2020 ESHIP Summit Call for Presentations

The Call for Presentations has closed, if you are still interested in presenting, please reach out to us at


The ESHIP Summit organizing team is seeking presenters to lead sessions at the 2020 ESHIP Summit, which will be held virtually on September 15-16 and 29. The fourth Summit will bring together entrepreneurial ecosystem builders and those that support them.

The ESHIP Summit is collaborative and interactive, intentionally designed to foster connections, spark curiosity and action, and create space for discussions, debate and small group conversation.

We are seeking proposals for presenters that provide impactful, “how-to,” action-oriented and engaging virtual sessions to a diverse audience of people interested in entrepreneurial ecosystem building. The topics outlined below are prioritized in the agenda, though the team also welcomes proposals on any topic relevant to people who work every day in building entrepreneurial ecosystems.

We are seeking session proposals that include at least one of the following focuses:

  1. Community Ecosystem Building Story: Share an ecosystem building story from your community that can inspire, inform and help others better understand ecosystem building and how to take action in fostering a more collaborative environment for entrepreneurs of all types.
  2. Ecosystem Building Tool: Share a packaged, replicable tool, program or other intervention that Summit participants can take and implement in their own community.
  3. Firestarter Talk: A short, focused, high energy talk centered on one idea, story, or theme (like a TED talk) relevant to all entrepreneurial ecosystem builders.
  4. Music, Art, or Interactive: Suggest music, art and/or interactive content to spark the audience in exploring and reflecting on topics relevant to entrepreneurial ecosystems.
  5. ESHIP Goal Project: Are you working on an ESHIP Goal related project that helps build the professional field of ecosystem building? Do you want to share it with the ESHIP community? Let us know.

There are two session lengths: A 10 minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of Q&A, and a 30 minute presentation followed by 20 minutes of Q&A. You will have the opportunity to select a time preference when submitting your proposal.

Community Ecosystem Building Story

(1-3 speakers)

The ESHIP Summit team is seeking prepared presentations that share a story of ecosystem building progress that demonstrates how a community is taking a systems-level approach and working across multiple organizations and individuals to further fortify their local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Preference will be given to presentations that focus on:

  1. A community’s collaborative response to the impact of COVID-19 on entrepreneurs.
  2. A community’s collaborative efforts to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  3. A community’s efforts to increase collaboration, coordination and trust across multiple ecosystem players in a single community.

An ideal presentation would share a compelling story about a specific program, activity or intervention that includes: what action was taken, what worked–and what didn’t–and anything that will help other communities draw insight and inspiration. Each session will be followed by significant Q&A time with the audience.

Ecosystem Building Tool

(1-3 speakers)

The ESHIP Summit team is seeking prepared presentations, or pre-recorded video interviews or conversations that showcase an ecosystem building tool. An ecosystem building tool is a packaged program, practice or intervention that Summit participants can easily take and implement in their own community. Preference will be given to presentations that describe how the tool was implemented in a specific community and the results. Proposals to showcase books, reports and writing are welcome, as long as the content is practical and actionable.

Here are some examples of packaged ecosystem building tools:

Firestarter Talk

(single speaker | 15 minutes or less)

A Firestarter talk is a focused, high energy talk centered on one big idea, story, or theme (like a TED talk) relevant to all entrepreneurial ecosystem builders–delivered during a large virtual plenary session.

Preference will be given to talks on the following topics:

  • systems leadership
  • challenges and opportunities related to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • complex collaborations
  • indigenous wisdom related to entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • community healing and trauma
  • amazing and inspiring stories of entrepreneurial success in unexpected places

These talks are not intended to cover an entire topic, but to “spark” thinking on a particular subject. What makes a good Firestarter talk? See some past talks here, here, here, and here.

Music, Art, Or Interactive Entertainment

Do you know any musicians or artists whose work would enhance the event by helping Summit participants explore and reflect on some of the Summit’s key themes?

If so, please consider nominating musicians, artists and other interactive entertainment or performers that could be delivered in a virtual setting.

Summit themes that may serve as inspiration for such content include:

  • authenticity
  • belonging
  • collaboration
  • complexity
  • creativity
  • diversity
  • ecosystems
  • entrepreneurship
  • everyone is invited
  • following patterns in nature
  • living systems
  • people-centered
  • share your story
  • take risks and try things
  • “what can we create together?”

ESHIP Goals Projects

(Building the Professional Field )

The ESHIP Goals serve as a shared framework for collective action to build the tenets of the emerging professional field of entrepreneurial ecosystem building. At the 2020 ESHIP Summit, we will all have opportunities to showcase ESHIP Goal-related projects that have been completed or are in the works. If you are currently working on an ESHIP Goal project that you’d like to share with colleagues at the Summit, please submit as a proposed presentation. If you have questions related to this category, please contact Cecilia Wessinger, ESHIP Community Activator, at

Who Will Be In The Audience?

The ESHIP Summit invites local community leaders who are working to build their local entrepreneurial community or ecosystem. Participants come from across the United States and a number of other countries. They come from many different parts of the community, including entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial support organizations (nonprofits, incubators, coworking spaces, etc.), government, economic development, community development, workforce development, universities and K-12, banks and investors, foundations, large companies, journalists, researchers and more. Participants have a wide range of experience in ecosystem building from novice to professional.

Want to stay in the loop?
Sign Up for our Newsletter

We value your privacy. We never send you any spam or pass your information to 3rd parties.