The Launch Pad Annual Report

Where Ideas Happen

Founded in 2008, The Launch Pad has been the hub for entrepreneurship for The University of Miami since its inception.

From groundbreaking entrepreneurship education, to advising, customized mentoring, to inspirational events. The Launch Pad has been the center of the entrepreneurship revolution in higher-ed.

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Our Mission

Our goal at The Launch Pad has been to make entrepreneurship a viable option for current students, alumni, and employees of the University of Miami. By providing resources, guidance, and networking opportunities, the Launch Pad aims to reduce the friction and pain points associated with venture creation.

The Launch Pad at the University of Miami is a co-curricular university-wide entrepreneurship resource and program. It aims to make the practice of entrepreneurship available to all students and alumni in the University and to enable and encourage them to start their ventures in the University’s region.

The Launch Pad defines entrepreneurship as the transformation of an innovation into an enterprise that generates value. Its program is an exercise in experiential capitalism, grounded in the conviction that entrepreneurship is best—and perhaps only—learned by doing it for real.

Our History

Founded in 2008 by Dr William Green and Dr Susan Amat, The Launch Pad at the University of Miami was one of the first of its kind entrepreneurship centers in the United States. The goal of the Launch Pad was to promote the concept of entrepreneurship as a career option. At the time entrepreneurship was not widely spread across campus with a limited number of courses in the subject exclusively in the Business School.

In the 10 years since the Launch Pad started, entrepreneurship education has spread across the campus as well. Classes on entrepreneurship are now being taught in the Business, Engineering, Music, and Communications Schools. This is reflective of the 70% of our clients that are not business majors, proving that entrepreneurship and innovation span the entire University.


2008 – Established

The first Launch Pad in the country was started in 2008 by Dr William Green & Dr Susan Amat at the University of Miami

2009 – Expanded Nationally

Through a partnership with the Blackstone Foundation, The Launch Pad model was licensed and distributed across to colleges across the country.

2017 – Launched Canes Venture Network

Partnered with MBS & COE The Launch Pad launched first cross campus mentorship program

2017 – Joined UInnovation

The Launch Pad moved to U Innovation to help grow cross university entrepreneurship initiatives.

2018 – Launch of SkyLab coworking space

Opening of first on campus co-working space for student and alumni entrepreneurs.

2008-2018 10 years of helping become entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship is an irreducible form of freedom. When The Launch Pad helps students and alumni to become entrepreneurs, it helps them experience what it means to be free and how to be free.

Dr William Green

Founder, The Launch Pad

The Launch Pad By The Numbers

4,800+ Clients Served

3,000+ Ideas submitted

500+ Companies created

1500+ Jobs created

Driving Economic Impact

With over 1,500 Full Time Employees of the 500+ Launch Pad client companies, Launch Pad has driven over $97,500,000 in direct economic impact in the South Florida region.

Top 5 Industries

  1. Apparel – 23%
  2. Food & Bev – 19%
  3. Consumer Services – 17%
  4. Advertising – 15%
  5. Other – 26%

Top Majors

  1. Business – 36%
  2. Arts and Sciences – 29%
  3. Engineering – 9%
  4. Communication – 6%
  5. Law – 4%
  6. Education- 3%

Notable Client Companies

  • Emogi

    Founded by Travis Montague ’14.
    Raised $30M in VC Funding.

  • Per’La Coffee Roasters

    Founder: Chris Nolte ’05
    Distributing across South Florida

  • Three Jerks Jerky

    Jordan Barrocas – MBA ’11
    Appeared on Shark Tank

  • Nightlife Brewing

    Juan O’Naghten ’12
    One of first microbreweries in Miami
    Distribution across Florida

  • TaxFyle

    Michael Mouriz ’09, JD ’12
    Richard Lavina ’09
    Raised $7.3M funding

  • Gas Ninjas

    Brandon Timinsky ’15
    Acquired 2018

How we help our clients

Launch Pad has been a trendsetter in how Entrepreneurship Centers work across college campuses. 26 colleges now have Launch Pad centers modeled after The University of Miami thanks to a partnership with the Blackstone Foundation.

1-1 Consulting

The Launch Pad popularized the socratic method of entrepreneurial consulting. Over 5,000 clients have received One on One consulting in 10 years. Our unique methodology enables us to consult with more clients per year than most programs do in a decade.

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Mentorship Programs

The Canes Venture Network, a partnership between The Launch Pad, The Miami Business School, and the UM College of Engineering brings together mentors and mentees for 3 month engagements with the student teams. These curated pairings are designed to accelerate the client companies over the course of a semester. This program kicked off in Fall 2018.

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Comprehensive Workshops

Filling in the gap where academic curriculum leaves off and running a business starts, in 2018 The Launch Pad kicked off a workshop series to offer deep dives into practical skills critical to running every day businesses.

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Free Co-working

Opened in Summer 2018, The SkyLab, UM’s first co-working space, offers a shared work space for students and alums to build their businesses. The SkyLab was funded by a gift from the Spruance Family Foundation and housed in the Wesley United Center. Over 500 students have come through the SkyLab since it’s opening

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Resource Library

Getting started guides, financial modeling samples, how-tos and more. The Launch Pad is building out an entire library of resources for the self-serve entrepreneur to learn on their own.

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Events & Lectures

The Feldman Lecture series brings a bi-annual series of speakers to campus to share their entrepreneurial vision. Brought to us by a gift from the Ben Feldman foundation, the lecture series aims to inspire students and the community alike.

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A community of entrepreneurs

The Launch Pad is also tasked with connecting entrepreneurs in the Hurricane community. By giving Hurricanes a platform to connect on, The Launch Pad is improving the value of the Hurricane network as well.

Notable Guest Speakers

  • Alexis Ohanian

    Co-Founder of Reddit & Initiated Capital

  • Bob Diener

    Co-Founder of & Getaroom

  • Dana White

    Founder of UFC

  • John Ciancutti

    Director of engineering @ Facebook, Chief product officer @ Coursera

  • Loren Ridinger

    Founder of Market America