Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Charlie Daniels

Committee Member

Adrian Gheorghe

Committee Member

Sarah Bouazzaoui

Committee Member

Isaac Osunmakinde


In recent years, a report from the Kauffman Index of Startup Activity shows that 540,000 Americans launch businesses each month (Fairlie et al., 2017). However, the number of women-owned and minority-owned businesses in the United States (U.S.) is disproportionately less than the proportion of women and minorities in the U.S. Although women slightly outnumber men in the U.S. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2019), new women-owned businesses represent only 39.4% of all U.S. businesses, while new male-owned businesses represent 60.51% (Fairlie et al., 2017). While Blacks or African Americans comprise approximately 13.4% of the U.S. population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2019), only 9.24% are new Black-owned businesses (Fairlie et al., 2017). Hispanics, or Latinos, represent about 18.3% of the total population, but Hispanics account for 24.12% of newly owned businesses (Fairlie et al., 2017).

This discrepancy has been documented for years (Bates, 1995). Over the years, the gaps have decreased, and government incentive programs have been designed, established, and enforced to increase the entrepreneurship of underserved groups (Bryant et al., 2012). However, underserved entrepreneurs face tremendous challenges beyond government intervention alone, especially when starting high-growth and scalable tech-based ventures. This research uses tools to identify the components missing in building a viable incubator program designed for underserved innovative entrepreneurs to establish scalable technology startups.


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