No Diversity equals Weaker Innovation | City of Ideas

Posted 10/21/2016 by James Burnett

It's the kind of conversation that can easily be dismissed - even by well-intentioned people - as being just about hiring diversity.

But this event isn't about who's being hired (or not), but rather who's being enabled to bring good and original business ideas to fruition.

It's a concept the Boston Foundation has been working hard on the past couple of years by convening national partners and tapping into the interests of state and municipal governments and private corporations.

We've even worked with MassChallenge, the global nonprofit global non-profit startup accelerator and competition with a focus on high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs, to seat classes dominated by people of color and women, because historically those groups find far less opportunity than white males to convert good ideas into functioning businesses.

"This is a hot button issue, and the will to bring about change is present," said Damon Cox, Director, Jobs and Economic Development at the Boston Foundation. "But it will take commitment, including robust marketing campaigns to engage more women and people of color to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, and working with corporations to make them aware of the talent pool."

So should you have the time, visit the ICIC event page and register to attend. Not convinced? Check out the great list of speakers and panels.


9:00-9:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30-9:45 Welcoming Remarks
Steve Grossman, CEO, ICIC
Paul Grogan, President, The Boston Foundation
Ted Archer, Vice President, Small Business Program Officer, JPMorgan Chase
9:45-10:15 Keynote: the underrepresentation of women and minorities in entrepreneurship
Professor Jeffrey A. Robinson, The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, Rutgers University
10:15-11:15 New findings on the barriers for women and minority entrepreneurs in incubators and accelerators
Moderator: Shirley Leung, Columnist, Boston Globe
Kim Zeuli, Senior Vice President, ICIC
Alejandro Amezcua, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Syracuse University
Gilad Rosenzweig, Founder & CEO, Smarter in the City
11:15-Noon Public investments in incubators and accelerators
Moderator: Damon Cox, Director, Jobs and Economic Development, The Boston Foundation
John Barros, Chief of Economic Development, City of Boston (invited)
Katie Stebbins, Assistant Secretary of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Noon-1:00 Networking Lunch
1:00-2:00 Effective strategies to create inclusive incubators and accelerators
Moderator: Alessandra Brown, Director, Roxbury Innovation Center
Kirstie Chadwick, President & CEO, International Business Innovation Association
Dr. Cheryl Watkins-Moore, Director of Bioscience & Entrepreneurial Inclusion, BioSTL
Scott Bailey, Managing Director for Boston, MassChallenge
2:00-3:00 Access to capital–new approaches
Moderator: Glynn Lloyd, Director of MBE Initiative, Eastern Bank
Allie Burns, COO, Village Capital
Deb Kemper, Managing Director, Boston Chapter, Golden Seeds
Abigail Slater, Chair, Board of Directors, SheEO
3:00-3:15 Call to Action/Wrap-up
Daryl Graham, Vice President, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase
Damon Cox, Director, Jobs and Economic Development, The Boston Foundation
3:30 Adjourn


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