The UC Irvine (UCI) ANTrepreneur Center received $550,000 in funds from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s $5 million expansion of LaunchPad, a campus-based global entrepreneurship network. The funds, divided up among all eight UC schools, are to be spent on innovation and entrepreneurship through August 2022.
“The ANTrepreneur Center is a place where students can get help to develop the skills necessary to start, run or grow their business,” said Jaune Odombrown, ANTrepreneur Center manager. “Whether students are just curious to experience the process of entrepreneurship, have an idea, or have already formed a company, we can help them navigate their entrepreneur journey, from ideation to implementation.”
In partnership with UCI Beall Applied Innovation and UCI’s Division of Undergraduate Education, the ANTrepreneur Center has dedicated a portion of the funds to supporting the center’s growing student interest by incorporating the latest technology into the center, new events at the center as well as travel opportunities for student entrepreneurs.
“I look at the ANTrepreneur Center as somewhat a startup,” said Odombrown. “We have been building a strong sense of culture and a community over the past four years making sure students know they have a place to go to share ideas. Using the funds from Blackstone as fuel, we are off to a great head start to begin building our overall brand identity and delivering our value proposition.”
In particular, Odombrown will be sending 10 student entrepreneurs to Blackstone LaunchPad’s third annual 2019 LaunchPad Propel event in New York City this November. The event, powered by Techstars network, will focus on building mentor connections, provide in-depth entrepreneurial workshops and encourage peer learning.
“As the home to entrepreneurs and researchers at the forefront of cutting-edge discoveries and technological advancements, UC is the powerful engine behind California’s global leadership on innovation,” UC President Janet Napolitano said in a press release.
Find out more information about and ways to get involved with the ANTrepreneur Center.
*Main photo: ANTrepreneur Center Manager Jaune Odombrown talks to UCI students about entrepreneurship and the resources available at UCI’s ANTrepreneur Center.