In 1978, Cliff Ensley ’69, ’70, G’71 had an idea to start his own business and just $2,500 to do it. He was used to taking on challenges—there was no stopping him. Growing up, he struggled with a learning disability—at…
Jeff Rich ’67 Contributes to LaunchPad Innovation Fund
Jeffrey Rich ’67, partner at Rich Michaelson Magaliff LLP, and a member of the Syracuse University Libraries Advisory Board, has made a multi-year pledge of $25,000 per year for five years to Syracuse University Libraries. The total pledge of $125,000, beginning in spring 2020, will go toward student grants to pursue business startup ventures via the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars, helping students move ideas from concept through research and discovery to proof and commercialization.
“I wanted to contribute in a way that directly supports students’ new ventures and removes any obstacles to startup development,” Rich says. Students interested in applying for grant funding to progress their business ventures can email LaunchPad@syr.edu. Grants of up to $5,000 will be reviewed monthly after students complete a request for funding application. Grants can be used for prototypes, research, patent applications, incorporation, marketing or legal counsel, or other tangible out-of-pocket expenses.
“This is a significant funding opportunity to grow entrepreneurship and innovation broadly across campus,” say David Seaman, University Librarian and dean of the Syracuse University Libraries. “In fact, I believe this is the first campus-wide non-equity funding opportunity available to all students at Syracuse. These grants remove the barriers to growth for student ventures, while allowing students to maintain complete ownership of their business.”
Rich graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School and obtained a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1970. He specializes in commercial law and financial restructuring at the firm Rich Michaelson Magaliff LLP. In addition to being active in various legal and charitable organizations, he is an active mentor with the LaunchPad and was recently appointed to represent the Libraries on the University’s National Campaign Council.
The LaunchPad will coordinate the program on behalf of Syracuse University Libraries. An online application will include requirements for students to specify a detailed project over a clear time frame, with identified outcomes that will help move their idea closer to proof of concept. All Syracuse University students in good academic standing are eligible to apply. Awards are limited to one per team per semester.
There are several opportunities to support innovation at Syracuse University through Syracuse University Libraries. To learn more, contact Ronald Thiele, assistant dean for advancement, Syracuse University Libraries, at 315.443.2537, 315.560.9419 (m) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries:
The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars in Bird Library is Syracuse University’s innovation hub, connecting the entire University’s resource-rich ecosystem with a global network that provides support for aspiring entrepreneurs, inventors and creators. The program serves faculty, staff, students and alumni across disciplines who are interested in innovation, invention, entrepreneurship, venture creation and taking ideas from concept to commercialization. The program supports a key pillar of Syracuse University’s Academic Strategic Plan to create an innovation ecosystem across the institution that prepares participants to be trailblazers in an entrepreneurial world.