Blackstone Charitable Foundation Commits $4 Million to Establish Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network in Colorado

Blackstone worked with Bennet to successfully bring program to state

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, together with Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, Governor John Hickenlooper, and the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Law School, today announced the launch of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network (BEN), a three-year, $4 million initiative to help Colorado jumpstart the development of high-growth companies with the greatest potential to create new jobs in the region.

Over the past year, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation worked with Bennet to successfully bring this program to the state.

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s $4 million grant will fund the formation of a dense network of entrepreneurial support in Colorado, similar to networks that exist in Silicon Valley, New York’s Silicon Alley, and the Boston Corridor.

“The Foundation’s support will strengthen regional connections between our state’s entrepreneurs and start-ups, ultimately leading to more innovation and more jobs,” Bennet said. “Through its partnership with the University of Colorado, the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network will ensure that start-up companies with high-growth potential have access to the networks, mentors, and guidance they need to grow and succeed.”

“Thriving hubs of entrepreneurial activity, like Silicon Valley, have the potential to transform a region,” Jon Gray, Blackstone’s Global Head of Real Estate, said. “Through programs like the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, we are giving local entrepreneurs access to expert mentors and other support services that will hopefully incubate robust entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country.”

The announcement was made at an event at the Denver Art Museum this morning. In addition to Gray, attendees included Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper; U.S. Senator Michael Bennet; Bruce D. Benson, President of the University of Colorado; Phil DiStefano, Chancellor of the University of Colorado Boulder; and Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group and Co-Founder, Techstars.