Introducing the Butler Launch Pad
The following post is from Debi Kleiman, Executive Director of The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship.
What’s in a name? Well, a lot actually. It’s about brand, identity, personality and vision. For us at the Blank Center, we specialize in helping our student and alumni startups get the connections, resources, mentorship, experiences and knowledge they need to move their businesses forward. A lot of this action takes place through the Butler Venture Accelerator, a key aspect of the Blank Center that was generously endowed by John and Alice Butler. For over seven years, the Butler Venture Accelerator has done amazing things with the new ventures here at Babson. And now, more than ever, we are creating more modern, relevant and timely ways to help our students succeed at entrepreneurship.
That’s why, last summer, we started to talk about our identity. We’ve been called the Butler Venture Accelerator for years, but in reality, we are not a true accelerator. Yes, we accelerate businesses but in the startup world, the term “accelerator” generally means a time-bound experience, usually three-five months, where a startup intensively focuses on accomplishing a set of milestones. The accelerator often takes a portion of equity from the startup in exchange for all the resources and connections provided to them during the program.
But what we do is all year long, for Babson/Olin Engineering/Wellesley students; we are there whenever they need us for support, even after they’ve graduated. Plus our services are free, we don’t take equity but instead view the program as a vital part of their educational experience. The practice of entrepreneurship, what they get through this program, is really what ensures the confident, prepared, knowledgeable and agile startups we help produce.
After many focus groups with students, faculty and staff and brainstorming sessions that covered many yards of IdeaPaint (Babson venture!) surfaced walls, we’ve got a new identity to reveal. Our new name and branding is the Butler Launch Pad! We’re excited about Launch Pad, not only because it really captures the awesome mojo and energy of what we do here, but that it came from the student entrepreneurs that are our focal point. It encapsulates our mission which is to provide world class experiences to help them launch and grow their ventures. It emphasize our role as community creator and gathering place. And last of course, it looks cool on a hoody.
So, welcome to the new Butler Launch Pad! All kinds of good things going on here, and more to come. Our entrepreneurs are fired up and making stuff happen. We’d love to have you join us.