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Previous Mayors Conferences

The Kauffman Foundation’s annual Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship brings mayors, entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurship experts together to discuss ways to promote startup activity and encourage higher levels of entrepreneurship in their cities.

Mayors and entrepreneurs collaborate and align their objectives, creating a new national community where the most difficult problems are addressed using the best aspects of public and private approach. This network will exist beyond this conference and support efforts beyond the events of the conference.

The conference is held in a different city each year in collaboration with that city’s mayor.

2017: Zero Barriers. All Possibilities.

October 25-27, 2017 | Oakland, California | Hosted by Mayor Libby Schaaf

How can mayors work with entrepreneurs to strengthen cities? Mayors worked hands-on to create actionable plans to: 1) Build civic infrastructure by engaging startup businesses as problem-solvers; 2) Increase economic inclusion by growing entrepreneurial communities; and 3) Innovate municipal financing to create jobs in growing companies.


2016: Diversifying Entrepreneurial Opportunity

November 30 – December 2, 2016 | St. Petersburg, Florida | Hosted by Mayor Rick Kriseman

Creating a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem requires more than attracting young founders of high-tech startups. Like all healthy ecosystems, it takes variety to thrive. Entrepreneurs come in all stripes and so do their companies and industries. How can a city make entrepreneurial opportunities available to all?


2015: Recipes for Growth

October 6-8, 2015 | Albuquerque, New Mexico | Hosted by Mayor Richard J. Berry

Universities, federal research laboratories, industry-leading firms, startup capital, the built environment, and philanthropy are often considered necessary ingredients for generating innovation and entrepreneurship. Do these ingredients yield new and growing firms in cities? How can these ingredients mix together to create a real recipe for entrepreneurial growth?


2014: Making an Entrepreneurial City

October 15-16, 2014 | Louisville, Kentucky | Hosted by Mayor Greg Fischer

As more and more Americans have access to both the technologies to build things and the networks to learn new skills, creativity is being channeled into new business ventures, economically benefitting both the maker-entrepreneur and others in the community. Not only that, but the Maker Movement has the potential to transform manufacturing and thereby American cities.


2013: Explore the Possibilities for Your City

November 30, 2013 | Kansas City, Missouri | Hosted by Mayor Sly James

At the inaugural Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship, mayors and entrepreneurship experts joined together to share insights about promoting startup activity and discuss ways to encourage higher levels of entrepreneurship in cities across the country. The program offered education, discussion, and engagement regarding entrepreneurship policy, implementation, and sharing of ideas.