Keller Center - Educating Leaders for a Technology-Driven Society

LaunchPad helps blast new teams into business

LaunchPad helps blast new teams into business

Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013

Called the Lean Launchpad, it provides assistance for entrepreneurs who want to start a company with a minimal amount of capital investment. The program, which organizes and links various aspects of a startup business into a coherent approach, relies heavily on collecting data such as customer preferences and possible markets.

Princeton University's Keller Center, which offers entrepreneurship programs as part of its focus on bridging technology and society, plans to make the Lean Launchpad system an integral part of eLab, its summer accelerator program for budding student entrepreneurs. Cornelia Huellstrunk, the center's associate director, said Launchpad's systemic approach should work well to guide students through the initial steps of creating their businesses. ELab, which is currently accepting applicants for this summer's program, will provide students with stipends, summer housing as well as dedicated mentors for the start-up teams.

James Hornthal, the 2012 James Wei Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship who taught Launchpad to Princeton undergraduates in a course last semester, said the system is well suited to first-time entrepreneurs. Launchpad was the brainchild of a colleague of Hornthal's, Steve Blank, a serial entrepreneur who believed scientists' could transfer their technical expertise to business.

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