The Launch Pad welcomes alumnus back to campus

The Launch Pad has worked with close to 6,000 University students during the past 12 years and helped to create approximately 500 companies. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami 
By Renee Sobaram

The Launch Pad has worked with close to 6,000 University students during the past 12 years and helped to create approximately 500 companies. Photo: TJ Lievonen/University of Miami 

The Launch Pad welcomes alumnus back to campus

By Renee Sobaram
Travis Montaque, founder and CEO of Holler.io, will share how understanding his customers helped him succeed.

As a young entrepreneur, Travis Montaque knew he wanted to be his own boss one day. As a student at the University of Miami, he developed his business venture with the help of The Launch Pad, the University’s entrepreneurship center.

The 2014 alumnus—a former client of The Launch Pad and graduate of the Miami Herbert Business School—returns to campus Friday night as part of the Feldman Lecture Series to talk about his journey and the impact of digital communication. As founder and CEO of Holler.io, Montaque also serves as an inaugural member of the University’s Marketing Advisory Board. He will discuss the lessons he learned on his journey, the strategies he used, and share his own tips for success.

Montaque’s Launch Pad venture, Holler.io, originally called Emogi, is a content engine for the communication services that has quickly become the creative way in which we express ourselves through text messages, direct messages, and our online posts. Holler.io has raised more than $15 million in venture capital.Travis Montaque, founder and CEO of Holler.io

More victories have emerged from The Launch Pad. The center has worked with close to 6,000 University students during the past 12 years and helped to create approximately 500 companies. The idea behind The Launch Pad started because of the financial crisis in 2008 that led to a depletion in both jobs and salaries. It was designed to help prospective entrepreneur take a leap of faith and create their own businesses by giving them resources and guidance. 

“Not everyone is a good fit for a 9 to 5 job, and some don’t want a 9 to 5 job. So, we help them create their own jobs,” said Brian Breslin, director of The Launch Pad. “Here, we pair people up with mentors, we give them free advice on their business, and we help them work through the problems with their businesses.”

The business opportunities offered by The Launch Pad aren’t solely for people who already have ideas ready to go. The center also offers advice and teaches leadership skills that can help budding entrepreneurs in any career industry and encourages anyone who would like to start their own business, but doesn’t know where to begin, to seek help  and speak with a mentor. The center not only works with students, it also works with alumni and faculty and staff members.  

Montaque’s lecture, Re-humanizing Digital Communication/Building Empathy Back Online, will be held at the SkyLab on Friday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m. Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/founder-ceo-of-holler-travis-montaque-um-14-tickets-93115746705 to register.