HBCUs Gather in Silicon Valley for Innovation, Entrepreneurship Symposium

By | March 21, 2014

Nearly 100 HBCU stakeholders are meeting at a symposium here this week seeking to leverage the intellectual capital and top-tier research activity at HBCUs into dollars needed to ensure institutional viability in the years to come.

Held in conjunction with OPEN 2014-the National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance’s (NCIIA) 18th Annual Conference, the HBCU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative Symposium highlighted numerous opportunities HBCUs have to attract more grant dollars and join forces to kick-start their entrepreneurial activity. The symposium is being hosted jointly by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), NCIIA, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office with funding from The Lemelson Foundation and the Lumina Foundation.

“One of things that I’ve been wanting to do is really changing what HBCU means,” says Dr. John Michael Lee, an APLU vice president who leads its Office for Access and Success. According to Lee, though HBCUs have traditionally been known as simply “a place where African-Americans students are educated,” there is “so much more” to their story. HBCUs “have superior students, they do research, they do innovation.” Nevertheless, leading-edge research and innovation “is not what we think about we think about HBCUs.” (Diverse Issues in Higher Education)

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