Changes in Store for Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad

You will soon see the beginning of a branding change for Kent State’s LaunchPad, located in the Kent Student Center. In January, the Blackstone LaunchPad will be rebranded as LaunchNET Kent State University.

All four schools in Northeast Ohio that currently host LaunchPads — Kent State, Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University and Lorain County Community College — will become part of NEOLaunchNET, powered by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

Each school will handle its transition based on its own timetable, from now until the beginning of 2016. The Kent State office will have its new branding in place when students return from winter break in January.

“We are excited about the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the rest of the entrepreneurial resource network in Northeast Ohio,” says Zach Mikrut, Kent State’s LaunchPad program manager.

For the Kent State community and clients, specifically, the new branding will not change anything about the range of services offered by LaunchPad. If anything, the new network will become more embedded in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Burton D. Morgan Foundation is committed to supporting NEOLaunchNET campuses and will work with them to adapt the program to incorporate the culture and unique strengths of each campus.  

“This is purely a name and logo change for us, with all of our services and events just as before,” says Julie Messing, executive director for LaunchPad. “But we want to make sure that new and current clients aren’t surprised by any of the changes as we begin to embrace the new branding.”

The office assists all Kent State students, alumni, faculty and staff with new or existing businesses to bring their ideas to fruition through one-on-one advising, community mentoring and a variety of events encouraging innovation and “entrepreneurial thinking” in all disciplines and industries.

There will be a formal “Grand Re-Opening” Ceremony in January after classes resume. Any questions about the rebranding process or about LaunchPad/LaunchNET Kent State can be directed to the Kent State office at 330-672-6700.