The ESHIP Summit, September 15-16 and 29, 2020

 A Virtual and Interactive Experience

How do I access the virtual event platform?

If you’re registered, click here to enter the event platform. Check the email you registered with for your custom login information for access.

Will any content be made available at no charge during or after the event?

All plenary sessions on September 15, 16, and 29 will be streamed live and archived on the Kauffman Foundation’s YouTube channel.

  • Tuesday, September 15
    • 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM CDT | Plenary 1: Exploring The State of Entrepreneurship In Our Changing World
    • 2:30 – 3:30 PM CDT | Plenary 2: An Introduction To Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building
  • Wednesday, September 16
    • 11:00 – 11:45 AM CDT | Plenary 3: A Deeper Dive Into Ecosystem Building & Systems Leadership
    • 4:00 – 4:30 PM CDT | Closing: A Declaration of Interdependence

If you’re not able to fully participate in the Summit, but would like an email reminder of the free streaming content, please share your contact information here. Recordings of many of the small group presentations will be made available after the Summit concludes.

Why does the Kauffman Foundation care about entrepreneurial ecosystem building?

We believe that entrepreneurial ecosystem building – connecting communities together to accelerate entrepreneurship – is an essential component of growing local economies and addressing systemic inequalities in our economy. Entrepreneurship can flourish in local communities when people and resources are well-connected.

Ecosystem builders cultivate system-wide support for entrepreneurs.

Ecosystem building is gaining wider traction in economic, community, and venture development circles and can help those efforts reach more people – including those who face systemic barriers to entrepreneurship.

Ecosystem building can help:

  • Facilitate the creation of jobs, wealth, and innovation
  • Ensure that those who have been left out are invited, included, and have equal access to resources
  • Unlock latent entrepreneurial talent in all people, regardless of background
  • Empower citizens to tackle challenges and needs in their community through entrepreneurship
  • Reinvent local economies and make them more sustainable
  • Grow more resilient, thriving communities

How is this year’s ESHIP Summit different from previous Summits?

From 2017-2019, the ESHIP Summit focused on bringing together advanced practitioners to develop foundational aspects of the emerging professional practice, informed by their work in their local communities. Day three of the 2020 ESHIP Summit (September 29) will keep this as its focus. 

New for the 2020 Summit, day one and day two (Sept 15 and 16) will take an even deeper dive into what’s working in local communities — by showcasing ecosystem building how-tos, case stories, and tools and resources. This material will be useful for advanced practitioners, as well as those who are new to the practice.

Why is the ESHIP Summit important?

Entrepreneurs help drive progress by creating businesses, jobs and wealth in our communities. They can play an important role in addressing many of the complex social, economic, and environmental challenges our society faces.

Yet entrepreneurship is stagnating or even declining in most regions of the United States. While the pioneers of ecosystem building have been working for a few decades, widespread understanding of the practice is lacking, and there is limited consensus on core elements of the approach.

The ESHIP Summit, which began in 2017, is designed to elevate and codify the emerging approach of entrepreneurial ecosystem building as a key component of economic, community, and venture development in the 21st century, and to share lessons learned in the growing practice.

What can I expect at the 2020 ESHIP Summit?

The ESHIP Summit will take place on a virtual platform over three days: September 15-16 and 29.

The event will introduce and explore entrepreneurial ecosystem building as an emerging aspect of economic, community, and venture development – primarily through a United States-focused lens. Participants will gain knowledge on the practice of ecosystem building and connect with a growing community of practitioners and the people who support them. Participants will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and contribute their efforts to support the growing professional field of entrepreneurial ecosystem building. Check out the agenda page for more information.

Is there a registration fee? Do you offer Scholarships?

There is a registration fee of $95 through August 31. On September 1, the registration fee increases to $145.

However, the registration fee should not be a barrier to participation. A limited number of scholarships are available to cover the fee for those who might not otherwise be able to attend. To apply for a scholarship, follow this link.

Can we get a group discount?

Do you want to participate in the ESHIP Summit with other leaders from your community? We are offering a 25% registration discount for groups of three or more that attend from the same community.

To receive a discount code, one member of your group should complete this form and we will send you the code within 24 hours. Each group member will then need to register individually to receive their discount. Please do not complete your registration until you have received your group discount code.

What does the registration fee cover?

The registration fee covers your participation in all Summit online sessions and interactive content on September 15, 16, and 29 – this includes all plenary sessions, breakout sessions, and small group discussions.

