The Kauffman Foundation – Education and Innovation
Under the banner of “Growing Economies, Expanding Human Welfare”, the Kauffman Foundation is devoted to promoting entrepreneurship in all its forms, including educating future generations on the vital role that entrepreneurs play in the economy. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, the Foundation was established by noted entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman in the mid-1960s and works nationwide in support of its vision to encourage cooperation between economically independent individuals and the communities they operate in, to their mutual benefit. Methods used to achieve this include four main programs: Advancing Innovation; Entrepreneurship; Education; and Research and Policy.
As a pioneering entrepreneur, Ewing Kauffman was a firm believer that others could achieve the success that he had. With this in mind, he started the foundation to support individuals with initiative – and it has gone from strength to strength. The Foundation’s Entrepreneurship team works with leading educators, researchers, and other experts in their fields, to create an entrepreneurial society promoting job creation and innovation, thereby supporting a health economy.
To further encourage innovative thinking and accelerate entrepreneurial endeavors, in 2008 the Foundation launched the Kauffman Laboratories for Enterprise Creation – a multimillion dollar initiative. Research has revealed that there are many promising innovations devised at university level, but for one or other reason, many of these never see the light of day. The Foundation undertakes to overcome the barriers that are preventing good ideas from becoming reality. Ewing Kauffman was of the opinion that education should lead students to self-sufficiency and to becoming productive members of society.
The Kauffman Foundation hosts or participates in numerous events each year which support and promote its views on education and innovation. One such event is the Milken Global Conference which will be held this year on May 1 in Los Angeles, California. This conference provides a platform for extraordinary people to meet and exchange ideas on solving the social, economic and political challenges facing societies today. Delegates include entrepreneurs, executives, scientists, philanthropists and even Nobel laureates. Other major initiatives supported by the Foundation include the Kauffman Global Scholars Program, the Kauffman Campuses Initiative and TechStars – and organization that offers seed funding, mentorship and a network of start-up company supporters.