In response to the structural impediments that have led to growing wealth and opportunity gaps observed among minoritized groups in the U.S. innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) ecosystem, the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) has established the Inclusive Innovation Equitable Entrepreneurship (I²E²) Initiative. The UCOP has charged this initiative to collect and analyze UC-wide I&E data and develop evidence-based recommendations that address the state and national need to broaden the participation of persons from underrepresented groups in I&E.
I²E² comprises subcommittees charged to examine the UC I&E ecosystem through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion in areas of Funding, Education and Training, and Infrastructure. Subcommittees will consist of UC and national I&E stakeholders, including investors, innovators, accelerators, program directors, economists, social science researchers, campus and system-level administrators, faculty, and students. Click here here to complete the subcommittee intake survey and register interest in participating in the I²E² subcommittee.
The I²E² effort is the culmination of two 90-day sprints initiated in the summer of 2020 and the winter of 2021, respectively. These sprints engaged senior leadership at ten UC campuses, three national laboratories, and key UC stakeholders to produce a high-level taxonomy and topology of the UC I&E ecosystem as viewed through a DEI lens. The results of a preliminary analysis of formal and informal educational offerings, intellectual property production, and UC incubator tenants revealed "pinch points" and opportunities for UC to affect change in the ecosystem.
The I²E² initiative expands on this prior work to establish the University of California's role in creating a more equitable national I&E ecosystem.