Venture Coaching

conversation at blackstone.

Entrepreneurship is a big word for an even bigger pursuit. How do you know where to dive in and at what point you should? 

Develop Your Innovative Capacity

Our venture coaches will help you figure it out, providing a structure and timetable that helps to take the guesswork—but not groundwork—out of entrepreneurship.

What is a Venture Coach?

Venture coaches are guides to the wild and exciting world of business. They’re here to help you get ideas out of your head, onto paper and out into the real world. Startup & Innovation CoLab powered by Blackstone LaunchPad has a team of venture coaches who have been there, done that, and are here to support you through any stage of the process. Meet with venture coaches as many times as you’d like—coaching is free and confidential, and all coaches sign confidentiality agreements to protect your ideas.

Our venture coaches are undergrad and graduate students who have already started their own companies and learned what to do—and what not to do—along the way. As peers, they’re able to meet student entrepreneurs where they are in their journey and form trusting relationships that help newer innovators articulate and act on their big ideas. 

What can venture coaching do for me?

Venture coaching is not just a vehicle to launch a business. It’s about fostering an entrepreneurial mindset. People in any industry, from food service to engineering, can benefit from venture coaching. The skills you will learn by working with a venture coach, like articulating ideas, market analysis and customer development, are essential to innovators in every field.

Venture Coaching is open to:

  • Any idea
  • In any stage
  • In any industry

Business coaches provide entrepreneurial one-on-one mentoring and support. They can help you answer questions like: When should I think about launching my business? How can I find investors? I have an idea, but how can I get it to work?

Software coaches help with technical needs like website hosting, web development, coding, logo design, SEO, appreciation and more.

Design coaches can help bring your vision to life through prototyping, sketches, 3-D printing and more.

Coaches Can Help

  • Refine your idea into a detailed and workable business concept.
  • Do a competitive analysis to look at similar ventures that are already out there.
  • Research to make sure there’s a viable market for your idea.
  • Choose your initial customer segment and find out their needs and wants.
  • Create a business model.
  • Draft a five-minute pitch that covers all aspects of your business.
  • Plan steps and meetings with experts in your industry.


If you need more specific expertise for your venture, our team of talented Experts-in-Residence can offer one-on-one mentorship. Experts-in-Residence are coaches from the UB and Western New York communities whose areas of focus complement entrepreneurial ventures, including

  • Finance and accounting
  • Amazon selling and e-commerce
  • Medical devices and healthcare
  • Securing capital
  • Sales and marketing
  • Legal matters
  • Patents and trademarks 
  • …and more!

Ready to Explore Venture Coaching?

Connect with us to learn about upcoming events, match with a venture coach and much more.

Coaches Needed!

If you’ve been there and done that in starting your own venture and want to share your learnings with other students, we’d love to have you as a Venture Coach or Expert-in-Residence. Get in touch!