Governor Steve Bullock said, “The Blackstone LaunchPad Program will allow students at Montana State University and the University of Montana to see real application of their ideas transformed into sustainable companies as they partner with local businesses. I look forward to the innovation and new ventures Montana will see in the coming years through Blackstone LaunchPad.”



Senator Jon Tester said, “Montanans start more new businesses than folks in any other state, and the Blackstone LaunchPad Program will help more Montana small businesses succeed,” Tester said.  “I worked hard to bring LaunchPad to Montana, and now Blackstone’s partnership with Montana State and the University of Montana will lead to new ideas, new jobs, and a stronger Montana economy.”



Senator Max Baucus said, “Montana is a small business state – in fact nearly all of our workers are employed by businesses with fewer than 20 employees. That means Montana jobs rely on entrepreneurs, striking out on their own and building companies from the ground up.  This new partnership will go a long way toward helping Montana entrepreneurs get new businesses off the ground so they can grow and create jobs.”



Representative Steve Daines said, “I know firsthand the challenges that come with getting a start-up off the ground—but I also know how exciting it is to grow a small business and create good-paying Montana jobs. This partnership between Blackstone and Montana State University and the University of Montana will help our entrepreneurs successfully transform their ideas into small businesses and allow them to put their skills and training to work here at home.”



Royce Engstrom, President of the University of Montana said, “This investment will provide a proven platform to support creative and enterprising students across all disciplines at the University of Montana, and at our sister university, by linking them with expert advisers and peers around the country,” Engstrom said. “It promises to transform students' lives while helping the Montana economy, and is an outstanding example of education for the global century.”



Dr. Waded Cruzado, President of Montana State University said, “The Blackstone LaunchPad will be a great addition to a suite of programs at MSU fostering our students' entrepreneurial aspirations. We are very excited about how Blackstone's partnership will open doors for our students to a vast network of other entrepreneurial students and accomplished professionals across the nation.”