The Launch Pad is a novel and successful entrepreneurship initiative developed at the University of Miami.
The Launch Pad has two core missions. First, it presents entrepreneurship as a viable career option. Second, it encourages and enables students and alumni of the University of Miami to start their new ventures—whether for profit or not for profit—in South Florida and thereby contribute to the economic and social growth of our region.
The University of Miami wants students and alumni from all its schools to be able to consider entrepreneurship as a legitimate career path. Thus, entrepreneurship is a fundamental component of UM’s career counseling at the Toppel Career Center.
The Launch Pad’s programs are co-curricular and voluntary by design. Pragmatic, concrete, and experiential, they provide the just-in-time knowledge entrepreneurs need to assess and develop their ideas and plans for a new enterprise. The Launch Pad offers guidance, encouragement, and immediate access to a dedicated local commercial network. It brings entrepreneurs into the local business community as early as possible.
The Launch Pad ‘s approach demystifies entrepreneurship and makes it accessible to both students and alumni. The Launch Pad ignites interest, encourages exploration, and recruits entrepreneurs. Its programs are exercises in experiential capitalism that fulfill a key educational obligation: to teach learners not just how to find a job but also how to make a job.