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

Shape and Re-Shape

Adapting to Changing Environments

Contexts & Environment theme and the Doing stage

Positioned at the intersection of the Contexts & Environment theme and the Doing stage, “Shape and Reshape” represents the proactive efforts of ecosystem builders to shape and adapt to the external conditions that influence entrepreneurial ecosystems. It involves dynamic strategies for influencing, redefining, and optimizing the environment in which entrepreneurship thrives.

When ecosystem stakeholders and partners, including colleges and universities, work together to shape and reshape the ecosystem, they flex the muscles required to sustain and maintain a thriving ecosystem:

  • Agility and Adaptation: Shaping and reshaping the ecosystem is essential for maintaining agility and adaptability in a rapidly changing landscape. Ecosystems that can respond quickly to new opportunities and challenges are more likely to succeed.
  • Innovation Enabler: A dynamic environment encourages innovation by challenging the status quo and fostering a culture of experimentation. It allows for the emergence of new solutions and approaches that drive entrepreneurship forward.
  • Collaborative Governance: By actively participating in the reshaping of the ecosystem, builders can promote collaborative governance and ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are considered.


As ecosystem-building partners shape and reshape, consider the following:

  • Environmental Scans: Continuously scan the external environment to identify emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities. Stay informed about shifts in market dynamics, policy changes, and technological advancements.
  • Engage with Stakeholders: Engage in ongoing dialogue and collaboration with ecosystem stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers, to gather insights and perspectives on necessary changes.
  • Adaptive Strategy: Develop adaptive strategies that allow the ecosystem to pivot and adjust in response to changing conditions. These strategies should be flexible and capable of accommodating new information.
  • Pilot Initiatives: Pilot new initiatives and programs within the ecosystem to test their viability and impact. Use data and feedback to refine and scale successful initiatives.
  • Advocacy and Influence: Actively advocate for policy changes and regulatory reforms that align with the evolving needs of the ecosystem. Engage with government bodies and industry associations to drive change.
  • Innovation Labs: Establish innovation labs or centers within the ecosystem to encourage experimentation and collaboration. These labs can serve as incubators for new ideas and solutions.
  • Ecosystem Feedback Loops: Create feedback mechanisms that enable stakeholders to provide input on the ecosystem’s direction and performance. Use this feedback to inform decisions and adapt strategies.

Conversation Guides

Use these conversation guides to help you and your ecosystem partners shape and reshape the nature of your work together:

Conversation Guide: Faculty Engagement Entrepreneur Fishbowl — PDF | Word

Conversation Guide: Foster Inclusive Leadership — PDF | Word

Conversation Guide: Diversify Funding Sources — PDF | Word