LaunchPad Lunacy is Here!
Check out what entrepreneurship 
means to UCI students!

As March Madness rounds the corner, there is a unprecedented clash of titans at the Blackstone LaunchPad. 

Our own competition, LaunchPad Lunacy, is underway. Unlike the NCAA tournament, UC Irvine will be filling every part of the bracket as ANTrepreneurs compete for the $1,500+ grand prize. 

But much how the madness extends from the collegiate basketball world onto campus, the madness at our office does not stop at our new competition. We are hosting a plethora of events to give your startup the strength it needs to make the right shots, like former NCAA player Anthony Davis. Our event will empower you to shine like pro b-ball player Stephen Curry. And if you fall down and sprain an ankle like Kobe, we will be your medical team to patch you back up and send you out into the field.

Check out our news below! And may your March be a slam dunk! 

The Blackstone LaunchPad at UCI Crew!
What to look for at the Blackstone LaunchPad
Launchpad Lunacy
The time has come! Our first ever LaunchPad Lunacy is here and we are now accepting entries ! Apply here.

An extravaganza of startups begins in three weeks, as pitches will be on 24/7 from March 28th to April 19th. During these four weeks, the first two rounds of the 64 team single-elimination frenzy will take place, leaving just 16 teams to duke it out over a $1,500 grand prize.
We look forward to hearing your pitches. Each one carries an atmosphere that is always stunning, and somehow the next pitch is somehow even better. The ever-amusing David versus Goliath match-ups litter the first round.

The winning team will be able to spend the prize money, no strings attached, on necessary resources for progressing the business toward its dreams.
But more important than the revenues, bets, and brackets are the memories of each LaunchPad tournament. The opportunity to gain experience for future endeavors and increase your startup's exposure to the Irvine community alone is more than a compelling reason to register.

Whether you're watching to root on your favorite startup, to win the bracket pool at work or just out of sheer enjoyment, get ready for the spectacle that is Launchpad Lunacy. Invite your friends here.   

Those interested in sponsoring or partnering with Launchpad Lunacy can email Breanna Bremer at or call (949) 824-6407. 
This Spring, Welcome a New App 
for rohming Around

With free time between grueling classes, spending an hour or two with a friend at the spur of a moment can become the highlight of the day. But as schedules become busier, folks with many friends end up spending time with none of them.

This the is the problem that Darren Li, CMO and co-founder, Raymond Dai, and five other entrepreneurs plan to solve.

Next quarter, these students are releasing rohm, an event planning a pplication coupled with other functions such as GPS, photo-sharing, and messaging.

While social networks such as Facebook and Instagram bring users together over the Internet, rohm is rooted in the belief that "social media apps should encourage people to reach out to people and [increase] more face to face interaction," stated Darren.
Darren Li, rohm CMO and co-founder.

The international student explained that attending college away from his home city of Dalian, C hina, contributed to his passion for co-founding the startup. Feeling uncomfortable living in the United States tempted him to stay at home, but he knew that problems would persist.

"That's why I wanted to do rohm," reflected the Chief Marketing Officer. "No matter what race or color [you are, that] it's easy to use" connects a community together.

Although using rohm is easy, creating it was anything but trouble-free. In addition to the number of co-founders dwindling down from four to two, Raymond's business knowledge as a UC Riverside student and Darren's experience in startup investment and owning and operating a coffee shop in Dailan was insufficient for computer programming development.

Their dreams, fortunately, were not ground up. They outsourced their initial app development to a Chinese company. Two months later, in the U.S., Huyanh Hoang and Jacob Minasian joined the team to further revise the app.

"[Programmers and software developers] are hard to find because of high demand," explained the co-founder. "No programmer wants to be involved in a startup because it's too risky, and it's more investable to have a solid establishment."

Yet, with all the workload that Darren carries, he still finds time for fun. "I love basketball. I love soccer," he enthused. Although sports remains one of his few leisures, his time is filled by his passion: "Entrepreneurship has shaped a peculiar fascination for me. Since high school I've been fascinated in business."

But as the release of the app approaches, feedback and development are the name of the game. The uncertainty of the startup world means a commitment to "polishing the product [to make it] perfect."

rohm is to be sold on Android and iPhone markets the beginning of Spring Quarter 2016.
A Peep Inside Fount: an App  Made by Businesspeople, for  Businesspeople

From Evan Leon and Vincent Vitale comes Fount, an iOS mobile platform that brings together a community of entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, and freelancers. With users' abilities ranging from business to computer science, to health and film, and so much more, Evan and Vincent promise to provide a revolutionary way to connect with the right people.

