(8 photos total)

  • 2.

    1Guests including UCF faculty, students, Blackstone staff, and board members file into the main room.

  • 3.

    2UCF Student entrepreneurs are seated together, they will be given the opportunity to jump-start their businesses thanks to Blackstone Charitable Foundation.

  • 4.

    3Hitt is the first to speak at the Blackstone Launchpad. He discussed his excitement for UCF student entrepreneurs to have their ideas formed into businesses thanks to Blackstone's $1.4 million donation.

  • 5.

    4Jim Atchison, CEO of Sea World and former UCF Alum & Blackstone investment success, sits next to Hitt.

  • 6.

    5Jim Atchison briefly gave his story and discussed how the Blackstone firm was a key part in his business success.

  • 7.

    6U.S. Senator Marco Rubio takes to the podium.

  • 8.

    7Sen. Rubio praised Blackstone LaunchPad’s goal of helping students develop important skills entrepreneurs must have to succeed.

  • 9.

    8All of our speakers from the Blackstone Launchpad, including President Hitt, Jim Atchinson, Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of Blackstone, Senator Marco Rubio, and UCF Board of Trustees members.