In addition, the fee gives you access to the interactive virtual conference platform, which includes access to networking opportunities, small group discussion forums, participant lists, ecosystem building tools, and the opportunity to schedule one-on-one meetings with other participants. The virtual platform will be accessible through the end of 2020.

Why should I attend if I can get much of the Summit content for free?

Ecosystem building and the ESHIP Summit are both built around the notion that human-to-human connection, collaboration, and strong relationships with people from all walks of life are key to launching businesses, building communities, and solving complex challenges.

The ESHIP Summit is designed to be a platform for people who want to build ecosystems to connect, share what they’re learning, and find ways to help each other. Much of this will happen within the virtual conference platform, which will be accessible only to those who have paid the Summit registration fee or received a scholarship.

If you prefer to simply access the Summit recordings, the streaming and recorded video option may be right for you. If you’d like an email reminder when the free streaming content is available, please share your contact information here.

Will the event be providing accommodation for participants with visual, hearing or other disabilities that may limit their participation in a virtual event?

We aim to make the event inclusive of all participants. When registering, you will have the opportunity to let us know of any specific accommodations you may need. If you have questions or would like to learn more, please reach out to Presley Wherle at pwherle@wellingtonexperience.com.

Who Should Attend the ESHIP Summit?

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

Will entrepreneurs be at the ESHIP Summit?

The ESHIP Summit puts entrepreneurs front and center. It is entrepreneur-centric.

However, some entrepreneurs may not have the interest or bandwidth to think about the ecosystem; they depend on it, but may not be in a position to help strengthen it.

The ESHIP Summit is for entrepreneurs who are ready to give back to the ecosystems in which they live and help make connections so that people can start and grow businesses more successfully.

Will the content be relevant to participants from outside the United States?

Because of the wishes of our founder, the Kauffman Foundation focuses its resources primarily on communities within the United States, so this event will have a US-centric frame. That said, entrepreneurial ecosystem building is emerging as a practice in countries around the globe, and we believe that a diversity of perspectives, insights, and knowledge is essential to developing the professional practice. We welcome anyone interested in entrepreneurial ecosystem building to participate in the ESHIP Summit. Past Summits have included participants from more than 15 countries and five continents.

What role will the ESHIP Goals play?

The ESHIP Goals are a shared framework developed at the 2017-2019 ESHIP Summits to help us better organize the needs of entrepreneurial ecosystem builders and to accelerate the emergence of the growing professional field of entrepreneurial ecosystem building in the US. The ESHIP Goals will be the focus of day three (September 29) of the 2020 ESHIP Summit, and they will also provide a helpful framework for thinking about ecosystem building throughout the event.

No prior knowledge of the ESHIP Goals is required to participate in this year’s ESHIP Summit. To learn more about the ESHIP Goals, visit the Scale and Goals sections of the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook 3.0.

I would like to be a presenter at the ESHIP Summit – what should I do?

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

Will the Mayors’ Conference on Entrepreneurship be running concurrently to the Summit this year? May I attend?

The ESHIP Summit will not run concurrently with the Kauffman Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship, which is an annual event for United States mayors, also focused on growing entrepreneurial ecosystems. The event is designed for U.S. mayors and their senior staff. The Mayors Conference will take place virtually September 17-18, 2020. Mayors who plan to attend will have the opportunity to participate in the ESHIP Summit prior to the Mayors Conference. Consider encouraging your mayor to check out both the Kauffman Mayors Conference and the ESHIP Summit. Mayors Conference registration will close on July 31.

Can you give me some examples of an ecosystem building tool?

Many organizations who have been part of the past ESHIP Summits have developed tools that support ecosystem building work across the U.S. and internationally. This year’s Summit will showcase some of these tools and offer practitioners the opportunity to learn more.

Examples of some tools and resources from past events:

How do I register?

Register now by filling out the registration form. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

What happens after I register?

Once you have registered, watch your email for messages from Andy Stoll at eshipsummit@kauffmanfoundation.org with more information on how to engage with the ESHIP Summit community and participate in the virtual space!

I am having trouble registering or have additional questions, what should I do?

Please email Presley Wehrle at pwherle@wellingtonexperience.com with any questions.

What is the cancellation policy?

We understand that plans may change, and are happy to provide a full refund for cancellations made at least 14 days before the event. If you need to cancel, please email Presley Wherle at pwherle@wellingtonexperience.com. Refunds will be offered for cancellations made before September 1.

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