Inclusive Innovation Economy Resources

The tools and links below focus on an evolving set of “best practices” that organizations and policy makers can utilize to better connect underserved communities and the residents that live in those communities to the innovation economy. This will be continuously updated.

Urban Innovation21’s Approach

PowerPoint slides that show that building supply chain and innovation economy support businesses owned by residents from underserved communities and connecting them to our region’s successful innovation economy will create an equitable innovation economy ecosystem.

View the slides

Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone (PCKIZ) Research Paper

Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone Model – Creating Clusters in Underserved Communities and using those clusters as a driver for sustainable community based economic development. 

Read the Research (PDF)

The Inititive For A Competitive Inner City

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City is a nonprofit research and strategy organization and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there. Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, ICIC strengthens inner city economies by providing businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities.



PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works.  PolicyLink connects the work of people on the ground to the creation of sustainable communities of opportunity that allow everyone to participate and prosper. Such communities offer access to quality jobs, affordable housing, good schools, transportation, and the benefits of healthy food and physical activity.


The America21 Project

The America21 Project is an open, collaborative and innovative platform that fosters solutions-based approaches to 21st century community economic development.  Supported by three essential pillars of innovation: STEM Education and Workforce Development, Access to Capital and Capital Formation, High-Growth Entrepreneurship.  The America21 Project (A21) strategy seeks to leverage existing assets within Urban American communities to create new opportunities and ensure competitiveness in the global Innovation Economy.


The Democracy Collaborative

The Democracy  Collaborative is a national leader in the field of community development through our Community Wealth Building Initiative. The Initiative sustains a wide range of projects involving research, training, policy development, and community-focused work designed to promote an asset-based paradigm and increase support for the field across-the-board.


Evergreen Cooperative

The Evergreen Cooperative of Cleveland, Ohio are pioneering innovation models of job creation, wealth building, and sustainability.  Evergreen’s employee-owned, for-profit companies are based locally and hire locally.  They create meaningful green jobs and keep precious financial resources within the Greater University Circle neighborhoods.  Worker-owners at Evergreen earn a living wage and build equity in the firms as owners of the business.


Living Cities

Living Cities is an innovative collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions. In nearly 20 years Living Cities members have collectively invested almost $1 billion, helping shape federal funding programs, redirecting public and private resources, and helping communities to build homes, stores, schools, community facilities and more. However, our members are not simply funders. They shape our work and priorities by participating on the Living Cities Board of Directors, four standing committees and three working groups. In sum, our members contribute the time of 80-plus expert program staff toward improving the lives of low-income people and the cities where they live.



LaunchPGH  is an online portal connecting entrepreneurs with opportunities in Pittsburgh. Launchpgh connects you with our city’s investors, business development organizations, and grassroots groups from the startup community.


Kiva Zip 

At Urban Innovation21, we are committed to providing the necessary financial technical assistance to our portfolio of community business partners to make their (Kiva) experience a successful one. Our working model seeks to ensure that our clients preserve their assets and grow them. Lending Policy and Procedures Lending - Questionnaire

Equitable Development: Advancing Opportunity Through Stronger Local Economies

View the slides (PowerPoint, 32MB)

Mayor’s Co-Working and Accelerator Roundtable Summary Report

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