Startup activity continues to improve – Kauffman Foundation

Photo by NASA.

National startup activity grew slightly in 2016, a consecutive three-year improvement that reached pre-Great Recession levels, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and reported by The Startland News.

However, in the long-term view startup activity is still in decline when compared to the 1980s,  the 2017 Kauffman Index of Startup Activity found. To read more on the national index, click here.

Victor Hwang, vice president of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation, said that although the results are encouraging, work remains to create more economic dynamism.

“A three-year upward trend in new business formation is a promising sign for the economy,” Hwang said in a release. “Recent research demonstrates that more startups lead to higher productivity, wage growth and quality of life. Growing startups not only support individual entrepreneurs but lift surrounding communities.

“We need to identify and remove barriers and contribute to a new model of economic development that infuses more entrepreneurship into the economy.”

In Kansas City, LaunchKC, the global grants competition for tech entrepreneurs, is currently seeking applicants for its third annual challenge. At stake is $500,000 in non-dilutive grants – including a $100,000 grand prize – to attract nine tech startups to Kansas City, Missouri to establish and grow their businesses. Only 44 more days remain before the application deadline of July 7. Click here to learn more.

The Kauffman Index — which presents entrepreneurial trends nationally, at the state level and for the 40 largest metro areas — revealed two remarkable improvements in U.S. entrepreneurship, according to The Startland News.

First, the index found that more new entrepreneurs are starting businesses to pursue a good opportunity rather than to generate income. The share of new entrepreneurs pursuing a business opportunity rather than starting a firm from necessity reached 86.3 percent — a 12 percentage point improvement since 2009, according to the report.

It also found that U.S. entrepreneurs are becoming more diverse. First-generation immigrants now make up nearly 30 percent of all new U.S. entrepreneurs — the highest level for the second time in 20 years, growing from 13.3 percent in 1996.

The index also analyzes startup activity in the 25 largest and smallest states, as well as the 40 largest metro areas.

Among the largest states, California, Texas, Florida, Arizona and Colorado had the highest startup activity in 2017, respectively. Missouri ranked No. 10 in the 25 largest states.  To learn more about the state-by-state comparisons, click here.

‘Entrepreneur’ ranks KC as 4th hottest for startups in U.S.

Kansas City ranks #4 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s latest list of the hottest startup markets in America.

Entrepreneur Magazine has selected Kansas City as one of nine,hot startup cities – no. 4 to be precise – that are not New York or San Francisco. KC is one of only two Midwestern cities on the top nine listing.

“Ask someone to name cities with thriving tech, media, fashion or food scenes, and you’ll hear the usual suspects: San Francisco; New York; Portland, Ore.,” Entrepreneur.com reported today. “But there’s a slew of other metro areas with established infrastructure and skilled work forces that can match those more established locations at a fraction of the cost of living and with less day-to-day stress.”

Entrepreneur’s list of the U.S.’ hottest startup marketplaces include: Salt Lake City, Baltimore, Nashville, Kansas City, Sacramento, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Houston, Boston and Los Angeles.

“These are the places where startup dreams come easier and cheaper, but can still pay off big,” Entrepreneur Magazine reported. “Start packing.”

‘Start packing’ is precisely the message echoed by LaunchKC, the global grants competition for tech entrepreneurs based in Downtown Kansas City.

LaunchKC is looking to award $500,000 in grants to nine startup businesses that choose to build their enterprises in Kansas City, Missouri. The winning nine businesses will be selected through the LaunchKC competition that is accepting applications online for 50 more days!

Now in its third year, LaunchKC is a platform for attracting tech entrepreneurs and their early stage businesses to establish/grow emerging enterprises in Kansas City.

A few new wrinkles in the LaunchKC competition this year include:

  • Introduction of a $100,000 grand prize grant to be awarded on Sept. 15
  • LaunchKC judges will hear pitches from 20 competition finalists at Techweek KC on Friday morning, Sept. 15, and select 9 recipients of $50,000 grants who will be introduced that evening.
  • During the awards ceremony, one of the 9 recipients will be selected to have his/her grant doubled to $100,000!

In its first two years, LaunchKC has pumped $1 million into the Kansas City tech space through $50,000 grants awarded t0 a total of 20 entrepreneurs from 6 states and 3 nations!

LaunchKC grant recipients not only will earn cash grants, but also one year of free working space in Downtown Kansas City; industry-specific mentor teams; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders from KC.

So, who will compete at Techweek Kansas City in September? Who will win the grants in 2017?

You can’t win at LaunchKC if you don’t apply. And, LaunchKC has 50,000 (or more) reasons why you should go for it … within the next 50 days.

Applications for the 2017 LaunchKC grants competition are available online. The window will remain open until midnight on Friday, July 7, 2017.

Cue the countdown: 60 days left to apply for LaunchKC grant

Erika Klotz, center, CEO of Pop Bookings, one of 20 tech startups to earn grants from LaunchKC over its first two competitions. Applications are open for 60 more days before the 2017 contest.

Cue the countdown – there are only 60 days let for you to apply – or spread the word to potential applicants – for a slice of the $500,000 in LaunchKC grants. The application window closes on July 7.

LaunchKC, the global grants competition for tech entrepreneurs, is in hot pursuit of the best and brightest business startups to apply for  half a million dollars in non-dilutive grants that will be awarded during Techweek Kansas City on Sept. 15.

Now in its third year, LaunchKC is a platform for attracting tech entrepreneurs and their early stage businesses to establish/grow emerging enterprises in Kansas City. LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City working in collaboration with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, is an economic engine in the City’s tech/startup ecosystem.

A few new wrinkles in the LaunchKC competition this year include:

  • Introduction of a $100,000 grand prize grant to be awarded on Sept. 15
  • LaunchKC judges will hear pitches from 20 competition finalists at Techweek KC on Friday morning, Sept. 15, and select 9 recipients of $50,000 grants who will be introduced that evening.
  • During the awards ceremony, one of the 9 recipients will be selected to have his/her grant doubled to $100,000!

In its first two years, LaunchKC has pumped $1 million into the Kansas City tech space through $50,000 grants awarded t0 a total of 20 entrepreneurs from 6 states and 3 nations!

LaunchKC grant recipients not only will earn cash grants, but also one year of free working space in Downtown Kansas City; industry-specific mentor teams; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders from KC.

So, who will compete at Techweek Kansas City in September? Who will win the grants in 2017?

You can’t win at LaunchKC if you don’t apply. And, we have 50,000 (or more) reasons why you should go for it.

Applications for the 2017 grant competition are available online. The window will remain open until midnight on Friday, July 7, 2017.

Just ask Erika Klotz, CEO of PopBookings – grant winner from 2015.

Apply todaythe application window will close in 60 days!

Special thanks to LaunchKC sponsors:

  • Strategic: Missouri Technology Corporation, City of Kansas City, Missouri, William T. Kemper Foundation, Techweek
  • Visionary: Kansas City Power & Light District, UMB Bank
  • Contributing: Burns & McDonnell, Google Fiber, Husch Blackwell, Kansas City Power & