LaunchKC application window opens today

LaunchKC, the global grants competition for tech startup business, begins accepting applications today, Tuesday, March 31.

LaunchKC is a business model grants competition for tech entrepreneurs to apply and compete for one of 10 (ten) $50,000 grants and a leg up in growing their business enterprises in Kansas City, Missouri. Several hundred applications are expected to be filed during the 90-day application window.

“We are looking for the best and brightest entrepreneurs and their business models to compete for the LaunchKC grants,” said Mike Hurd, marketing office for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council of Kansas City.

Each eventual grant recipient will receive a $50,000 non-dilutive grant and a web of support, including 12 months of free office space in Downtown; industry-specific mentor teams for each grant recipient; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders in and around Kansas City – all designed to elevate their efforts to build high-growth, tech sector businesses and jobs in Downtown Kansas City.

The grants application window opens on Tuesday, March 31, and closes on July 2, 2015. Following an extended application review process, the eventual grant recipients will be selected by a LaunchKC judging panel consisting of Kansas City business leaders and national venture capitalists at Techweek Kansas City on Sept. 18, 2015.

LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, Missouri, working in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation. It stems from Kansas City Mayor Sly James’ bi-state innovation initiative that was established in 2013.

LaunchKC is nonprofit, civic engine in the Kansas City tech scene. It is fueled by visionary investments from the public, private and philanthropic communities, and maintained by a broad base of collaborators in the entrepreneurial and technology space.

The bottom is line for LaunchKC is crystal clear:

  • Grow jobs and build new businesses in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Engage venture capitalists and equity investors in the tech scene of Kansas City
  • Elevate Kansas City’s brand as an innovation center across the country
  • Serve as an engine for regional and national tech talent recruitment

“LaunchKC will search locally and nationally to indentify innovative entrepreneurs – the ‘real drivers,’ like mid-career professionals with expertise in existing industries to be uniquely qualified to spin off new businesses,” said Bill Dietrich, president and CEO of the Downtown Council and chief administrative office of LaunchKC.

LaunchKC will focus on high-growth potential businesses in scalable, vertical sectors – such as Big Data via Advanced Manufacturing, AgTech, Animal Health, Data Analytics, EdTech, FinTech, HealthTech, Mobile Tech, Cloud Services and Real Estate Tech – where KC has considerable depth and expertise to aid in welcoming and support the new startups.

To apply for a LaunchKC grant or to learn more, visit www.launchkc.org.

LaunchKC ignites tech scene at SxSW Interactive

 

Members of the LaunchKC-Techweek team celebrate at a national "launch" event at SxSW on March 16. From left, Matt Ginsberg of Techweek, Tommy Wilson of LaunchKC and Downtown Council; Drew Solomon of LaunchKC and the EDC; Blake Miller of Think Big Partners; Mike Hurd of LaunchKC and DTC; and Chris Bordeaux of Techweek.

Members of the LaunchKC-Techweek team celebrate at a national “launch” event at SxSW on March 16. From left, Matt Ginsberg of Techweek, Tommy Wilson of LaunchKC and Downtown Council; Drew Solomon of LaunchKC and the EDC; Blake Miller of Think Big Partners; Mike Hurd of LaunchKC and DTC; and Chris Bordeaux of Techweek.

LaunchKC, the Kansas City-based grants competition for tech startup businesses, and Techweek stepped into the global spotlight last week at the SxSW Interactive conference and forum in Austin, TX.

The event was designed to celebrate the new LaunchKC – Techweek partnership and to drive attention to the opening of the LaunchKC grants application window on Tuesday, March 31.

The LaunchKC – Techweek partnership was the focus of an evening-long reception on Monday, March 16 at the SxSW Interactive. More than 1,000 guests attended the reception at Old School Bar & Grill in Downtown Austin.

The event was sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a national leader in entrepreneurship. Techweek is the nation’s largest series of tech conferences and festivals, and will stage its first Techweek Kansas City conference in September.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to introduce LaunchKC to the tech world at SXSW Interactive,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “We are looking for the best and brightest to enter the grants competition and compete to bring their business models to Kansas City.”

LaunchKC is grants competition for tech entrepreneurs to apply and compete for one of 10 (ten) $50,000 grants and a leg up in growing their business enterprises in Kansas City, Missouri.

Each eventual grant recipient will receive a $50,000 non-dilutive grant and a web of support, including 12 months of free office space in Downtown; industry-specific mentor teams for each grant recipient; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders in and around Kansas City – all designed to elevate their efforts to build high-growth, tech sector businesses and jobs in Downtown Kansas City.

The LaunchKC grants competition will serve as the centerpiece of Techweek Kansas City. The grants application window opens on March 31, and closes on July 2, 2015. Following an extended application review process, the eventual grant recipients will be selected by a LaunchKC judging panel consisting of Kansas City business leaders and national venture capitalists at Techweek Kansas City on Sept. 18, 2015.