Fount's simple interface eases tensions about a complex task. User's lists of top skills are short, concise, and categorized by symbols used throughout the app.

Meanwhile, circular headshots supplant the traditional square frame to breathe new life into the hiring process. Users can elaborate on their experience, and those interested in working together can message each other.

But while the application bears similarities to resume databases, this is something entirely new. Social networking services like Linkedin are great, the business stated through its Twitter during a  Q&A session, but "Fount is aimed for entrepreneurs! While we value what you've done, we want to see what you're going to create and accomplish.

"We've also noticed there are many skill sets people identify themselves with, that are not reflected on their Linkedin. We aim to give users the opportunity to shine in these areas, especially [ones] they are passionate about," the startup continued.

Fount also goes above and beyond in little ways. Motivational messages and profound life advice, such as "Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success," give startup leaders hope in the arduous search for teammates. Meanwhile, a "need feed" keeps users in the know about possible prospects while they tend to other business matters.

Fount is now available on the iOS App Store. Release in the Android Store is coming soon.
Lessons Learned from a Volunteer
Earlier this year, three high school volunteers joined our staff.  We asked one of them, Justin Lin, to share his experiences.

As a student from Northwood High School, life can be pretty scary. When you think about it, what else are you but an inexperienced teen who knows nothing about the world, just hoping that something will work out?

But thanks to a series of fortunate events, I met David Ochi, a head consultant at Blackstone LaunchPad, who allowed me to intern there. And during my time, I have learned so much about the so-called "real world," which used to look like a big scary monster to me, and what it means to be an entrepreneur.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to be miserable for half your life, save money here and there for vacation, and finally retire when you are old and way past your prime.

Instead you can aim to change the world around you and chase after your dreams! And before you dismiss it as an ov er-used cliché message, I have seen that message come to life during my time at BLP.
Justin Lin.
As an intern, I am allowed to listen in on consultations, and when I listen, I have seen the drive that everyday college students, from freshmen to graduate students, have.

Whether it is in their voice, or the way they talk about their goals, their energy bursts out, as they speak about their business ideas, ranging anywhere from medical to simple tutoring businesses. And that is what makes it so inspiring!

No matter what it is, Blackstone Launchpad's free consultation for students, allow anyone to try to start something for themselves! And if they fail, they simply try and try again till they succeed.
This idea of constantly trying to reach our dreams, this idea of entrepreneurship that BLP has nurtured, as a high school student really makes the world much less scary.

What BLP has shown, is that anyone, whether you are a prodigy or just the everyday person, can create something for themselves.
Step up Your Game with Lunchtime LaunchPad!

Lunchtime LaunchPad is here! Each week (Mondays at 12pm and Thursdays at 2:30pm) we bring in guest speakers to talk about entrepreneurial topics. 
Pizza is provided. 

Tracy Kwiker

Do Anything You Want to Do: 
Even at 22!

Tracy Kwiker has 25 years of entrepreneurial experience in cutting-edge fields during their most formative eras. In addition to operating her own event production company, Tracy has played key operational and marketing roles in several additional entrepreneurial ventures, including a leading solar energy project developer, a multimillion-dollar retail store, and two prominent Russian-American joint ventures based in Moscow during the Gorbachev-Yeltsin era. Tracy shares the key lessons she learned along the way that can help you also do anything you want to do - even at age 22!
Nicole Jansen

Take Your Business to a Place of Power!
Nicole Jansen, CEO and founder of Discover the Edge, has been a business owner and entrepreneur for 20 years. She has helped thousands of people earn millions of dollars while reaching their dream, coaching and training them to play their strengths and do what they love.

Here she discusses how to take your business from a place of invisibility to a place of power!
Becki Wolters 

Practical Strategies for Success 
in Self-Employment

Becki Wolters is the owner of Sub H2o Underwater Marine Maintenance, a Hull Cleaning company in San Diego, CA, since September 1996. She is on the Board of Directors for the California Professional Divers Association, an educational non-profit providing support, advocacy and training in Best Management Practices for in-water hull cleaning.

Here she reveals the challenges and delights self-employment brin gs.

Al Brown

Building an IoT Solution
Al Brown is the CTO and founder of OspreyData, a predictive analysis platform of upstream oil and gas, focusing on recognizing failure and operation modes that affect production.  Previously, Al worked at IBM and FileNet.  He has authored a few standards and has a few patents. He has an MBA from USC an Bachelor's of Science in Mathematics from the Colorado School of Mines .

In this discussion, he provides a quick 
update on the  IoT space
  and shares his experience in building an IoT analytics solution. 
Thomas Bennett

Key Finance and Accounting 
Tips For Startups

Thomas Bennett is a CPA and Senior Audit Manager at Squar Milner's audit practice. He has been with the firm for ten years and has primarily focused on audits of middle market publicly and privately held companies in the technology, manufacturing, not-for-profit, and services industries.

We explore the role of finance and accounting in a startup, what services may be needed to support growth, and how to determine how much accounting firepower your startup business needs.

Anurag Bist

Lessons on Entrepreneurship
Anurag Bist is a technology entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Monet Networks Inc., a predictive video analytics start-up. In 2001, Intel acquired VxTel for $550 million in cash. Subsequent to VxTel, he was also co-founder and CEO of Moxair, a mobile display technology company. Anurag has over 20 issued patents. 

This LTLP covers basic lessons learned through an entrepreneur's journey. We talk about entrepreneurial spirit and key attributes for success for your startup.
Damnnnnn Blackstone, 
Back at it Again with the Boba!

Today is the final day of the quarter that we will be giving out boba on Ring Road! Find us between Aldrich Hall and the Student Center starting at 11am. 

If a powerful energy boost heading into finals week is not enough to bring your friends, we will be doing something that we have never done before on Boba Tuesdays. If you're mellow about this final event, do not worry; we are handing out boba Spring Quarter on Wednesdays. We look forward to seeing you there!
Finals are Here: FREE Scantrons  and Blue Books on Ring Road
Knowing the Stress you face before finals, we are here to provide new members of our system Scantrons and Blue Books to students in need. 

Sign up through our website and confirm through your UCI email to take one more step in preparing for the academic and business world.
Take a Bite into Business with Tank Tuesdays!

March may be a time of change, but Tank Tuesdays are still going on! Every week from 12-1pm, at Blackstone LaunchPad, come join us as we watch an episode of Shark Tank and give away prizes. Bring your lunch and learn from the best! Investors are guaranteed to grill rising entrepreneurs, and maybe take a chance on the rookies. See you there!
Spin The Wheel...

Come visit our office for a chance to win a PowerBoard and other free items!!

The Blackstone LaunchPad will be raffling off one of our PowerBoards, used for this video! Everyone who signs up until Thursday, March 10 will be entered into the raffle.  It only takes two minutes; just click on the link, sign up with your UCI email, and confirm your account through your email. Not only will you be entered into the raffle but you will be given access to valuable resources Blackstone LaunchPad offers.

If you have already signed up,
tell your friends!

Other prizes include:

Blue Books
and more...

Tips to Sharpen Your Startup
Ready for the long haul?
In  their book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary CompaniesJames Collins and  Jerry Porras explain that milestones that tailor entrepreneurs' mindsets for the long term actually have a name: Big Hairy  Audacious Goals. 
The time commitment of a BHAG--usually 10-30 years--make them undoubedtly audacious, which explains its bigness and furriness.

But if you feel ready to commit, expand your comfort zone, test your confidence, and give your startup a new meaning:
  • Conceptualize. Among other criteria, your BHAG may be innovative, engaging, and action oriented.
  • Test. Ask yourself: "Is the BHAG exciting? Will this be life-changing? Is it measurable?"
  • Commit. Break down your BHAG into smaller tasks, and reflect on your progress regularly to ensure that you are on track.
Alyssa Gregory further analyzes questions that need to be asked for each step in her article for sitepoint.

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: From Startup to Big Business

With a reputation for companies failing just moments after they liftoff, the startup world is undoubtedly a volatile place. Much of this instability is attributable to something known as scaling: the capacity to increase operations at a controlled rate, as a firm expands its opportunities for growth. Enterprises understand that the inability to scale properly is problematic, but have yet to solidify a framework.

Adi Ignatius  mentions Ranjay Gulati and Alicia DeSantola from the Harvard School of Business as a duo that may have the  a possible route. Examples from various startups around the world make a strong case for increasing specialization, encouraging management structure, boosting spontaneity with oriented-goal making, and reinforcing company culture.

This transition, Gulati and DeSantola write, needs not destroy the company environment in favor of a big business dogma. Rather, if work is to be done in the long term, adjustments must be made.

