Who We Are
The Office of Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Austin focuses on addressing the income inequality gap for overlooked communities by helping them learn the tools of wealth creation, innovative thinking, community stewardship, and social impact. Our mission is to foster transformation by educating, empowering, and connecting leaders to guide their communities to full economic and social participation. We collaborate with both UT students along with community leaders, government, private enterprise, and Non-Profit Organizations to curate strong networks upon which new sustainable ventures can be launched and uplift communities.
What We’re Fundraising For
Our department is fundraising for our 4 core programs: WIELD Texas, Product Prodigy, the Undergraduate Internship Program, and Texas 2023 Inclusion Challenge. The Women’s Initiative for Entrepreneurship and Leadership Development –Texas (WIELD Texas) is a 3-year career incubator with a vision to be the leading accelerator in the country where women of color are able to build upward mobility and wealth. Product Prodigy is a year-long certificate program for Product Management that takes students from underrepresented backgrounds through the process of creating and learning the professional development skills needed for launching a venture; bridging the opportunity gap for first-generation college students. The Undergraduate Internship Program is a semester-long professional development program that focuses on learning and developing specialized business skills. Interns support event communication and management strategy by implementing the office’s ongoing programs in a fast-paced, innovative, entrepreneurial environment. The Texas 2030 Inclusion Challenge is a state-wide call to action for companies to start investing today in diversity and inclusion so that by 2030, their industry’s workforce demographics at all leadership levels will reflect the demographics of Texas’ communities as a whole. It aims to connect corporations to facilitate a stronger workforce ecosystem that allows people of all backgrounds to feel psychological safety and equity.
By donating to The Office of Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship our programs will be able to reach more undergraduate students around campus and fund enrichment activities such as attending professional conferences, traveling to innovation hubs like Silicon Valley, and leadership building through retreats. The pathways to achieve leadership and marketable jobs skills are different for each of our students, therefore our initiatives have a human-centered design that is only possible by including the diverse demographic of Texas’ communities. To achieve this much-needed inclusion, we need to address the existent economic disparity and how this affects the chances our students have to access tools and resources. Donors' gifts will give students the opportunity to reach renowned entrepreneurship networks and strengthen their competitive advantage through an innovative environment.
Valeria Colunga, a WIELD Texas student, shared the following: "As a first-year student, I felt overwhelmed with beginning my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. WIELD Texas has allowed me to access mentorship and knowledge that otherwise I think it would have taken me years to find. The program's humanistic approach allows me to grow as a person and leader while creating meaningful relationships with others."
Ariel Lee from Product Prodigy 2019 cohort and co-founder of Remane writes: "The work that the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement is doing at UT Austin is so important for the institution as well as the students. Within Product Prodigy, I was able to access resources that allowed me to secure my first major big corporate internship as well as receive a job offer for a full-time position in my senior years. The communication, branding, and design and leadership skills prepared me for the field that I entered into and gave me the confidence to go forth and pitch myself to recruiters without fear. Furthermore, the business that I have created within this class has not only garnered the University press in the Media but has helped me develop a living case study of what I learned within the class. With this business, my co-founder and I have been able to have important conversations about diversity issues like hair and advocate for equity and empowerment of under-represented curl textures through the media and our actual product."