It started as an idea on an ESHIP Storytelling call in September 2019—a campaign to highlight entrepreneurial ecosystem builders who selflessly serve in their communities but don’t always get thanked. The Unsung Heroes of Ecosystem Building is a storytelling campaign spearheaded by Anika Horn, Jessica Edwards, and I to raise the profile of entrepreneurial ecosystem builders around the country.

Despite a lack of funding, we’ve spent the last year volunteering hundreds of hours of our time to shine a spotlight on our peers in the field of entrepreneurial ecosystem building.

In 2020 this proof of concept campaign raised awareness of what is happening across the nation in terms of bringing the ESHIP Goals to life. We focused on unsung heroes of the movement by highlighting several exemplary ecosystem builders each month alongside an introduction to the specific Goals and initiatives (e.g. February Goal 1, March Goal 2, etc.).

We feel that this project has had an impact on the community of ecosystem builders. We’ve created a brief report to share the impact as well as lessons we’ve learned in this project.

Download the Unsung Heroes of Ecosystem Building Impact Brief

As we wrap up this year’s campaign we’re grateful for the ecosystem builders who graciously nominated their peers and we’re inspired by those peers that were nominated. We’re also grateful to the Kauffman Foundation for graciously providing a platform to highlight some of these inspiring ecosystem builders during the 2020 virtual ESHIP Summit. We’ve created a showcase landing page to collect these inspiring and motivating ecosystem builders.

Visit the Unsung Heroes of Ecosystem Building 2020

Unsung Heroes of Ecosystem Building


Jeff Bennett

Founder and Editorial Director at Ecosystem Builder Hub. Former/retired co-founder and President at StartupSac. Semi-retired ecosystem building writer. https://jeff-bennett.medium.com/