The LaunchPad and Incubator sequence of courses provide professional mentorship to conceive, nurture, and launch real companies. Open to students of all majors, it is built upon the belief that all JPCatholic students can have the vision, intelligence, and drive to be entrepreneurs.
The environment the LaunchPad creates is one of discovery, empathy, community, drive, and passion. Within this environment, students are guided through the process of business ideation, planning, and validation. How does one identify a problem? What might a solution look like? How does one build a profitable company around that solution? What are the moral and ethical concerns? Students are given the opportunity to rise to the challenge, and the mentorship to navigate the difficulties. They must bring dedication and drive to this rigorous, time-intensive entrepreneurial venture. Upon completion of this three-course sequence, students will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to a panel for seed funding to fuel their venture.
Upon completion of the LaunchPad, students will be eligible to participate in the Pre-seed Pitch. The progress made during the LaunchPad will be presented to a panel of judges. These judges will award money based on a venture’s merit and need. This money will enable students to take their ideas and implement them. Success in the Pre-seed Pitch is a prerequisite to entry to the Incubator program. The process from idea to reality starts here.
Students who earn seed funding will continue developing their idea into a business within the Incubator program. Over two courses, with their seed funding, students will make their idea a reality. How does one make their first prototype, win their first customer, and scale up their idea? Smaller, more focused cohorts, enables and encourages them to continue to refine their business and increase the chance of success. The Incubator is all about action and execution.
Students and recent alumni will present their ideas to a panel in front of an audience of classmates, families, and friends. A successful pitch will lead to additional funding to grow their business. The Senior Pitch is the culmination of a student’s studies, and the beginning of the rest of their career.
As your business grows you’ll have new challenges and opportunities. Your JPCatholic professors can continue to be a resource after graduation to support you in your new venture.
Adjunct Professor of Business and LaunchPad Mentor
Marc is a founder and VP of Business Development at ComoBlue - a software application development company for Social Networks. He helped develop ideation, social gaming and product strategy for Facebook and mobile applications. He managed the business development and partnerships with Facebook and mobile developers, ad networks and companies. He served as Entrepreneur-in-residence, subject matter expert, judge and mentor for funding grants at the Center of Commercialization of Advanced Technology for Homeland Security.
He is also an angel investor and executive entrepreneur providing early-stage capital. He has over 20 years of marketing, sales, business development, strategic partnerships and executive management experience in technology companies, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Actra (Netscape and GE Joint Venture), and MarketFirst. While at Actra, he managed an aggressive sales channel which helped Actra grow to a $127 million market valuation before the Netscape acquisition. At MarketFirst, he helped grow the company to over 240 employees with a $450 million valuation.
Below are companies that formed or grew through mentorship from JPCatholic faculty.
Jacob Spence (‘14) & Paul Massell (‘13)
A company providing video production, editing, and web design for clients.View website
Dana Huffman (‘17)
Jadies and Grace provides young girls with Christian-themed fashion dolls.Watch Video View website
Rocio Fuentes (‘21)
Camacayao is a Honduran crafted gourmet chocolate that revives culture and supports the Honduran economy by evoking the flavors of Mayan tradition through specialized high-end and ethical cacao fermentation and refinery.View website
Chris Carvalho (‘17)
Video Game collectors first, reseller second, Vandals Games has been buying and selling games for almost a decade.Watch Video View website
Alex Lash (‘16)
Zen Garden believes film has a power that no other artistic medium can rival. The combination of sight and sound blends to provide audiences with a personal and emotional experience that can leave them crying, laughing, or simply in awe.Watch Video View website
Business LaunchPad Experience