An evolving program for entrepreneurship support and education, "lifts off" at BW.

BW, Burton D. Morgan Foundation Celebrate Lift Off of NEO LaunchNET

January 22, 2016

01-22-launch-net-opensBaldwin Wallace University marked “lift off “ of a newly evolved program for entrepreneurship support and education: NEO LaunchNET, powered by Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

At a Thursday, Jan. 21 celebration for the rechristened program, Burton D. Morgan Foundation President and CEO, Deborah Hoover, praised the “continuously unfolding” partnership that has resulted in programs that “foster opportunities for students to develop ideas, start new ventures, and best of all, inspire a daring and creative entrepreneurial spirit that will continue to grow even after the students graduate.”

President Robert Helmer, who admitted to being an avid follower of space exploration, noted, “Launching something is a distinctly human endeavor” and urged the BW community to continue to innovate and launch new ideas in spite of the risk of failure. That sentiment was echoed by BW’s LaunchNET director, Mike Nock, who told the standing room-only crowd that, “Starting a company is a courageous act” with tremendous potential consequences for our region. He encouraged BW students to “continue to be brave.”

"Dynamic Core Collegiate Experience"

The event included testimonials from students and graduates who have won seed money at pitch contests and gained valuable knowledge as they've worked to start and grow companies under the first three years of the program, which began under the Blackstone LaunchPad model. David Brubaker ‘16, who runs a self-named consultancy; Kyle Sepesy ‘14, who started Boundless Trade Show Displays; Maya Smith ’18, who created Ayam Bold and Beautiful with Madison McNeil ’18; and Kaylee Yuhas ‘16, who developed Explorium all said they are eager to continue building their businesses with LaunchNET support.

Hoover praised BW as a “pioneer in collegiate entrepreneurship education,” and said the “courage and foresight of institutions like Baldwin Wallace” in providing academic majors in entrepreneurship and a stable of programs housed in BW's Center for Innovation & Growth, have helped to build entrepreneurship education into “a valued and dynamic core collegiate experience.”

About LaunchNET at BW

LaunchNET services, which include a regional network of collegiate entrepreneurship networking, venture coaching and other support, are free, confidential and available to all majors starting freshman year. For additional information, visit www.bwlaunchnet.org or call (440) 826-2472.