Support Entrepreneurs. Build Ecosystems. Change Our Economy.

eship summit 

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

The ESHIP Summit is the Kauffman Foundation’s convening of diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem builders fighting to answer that question in their communities.

Ecosystem builders drive long-term change by supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. They work for more innovation, more startups, and fewer barriers for the makers, the doers and the dreamers.

Entrepreneurial ecosystem builders come from a variety of backgrounds and expertise, including entrepreneurs, mayors, economic developers, grassroots community leaders, university leaders, academics, philanthropists, corporate leaders and media.

Entrepreneurial ecosystems thrive when people and resources are connected and working together to develop new approaches and solutions for serving entrepreneurs.

The Beginning of a Movement

The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook (Draft 1.0)

This digital playbook provides a general framework based on years of research and experience. However, it still needs validation from real practitioners in the field, practical stories of what has worked and what hasn't, and your own expert insights.

We look forward to receiving your ideas.


At the inaugural ESHIP Summit in June 2017, attendees from 48 states and 10 countries collaborated to craft actionable plans for activating and transforming their startup communities.

Share your feedback and findings in comments throughout the digital Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building Playbook, which was initially introduced at the ESHIP Summit. Help ensure all ecosystem builders can learn how to build more vibrant, effective, results-oriented entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Sign up below to receive key outcomes from 2017 and notifications about the 2018 convening.

Together, we can help break down barriers for entrepreneurs across the country.

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Share your thoughts on entrepreneurial ecosystem building using hashtag #ESHIPsummit on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Hunt for an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

The Hunt for an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Entrepreneur Vewiser Dixon has big plans for Kansas City's jazz district, but economic development in his neighborhood has been a challenge. The Atlantic's CityLab shares his story.

See what others are saying about the ESHIP Summit