Jonathan “Jon” Robinson
Manager of Entrepreneurship Programs, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Jon Robinson oversees a number of initiatives to connect founders to financial, human, intellectual, and social capital, and expand access to entrepreneurial opportunity. He leads the Foundation’s efforts to deliver entrepreneurship resources through community colleges, programs to support military veteran entrepreneurs, and other projects to improve local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. He also manages the Foundation’s work on expeditionary economics, a research initiative focused on enabling economic growth in conflict areas.
Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Robinson was an account supervisor and defense and security specialist in public affairs at Edelman New York, where he provided strategic communications counsel for a variety of nonprofit, corporate, and government clients. Previously, Robinson was also a project associate with David Diebold & Associates, he served for eight years active duty and reserve in the U.S. Marine Corps infantry, and he has also worked as a reporter for The New York Times, the Financial Times, and as an editorial assistant at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. He holds a bacehelor’s degree in history from Emory University in Atlanta with a concentration in law and international relations.
In his remarks, Jon will be addressing the vital role of the community college as a front door to entrepreneurship and a contributor to the innovation economy, a brief overview of Mr. Kauffman’s legacy and the Kauffman Foundation’s work to support entrepreneurs as a means to foster economic independence and national prosperity. Lastly, he will outline the challenge that Kauffman is issuing to community colleges to expand their value proposition to the entrepreneur and better integrate themselves into their communities.
About the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation:
Established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Kauffman Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and is among the largest private foundations in the United States with an asset base of approximately $2 billion. The Kauffman Foundation’s vision is to foster a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens in their communities. In service of this vision, grant making and operations are focused on two areas — education and entrepreneurship — which Ewing Kauffman saw as two ends of a continuum. A quality education is the foundation for self-sufficiency, preparing young people for success in college and in life. Many young adults will work in businesses started by entrepreneurs. Some will become entrepreneurs themselves, providing jobs and wealth for society.
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