LaunchKC will contribute to a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in Kansas City, Missouri,” said Bill Dietrich, president and CEO of the Downtown Council chief administrative officer of LaunchKC. “This will strengthen our growing Innovation District in Downtown, where investors, inventors and entrepreneurs collaborate within a livable, walkable and transit-connected urban center.”

LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, Missouri, working in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation. It stems from Kansas City Mayor Sly James’ bi-state innovation initiative that was established in 2013. LaunchKC was represented at SxSW by Bill Dietrich, president & CEO of the Downtown Council and chief administrative officer of LaunchKC; Bob Langenkamp, president of the Economic Development Corporation; Drew Solomon, EDC and chief of the LaunchKC grants competition; Tommy Wilson, DTC and chief of LaunchKC’s day-to-day work with the eventual grant recipient; and Hurd.

Members of the LaunchKC leadership team were joined by another 20 representatives of the Kansas City tech space at the “launch” event in Austin – including Beta BloxGreater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Influence & Co., J. Grill MediaKC Digital Drive, the Kauffman FoundationSprint AcceleratorThink Big Partners and Techweek Kansas City.

LaunchKC is nonprofit, civic engine in the Kansas City tech scene. It is fueled by visionary investments from the public, private and philanthropic communities, and maintained by a broad base of collaborators in the entrepreneurial and technology space.

The bottom is line for LaunchKC is crystal clear:

  • Grow jobs and build new businesses in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Engage venture capitalists and equity investors in the tech scene of Kansas City
  • Elevate Kansas City’s brand as an innovation center across the country
  • Serve as an engine for regional and national tech talent recruitment

LaunchKC will search locally and nationally to indentify innovative entrepreneurs – the ‘real drivers,’ like mid-career professionals with expertise in existing industries to be uniquely qualified to spin off new businesses.

LaunchKC will focus on high-growth potential businesses in scalable, vertical sectors – such as Big Data via Advanced Manufacturing, AgTech, Animal Health, Data Analytics, EdTech, FinTech, HealthTech, Mobile Tech, Cloud Services and Real Estate Tech – where KC has considerable depth and expertise to aid in welcoming and support the new startups.

LaunchKC first ignited the tech space in Kansas City and the Midwest, when it was announced by the Downtown Council in January. That buzz leapt to national awareness that same day, when Techweek announced its five-year commitment to stage Techweek Kansas – because of the LaunchKC tech startup grants competition

With events in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Detroit, Techweek will bring its signature approach to celebrating innovation ecosystems and high-energy format to the booming tech community in Kansas City.

To apply for a LaunchKC grant or to learn more, visit www.launchkc.org.

LaunchKC to ignite national scene at SxSW

Launch Party invite

LaunchKC, the Kansas City-based grants competition for tech startup businesses, will step into the national spotlight on Monday, March 16 at the SxSW Interactive conference and forum in Austin, TX.

LaunchKC will be the focus of an evening-long reception at the SxSW Interactive from 6-9 p.m. Monday. SXSW attendees and guests are invited to the reception to learn more about the grants competition which begins on March 31 and to meet leaders of LaunchKC, along with tech and business leaders in Kansas City.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to introduce LaunchKC to the tech world at SxSW Interactive,” said Mike Hurd, chief marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “We are looking for the best and brightest to enter the grants competition and compete to bring their business models to Kansas City.”

LaunchKC is grants competition for tech entrepreneurs to apply and compete for one of 10 (ten) $50,000 grants and a leg up in growing their business enterprises in Kansas City, Missouri, that was unveiled in January by the Downtown Council of Kansas City.

LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, Missouri, working in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation. It stems from Kansas City Mayor Sly James’ bi-state innovation initiative that was established in 2013. Representatives of the DTC and EDC will be in Austin for “The Launch Party.”

Monday’s reception is sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and powered by Techweek. The Kauffman Foundation works to help individuals attain economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Techweek is the nation’s largest series of tech conferences and festivals, and will stage its first Techweek Kansas City conference in September. The LaunchKC competition will be a cornerstone of the Techweek Kansas City event.

Each LaunchKC grant recipient will receive a $50,000 non-dilutive grant and a web of support, including 12 months of free office space in Downtown; industry-specific mentor teams for each grant recipient; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders in and around Kansas City – all designed to elevate their efforts to build high-growth, tech sector businesses and jobs in Downtown Kansas City.

“LaunchKC will contribute to a more robust startup culture and infrastructure in Kansas City, Missouri,” said Bill Dietrich, president and CEO of the Downtown Council and chief administrative office of LaunchKC. “This will strengthen our growing Innovation District in Downtown, where investors, inventors and entrepreneurs collaborate within a livable, walkable and transit-connected urban center.

