Who Is Village Up?

Village Up

Who is Village Up?

Village Up is a collaborative initiative to increase diversity in and access to the San Diego innovation economy. Our first step is identifying barriers to entrepreneurship and talent recruitment from underserved communities. We will then develop pathways to overcome those barriers, including by bringing together affinity groups, elected officials, entrepreneurs, funders, and other stakeholders. Our goal is to create a model that is replicable in other communities.

What is the origin of Village Up?

Julius Alejandro, a San Diego-based community organizer and nonprofit professional, wrote an article in Spring of 2020 about the lack of diversity and the need for collaboration in tech. Kimberly VanWagner-Usewicz read it and contacted him to take action on some of the ideas in the article. Joined by Adrian Mique and Sonia Steinway, they started to bring together others who are passionate about increasing access to the San Diego entrepreneurial ecosystem, and Village Up was born.

How do you create new pathways to entrepreneurship?

We bring together affinity groups and advocates in the San Diego innovation economy to understand the needs of underserved communities and groups. We use an intercultural competence lens to identify the barriers to full participation that exist for many different communities and groups. Through this publication and other materials, we highlight those barriers, and propose solutions to build pathways and strengthen the ecosystem overall.

Why a pathway and not a pipeline?

A pipeline is a direct linear program with definite touch points to be achieved. It is restricted and doesn’t cater to everyone’s specific needs. A pathway is a connected set of systems that allows flexibility and options while achieving desired goals.

What are Village Up’s goals?

  1. To establish a collaboration of diverse affinity groups and stakeholders to share resources and information and address the needs of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  2. To produce reports and other materials on diversity and inclusion in the San Diego innovation economy through an intercultural lens.
  3. To build a pathway of resources and services from underserved communities to participate in the San Diego innovation economy.

How can I learn more or get involved?

Please contact us at villageupsd@gmail.com or check us out on LinkedIn. We also encourage you to like, share, and comment on the articles in this publication, and let us know which topics we should cover and resources we should highlight.



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Village Up San Diego

Village Up San Diego

A collaborative initiative to increase diversity and access to the San Diego innovation economy.