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Exploring the Renewal of the Heartland

Heartland Entrepreneurship

A view from America’s heartland where the heart and soul of entrepreneurs drive innovation and renewal

Victor and Phil hit the road | 4:47
Victor Hwang
Victor Hwang
Phil Wickman
Phil Wickman

When Victor Hwang, vice president of Entrepreneurship, came to the Kauffman Foundation earlier this year, it became very clear to him that there was a renewal happening in the heartland.

“You see entrepreneurs bursting in Kansas City. You see it throughout the whole region, but that story is not getting told. If you think about the narrative of America, most of that narrative is happening on the coasts, in the big cities. Meanwhile, the story of what’s what in the rest of the country is this invisible energy that isn’t getting explored,” says Victor.

It’s important to witness this grassroots resurgence first hand. We need to listen to the entrepreneurs who are making things happen in their communities. We want to hear their stories of how they are fighting day after day to build great businesses in the new economy and what barriers stand in their way. And we want to find out how a community can foster and support the entrepreneurial spirit.

So, as part of the Kauffman Foundation’s annual celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we will be taking a road trip through the heartland producing a series of short films along with way. Victor will be traveling with his friend Phil Wickham, a venture investor and startup entrepreneur who also serves as executive chairman of Kauffman Fellows. They will be telling the story of renewal that is brewing among entrepreneurs and the ecosystems that support them in the Midwest. The tour will post daily dispatches from the road, November 14-18.