How do we empower the makers, the doers, the dreamers of our society?


At this year’s 2018 Summit we welcomed 620 ecosystem builders from 50 states, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C. and 10 countries – including 121 U.S. Mayors. 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 1 updated draft version of the Kauffman ecosystem building playbook (now online).

Together, attendees workshopped the 7 (Draft) ESHIP Goals (suggesting 76 edits). Summit attendees dreamed up 94 initiatives that this community could undertake to help us attain the ESHIP Goals, collectively making 501 goal commitments, including 155 people who raised their hands to lead.

Please keep checking back as we update with content from the 2018 ESHIP Summit.


Kansas City, Missouri


#kcloves | ESHIP Summit 2017 | Kauffman Foundation

Historically known for jazz and BBQ, Kansas City—like many of the communities represented at the ESHIP Summit—is reimagining what it can be. Major growth in the entrepreneurial ecosystem has been catalyzed by the Big 5 Initiative, coupled with the work of countless organizations and a mayor who boldly aims to make the community "America’s Most Entrepreneurial City."

Signs of progress are everywhere. Drawing on the heritage of homegrown companies like Sprint, Garmin and Cerner, Kansas City recently saw one of the largest increases in tech startup density of any U.S. metro. Entrepreneur support organizations and programs like 1 Million Cups, the Angel Capital Association, Kauffman FastTrac, Pipeline Entrepreneurs, U.S. SourceLink and the Kauffman Foundation all call Kansas City home. Growth in new companies is being fueled by more than $1 billion invested in downtown over the last five years, 200+ entrepreneur support organizations and one of the nation’s lowest costs of living.

This growth and energy combined with investments in the city’s brand new streetcar system, an ambitious Smart Cities initiative and the world’s greenest residential development currently rising on the historic banks of the Missouri River, all made Kansas City the perfect place for the ESHIP Summit.

Kansas City, Missouri | The ESHIP Summit 2017 | The Kauffman Foundation


Kansas City, Missouri | The ESHIP Summit | Kauffman Foundation

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