The grants application window opens on March 31, and closes on July 2, 2015. Following an extended application review process, the eventual grant recipients will be selected by a LaunchKC judging panel consisting of Kansas City business leaders and national venture capitalists at Techweek Kansas City on Sept. 18, 2015.

Dietrich said the bottom is line for LaunchKC is crystal clear:

To grow jobs and build new businesses in Kansas City:

  • To grow jobs and build new businesses in Kansas City
  • To engage venture capitalists and equity investors in KC tech scene
  • To elevate Kansas City’s brand as an innovation center across the country
  • To serve as an engine for regional and national tech talent recruitment

“LaunchKC will search locally and nationally to indentify innovative entrepreneurs – the ‘real drivers,’ like mid-career professionals with expertise in existing industries to be uniquely qualified to spin off new businesses,” Dietrich said.

KC tabbed for TechHire; goal is training for tech-sector jobs

New federal program - TechHire - is coming to KC to develop more tech sectors workers.

New federal program – TechHire – is coming to KC to develop more tech sectors workers.

Long-term unemployed people in Kansas City and 21 other cities, states and regions around the country will get a chance to update their skills and land coveted tech-sector jobs as part of a White House initiative to train low-skilled American workers to fill high-tech jobs.

And, filling high-tech jobs with qualified people is a big priority in Kansas City and all across the U.S.

President Barack Obama announced the initiative — dubbed TechHire — in remarks Monday at the National League of Cities conference in Washington. Kansas City will be among the first cities to participate, according to The Kansas City Star.

Tech jobs pay about 50 percent better than the average private-sector job, and they don’t always require a four-year degree or an engineering background, just specialized training that can be obtained at community colleges or in the military, Obama said. But employers often rule out good candidates because, he said, they don’t have “traditional qualifications.”

“So TechHire communities are going to help employers link up and find and hire folks based on their actual skills and not just their resumes,” the president said to applause. “Because it turns out, it doesn’t matter where you learned code, it just matters how good you are (at) writing code. If you can do the job, you should get the job.”

Twenty-one cities, states and rural regions across the country will participate in the TechHire launch, with the goal of building a training-to-job pipeline to fill more than 120,000 tech openings, according to the White House.

To read the complete story, click on kansascity.com

 

Techweek KC to feature Big Data Summit

bigdata2015-logoforweb1
This year’s BigDataSummit is moving from being an independent Kansas City tech conference in January to becoming a part of the  inaugural week-long Techweek Kansas City festival and conference. The new Big Data Summit will be featured during the Techweek KC conference on Sept. 16-17.

Techweek, the nation’s leading technology conference and festival, gathers local industry heavyweights and emerging tech voices to showcase the city’s technological prowess and forthcoming innovations. Network, learn and explore through 12 standard events, including a 2-day technology conference and expo, startup competition, hackathon, hiring fair, and much more.

This January, Techweek announced the addition of Kansas City to its 2015 program. This September, Techweek will host the final round of the inaugural LaunchKC grants competition.

LaunchKC is grants competition for tech entrepreneurs to apply and compete for one of up to 10 (ten) $50,000 grants and a leg up in growing their business enterprises in Kansas City, Missouri. The 90-day application window opens on Tuesday, March 31. For more information, visit www.launchkc.org.

“Techweek continues to be impressed by the dynamic tech community in Kansas City,” says Allison Konkel, chief strategy officer at Techweek. “In partnering with the BigDataSummit, we continue to work toward bringing the community together around a common goal to support entrepreneurship.”

Last year the BigDataSummitKC drew more than 500 attendees for a 3-day event and proudly welcomed industry leaders IBM, Intel, Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR, Bime Analytics, Datastax and others. Regional tech leaders and universities rounded out the Summit, which focused on education, hands-on experiences and use-cases for Big Data.

“Our goal has always been to produce an inclusive, content-rich experience for attendees and presenters around the emerging technologies that make Big Data the hottest topic in IT today,” said Don Peterson founder and organizer of the BigDataSummitKC.

“Like any growing endeavor, combining with a national organization like Techweek brings resources and reach that will accelerate our growth and push the quality of our Summit to even greater heights. We are incredibly excited to become a partner with Techweek as they launch their KC presence,” Peterson said.

BigDataSummitKC was founded in 2013 by Don Peterson with support from DST Systems and LaunchKC. Don is the founder of the Kansas City Big Data Meetup that he launched in 2011 and has grown to more than 600 members. The Kansas City Big Data Meetup meets about monthly and showcases local Big Data projects, presentations by leading technology providers and sponsors two annual long-tail Big Data Hackathons.

Contact:

Don Peterson by email at donp@techie.com

Allison Konkel by email at allison@techweek.com
Mike Hurd by email at mike@downtownkc.org