By Jakob Wildman-Sisk, Social Lab Manager, UNB’s Pond-Deshpande Centre and Chad Lubelsky, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. This blog was originally published on the RECODE website. It was republished here with the author’s permission.
Building an entrepreneurship ecosystem is a tall order. Yet in nine years, the community of Hubballi, India has been transformed through exciting investments in education, innovation, and collaboration. What can we learn from them?
The Deshpande Foundation creates entrepreneurship ecosystems by supporting and harnessing the power of financial capital and educational opportunities. In doing so, they hope to lay the groundwork for more robust and sustainable communities.
Deshpande calls this support work building “sandboxes.” These sandboxes have expanded to New Brunswick and Massachusetts, however, they found their start, and their inspiration, in Hubballi, India. Recognizing that building ecosystems is difficult work, and in the spirit of continual learning and improvement, Deshpande hosts an annual Development Dialogue at its Hubballi sandbox.