Terik Tidwell

Terik Tidwell Director of Inclusive Innovation & Interim Director of Innovation Ecosystems


Graduating Class: 2014

Industry: Government & Public Administration, Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, Social Impact/Community Service, and Tech-Based Economic Development


Terik Tidwell is a Venture Humanist investing in the capacity of individuals and organizations to reach their full potential. Over the past 17 years, he has worked at the intersection of entrepreneurship, technology, policy, philanthropy, and education facilitating inclusive tech-based economic development. Currently he is the Director of Inclusive Innovation and Interim Director of Innovation Ecosystems at VentureWell, where he leads the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies, policies, and programs to broaden participation, engagement, and inclusive growth.

Prior to joining VentureWell, Terik was the Executive Director of the Smith Tech-Innovation Center and Director of STEM Innovation Initiatives at Johnson C. Smith University. While at JCSU he developed strategic partnerships, community engagement, innovation programs to support innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialization. During his tenure, he acquired and managed $19 million in extramural funding from federal agencies, corporations, and philanthropic organizations. His efforts led to the University being selected by the National League of Cities, Kauffman Foundation, and Schmidt Futures as an Innovation Ecosystem Partner. He was a Google AI TensorFlow Awardee, a Global Innovation Fellow and YLAI Fellow with the US State Department, and Education Pioneers Fellow. Universities, corporations, agencies, and foundations have sought his expertise: he has been a guest speaker at Yale University, Stanford University, Guangdong Byu University and Southwestern University of Economics and Finance in China, White House Opportunity Summit, SXSW EDU Summit, and State Department Ecosystem Builder Seminar. He served a two-year term as a joint-board member of the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). Tidwell is an Advisor to the North Carolina Innovative Development for Economic Advancement Foundation that invests in entrepreneurial support organizations and early-stage innovators; he is also an advisor to Harvard Business Review, Greenlight Fund, and Black Tech Ventures. He is a guest contributor on PBS Show, Carolina Business Review,. He is published in IEEE. His undergraduate and graduate studies include IT, Finance, Marketing at Monmouth University, Fordham University Graduate School of Business and UC-Berkeley Law School VC Finance. His favorite books are Chaos, Making of a New Science and Impact of Science on Society.