Strategies for Developing University Innovation Ecosystems



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Stanford: Searches on Stanford’s website reveal the Stanford Entrepreneurship Network (SEN): https://sen.stanford.edu/. It’s notable that the introduction on SEN’s homepage explicitly states that, “our university’s entrepreneurial activity is decentralized”. Indeed, the SEN website has a listing of over 30 entrepreneurship-related organizations affiliated with Stanford.1
MIT: Searches on MIT’s website reveal over 40 entrepreneurship-related programs including 9 centers (i.e. Martin Trust Center, Deshpande Center, Legatum Center), 16 clubs, 5 competitions, and numerous forums. A web page that highlights some of MIT’s UIE is here: http://web.mit.edu/facts/entrepreneurship.html .2
UC Berkeley: Searches on UC Berkeley’s (UCB) website reveal an entrepreneurship ecosystem web directory: http://entrepreneurship-ecosystem.berkeley.edu . The directory has a list of over 40 programs and resources across five categories (including programs operated by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab that is adjacent to UCB). An infographic of the vast, decentralized Berkeley UIE is shown in Diagram 1.
Note that characterizing a UIE as decentralized doesn’t mean that there’s no coordination across the ecosystem. For example, UCB’s flagship startup accelerator, SkyDeck, is a collaboration between that university’s college of engineering, business school, and vice chancellor of research office.

Diagram 1 – UC Berkeley’s Innovation Ecosystem


It’s not likely to be a coincidence that these top three UIEs have decentralized organizational structures. Nonetheless, let’s look at some other respected universities.





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