By Jorge Calderon (Founder & Executive Director, Springworks)
The mission of Springworks is to increase diversity in the venture community by providing access to opportunity for the future leaders of innovation.

The Springworks Scholars program identifies, develops and supports under-targeted (minority or female) business school students interested in either venture capital management or start-up management.

We are hoping that you will help identify individuals who you believe are strong candidates for the Scholars program and are matriculating to business school starting this Fall of 2011.
Interested MBA candidates can apply here to be a Springworks Scholar.

Deadline to apply is July 15, 2011 @ midnight PDT.

Details on the Springworks Scholars here.

Why Springworks?

There are a disproportionate number of women and minorities in leading or supporting roles within venture investment sized start-ups. Historically, companies owned by women and minorities have received less than 5% of total venture capital investments over the past 40 years and minorities have only accounted for 3.7% of entrepreneurs in venture scale start-ups. We believe that minorities and women are an untapped resource of valuable innovation leadership.

What is Springworks

Springworks is focused on encouraging, identifying, developing and investing in promising women and minority entrepreneurs and future venture capitalists. Our mission is to increase diversity in the venture community by providing access to opportunity for the future leaders of innovation. Our initial programs are mainly geared toward graduate students and high school students.

The Springworks Scholars program, started in 2010, provides structure and experiential learning to business school students through a combination of curriculum, mentorship and peer support. Through our collaboration with We Own It, Springworks has initiated and led the development of the Women in Entrepreneurship University Chapter program which piloted in 2011 within Haas at UC Berkeley.

Our newest initiative, named Urban Jelly, is creating a company that will have franchises that are owned and operated by high school students throughout the country. In addition to our current programs, we are providing advisory and technical assistance to several women and minority start-ups. This advisory work is laying the foundation for a future larger more systemic accelerator program.

If you have an interest in being part of our programs or helping support our organization, please contact us at

About the guest blogger: Jorge Calderon is the Founder & Executive Director of Springworks, an organization dedicated to increasing diversity within the venture ecosystem. Additionally, Jorge helps manage Toniic, an investment firm that catalyzes social impact through selective deployment of capital. Jorge recently started Impact Corps, a concept lab that develops and pilots new programs for the impact community. He is involved in a variety of civic and social organizations, including Ashoka Youth Ventures, LEAD in Business, The Guardsmen, and Jorge is a University of Michigan graduate and received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. Follow Springworks on Twitter at @_springworks.