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


Ecosystem building happens in many contexts and sectors and as a result many organizations and individuals have developed practices, conducted research, and shared their experiences in making change. Here is a collect of resources from this work, encompassing websites, books, research, data sets and communities of practice from a broad range of sources, including many that are not specifically focused on ecosystem building among higher education and its partners.

We encourage you to visit those that are relevant to you context, and also welcome the addition of new resources. If you have one you wish to share, please visit our C•CUBE Group on the Ecosystem Building Leadership Network’s TradeWing community and post it there.

General ecosystem building resources

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Playbook 3.0

A comprehensive guide to ecosystem building based on years of stakeholder discussions facilitated by the Kauffman Foundation.


The Six Conversations

Expert in consulting and community building, Peter Block talks about inviting people into conversations that make change.


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
Why Diverse Teams are Smarter

A Harvard Business Review assessment of the benefits of diverse teams in business, applicable to ecosystem building contexts as well.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, 2nd Edition

Visionary entrepreneur and ecosystem builder Brad Feld, creator of the Boulder Thesis, shares core principles of creating a vibrant start-up community.

The Rainforest Score Card: A Practical Framework for Growing Innovation Potential

The Rainforest Scorecard provides a measurement tool for growing innovative,
entrepreneurial ecosystems and grows out of the work of Victor Hwang.

Dealmakers in Place: Social Capital Connections in Regional Entrepreneurial Economies

Entrepreneurship and economic development scholar Maryann Feldman examines the internal anatomy of regional social capital and develops a role for those who provide active regional stewardship, that is ecosystem builders.

The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley

How do human behaviors and cultural practices influence innovation in networks? This book by Victor Hwang and Greg Horwitt explains what helps ‘rainforests,’ their term for ecosystems, thrive.

What an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Actually Is

In this Harvard Business Review article, Daniel Isenberg unpacks myths and realities about ecosystems.


Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Commission on Economic & Community Engagement (APLU CECE)

APLU’s CECE convenes senior university economic development and community engagement administrations, presidents and chancellors, provosts, senior research officers, Cooperative Extension leaders, communications and government affairs administrators, and others from member universities and university systems across North America. Through the Innovation and Economic Prosperity Designation program and other activities, APLU’s CECE provides resources for regional ecosystem development.


InBIA is a global nonprofit for entrepreneurship support organizations (ESOs) in more than 30 countries. The InBIA site has extensive resources and links for entrepreneurial ecosystem building.

National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE)

 NACCE provides resources and support to help community colleges build and sustain high-impact entrepreneurship programs and build ecosystems. See the ‘programs’ and ‘resources’  tabs on their website for information about their offerings.

United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE)

(USASBE) is community of educators, researchers, and entrepreneurs advancing entrepreneurship education. See the resources tab for ecosystem building programs.

The University Economic Development Association (UEDA)

UEDA brings together higher education institutions, private sector businesses, non-profits, government organizations, and community economic development stakeholders to create local and regional economic opportunity. Note particularly the Principles of Practice for Higher Education’s Engagement in Inclusive Economic Engagement Strategies.