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Posted: Friday, October 28, 2016 7:00 am

Innovation Warriors, an expansion of Blackstone LaunchPad, hosted an open house on Oct. 26 during Innovation Warrior Week to promote awareness of six programs aimed to represent a multitude of services Innovation Warriors will provide to the Wayne State community. 

Launch, hack, learn, fund, grow and connect are the six services beneath this entrepreneurial hub, which embraces Blackstone LaunchPad beneath their launch section.

“We recently restructured our program before operating solely as Blackstone LaunchPad, We do more than consulting so we expanded and gave names to programs we were previously running,” said Aubrey Agee, senior program director of Innovation Warriors. “Calling ourselves Innovation Warriors, we could better expand Wayne State’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.” 

Agee said the purpose of the open house and Innovation Warrior Week was to bring interested WSU students to their office to become a member of Innovation Warriors and to allow WSU students to converse with individuals to better understand their ideas and goals.

Innovation Warriors Marketing Manager Erica Shadik explained services under her organization’s six programs.

“HackWSU is our hackathon we have every spring. Humble Beginnings is one of our two speaker series and brings entrepreneurs that have had tremendous success to talk with our ecosystem about their early personal challenges,” Shadik said. “Warrior Fund is a pitch competition for Innovation Warriors that have also signed up for our Blackstone LaunchPad program, who have demonstrated venture maturity and are seeking pre-seed funds.”

“On The Verge is our second speaker series that brings entrepreneurial newcomers to Wayne State to share their story about their up and coming businesses. Warrior Connect brings resources to Wayne State entrepreneurs and those exploring the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including job opportunities and mentorship for entrepreneurs.”

She said entrepreneurship is relevant to all majors, and Innovation Warriors will provide free services to all students, faculty members and alumni of the university. 

“We help students who have made their own prototypes and want to bring them to market, artistic students who want guidance for their freelance work and students interested in starting their own doctor’s practice one day,” Shadik said.

“We have students who create apps and students who are musicians. We have such an expansive group of students wanting to be entrepreneurs and they come from all Wayne State University colleges. Entrepreneurship is relevant because it makes their already open doors that much wider.”

Innovation Warriors is located in the David Adamany Undergraduate Library, room 1201. The office is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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