Treat Yo Self: 10 New Findings About The Millennial Consumer   

  1. Millennials aren't influenced at all by advertising.
  2. They would rather buy a car and lease a house.
  3. They review blogs before making a purchase.
  4. They value authenticity as more important than content.
  5. Their future inheritance won't change their buying behavior.
  6. They want to engage with brands on social networks.
  7. They want to co-create products with companies.
  8. They are using multiple tech devices.
  9. They are brand loyal.
  10. They expect brands to give back to society.
According to Forbes, these tenets guide millennials in their purchase history and view towards industries. Do you agree?

You might have an idea about a key target audience or realized your own buying behaviors. 

If you have a product or idea that falls into this niche, come into the Blackstone Launchpad and we will support you in forming a startup.

Want to read about some of the details about what Forbes was talking about? Click here.
A Lesson Visualized
Budding Businesses
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 to be a tutor here 
Search for a LESSON here 
More Information here  

ANTrepreneurs: Abhishek Yellapu
Jon loui, and Rahil Jetly 
Darth Mickey design by Danny PiG. 
UCI Anteater design by Hao.

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.

Check us out at:


-InstaButtons team
ANTrepreneurs: Kristie, Alec, 
Cameron, Caden, and Zach  
Guardian Locket

Guardian Locket allows a woman to be safe through the help of two everyday items: a locket and a phone.

The locket contains hidden Bluetooth technology, which works hand in hand with the user's mobile phone. The locket itself has a button on the back. Whenever the user feels like they are in an uncomfortable or scary situation they would press the button once.

The first click would send a false phone call to the user's phone in order to ward off any possible predators. If the predator progresses, the user would then click the button on the back of the locket twice. This would activate the phone's GPS features and send the user's current location to the local authorities and a customized list of emergency contacts.  Rape is never okay. Guardian Locket is here to stop it.

Crystal Sanchez
What to Know!
Come and Network for a new Season:  Lunch and Learn 
at The Cove

Come out and see the new series of speakers at The Cove! Lunch and Learns allow for you to hear first hand the in and outs of Entrepreneurship. The Lunch & Learn event is an opportunity for Experts-in-Residence (EiRs) to present informal talks and Q&As with startup teams working at the Cove.  Make sure to schedule it in for you to start and develop your next project!

1 Million Cups 

1   Million   Cups  is an awesome event, and a great platform for feedback. 
The format is simple. Each week two entrepreneurs get to give a six minute presentation, followed by a 20 minute question and answer session led by the audience members. We are currently booking for Winter presentations. If you have a startup or have an idea, we want you to join us. It is a friendly environment for early startups to gain valuable help from the community. Held at The Cove every Wednesday morning at 8am, you can also come by to be part of the audience. 
The event is free and we provide coffee and tea. 
If you would like to apply to be a presenter, please apply at 
Do You Know T.E.A?
Get involved with T.E.A. with Spring Lab and Rotational Internship Program.

Spring Lab: Designed and produced by The Entrepreneur Association, this 10 week program brings together student designers, developers, and businesspeople to share ideas, build teams, and launch a startup. We teach entrepreneurial skills to university students in a hands-on environment. All meetings begin at 7pm in the new Paul Merage School of Business building, SB1 2100. 

Rotational Internship Program: This on-campus rotational internship program where students have the opportunity to work directly with the ANTrepreneur Center and The Entrepreneur Association.
For more information, visit or contact Asher Yeh at
From TEDxUCIrvine

Are you ready for TEDxUCI? We at TEDx are currently preparing for our 2016 talks!

We will be posting some more about events to come so check out our Facebook page: here

We encourage you to apply to be a v olunteer here and  Tedster  here!

RECESS Music+Ideas Festival


You must submit as a student at one of the RECESS Spring 2016 Tour Schools listed (i.e. UCI).


  1. Teams must apply online through the online form and abide by all of the rules.
  2. A selection committee will determine five teams from each participating Spring 2016 Tour School and notify them according to set deadlines.
  3. Each of the five teams at each participating in the Spring 2016 Tour School will give a four minute pitch to and have a four minute Q&A session with a panel ofat the Campus Qualifier.
  4. The judges will select one winner from each date of the Spring 2016 Tour Schools ("Regional Semifinalists") to advance to the Regional Semifinals Round where they will pitch on stage before a free concert to celebrate.
  5. Wildcard Bids will apply online and a selection committee will determine the one team that will advance.
  6. A total of ten Regional Semifinalists will advance to the RECESS Field Trip to compete in the ("National Finals").
  7. There will be one elimination round that will be held as a booth style event ("Startup Playground") with a judging committee that will determine the three teams with the highest scores that will advance as the ("National Finalists")
  8. The three National Finalists will each pitch to a panel of judges with the top scoring team being selected and notified as the RECESS Pitch Winner.

