The Office of Technology Management aims to create an inclusive, equitable and accessible environment around patenting, commercialization and entrepreneurship.

The Office of Technology Management affirms our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

To this end, we offer programming, target outreach and develop resources accessible to all.

Our efforts include:

Education: We equip WashU researchers with knowledge about tech transfer, commercialization and entrepreneurship through broadly disseminated programs and events.

Outreach:  We partner with graduate, postdoctoral and faculty groups to bring information to their members and learn from their perspectives.

Events and Programs:  We leverage feedback, partnerships and OTM expertise to build content relevant to WashU researchers from all backgrounds and at all stages of their careers.

To learn more about our initiatives, contact Sarah Goode, OTM Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program Manager, New programs are under development, and we welcome your input.

American children from high-income families are 10 times more likely to become inventors than those from lower-income families, and white people are more than three times as likely to become inventors as Black people. Furthermore, the share of women among all U.S. inventor-patentees was just 12.8% in 2019. If we address these disparities, we could quadruple the number of American inventors.

United States Patent and Trademark Office 

Data shows that a significant barrier for underrepresented inventors and entrepreneurs is access to capital and valuable support systems within the innovation ecosystem. Listed below are investors, accelerators and incubators with a focus on women, minority and LGBTQ+ innovators, as well as other resources. This is not an exhaustive list, and if you would like to suggest additional resources, please email

Local Accelerators, Incubators and Investors

Arch Grants has a mission to accelerate place-based economic development through equity-free business startup funding. Arch Grants’ Startup Competition attracts innovative entrepreneurs from around the world to compete for startup grants and equity in order to grow and scale their businesses. 65% of its companies are led or co-led by a woman, person of color, immigrant or veteran.

BioSTL supports entrepreneur programs to empower underrepresented talent to pursue and develop STEM-enabled ventures within human health, plant and ag science, and food and nutrition and prioritizes programming for high-potential and entrepreneurially-oriented individuals facing barriers to success, specifically entrepreneurs who identify as Black, Latinx, women, and foreign-born.

Greater St. Louis Diverse Business Accelerator is for ethnically, racially and gender-diverse business owners looking to advance their enterprises. In the span of three months, program participants will learn how to develop actionable business expansion goals, market, and communicate their services, make meaningful business connections, and identify the capital and resources required to support growth.

Missouri MBDA Business Center works with minority business enterprises to generate increased financing and contract opportunities and to create and retain jobs. The mission of the center is to strengthen the US economy by helping ethnic minority businesses create or retain jobs, and build economically vibrant socially responsible entrepreneurs, businesses, and communities.

National Accelerators, Incubators and Investors

Avestria – Invests in women’s health and female-led life science ventures. Seeks out early stage businesses with a product or service that utilizes technology and/or data to improve the quality of healthcare, improve access, lower costs or empower patients.

Back$tage Capital – Invests in companies led by underestimated founders, including women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ founders. 

BBG Ventures – Early-stage fund focused on female founders.

Black Angel Tech Fund – Tech fund focused on producing successful next-generation technology companies with black techpreneurs at the helm.

Fearless Fund – Invests in women of color led businesses seeking pre-seed, seed level or series A financing.

Female Founders Fund – Early-stage VC fund that invests in female-founded technology companies—especially those in the digital health, education and climate change.

Gaingels – Venture investment syndicate supporting diversity, originally specific to LBGTQ+ founded and led startups. With its network of partners, invests in venture-backed companies in any sector and at all stages of growth – from pre-seed to pre-IPO.

Halogen Ventures – Venture Capital fund investing in pre-seed, seed and series-A companies and focused on investing in early stage consumer technology startups with a female in the founding team.

JumpStart Nova – Venture Capital fund investing in Seed and Series A stage healthcare companies, and partnering with Jumpstart Foundry to ensure that Black founded and led pre-seed healthcare companies receive the capital and support they need.

Loud Capital Pride Fund – Early-stage venture capital firm providing capital, entrepreneurship, and education to grow impactful companies. Invests specifically in companies led by LGBTQ+ founders or firms serving that community.

MedTechColor – Networking hub providing professional development resources, thought leadership, and strategies to advance the representation of persons of color in the medical device industry. Events include the annual MedTech Color Pitch Competition.

Pipeline Angels – Group of angel investors who serve as the friends and family round for entrepreneurs with a social and/or environmental mission — particularly trans and cis women, agender, gender non-confirming, nonbinary and two-spirit founders.

SoGal Ventures – Women-led, next generation venture capital firm focused on early-stage diverse founding teams in the US and Asia.

StartOut — Non-profit accelerator for LGBTQ+ startups at various company stages, provide resources and programs designed to help grow the business.

Other Programs in the Ecosystem

Equalize:  A virtual mentor program and pitch competition designed to take national action around the disparity of women academic inventors forming university startups.

Global Academic Inventors Network (GAIN): Mentoring programming that matches experienced academic inventors with college-level innovators and offers other resources on hundreds of industries, professions and companies.

USPTO Empowering Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE): A community-focused, collaborative initiative to provide women founders with IP education, funding tools, mentoring, and female-focused events with networking opportunities.

USPTO Equity-focused Events: Offer programs and events that inspire and encourage inventors and entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and geographies to develop their ideas and seek intellectual property protection for them.

WashU Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Community 

Academy for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Supports staff and faculty in building and maintaining a more inclusive and equitable WashU by providing learning and engagement resources.

Center for Diversity & Inclusion: Supports and advocates for undergraduate, graduate and professional students from underrepresented and/or marginalized populations, creates collaborative partnerships with campus and community partners, and promotes dialogue and social change among all students.

McKelvey School of Engineering Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: Aims to provide everyone the opportunity to achieve the same level of success regardless of background and privilege and ensure the McKelvey community includes members of diverse backgrounds.

WashU Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Offers university statistics, events calendar, and search features to explore campus-wide resources.

Equity & Inclusion Council: Serves as a university-wide representative body of students, staff, and faculty with the charge to keep WashU aligned with and accountable to institutional commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion.

School of Medicine Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:  Oversees the School of Medicine’s efforts to promote equity for the medical school community.

Program for Underrepresented in Medicine for Equity and Diversity (PROUD-MED): Supported by the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences and the Washington University School of Medicine, PROUD-MED aims to enhance underrepresented in medicine (URiM) faculty development by providing mentored clinical research training, dedicated Research Development Program (RDP) resources, senior faculty support, and group mentorship as a community to integrate with institutional programs.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email