The Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University has teamed up with a number of campus and community partners to present “Empowering the Startup Dream,” a half-day workshop focused on international student entrepreneurship. The event will take place on Friday, September 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 114 Bird Library.

Immigrants launch more than a quarter of all U.S. based businesses and have founded 51 percent of U.S. billion dollar startups.  However, the process of pursuing a venture in the United States can be very challenging, particularly for international students and New Americans.

Minhao Chen G’12 will keynote the workshop and share his insights on how to pursue a dream and his own entrepreneurial journey. He was recently selected as one of the 2015 Top Ten Outstanding Innovation Figures of China for his disruptive food startup Shi Quan She Mei Co., Ltd.

A panel of experts on immigration and business law will address the complex issues associated with the visa landscape and regulatory environment in the United States. Panelists include:

  • David DiMaggio – Program Manager, CASE, Center for Science & Technology, Syracuse University
  • David Reed – President, Reed Business Law
  • Andrea Godfread-Brown – Immigration Attorney, Brown and Palumbo
  • Anna Putintseva – Immigration and Business Attorney, Bousquet Holstein PLLC
  • David J. Wilks – Immigration Attorney, Miller Mayer
  • Caterina Ranieri – Immigration Attorney, Bousquet Holstein PLLC
  • Patricia Burak – Slutzker Center for International Services, Syracuse University
  • Jennifer Gavilondo – Associate General Counsel , Syracuse University
  • Michael Stanczyk – Corporate Attorney, Lynn, D’Elia, Temes and Stanczyk
  • Josh Aviv – Founder and CEO, SparkCharge
  • Tom Garden –President and Owner, Syrasoft
  • Daniel Rickman – Branch Manager/District International Trade Office, U.S. Small Business Administration

For further details, visit, To register for the workshop, email