Equity Ecosystem Partner Network

Empowering Innovation and Entrepreneurship for All

VentureWell is committed to fostering inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E). Our Equity Ecosystem Partner Network champions this mission, focusing on supporting Black-, Indigenous-, people of color (BIPOC)-, and women-led startups. We believe in creating a diverse, equitable, and vibrant entrepreneurial landscape.

Our network focuses on empowering innovation in STEM by ensuring equitable access to resources for underserved communities and industries. This includes coaching startup founders, hosting training sessions, and providing direct referrals to development initiatives like the E-Team Program. The professionals who drive these organizations also share their expertise and resources with teams across our network. We are dedicated to forging strategic partnerships that not only enhance community and organizational capabilities but also support the successful development and growth of STEM-based entrepreneurs and startups.

Our Partners

We are proud to collaborate with our founding Equity Ecosystem Partners: Clinton Global Initiative University, HBCU Founders Initiative, Positive Deviancy, Browning the Green Space, and SEED SPOT. We have worked with each organization individually for several years, and they all bring unique strengths and resources to drive diverse founders to create an impact.

Program Objectives

  • Increase the amount of underrepresented entrepreneurs across the network’s vast programming and events
  • Encourage peer learning and knowledge exchange.
  • Support startups in accessing essential resources and attending key conferences.

Get Involved

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a student looking to make a difference, or a potential partner, contact us to learn more.

Founding Equity Ecosystem Network Partners


Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U)Clinton Global Initiative University logo: CGI U is a dynamic community of students committed to developing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. They are committed to leveraging complementary skills and experience in student recruitment and venture development to diversify and support the global community of emerging entrepreneurs, including broadening the pipeline of innovators in VentureWell’s E-Team Program.

HBCU Founders Initiative (HBCUFI)HBCU Founders Initiative logo: Through partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), HBCUFI is engaging rising students, alumni, and faculty across all HBCUs who are interested in developing technology-abled solutions that close the wealth gap, including increasing access to healthcare, education, and financial services. They are committed to leveraging its skills and experience in student recruitment to diversify and support the global community of emerging entrepreneurs, including broadening the pipeline of innovators and mentors in VentureWell’s E-Team Program.

Positive Deviancy logoPositive Deviancy: Positive Deviancy recruits startups and entrepreneurs to participate in the Department of Energy (DOE) American-Made Prize Challenges. They are committed to helping startups and inclusive organizations raise funding in non-dilutive and non-traditional ways, as well as to supporting the partnering and facilitation of renewable hardware pilot programs in underserved and underrepresented communities.

Browning the Green Space (BGS)Browning the Green Space (BGS) logo: BGS is a nonprofit coalition dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in clean energy and beyond. They are committed to leveraging their network of experts and skills in recruitment of underrepresented innovators, specifically in clean energy and agricultural technology, and to helping employers embrace, incorporate, and achieve DEI goals in their recruitment, hiring, and retention activities, to expand the pipeline of innovators in the Ecosystem Partners suite of programming.

SEED SPOT logoSEED SPOT: SEED SPOT is a nonprofit organization that aims to educate, accelerate, and invest in diverse entrepreneurs who are creating solutions to social problems. They are committed to supporting innovators and entrepreneurs who are traditionally underrepresented in science and technology through mentorship and access to capital (both financial and social), as well as to providing field expertise in revenue growth and investment readiness coaching and training opportunities for both early-stage innovators and late-stage founders and small businesses.

About the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

Circle with words America’s Seed Fund SBIR/STTR Growth Accelerator Fund Competition 2023

VentureWell is thrilled to be recognized as a Stage Two winner in the 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Since its launch in 2014, the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition has awarded 387 prizes totaling more than $19 million to 284 unique winners across 50 states and U.S. territories. For more information, please visit www.sbir.gov/accelerators.

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