At MIT and most other STEM institutions, the term underrepresented minority (URM) in STEM refers to groups that are not represented in the STEM fields in numbers proportional to their composition in the U.S. population, defined as Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, or Native American.
The Inclusive Innovation Grant Program endeavors to close the racial innovation gap by reducing the financial barrier for underrepresented groups in STEM to pursue typically unpaid opportunities with startups—a problem that has been further exacerbated by the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the resulting reduction in the number of available internships.
To be eligible to receive the Inclusive Innovation Grant, applicants must be:
- Currently enrolled MIT undergraduate students
- Find their employment opportunity through the Venture Match platform to launch summer 2021
- Underrepresented defined as being:
- Black or African American
- Hispanic or Latino, or
- Native American
The program provides a supportive environment that includes
- 1:1 mentorship
- Hands-on paid experience with an MIT affiliated startup
- Peer support through regular virtual community-building events to ensure a meaningful experience over the span of up to 8 weeks
— Inclusive Innovation Grantee Slack channel
— Cohort meetings and access to iHQ
— Connected to virtual and in person events within the I&E ecosystem
- Students who successfully complete the program receive an MIT Innovation Initiative Certificate of Completion.
Students are highly encouraged to participate in the additional program benefits as part of their cohort.
The grant amount is $15.00/hr. Hours are determined by the startup and Grantee. The grant payment per recipient shall not exceed $5,000. The end of this grant period is the end of the Fall semester 2021.
If you are an MIT-affiliated startup and would like to participate, or if you are a student and have any questions regarding the program, eligibility, etc., please contact: InclusiveInnovation@mit.edu