LaunchPad is a multidisciplinary experiential learning programme that supports a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, by providing tools for student entrepreneurs to turn ideas into viable businesses. This was first Global Launch for the Blackstone programme outside of the US. The programme supports student entrepreneurs with individual coaching, seminars and training related to building a business all through experiential learning and hands on development.
Since its inception the programme has become the biggest on campus community, with over 5,000 students taking part in the programme, coached over 1,800 sessions. The programme has expanded further with the opening of LaunchLab, a learning space that supports a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship through interaction, innovation and incubation. LaunchLab which is located in the heart of the NUI Galway campus hosts a series of laboratories aimed at enabling aspiring student entrepreneurs to advance their skills in various domains. The first programmes running in LaunchLab are a Fintech Lab and Social Simulation with the programme planning to expand to an Ideation Lab. The Fintech lab works at the intersection of entrepreneurship. The Social Simulation lab has students that are trained in simulating social models of choice, competition, conflict and cooperation using multi-level, multi-agent systems employing range of techniques, including game-theoretic techniques.
A central focus of the programme is on skills development with the potential outcome of an enterprise or project rather than just focusing on the project itself. To further enhance this ambition the programme will run a student accelerator programme, InnovateHER, a female only programme to expand its interdisciplinary entrepreneurial activities and seek to further collaboration with enterprises through a series of workshops to problem solve for industry.
In addition to these exciting core programmes, LaunchPad has partnered with numerous industry partners to develop and deliver workshops and events including the Druid Theatre company and Bank of Ireland.