About Us

What is the Blackstone LaunchPad?

The Blackstone LaunchPad is an international organization, founded in 2008, that is committed to providing entrepreneurial and skill-building support to students in order for them to succeed in any career they choose. The Blackstone LaunchPad organization has a network of 30 different LaunchPads located at Universities across the United States and in Ireland.

The Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Montana was created in 2014. Since then, it has continued to make a lasting and strong impact at the University of Montana community and Accelerate Montana.

Our mission and goal is to provide UM students and Montana community members the opportunity to
explore entrepreneurship, create a viable career path, develop entrepreneur skills and mindsets. It is crucial to us that we support all people to explore ideas, pursue opportunities, and create the future.

What do we do?

Our mission and goal is to provide UM students and Montana community members the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship, create a viable career path, develop entrepreneur skills and mindsets. It is crucial to us that we support all people to explore ideas, pursue opportunities, and create the future.

To realize these goals, we provide a variety of services and opportunities for UM students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as Montana community members and entrepreneurs. These services and opportunities include free venture coaching, internships, jobs, competitions, events, courses, NSF I-Corps, and much more.

We are defined by our community

We at the Blackstone LaunchPad are inspired by the ambitious and innovative students, UM affiliates, and community members who come through our doors. We believe that regardless of what major or academic discipline a person may come from, they can be an entrepreneur. We are determined to eliminate the misconceptions that in order to be an entrepreneur or have an entrepreneurial mindset, you have to have a background in business. Some of our most inspirational and successful clients have come from backgrounds in Wildlife Biology, Creative Writing, Geography, Psychology, Music, and Fine Art. If you have an idea and a passion, you can make an entrepreneurial career path that works for you!

As an organization run by students and a full
-time professional staff, we are a fun and excited environment open to clients and visitors regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, background, etc.

What is Accelerate Montana?

Accelerate Montana is the umbrella organization that hosts the Blackstone LaunchPad. The mission of Accelerate MT is to support all people to explore ideas, pursue opportunities, and create the future.

Our brand pillars include being:

  • Empoweringproviding individuals with the skills and confidence, access to resources and expertise and the coaching and support to move forward on their journey
  • Inclusivewelcoming and accessible to all, regardless of background, idea or aspiration
  • Impactful: impacting the lives of those we support and empowering them to have impact on their communities, customers, employees or the planet.
Other departments along with the Blackstone LaunchPad that operate under the Accelerate Montana umbrella are the Accelerate Montana Rural Innovation Initiative, Montana World Trade Center, Montana Code School, Pursue Your Passions, Montec, Montana PTAC, and America’s SBDC –Montana.