Apply here. Good luck! 

Let the Festivities Begin!

The largest festival in Orange County celebrating startups is quickly approaching! On April 14, the second annual Eureka Fest 2016 kicks off with live music and demos, food, pitches, parties, and innovative speakers. This is a great time to connect with like-minded members of the Orange County business community.

The event will be held at the Eureka Building, 1621 Alton Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92606, from 12:30pm - 8:00pm. Those who RSVP before March 15 may enter a pitch competition, a opportune moment to connect and network with judges from K5 Ventures, OCTANe, CrossCut Ventures & Microsoft.

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

Tickets are $10 through March 19, but use the code LAUNCHPAD to get 50% off. Hurry before prices increase!
March, a Time of Celebration

Thinking of month-long celebrations during March may bring to mind the American Red Cross and women's history. But since 2013, LegalZoom has been pushing for March to be known as National Start Your Business Month. And it's been gaining traction.
Recognizing startups during this time coincides with the federally mandated National Small Business Federal Contracting Summit, from March 16-17. The event would also line up with what sales management thought leader Mura Schreier-Fleming has  called National Salesperson Day  on the first Friday of March, and Rick Segal's National Mom and Pop Business Day  on March 29.

Here's what you can do to celebrate these little known holidays:
  • Crack open a business book. Sun Tzu's Art of War is always a great starter.
  • Get to know your community by buying from a mom and pop shop.
  • Attend or host an event bringing firms together.
  • Thank a salesperson on campus and learn some of their marketing insights.
  • Use #NSYBM, #NSD, and #NMAPDB wherever you go on social media.
  • Start your own venture. We are always here to support you!

He May Not Know, but #SheKnows
If you are a female entrepreneur attending college, here is an opportunity to expand your business!  Women's lifestyle digital media company SheKnows Media is hosting its #CampusPitch contest, in which entrants submit a 30 second video about their value proposition. 
Five winners will receive complimentary tickets and travel accommodation to the women's
entrepreneur conference We Festival this April 13-14. They will also work with one of  SheKnows' platforms, ThePitch, to create a professional video that will be released on all of SheKnows' outlets (whose followers total over 255 million)!

Before #CampusPitch closes next week, on March 15, 2016, apply or find out more about SheKnows.
Mark Your Calendar 
Get Organized! Mark Your  Calendars! 
TODAY March 8th, 2016: Shark Tank Tuesday at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12pm
TODAY March 8th, 2016: OCTANe Startup Series: Building a Life Science Startup at The Cove, 7:30am-1:30pm. RSVP here
TODAY March 8th, 2016: Harvard Buisness School Association of Orange County: From Start Up to Corporate Implosion at the Eureka Building, 5:30pm. RSVP here

March 10th, 2016: The Secret to selling Ice to Eskimos Congruently at the Microsoft Store, South Coast Plaza, 5:30-8:30pm. RSVP here
March 10th, 2016: Lunchtime LaunchPad at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:30pm
March 14th, 2016: Lunchtime LaunchPad at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12pm
March 15th, 2016: Shark Tank Tuesday at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12pm

March 17th, 2016: Lunchtime LaunchPad at Blackstone LaunchPad, 12:30pm
March 17th, 2016: Inventor and Entrepreneur Forum at The Cove, 8:30-2pm. RSVP here 
March 18th, 2016: Lunch and Learn at The Cove, 12-1pm
March 21st, 2016: Startup Steps for the Tech Entrepreneur at Cowork South Bay, 7-9pm. RSVP here

March 22nd, 2016: Don Kasle, The Art of the Fast Pitch at The Cove, 5-7pm. RSVP here
March 24th, 2016: TCVN at The Cove
March 25th, 2016: Lunch and Learn at The Cove, 12-1pm

April 1st, 2016: Lunch and Learn at The Cove, 12-1pm

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

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 Anon

Our soup lover has such sick launches that he leaps out of frame. A true endorsement of anonymity.

The Twister

Head and torso move in the opposite direction from legs and feet. This launch has some style!

The Skydiver

Even though we intended this photograph to be a quick launch, the widespread arms and feet position associated with skydivers means that he may stay up in the air for a while! An unexpected, yet successful, launch.


The Dancing Queen of launches. 

'Nuff said.

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

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Blackstone LaunchPad
1 West Peltason Drive. Suite 202A
Irvine, Ca 92697