We are excited to announce that the 2020 ESHIP Summit will be held September 15-16, 2020 in a virtual format.

Given the still unfolding pandemic, this year’s Conference will look different than it ever has before. Not only will we be discussing new and relevant content, we’ll be exploring a different way to connect. 

Virtual collaboration is nothing new in the modern world, but because we understand the incredibly important call to action that we’re all faced with now, we must approach a virtual convening with clear goals and a hunger for change.

We hope to see you at the 2020 ESHIP Summit. Want to get on the invite list for the 2020 Summit? Please subscribe to our newsletter.

What is the ESHIP Summit About?

The ESHIP Summit is a convening that brings together entrepreneurial ecosystem builders — leaders connecting communities to accelerate entrepreneurship and those who support them. The ESHIP Summit aims to support the emerging field of entrepreneurial ecosystem building, and connect participants with resources they need to better support entrepreneurs and drive progress in their communities. 

Ecosystem building is a team sport. No one individual can build an entire ecosystem. If you want to build a robust, inclusive ecosystem, you need to collaborate with other leaders who have a diversity of skills, abilities, and backgrounds.  

 Since its inception in 2017 the ESHIP Summit has focused on bringing together entrepreneurs, policymakers, economic developers, grassroots leaders, investors, community builders, educators, funders, philanthropists, journalists, and many other interested community members who want to work together to infuse entrepreneurship into our economic and community development approaches. The ESHIP Summit connects these people with the resources they need to increase connectivity in their communities to better support entrepreneurs of all types. 

We have an opportunity to accelerate our ability to effectively transform communities through entrepreneurship. Together, we can better understand how to build thriving ecosystems.

Together We Can Change the World

Our work together at the 2020 ESHIP Summit will build support and resources for ecosystem builders everywhere, ultimately empowering more entrepreneurs and growing more prosperous communities everywhere.

 We look forward to working together and we hope you will join us.

What’s new at this year’s ESHIP Summit?

At the 2020 Summit, we’ve redesigned the heart of our program to focus even more on your work in your community.

We’re inviting you to look around and find more people in your community who are already (or could be) working alongside you to build your local entrepreneurial ecosystem — and we’d like you to participate in the ESHIP Summit, together.

At this year’s event, we’re inviting you to assemble a diverse delegation from across your community to attend this 2.5 day event. Throughout the Summit, your group will work together to develop a plan for how you can better collaborate to strengthen your ecosystem when you get back home.

The ESHIP Summit is about putting relationships into action. It’s about everyone contributing towards making progress together. None of us is as strong as all of us. During the event, you’ll engage in small group conversations, peer-to-peer learning, short interactive presentations, collaborative activities, and more. You’ll learn from experts and communities across the US and world, tackle big questions about your community and meet leaders from other communities who are working on similar issues. You will connect with those in your towns, cities and regions to work together to develop a plan on how you can better collaborate to strengthen the ecosystem in your community.

And you will have help. You’ll leave with new found ecosystem building tools and support programs, many of which are offered by the 50+ National Resource Providers (NRPs) in attendance. NRPs are organizations that work to support ecosystem builders every day. You can take these tools back home and put them to work in your community.

Here’s some some examples of NRPs and the tools and resources they offer

Help Build Our Growing Professional Field
Join us for a pre-Summit ESHIP Goal Hackathon on June 28th

Since 2017, more than 1,000 individuals have contributed to the development and the pursuit of the ESHIP Goals, a set of collectively-developed objectives that will help us all work together in order to strengthen the field of entrepreneurial ecosystem building. Achieving these goals will strengthen our profession and accelerate its adoption in more communities, reducing barriers entrepreneurs face around the world.

If you want to contribute to growing our professional field, please join us for a pre-Sumit ESHIP Goal Hackathon, on Monday, June 28th, just prior to the kick-off of the ESHIP Summit. We’ll form small teams — like any hackathon — and spend the day working together to find ways we can solve for the ESHIP Goals. We’ll further refine a vision for this emerging professional field, lay some groundwork to establish standards and values for how we do our work and form project teams to turn some of the ideas at the core of the ESHIP Goals into tangible products during and after the event. The day will be highly interactive, action oriented and a lot of fun. 

Though we’ll build on the work done at the 2017-2019 ESHIP Summits, previous participation at these events is not required to participate in the Hackathon — just a willingness to roll up your sleeves, learn from others, and work collaboratively to help position ecosystem building for wider adoption in more communities.

Who Should Attend the ESHIP Summit?

Those attending the ESHIP Summit are working to build resilient local communities, and create a more inclusive economy. Delegations  from across the country will work together to take action towards creating sustainable and inclusive economic growth in their communities.

Participants may wear many different hats, but the common thread is that they  are not just focused on their own corner of the community, but the success of the whole system. Past Summit’s have included people who work in:

  • Entrepreneurship and venture development
  • Economic, community and workforce development
  • Incubators, accelerators, and coworking spaces
  • Grassroots community organizing
  • Banking, investment and philanthropy
  • Large companies and anchor institutions
  • Universities, community colleges, or K-12 education
  • Libraries, nonprofits and community institutions 
  • Government and public office, real estate development, research, media and more…

If you don’t fit into one of these categories, that’s okay too. If you are interested in redefining economic and community development through entrepreneurial ecosystems, this conference is for you.

You should come to the ESHIP Summit if:

  • You have been trying to connect people and resources — and break down silos — in your entrepreneurial community.
  • You believe in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • You have been exploring new models for entrepreneurial-led economic development.
  • You see how entrepreneurship and innovation can come from unexpected people and places.
  • You are a leader who wants to increase collaboration across your entire community, including both traditional institutions and grassroots centers of influence.
  • You are frustrated with stagnant growth in your community and are looking to approach business development in a new way.
  • You want to be part of the solution — and can come with ideas for solutions.
  • You have a “give before you get” mentality.
  • You take a long-term view of community transformation.

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