Free Resources & Strategies for Higher Ed Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building. The C•CUBE Toolkit from UWO & Venn Collaborative sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation

Assess Alignment and Gaps

Optimizing Resources and Roles

Assets & Roles theme and the Developing stage

Positioned at the intersection of the Assets & Roles theme and the Developing stage, “Assess Alignment and Gaps” is critical to entrepreneurial ecosystem development. This topic involves evaluating the alignment of roles and assets within the ecosystem and identifying opportunities to optimize resources and address gaps.

When ecosystem stakeholders and partners, including colleges and universities, work together to assess alignment and gaps, they get the wheels turning for important ecosystem dynamics:

  • Resource Optimization: Assessing alignment helps ecosystem builders make efficient use of existing resources by ensuring that roles and assets are strategically matched to the ecosystem’s goals and needs.
  • Synergy and Collaboration: Identifying gaps and alignment issues paves the way for enhanced collaboration and synergy among ecosystem participants. It fosters a sense of shared purpose and mutual support.
  • Capacity Building: Addressing gaps in roles or resources may involve capacity-building efforts to empower ecosystem participants. These initiatives can improve the overall effectiveness of the ecosystem.


As ecosystem-building partners assess alignment and gaps, consider the following:

  • Role Clarity: Ensure that roles and responsibilities within the ecosystem are well-defined and understood by all participants. Lack of role clarity can lead to misalignment.
  • Resource Assessment: Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the resources available within the ecosystem, including financial, human, and intellectual assets.
  • Resource Matching: Match available resources to specific roles or initiatives within the ecosystem. Ensure that resources are allocated in a way that maximizes their impact.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Engage with stakeholders to gather insights on alignment and gaps. Their perspectives can provide valuable input for assessment.
  • Alignment Workshops: Organize alignment workshops or meetings where ecosystem participants can collectively review their roles and responsibilities. Encourage open discussions and provide a platform for clarifications.
  • Capacity Development: Implement capacity-building programs to address identified gaps. Offer training, mentorship, or other forms of support to enhance the capabilities of ecosystem participants.
  • Metrics and Evaluation: Develop metrics and evaluation criteria to monitor the alignment of roles and the utilization of resources over time. Regularly assess progress and adjust strategies as needed.

Conversation Guides

Use these conversation guides to help you and your ecosystem partners assess assets and gaps:

Conversation Guide: Evaluate Gaps Across Multiple Higher Education Institutions — PDF | Word

Conversation Guide: Evaluate Resource Alignment — PDF | Word

Conversation Guide: Assess Stakeholder Engagement — PDF | Word