Engaging Researchers and Innovators for Commercialization at HBCUs (EnRICH)
EnRICH is a human health-focused innovation harvesting and commercialization “pre-accelerator” program for faculty and student innovators at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The program, “Engaging Researchers and Innovators for Commercialization at HBCUs” (EnRICH), is led by Jackson State University, an urban research HBCU located in Jackson, MS, with support from leadership at XLerateHealth and the University of Kentucky Office of Technology Commercialization.
The goals of the program are to impact equity, diversity and inclusion in innovations, and train faculty and students at HBCUs to critically evaluate the commercial potential of new healthcare innovations. EnRICH will engage HBCU faculty and students in the commercialization process (from invention to commercialization), train HBCU faculty and students to conduct market assessments of health related innovations, support the intellectual property protection for selected innovations, immerse faculty and students in the commercialization pathway development process, and support faculty and student participation in an established startup accelerator program. EnRICH will also leverage XLerateHealth’s extensive experience with conducting biomedical technology accelerator programs, as well as the NSF I-Corps Site program at JSU.
This pre-accelerator program will provide underrepresented minorities at HBCUs (and after the future expansion, at other minority-serving institutions) with access to expert knowledge, entrepreneurship best practices, professional networks, mentorship, and additional resources. That exposure will advance the ability of underrepresented faculty and students to tap into an extensive national network and help them find product-market fit through a series of valuable real-world opportunities. EnRICH will empower under-resourced HBCUs to foster an entrepreneurial/lean startup mindset, as well as actively promote diverse perspectives and inclusive and equitable work environments. Participants will have access to a rich curriculum centered around in-depth topics relating to technology transfer and growing a sustainable business.