Believing In Fresno Starts Here
We believe in Fresno.
We believe Fresno is a place where entrepreneurship and innovation can flourish.
We believe Fresno has a growing need for workspace geared toward entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses and independent professionals.
The Launchpad is a flexible office environment with a variety of different work spaces available to fit all of your business needs.
We are conveniently located near Highway 41 with great access to the RiverPark Shopping Centers.
Founders of The Launchpad
Claude Laval III
Claude Laval III has been supporting entrepreneurship within our community for over 50 years. At Fresno State, Laval has been involved in the Entrepreneur Mentor Program since its inception in 2005, first as co-founder and now as an avid mentor in the program, and a leader to students, the community, and the region.
Laval’s support for and advice to Fresno State on water and irrigation over the years was recognized by the naming of the Claude Laval Water and Energy Technology Incubator (WET Center) on campus in partnership with the Central Valley Business Incubator. The WET Center is a vital resource for innovative local entrepreneurs looking to establish or expand their business in water and energy technology and help stimulate the regional economy.
Laval founded Claude Laval Corporation in 1972 to manufacture and market the centrifugal-action separators and water well inspection cameras invented by his father, Claude Laval Jr. Originally designed for groundwater and agricultural uses, the separator has become a key filtration option for many industrial processes. During the first four years, the company sold its separators and water filtration equipment only in the US, but in 1976 began selling equipment outside the United States. By 1984, international sales accounted for 40% of total revenues. The company operated from a 100,000 square foot manufacturing, sales, marketing and engineering headquarters in Fresno. Claude led his corporation into a wide range of industrial, commercial and agricultural markets.
With international sales as a big part of his business strategy, Claude was recognized in 1984 as the US Commerce Department’s Export Executive of the Year, one of the many awards he has received in his business career. In 1997, Claude received the Central California Excellence in Business Hall of Fame Award and in 1998, the Leon S. Peters Award. In 2002, he was presented the “Gold Star Alumnus Award” by the Fresno Public Education Foundation, and in 2004, the Fresno State Service Award.
Claude served as chairman of the board of the Central Valley Business Incubator from its inception in 1996 to 2010. CVBI’s Water and Energy Technology Incubator Program is named in his honor. He is also chairman of CSU Fresno’s International Center for Water Technology. Claude served as president of the Irrigation Association in 1984 and from 1995-2000, he was a director of the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation.
Laval places importance on volunteering and giving back something that he has instilled in his children, Mendy Laval Alkotob and Luann Laval Williams.
Mendy Laval Alkotob
Mendy Laval is the Intrapreneur in Residence and a Corporate Entrepreneurship instructor at California State University, Fresno. She leads the Pay it Forward Luncheon Forums for Fresno State students and community leaders and is the Coleman Foundation Entrepreneur in Residence for the University. She sits on the Advisory Board for the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Mendy received her M.I.M. in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (1985) and her B.A. in International Relations and History from the University of Southern California (1983). She attended Cambridge University, England, Summer Program in 1981.
For over 35 years, Mendy worked in senior leadership positions in both public and private corporations. Her early career was spent working globally in new business development. Her most recent position was President of LAKOS Filtration Solutions where she served in this capacity from 1998-2013 until it sold to Lindsay Corporation (LNN) in 2013. Mendy remained with the company to ensure a smooth transition. In 2015. she became a strategic advisor for Lindsay Corporation and their Fresno-based business unit. Today, Mendy is a partner in Laval Partners LLC, a consulting company specializing in Industrial, commercial and agricultural water solutions and co-owner of The Launchpad at River Park.
Just like Claude, Mendy’s father, philanthropy and community involvement is of great importance. She is especially passionate about Valley Children’s Healthcare, one of the largest pediatric healthcare networks in the nation, where she served on the Board of Trustees for 11 years (2000-2011) and held a number of positions including President of the Board. She was asked to return to the Board of Trustees in 2017 and serves on the finance and investment committees. Additionally, she is passionate about working with students to help them prepare and embark on their entrepreneurial journey.