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The ESHIP Summit

How do we empower the makers, the doers, the dreamers of our society? The ESHIP Summit is the Kauffman Foundation’s inaugural convening of leaders fighting to answer that question in their communities.

Our vision. We believe you have the fundamental right to turn your idea into an entrepreneurial reality, regardless of who you are or where you’re from, with zero barriers in the way.

Our mission. We seek to empower entrepreneurs everywhere as agents of progress. We aspire to build a new model of economic development where entrepreneurs are celebrated and accelerated. We aim to pioneer the principles, culture, tools and metrics of successful entrepreneurial communities. In short, we are entrepreneurial ecosystem builders.

Our gathering. This event will be like no other. Participants will work together – hands-on, creatively and boldly – to design their ecosystems using new approaches and best practices. No politics, no pretense, no ordinary presentations. We seek practical results. That means leveling the playing field. That means wider participation in our economy.

  • Morning: Warm up with a group run, yoga in the park or a cup of coffee, ending with a healthy breakfast.
  • Daytime (9am-5pm): Get ready for a different kind of gathering, co-created together as we go. We’re convening the top ecosystem builders from across the U.S. and beyond: grassroots entrepreneurial leaders, mayors, venture capitalists, economic developers, journalists, researchers and 35+ partners who serve ecosystem builders worldwide. We’ll invite you to connect and create as a community, but you won’t see panels and Powerpoint presentations on the agenda. We’ll spend the day working face-to-face to discover emerging models of ecosystem building, sketch a collective vision for our efforts and test our assumptions through iterative design.
  • Evening (6pm-evening): Hit the streets and explore the Crossroads—Kansas City’s urban art community. Alongside your fellow conference attendees you’ll navigate through the rich creative and entrepreneurial culture of KC through its galleries, music, food trucks, public spaces and restaurants.

Please note that this event is sold out and registration has been closed. If you have questions, direct them to


Thursday, Jun 22 @ 9:00 am
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Kauffman Foundation
4801 Rockhill Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64108


For more information contact:
ESHIP Summit
Kauffman Foundation
(816) 932-1021

Choose your entrepreneur type.

Choose your entrepreneur type.

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  • iconStartup

    You're a member of the start-up group. Brand new to the entrepreneurial world, your ideas and energy will take you far. Welcome to the family.

  • iconMicroenterprise

    You're a member of the microenterprise group. Your small business is not only your dream job, but also gives you the flexibility to do things on your time.

  • iconMain Street

    You're a member of the main street group. Your entrepreneurial spirit brings people together, providing your customers with a more personalized service.

  • iconInnovation-Led

    You're a member of the innovation-led group. You make the revolutionary ideas that will break through the ceiling. Let our resources get you there.

  • iconSecond Stage

    You're a member of the second stage group. Faster than a speeding bullet, your business is taking off. We have the resources to help your growth and expansion.

  • iconEntrepreneurial Community

    You're a member of the eco-devs group. You're the support system of the economic, small business and community rooted in getting things started. Let's connect.