As a “student-led business accelerator,” Bearcat Launchpad is a program that is the first of its kind in the nation. With meetings held at the CEC offices on Calhoun St., students experience an intensive year learning the ropes of the entrepreneurial world. Accepted applicants are given the opportunity to be mentored by the Cincinnati’s leading industry entrepreneurs and develop their own skills for business strategizing. At the end of the program, participants compete in a Demo Day event where their business plans can be prized with financial backing and wide scale media attention. And, membership is not reserved only for business students! Bearcat Launchpad encourages students from all programs across UC to participate in the application process.
The program operates with teams of 3-5 members that work to create a successful business plan that reflects their entrepreneurial spirit. Applicants may submit their work solo or as part of a pre-existing team. BCLP marketing and operations manager, Riley Krutza, is happy to see this new program double up its power by teaming with the CEC. According to Krutza, “Bearcat Launchpad has worked with the CEC to ensure that students are able to make the most of the entrepreneurship resources available at UC. Both organizations look to promote student entrepreneurship so both organizations piggyback on one another to promote CEC and BCLP events.”
Bearcat Launchpad also helps the CEC by building a stronger connection between the student community at UC. Mentors and entrepreneurial leaders from the CEC’s mentoring network serve BCLP student teams and get a front row seat to the talent and creativity of UC students.
Bearcat Launchpad is run by three student-elected leaders, and General Manager, Shelbi Howard, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Last year’s program featured 8 different speakers who have all proven their success in the city’s business scene. More information about the Bearcat Launchpad program and how you can get involved can be found on their website. Be sure to check out their upcoming event, “Startup Saturday Hackathon” which takes place on October 1st. The CEC is delighted to be partnered with the Bearcat Launchpad in support of student innovation and bright futures for motivated student entrepreneurs!