Libraries celebrate Banned Books Week, September 24 – 30

Banned Books Week is an annual event that highlights the value of free and open access to information and celebrates the freedom to read. To mark the occasion, the Libraries will host an exhibit of banned books and related material in the Learning Commons on the first floor of Bird Library. The exhibit was curated by Learning Commons Librarian Natalie LoRusso.

In addition, Black and Banned, the annual campus read-in, will be held on Tuesday, September 26 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the Learning Commons. The event is open to readers from campus and community. Sponsors include the African American Studies Department, the Libraries, Reading & Language Arts Program, the Library & Information Science Student Association, and Onondaga Community College Historians.

For more information on the read-in, contact Joan Bryant at


STEM Publishers and Products Showcase on October 3

Join the Syracuse University Libraries on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Life Sciences Complex atrium for a showcase of resources from science and technology collections. Representatives from the following publishers and products will be available to provide demonstrations and answer questions.

Need an introduction to something that’s new to you or generally want to brush up? Plan to attend one or more of these publisher demonstrations that will be held in the following classrooms:

Time 1-020 CST 102 LSC
11:00 Engineering Village Sage
11:30 Reaxys ASTM
12:00 IEEE Springer Nature
12:30 JoVE Books 24×7
1:00 Clarivate Analytics IET / Inspec
1:30 Scopus Knovel

Refreshments will be provided by our vendor partners. For more information, contact Anne Rauh at

Blackstone LaunchPad partners on two-part series, the Funding Roadmap

The Blackstone LaunchPad is pleased to join The Innovation Connectors ( to present a two-part series on Startup and Growth Capital. The agenda is:

  • The Funding Roadmap – Part I: Startup Capital, Tuesday, September 26, Syracuse Technology Garden, 235 Harrison St., Syracuse, NY
  • The Funding Roadmap – Part II: Accelerate your Growth with Impact Capital, Monday, October 2, CNY Biotech Accelerator, 841 E. Fayette St., Syracuse, NY

Explore funding opportunities from startup to acceleration stages with experts who will introduce various funding resources, loan programs offered by the U.S. SBA, alternative financing such as the Excelsior Growth Fund, and state programs/tax credits available to young businesses.  A panel of equity investors will give an inside look at what’s in their mindset when it comes to impact investing. Participants will also hear from founders who have “been there and done that,” with tips on how to approach funders. There is a nominal registration fee.  Register at:

The Blackstone LaunchPad is a founding member of The Syracuse Innovation Connectors, a consortium that includes leaders from government, business, incubation, acceleration, and resource organizations across Central NY.  The group’s goal is to build alliances, collaborate on events, and understand the strength of our region’s resources to better assist our next generation entrepreneurs.  See the list of members here.

For more information including the full agenda, see The Funding Roadmap event webpage at

Blackstone LaunchPad to help more startups through new software platform, Ideator

Blackstone LaunchPad Global Media Fellow David Fox ’19 (left) with Syracuse University Ideator Brand Manager Quentin Rosso ’18 (right)

The Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University is pleased to offer a free new software platform for faculty, staff, student, and alumni entrepreneurs.  Ideator is a startup management tool created by the Blackstone Entrepreneurship Initiative (a project of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation), working with Ideator, a software company based in San Francisco.

Ideator is now being used by the 20 universities that are part of the Blackstone LaunchPad global network.  It features easy to use tools for team building, access to collections of on-line resources, and ways to connect with mentors and investors, as well as a roadmap for managing a venture from ideation to commercialization. Users can complete personal profiles and detail their entrepreneurial interests, skills, and pursuits. As they progress through commercialization, they can then showcase their ideas, form teams, find subject matter experts, and connect with investors who are interested in collegiate startups.

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is strongly encouraging adoption of the new software platform. To spur adoption, the Foundation is hosting a campus competition through October 6, challenging LaunchPad programs to complete the largest number of profiles. The top three institutions will receive cash awards of $15,000 for 1st place, $10,000 for 2nd place, and $5,000 for 3rd place.

In 2010, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced its Entrepreneurship Initiative, a global commitment to advance entrepreneurial thought and activity in the United States and abroad. Through Blackstone LaunchPad, Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge, and Blackstone Innovation Grants, the Foundation encourages and empowers the entrepreneurs who create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

Syracuse University’s Blackstone LaunchPad opened in April 2016 in Bird Library.  Since then, it has served nearly 2,000 students from 45 countries, with 50% women entrepreneurs.  The LaunchPad is an experiential entrepreneurship program open to faculty, staff, alumni, and students, offering coaching, ideation, and venture creation support.

Blackstone LaunchPad Global Fellow Quentin Rosso, ’18 Whitman, is Syracuse University’s Ideator brand manager. He has developed an outreach campaign and is charged with spearheading adoption across campus.  Rosso is available for questions about the platform, as well as demos of how to use the software to help grow a venture. Sign up in the LaunchPad or online at To make an appointment for more information or to discuss your venture idea, email

$5,000 Impact Prize for social entrepreneurship debuts this fall

Gisela von Dran

A new Impact Prize initiative launches this week at Syracuse University. The program will support student entrepreneur teams that devise innovative and implementable solutions to economic or social problems, or civic challenges.  Coordinated by the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University, the Impact Prize is supported through a gift to SU Libraries from Dr. Gisela M. von Dran, director emerita of the iSchool’s MSLIS program.

The Impact Prize consists of two components:  an Impact Generator workshop series, and an Impact Prize Competition.  The challenge is open to graduate and undergraduate Syracuse University students from all academic areas.

The Impact Prize kicks off with an event at 3 p.m. on September 22 in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 114 Bird Library.  The event will feature an overview of the program and remarks by Dr. von Dran.  It will also open the on-line application process, which runs through October 27.  Twelve teams from across campus will be selected to pitch at a November 14 competition as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, and vie for $5,000 in awards to be allocated to the most promising, feasible solutions.

To jumpstart creative thinking about pressing social entrepreneurship challenges, Impact Generator workshops will be held on September 28-29 and October 5-6 at Bird Library. The goal of the workshops is to inspire students to think about big challenges in these areas, understand emerging issues and trends, and begin to brainstorm ideas for solutions. These interactive sessions will be led by local nonprofit leaders who are change-makers in:

  • Energy, the environment, and sustainable solutions
  • Arts, culture and education
  • Community revitalization, poverty, and empowerment
  • Healthcare, nutrition, and human services

The competition is not limited to the categories covered in the workshops, but is an open call for products, services, or technologies that can become practical and sustainable solutions to pressing global or local societal challenges.

The Impact Prize is funded through a personal gift from Dr. Gisela M. von Dran, director emerita of the iSchool’s MSLIS program, who has a special interest in entrepreneurship. Before joining the iSchool, Dr. von Dran served as an assistant professor of management at the Whitman School of Management. She is the wife of Raymond von Dran, who was dean of the iSchool from 1995 until his death in 2007.  Shortly after, Gisela established the Raymond F. von Dran Fund at Syracuse University, and directed that fund to support the RvD initiative which funds the iPrize student entrepreneurship competition each spring.  The new Impact Prize competition will serve as a gateway to the annual iPrize competition, as well as other global social entrepreneurship competitions on the Syracuse University campus, such as the Hult Prize.

Blackstone LaunchPad Engagement Scholar, Kennedy Patlan ‘18, a triple major in Advertising, Citizenship and Civic Engagement, and Women’s and Gender Studies,, is managing the project. The Engagement Scholar position was created as a part of the LaunchPad’s goal to grow social enterprise ventures across the campus innovation ecosystem.

For more information, see