Philadelphia was chosen as the next region for a Blackstone LaunchPad because of its critical need for economic growth and job creation. This coupled with its dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem, where talent is abundant, and a strong set of support services are already in place made Philadelphia ripe for Blackstone Launchpad. Temple and Philadelphia Universities are two schools that already possess a rich entrepreneurial spirit, and as the first, and largest, urban research park in the United States, the Science Center is a natural partner for this initiative. Graduate organizations and current residents of the Science Center’s Port business incubator have created more than 15,000 current direct jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. The Science Center’s established relationships, network and preexisting experience managing partnerships among various institutions make it well suited to manage the Blackstone LaunchPad program in Philadelphia.Funding for this program is made possible through The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s $50 million, five-year Entrepreneurship Initiative. Driven by the urgent need for job growth in the United States, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation seeks to support innovative projects and catalytic ideas that can accelerate start-ups, job growth and economic activity. Due to the early success of these programs and The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s commitment to expanding LaunchPad to five new regions over the next five years, LaunchPad has been recognized by President Obama’s “Startup America Initiative.” What They Are Saying: A Quote Roundup Governor Tom Corbett "We are working hard to create jobs for workers today, but we must nurture tomorrow's companies and job creators. We want firms that can grow and succeed right here in Pennsylvania. Blackstone LaunchPad encourages our most talented students to learn about entrepreneurship and begin their careers here. It's the kind of program that deepens Pennsylvania's status on the entrepreneurship map."