About Us

The LaunchPad at UT Austin ("The LaunchPad") is a resource hub that helps undergraduate and graduate students of all backgrounds navigate and explore entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Austin.

Whether students want to become a small business owner, startup founder, side hustler/freelancer, or social entrepreneur, we're here to support them. Beyond launching their own initiatives, our center helps students cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset they need to thrive personally and professionally in the 21st century.


The LaunchPad's mission is to prepare young people for the modern workforce through the lens of entrepreneurship. Our work encourages young people to...

-Explore entrepreneurship at their own pace in a cross-disciplinary environment (Entrepreneurship can look like starting a small business, startup, social enterprise, or a side hustle.)

-Cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset regardless of whether they go on to start a company or not.

We never ask students what they want to be when they "grow up." We ask,

"What problems are you passionate about solving and how can we get you ready to solve them?"


At The University of Texas at Austin, the LaunchPad is a unit within the Undergraduate College which oversees the components of a college education that are shared by all undergraduates at the university. UGS' mission is to prepare students for lives of accomplishment through a dynamic common curriculum and a strategic community of programs and initiatives designed to help them make the most of their academic experiences.

Nationally, The LaunchPad at UT Austin is a proud member of the Blackstone LaunchPad network of 46+ universities across the US and Ireland. Our center began in 2017 thanks to a general $1M grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. The BLP network makes entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills accessible and relevant for all college students to help them build thriving companies and careers. Our involvement with the network gives students on the 40 Acres exclusive access to Blackstone LaunchPad-specific events, funding, and signature programs.

Our Team

Nina Ho

Executive Director


Barrett Pearce

Managing Director


Diego Rubio

Program Manager


Shannon Lundquist

Program Coordinator


LaunchPad Fellows

Kat Ybarra

Marketing Intern
( Sr. Marketing Lead )

Hiba Soban

Marketing Intern

Hope Alinaitwe

Marketing Intern

Baxter Wright

Business Dev. Intern
( Events Lead )

Aleks Kalaouze

Business Dev. Intern

Amari Alford

Business Dev. Intern

Sam Lopez

Business Dev. Intern

Thao Nguyen

Design Intern
(Creative Director)

Francine Gumban

Design Intern

Zak Rodriguez

Design Intern

Prachi Kadam

Design Intern
(Special Projects)