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ESHIP Summit

Updates from the Field

Successful ecosystem building requires familiarity with the history, development, and goals of the work. With this knowledge, ecosystem builders can effectively achieve growth in their communities. These Firestarters provide thoughts on the intentions behind and progress within the field of ecosystem building.

What Are We Doing at the ESHIP Summit?

Presented by Victor Hwang

Written by Jeff Bennett

Watch: “ESHIP Summit Firestarter: Victor Hwang” | 14:06

Victor Hwang is a serial entrepreneur, investor, co-author of the ecosystem building book, The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley, and former vice president of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation.

At the 2017 ESHIP Summit, Hwang set the tone for the ESHIP Summits, explaining to attendees what they would co-create, how they would do it, and establishing a framework and behavioral patterns for building the field of ecosystem building.

The mission of the ESHIP Summit to advance ecosystem building as a more holistic approach to economic development requires a unique, collaborative approach, where attendees are encouraged to engage, share their expertise, and co-create the field of ecosystem building.

The ESHIP Summit audience is diverse, with attendees from 48 states and nine countries. Despite that diversity, we share values and beliefs that unite us:

  • That entrepreneurs and innovators – the makers, the doers, and the dreamers – are the ones that make the world better.
  • That the more we can empower entrepreneurs, the more we can help them do their work better, resulting in a better world.
  • That the best way to empower entrepreneurs is by surrounding them with human relationships and giving them the environments in which they can thrive.

Though we often work in isolation, the ESHIP Summit is a chance to come together and to collaborate. 150 years ago, Kansas City was a historical launching point for heading into the American frontier, similarly the ESHIP Summit convenes and launches ecosystem builders pioneering a new American frontier.

Making Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Mainstream: Victor Hwang on the Practices of Ecosystem Building

Presented by Victor Hwang

Written by Jeff Bennett

Watch: “ESHIP Summit 2018 Firestarter: Victor Hwang” | 11:55

At the 2018 ESHIP Summit, Victor Hwang shared his perspective and insights on the maturity of the practice of ecosystem building, in order to set a direction for the collective work that needs to be done to co-create and advance the professional field.

In the opening talk of the 2018 ESHIP Summit, Victor Hwang reflected on the information collected, as well as his work and experience. Hwang also provided a ‘State of the Professional Field of Ecosystem Building,’ gathering information from years of community work done by the Kauffman Foundation – more than 1,000 sticky notes from group discussions and 350 responses to surveys regarding the most pressing issues in the field.

Hwang kicks off his talk by encouraging the audience to consider what it means to be at the Summit and to look for ways to contribute to the work being done. He reiterated a previous point, saying that the people in the room have the potential to change the arc of human history – now, even more than the year before.

“…You are the people that are building that new economic model, the new way we’re going to lead our economy of society forward to health, sustainability, equal opportunity, and access for people that have ideas that want to turn them into something of value.”

Though the community has collectively been able to co-create a significant body of work, there is still a gap between what has been accomplished and what needs to be done.