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Our Mission:

To inspire, educate, and support Stanford students, researchers, and faculty in translating their work into impact in addressing the health of our society and the planet through purposeful entrepreneurship



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Our story

In 2020, Jennifer Cochran (Chair, Stanford Bioengineering) and Narges Baniasadi (Stanford alumna and serial entrepreneur) began discussions about how to catalyze more research and innovation targeted at the most pressing societal and planetary challenges,  encourage more students and faculty members to become entrepreneurs, and shift the culture of entrepreneurship to be more mission-driven and inclusive.

These conversations led to the formation of Emergence – a new initiative intended to inspire, educate, and support Stanford students and researchers in tackling global systemic challenges that affect the health of society and the planet through science-based and purposeful entrepreneurship. We chose the name Emergence to communicate the emerging nature of this work, the need for collective leadership and collaboration across many disciplines and sectors, and our hope for a brighter future. 

To accelerate our progress, Emergence is now partnering with the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign. Together, our preliminary focus will be on advancing societal health, health equity, and health technology innovation to improve lives everywhere, for everyone.

Our principles

Global Mindset. Global threats facing our world today know no boundaries. At the same time, socioeconomic and political constructs, cultural norms, and levels of education are immensely diverse across countries. We aim to develop leaders with a global mindset that traverses two axes - shared responsibility for the problems facing humanity  and nuanced appreciation of local context and stakeholders when developing solutions. We aim to develop a global network of change makers.

Open Innovation. We believe that ideas can hatch anywhere and the most transformative solutions are born when innovators cross-pollinate across institutions, national borders, and disciplines. We aim to build a platform that combines physical and virtual co-creation environments to facilitate vibrant exchanges of ideas, project needs and resources, yet governed by disciplined accountability towards results and mission. 

Ethical Innovation and Translation. New technologies and venture creation bring forward many possibilities, but also expose our society to risks beyond the imagination of their inventors. We aim to develop frameworks and foundations for ethical innovation and commercial translation. 

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. DEI is a strategic priority in our own team and across our network. We aim to educate and support entrepreneurs to include DEI not only in building their organizations but in envisioning the impact of their offerings. 

Partnerships and Ecosystem. Tackling global problems and progressing technologies from discovery to scale requires systems thinking and strong partnerships among multiple stakeholders. We aim to serve as a nexus that convenes academics, entrepreneurs, policy- makers, investors, philanthropists, NGOs, and industry to aid entrepreneurs through the ideas-to-impact journey.

Balancing Sustainability and Impact. Aspiring to be a role model in the for-purpose business paradigm, we will measure our success using both financial and impact performance metrics. In creating our strategy, designing our programs, and making investment decisions, we will set goals and hold ourselves accountable for having a positive social and environmental impact, as well as positive financial returns.