The grand opening of the University of Montana’s Blackstone LaunchPad will take place from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday on campus.

The grand opening will be held in the University Center North Atrium, one level below the location of the new Blackstone LaunchPad office space. The event is free and open to the public.

The grand opening will kick off the day’s Celebrate Academics and Charter Day activities, a celebration of the University’s 121st birthday.

The event will feature a student-produced film and several speakers, including UM President Royce Engstrom; Pam Haxby-Cote, regional director of Montana Blackstone LaunchPad; Paul Gladen, director of UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad; and James Grunke, president and CEO of Missoula Economic Partnership.

An open house of the Blackstone LaunchPad office space will be held after the grand opening until 5 p.m., as well as from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation brought the Blackstone LaunchPad to UM, Montana State University and Headwaters Resource, Conservation and Development. The program is intended to train the region’s next generation of entrepreneurs and is made possible by a three-year, $2 million grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.

For more information about the Blackstone Charitable Foundation program, visit blackstone.com/citizenship/the-blackstone-charitable-foundation/entrepreneurship-initiative/blackstone-launchpad.

​Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

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