What You Need to Know About Delegations

At the 2020 ESHIP Summit, we are asking you not to attend as just an individual but as part of a community delegation. At the event, your team will explore new ways you can collaborate to fortify your local entrepreneurial ecosystem or to solve a problem that’s limiting your community’s entrepreneurial potential. 

What is a delegation?

A delegation is a small group of individuals comprised of diverse members from your geographical community that will come together to help work towards opportunities to grow and strengthen your ecosystem. Depending on where you live, this could be your city, town, state, or region. 

Why are we asking everyone to come with a delegation? 

One of our big learnings over the last several years is that ecosystem building is a team sport. One person alone doesn’t have all the skills, knowledge and perspective to build an ecosystem. To implement real change, the work must be done in collaboration with others in your community. It is in this spirit that we are asking Summit participants this year to attend the Summit in a team–otherwise known as a delegation. You and your delegation will be working as a small group throughout the event to discover knowledge and resources from across the growing ESHIP community to help you develop an action plan for building and strengthening your ecosystem together.

How big (or small) should my delegation be?

Science says the ideal team size is five to seven people. That said, we know all communities are different, so a delegation can consist of a minimum of two individuals up to a maximum of 15. Please note, larger delegations may run into difficulties making maximum progress in the time allotted for this work.

Forming a Delegation

What key factors should I consider in forming my delegation?

Science also tells us that diversity is key when forming teams. And because ecosystem building is about moving a disconnected community to a connected community–the more diverse and representative of your whole community, the more likely you’ll succeed in your ecosystem building efforts. Diversity in areas such as race, gender, age, geography, and sector will be key to your delegation’s success. 

Here’s a short list to get you started in thinking who you might invite to be part of your community’s delegation. Also, spend some time thinking about the “not usual suspects” who are championing entrepreneurship but don’t often get invited to the table in conversations about the community and it’s future. 

  • Entrepreneurs who want to put energy into building the entrepreneurial ecosystem–especially successful serial entrepreneurs.
  • Leaders from entrepreneurial support organizations (like incubator or an SBDC). Don’t forget the grassroots leaders that champion the ecosystem, host events, and are always making connections, often times without a specific job title or volunteering their time to do so.
  • Individuals that work in economic, community and workforce development organizations that care about entrepreneurship, such as the chamber of commerce, neighborhood resource center, librarians or a tech association
  • Leaders in the education system and the nonprofit sector or the media, who’ve demonstrated a passion for supporting the local entrepreneurs.
  • Government representatives, public officials, or your mayor who cares about entrepreneurship 
  • Investors, funders, foundations, real estate developers, bankers, and corporate grant makers who’ve shown their interest in supporting entrepreneurship and the local community.
  • Representatives from large corporations, small/medium businesses or startups that have given their time to support entrepreneurs in your community.

If I am organizing my delegation, what is my role and responsibility?

As a delegation coordinator, you will be responsible for identifying and organizing your delegation members.  

  • Once your delegation members are identified, you will be responsible for initially registering your delegation by selecting the appropriate option indicated below and submitting the names and emails of the individuals that will be a part of your delegation.
  • When on the registration page, select: “I am a delegation coordinator and would like to register my delegation to receive my custom delegation codes.”  
  • Within 24-48 business hours after registering your delegation, you’ll receive a custom registration code (your team’s own code!) that you will need to distribute to your delegation members for them to complete their full registration.

As a delegation coordinator, if you recruit a delegation of 5 or more (including yourself) you will receive a 50% discount on your registration as a thank you for assuming these responsibilities and working to gather your community.

Please note, in addition to your delegation registration, each individual member of your delegation must register and pay the registration fee on their own in order to secure their spot. Spots for your delegation members will be held for up to two weeks upon completion of the delegation registration. After two weeks, if they have not formally registered, we can not guarantee their spot at the ESHIP Summit.

Getting Registered

I have my delegation! How do I register?

Are you the delegation coordinator? If so, see above for the process to get your delegation formally registered and receive a registration code to distribute to your members.

Are you a delegation member? Ask your delegation coordinator for your custom registration code. Once you have your code, go to the registration page and select, “I am an ESHIP Summit Attendee with a delegation registration code.”  Please note, when you register you will be responsible for submitting payment for the registration fee. Register now.

I don’t have a delegation or know where to start to find one, what should I do?

Looking for a delegation to join and don’t know where to start? 

If there is not already a delegation forming around your community, it might take your leadership to put one together. We’ve put together a few ways we can help:

Start here by sharing more information about yourself and where you’re from. We’ll use this information to keep our eye out for delegations that register in your area that we might be able to match you with. Additionally, when submitting the form, we’ll share more information on how to recruit your own delegation from your community.

Then, add yourself to this interactive map to raise your hand that you are looking for a delegation. This will allow others from your area to see you on the map and receive your contact information. Keep checking the map! You never know when someone from your area might raise their hand too. Please note the mapping tool is provided to assist individuals in coordination efforts regarding delegation formation for the ESHIP Summit. The data collected is only for the intention to coordinate delegations and will not be used for any purpose beyond the summit.

Finally, consider taking charge and reaching out to other ecosystem leaders in your community, and putting together a delegation–just remember the minimum size is two people.

Why can’t I come alone?

Over the last few years, it’s become clear that building entrepreneurial ecosystems is a complex process that requires a diversity of abilities, experiences and skills, and no one individual can do all of it alone. Building on that insight, we know that ecosystem building is a team sport. For the 2020 ESHIP Summit we are going to test that notion, by inviting teams of leaders from communities to attend the event together. At the event, these teams will have the opportunity to work together to  build their collaborative muscles by developing a plan to fortify their ecosystem in one aspect of their choosing — a plan that can be put into action immediately upon their return home. 

If you wish to attend, but you are unaware of others from your community who wish to attend, we have provided this tool to help you seek out others or you can roll up your sleeves and recruit others to join you. The minimum delegation size is just two people.

I have more questions! Who can I call?

Our very own master delegation coordinator, Presley Wehrle, is happy to answer your questions and explain this process in more detail. He can be reached at or 913.402.1881 x137.

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