, 2016: Lunchtime LaunchPad at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:00pm.

April 4th, 2016: Food for Thought: A Panel on Food, Entrepeneurship, and Consciousness at the Eureka Building, 6pm. RSVP.

April 5th, 2016: Tank Tuesday at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:00pm.

April 5th, 2016: Digital Summit LA at the Skirball Cultural Center, 8:30am-6pm. RSVP.

April 5th, 2016: CoFounders Matchup Santa Monic at Cross Campus, 6:30-9:30pm. RSVP.

April 6th, 2016: LaunchPad Lunacy Round 4: 1 Million Cups Pitch at The Cove, 8-9am.

April 7th, 2016: Lunchtime LaunchPad at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:30pm.

April 11th, 2016: LaunchPad Lunacy Round 5: Customer Pitch at The Cove, 6-9pm.

April 11th, 2016: Lunchtime LaunchPad at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:00pm.

April 12th, 2016: Tank Tuesday at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:00pm.

April 12th, 2016: The Arena Festival Pitch Contest at Expert DOJO, 2:00pm. RSVP.

April 14th, 2016: Lunchtime LaunchPad at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:30pm.

April 14th, 2016: Eureka Fest 2016 at the Eureka Building, 12:30-8pm.

April 18th, 2016: Lunchtime LaunchPad at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:00pm.

April 19 th, 2016: Tank Tuesday at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:00pm.

April 19th, 2016: LaunchPad Lunacy FINAL ROUND: Shark Tank Pitch at the Cove, 6-9pm.

April 21st, 2016: Lunchtime LaunchPad at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:30pm.

April 25th, 2016: Lunchtime LaunchPad at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:00pm.

April 26 th, 2016: Tank Tuesday at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:00pm.

April 29th, 2016: Lunchtime LaunchPad at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:30pm.

May 4th, 2016 Entrepreneurial and Career Opportunities at the Calit2 building Auditorium UC Irvine.
How to Get Involved 
It is easier than you think. Scan the list and let us know your interests. 

1 Million Cups:
Want to present at our weekly event to share your startup with the community? 
Office Hours:  Share your wisdom with students  here .

Event Speakers Apply here .
Lunchtime LaunchPad Guests: 
Share your experiences with students during lunch  here.
Mentor/Venture Coach:  Learn more here .

Event volunteer:  Volunteer at events  here .

Peer 2 Peer Mentor:
Are you interested in mentoring fellow students? Apply here

Does your company have internship opportunities to offer to our entrepreneurs? 
Please submit positions here.
Some Launch Highlights

The Surfer 

With his new launch, he is already riding the fast wave to success and ready to make a big splash.  

The Stork

No, he's not a bird. But his launch is high enough so that anything between his arms won't slow him down.

The Glider
If those arms double as wings, then this ANTrepreneur's launch appears to be taking him places! 

The Cheerleader

UCI's basketball team's finish as semifinalists in the Big West Conference means seeing less of our pep squad, but not saying goodbye. Her launch brings the chant, "Go Eaters!" to mind.

How the Blackstone LaunchPad Can Help

If You Have No Idea...
We can help


If You Have a Basic Idea and Need to Know if it is Feasible...
We can help

 Tackling a Tough Business Challenge...
We can help


Competition Prep...
We can help


Have an Idea you Want to Patent...
We can help


Ready to Incorporate...
We can help


Need Prep for your Investor Pitch...
We can help

Connect With Us On Social Media



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Come by or sign up online to get startup help!
Blackstone LaunchPad
1 West Peltason Drive. Suite 202A
Irvine, Ca 92697