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Celebrating Kent State Entrepreneurs: The Blackstone LaunchPad Recognition Breakfast and Student Expo

Posted March 24, 2014

Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Color Jar and founding team member of Priceline.com, to speak at April 1 event

enter photo description
Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Color Jar
and founding team member of
Priceline.com, will serve as keynote
speaker at the first Blackstone LaunchPad
Recognition Breakfast and Student Expo
on April 1 in the Kent Student Center
Ballroom.

Kent State University's thriving entrepreneurial culture will be highlighted at the first Blackstone LaunchPad Recognition Breakfast and Student Expo on April 1 in the Kent Student Center Ballroom.

The breakfast will serve as an opportunity to recognize the achievements of Kent State entrepreneurs, past, present and future, as well as showcase current Blackstone LaunchPad student entrepreneurs in the accompanying student expo where students will be able to network, sell their products or services and discuss their businesses with event attendees.

'"We welcome students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to join us as we celebrate the success of our client entrepreneurs and recognize our many university and community partners," says Julie Messing, executive director of entrepreneurship initiatives at Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad. "Blackstone LaunchPad at Kent State has expanded beyond our expectations during the first 18 months of our program. We are thrilled to recognize our partners in launching this collaborative program that is reaching across the university and feature our client businesses who have benefited from our services.”

The featured keynote speaker for the event is Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Color Jar and founding team member of Priceline.com, who serves as a venture coach in the regional Northeast Ohio Blackstone LaunchPad Venture Coaching program coordinated by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

“As a mentor in the Blackstone LaunchPad program, I am so impressed with the program's open and collaborative approach,” Hoffman says. “The program serves students of all majors and hosts many innovative events that help students who have never considered entrepreneurship to see the benefits of creating their own companies and designing the dreams jobs of their future. Kent State students already have that ‘get it done’ attitude, and the LaunchPad program helps them accelerate down the path to an amazing future.”

The breakfast is free and open to the public, but guests are required to register at www.eventbrite.com/e/kent-state-entrepreneurial-expo-awards-tickets-9207837891 in order to attend. The doors open at 7:30 a.m. with opening remarks and the keynote address at 8 a.m., followed by the awards presentations at 8:45 a.m. and the student expo at 9:15 a.m.

Blackstone LaunchPad at Kent State promotes entrepreneurship as a viable career path. Through meetings, mentoring, workshops and events, Blackstone LaunchPad helps Kent State students, faculty, staff and alumni to create new businesses or grow existing start-ups in Northeast Ohio.

For more information about Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad, visit www.kent.edu/blackstonelaunchpad.