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ESHIP Summit

Previous ESHIP Summits


The ESHIP Summit 2017 was the Kauffman Foundation’s inaugural global gathering of leaders working to facilitate and spread entrepreneurship through the creation of entrepreneurial ecosystems. 450 attendees from 48 states and 9 countries – entrepreneurs, mayors, economic developers, grassroots community leaders, university leaders, academics, philanthropists, corporate leaders, and media – collaborated to create actionable plans for activating and transforming startup communities here in Kansas City, Missouri.


At the 2018 Summit, we welcomed 620 ecosystem builders – including 121 U.S. mayors – from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., and 10 countries. Half of the delegation identified as women and one-third as individuals of color.

Attendees helped catalogue 633 ecosystem building tools and resources and dreamed up a wish list of 412 tools they’d like to see created in the future. The Summit featured 74 presenters and one updated draft version of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook. Attendees also further refined a set of collective goals to help fortify the emerging field.


The 2019 ESHIP Summit in Kansas City brought together more than 500 entrepreneurial ecosystem builders – leaders connecting communities to accelerate entrepreneurship. Over the course of three days in late May, the group gathered to collaborate and grow the emerging field of entrepreneurial ecosystem building.

This year, participants built upon previous Summit work by exploring how we might achieve the 7 ESHIP Goals by prioritizing initiatives around each goal and exploring how we might bring them to life.