HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A foundation run by a New York private equity firm has pledged $2 million over the next three years to help train young entrepreneurs at two Montana universities.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester announced the launch of the new program by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation on Friday.

The organizers say the Blackstone LaunchPad program aims to make entrepreneurship a viable career option for University of Montana and Montana State University students. The program will provide students with coaches and support to turn ideas into sustainable companies.

It is part of a $50 million initiative sponsored by the foundation, which is run by the Blackstone Group.

Montana will be the fifth state with the Blackstone LaunchPad program. It was started in 2008 at the University of Miami.