The Office of Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at 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. Working with both UT students, non-traditional students along with community leaders, government, private enterprise, and NPO’s to create strong networks that will lead to launching sustainable ventures that will in turn uplift communities.
Led by Rubén Cantú; serial entrepreneur, social impact global leader, and international speaker, Rubén launched its preceding initiatives LevelUp Institute and SocialGood.us both efforts to bring forth action through equity and innovation for underserved communities. He has taken these experiences and brought them into the world of higher learning to expand its reach.
The three major efforts this Office has launched are The Product Prodigy Institute, WIELD Texas, and The Texas 2030 Inclusion Challenge.
The Product Prodigy Institute helps foster the next generation of diverse executives within tech companies through the development of undergraduate students who learn to become product managers and entrepreneurial thinkers.
WIELD Texas aims to create a sisterhood for women from underrepresented backgrounds and shape them into tomorrow’s executives by creating a multi-year fellowship where they learn how to launch community initiatives that develop executive skills and impact their city.
Finally, the Texas 2030 Inclusion Challenge brings together the private industry with government and academia to build a pipeline of diverse talent so that the workforce is reflective of the community leading industries and tech companies are located by 2030.
Equity is achieved both from an individual and systemic effort. Individuals and the people of a community are required to find alignment so that the conversation changes from “opportunity for all” to “equity for all”. These programs focus on the individual, however, they are strategically tied to a larger systemic vision that believes that a person’s zip code does not have the last word on the life and health outcomes or lifespan of any individual.
We journey towards this vision because we know that while we live in one of the most amazing countries in the world, there are many who have never had a seat at the decision table to shape and influence their community. Our country was built on the values of life, liberty, and that all men were created equal. We stand here as stewards to carry this vision out to reach all of our citizens.
We invite you to join us in making Austin the “most equitable and inclusive city”. Please reach out to us and let’s have a conversation about equitable development and what our future holds for all of us.
The University of Texas