I just returned from three fantastic days at the second ESHIP Summit put on by the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City. The purpose of the Summit was to convene the makers, doers, and dreamers who care about building robust entrepreneurial ecosystems in their communities.
Over the course of the conference, 600 people from around the United States and several countries worked together to build a framework to define and legitimize the role of an ecosystem builder.
What is an ecosystem builder? Many communities, like Rochester, have all the elements to create a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem but remain disconnected. The role of an ecosystem builder is to connect, empower, and collaborate with others to help nurture diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems to serve our present and future entrepreneurs.
My most important takeaway was that we are not alone. Communities all over this country and struggling to understand how to build lasting and connected ecosystems to support their entrepreneurs. By creating a framework, toolkit, and connection to other ecosystem builders, we can accelerate and strengthen entrepreneurial communities across the United States.
A thriving and inclusive ecosystem is an ecosystem builder's ultimate goal, but we can never lose sight of those that we serve. Entrepreneurs need to be at the heart of everything that we do.
We all hold vital pieces of Rochester's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Let's work together to assemble them into something that will ultimately help our region move forward and empower everyone who dares to dream about becoming an entrepreneur to find success.