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Launch Tennessee Awarded $250,000 Innovation Grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to Support Entrepreneurship

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation today awarded Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) a $250,000 grant through the third annual Blackstone Innovation Grants Program, which targets non-profit organizations that strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems and support high growth entrepreneurs. This is the third year that LaunchTN has been an Innovation Grants recipient and previous awards were used to launch The TENN and Specialist Programs.

This grant will help fund LaunchTN’s flagship 36|86 conference as well as The 36|86 Southern Series. 36|86’s mission is to become the annual meeting place to celebrate Southeastern entrepreneurship and innovation. As a way to identify top Southeastern entrepreneurs, a prelude of entrepreneurial pitch events, named The Southern Series, will be held leading up to 36|86, which occurs June 8-10 in Nashville, TN.

“The ongoing support received from The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has been monumental for LaunchTN. This is the third grant our organization has received, which has helped launch instrumental programs like The TENN and The Specialist Program,” said LaunchTN CEO Charlie Brock. “With this year’s award, we will be able to help spread our mission and further promote entrepreneurship and innovation throughout Tennessee and the larger Southeast region.

Started in 2011, the Blackstone Innovations Grants are given in coordination with the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s efforts to spur entrepreneurship around the world. Through the Blackstone Innovation Grant program, the Foundation is providing resources to twenty innovative organizations that directly support entrepreneurs as they pilot, expand or replicate programs that will catalyze the growth of successful businesses, industries and communities.

“Through our Entrepreneurship Initiative, the Foundation is committed to strengthening and supporting entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ecosystems globally through programs that enable the most promising new companies to remain and grow in their local economies,” said Amy Stursberg, Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. “We view Blackstone Innovation Grants as an extension of that work – the organizations we support are helping create the conditions necessary for entrepreneurs to thrive, and we look forward to working with them on these important efforts in the year ahead.”

The grantees were selected through a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. The twenty organizations were selected from over 550 applications, by a committee of Blackstone employees and subsequently approved by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Board of Directors. 


About the Blackstone Charitable Foundation

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was founded at the time of Blackstone’s IPO 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 nationwide and globally. 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 http://www.blackstone.com/foundation.

About Launch Tennessee

Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is a public-private partnership dedicated to supporting high-growth entrepreneurs with the goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for entrepreneurs to start and grow a company.

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