inclusion

Moving the needle in a positive direction in the innovation economy

Bringing the innovation community together and examining how it has advanced — or how it hasn’t — is one of the driving goals of SSTI’s annual conferences. This year we brought together thought-provoking leaders to help reflect on whether stakeholders in the innovation economy are moving the needle in the right direction.

Cohorts and other strategies to help individuals from underrepresented groups graduate with STEM degrees

While diversity plays a critical role in both improving the quality and increasing the rate of innovation, women and several minority groups remain underrepresented in STEM fields. Several studies find that improving the retention rate of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM at the college level can have significant impacts on improving the diversity and representativeness of the STEM workforce. For women and other underrepresented groups, the college experience can create unique roadblocks and barriers that ultimately cause them to switch majors or even leave college. Several recent studies have examined strategies to improve the retention rate of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM degrees at institution of higher education. The strategies range from pre-college STEM academies to establishing cohorts of underrepresented students.

Women hold only 9 percent of equity value in their startups, report finds

While women comprise approximately 33 percent of the combined founder and employee workforce at startup companies, they hold just 9 percent of all equity value in those companies, according to The Gap Table from Carta – a software platform for managing startup equity and ownership. The new report was based upon capitalization table (cap table) data from more than 6,000 companies with a combined total of nearly $45 billion in equity value. The cap table is a list of owners of a company and includes information about the percentages of ownership, equity dilution, and value of equity in each round of investment. The researchers found that:

  • Women make up 35 percent of equity-holding employees, but only hold 20 percent of employee equity; and,
  • Women make up 13 percent of founders, but hold 6 percent of founder equity.

Cities can compete for $500M in funds to drive inclusive growth

JPMorgan Chase announced the creation of AdvancingCities, a new $500 million, five-year initiative to drive inclusive growth and create greater economic opportunity in cities across the world. The firm will invest in cities where conditions exist to help those who have not benefited from economic growth. This includes demonstrated collaboration across the public and private sectors on solutions that create opportunity for people at risk of being left out of economic growth. Successful applications will be eligible for a three-year grant of up to $3 million.

Financial hurdles for minority small businesses appear on both sides of the banker’s desk

In a previous Digest, SSTI discussed the positive impact that community banks have had on small business lending activity and economic growth in communities across the country since the Great Recession. In this article, SSTI shares two studies on the existing roadblocks and pessimism faced by minority small business and entrepreneurs as they seek financing through banks.

A deeper dive into company valuations: the case of female-founders

Valuations of venture backed companies and the number of unicorns are rising based on the leading nationwide surveys, but closer examination of the data reveals not all startups are seeing the effect. The median valuation for female-founded companies, for example, was lower in 2017 (approximately $11 million) than it was in 2007 (approximately $15 million), according to research from PitchBook’s Dana Olson. In comparison, the median valuation for male-founded startups has increased by approximately $8 million between 2007 (approximately $21 million) and 2017 (approximately $29 million). Olson also found that, across all industries, a much higher percentage of VC-backed, male-founded companies (35 percent) received at least one round of follow-on funding than female-founded companies (2 percent). With regard to exits, male-founded startups are acquired more than 11 percent of the time, while less than 0.5 percent of female-founded startups ever reach the same milestone. Male-founded companies also have a higher rate of IPO (nearly 1.7 percent) than female-founded startups (less than 1 percent).

 

Recent Research: Strategies for connecting communities to the innovation economy

The final part of this series explores the tactics and strategies associated with increasing exposure to innovation and broadening economic opportunity.

Last week, The Digest explored recent research examining the role that exposure to innovation plays in determining future inventiveness. The study’s authors, led by Stanford’s Raj Chetty, find that a child’s characteristics at birth – their neighborhood, socioeconomic class, race, and gender – are highly predictive of their propensity to file a patent later on in life. Based on their results, the authors recommend strategies that focus on increasing exposure to innovation and broadening intergenerational economic mobility. This article explores these types of policies in depth, as well as additional tactics that may help reconnect America’s communities with greater economic opportunity.

Recent Research: Broadening economic opportunity to support American innovation

This article is part one of a two part series focused on the intersection between economic opportunity and the economic development practice.  

A lack of economic opportunity could threaten American innovation, according to new research from Stanford economist Raj Chetty and other members of the Equality of Opportunity Project. The authors advocate that in light of empirical research showing the worsening effects of economic segregation and inequality, the economic development community needs to support new strategies and tactics that can deliver “realistic economic opportunity” to more communities across the country. If the future of American inventiveness depends on place-based economic opportunity and exposure to innovation as the study suggests, troubling times may lie ahead.

NSF finds gender inclusion benefit within programs

In a report of FY 2011-2016 data, the National Science Foundation finds that rate of female participants in its currently-funded Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) may be higher than for overall engineering programs. Specifically, participation among female faculty is better by about seven percent, by about 15 percent among female undergraduates, and a more modest 1-2 percent increase among doctorate students.

Second set of NSF INCLUDES awards focuses on increasing STEM diversity

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced the recipients of 27 Design and Development Launch Pilots as part of its INCLUDES initiative. The initiative is aimed at enhancing U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations through a commitment to diversity and inclusion. The 27 pilots feature public-private partnerships that will develop blueprints for broadening STEM participation and are funded through two-year, $300,000 grants.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - inclusion