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February 12, 2013 | Tom Ballard

Blackstone Charitable Foundation makes $100,000 grant to LaunchTN to help high-growth companies

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following release was provided by LaunchTN.)

Nashville, TN – Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN), a public-private partnership focused on supporting the creation and development of high-growth companies in Tennessee, today announced a $100,000 grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to pilot a new “Tennessee Top 10” initiative aimed at providing additional assistance to the top ten companies graduating from one of Tennessee’s nine regional business accelerators in 2013.

The “Tennessee Top 10” initiative will include the following for the ten selected awardees:

  • Travel assistance to visit with the highest caliber mentors in Tennessee as part of new a new “Master Mentors” initiative and statewide roadshow following accelerators’ Demo Days.
  • Coordinated out-of-state trips to visit with investors in key areas of the country such as Silicon Valley, New York or Chicago.
  • Extended accelerator incubation time.
  • Industry-specific showcase events, pulling together the awardees, investors, mentors, and other key stakeholders.

Thirty “Master Mentors” will be selected to participate, primarily with deep expertise in either technology or healthcare, and will be required to support the ten selected startups from Tennessee’s 2013 accelerator cohort.

“Thanks to Governor Haslam and his Administration’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation, Tennessee has received the attention of such a highly regarded institution,” said Charlie Brock, CEO of LaunchTN. “We thank The Blackstone Charitable Foundation for their strong commitment to supporting the strongest startups in Tennessee.”

The grants were made through the Blackstone Organizational Grants Program. Through this program, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is helping innovative organizations that directly support entrepreneurs to pilot, expand or replicate projects or programs that will catalyze the growth of successful businesses, industries, and communities.

“The future of the global economy depends upon a pipeline of creative, talented, and inspired entrepreneurs,” said Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “Through this program, we are able to direct the Foundation’s resources towards connecting the best non-profit partners with entrepreneurs to help them on a path toward innovation and discovery.”

About Launch Tennessee: Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in the State of Tennessee with the ultimate goal of fostering job creation and economic growth. LaunchTN focuses on four key areas: entrepreneurship, commercialization, capital and outreach. LaunchTN is in part funded by a grant from the State of Tennessee. Please friend LaunchTN on Facebook (, Twitter (, YouTube ( and Flickr (

About the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative: Funding for this program is made possible through The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s $50 million, five-year Entrepreneurship Initiative announced in April 2010. Influenced by the urgent need for job growth in the United States, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation seeks to support innovative projects and catalytic ideas that can accelerate start-ups, job growth, and economic activity. The Foundation focuses its resources on producing large-scale results in geographies hardest hit by the global economic crisis.

About The Blackstone Charitable Foundation: The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of The Blackstone Group’s Initial Public Offering in 2007 with substantial commitments from the Firm’s employees. Influenced by the enterprising heritage of the firm and its founders, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is directing its resources and applying the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship in areas hardest hit by the global economic crisis. Through its investment expertise across several asset classes and geographies, Blackstone has a unique perspective on the global economy and a heightened understanding of how entrepreneurial activity is often the crucial catalyst in the growth of successful businesses, industries and communities. (For more information, see


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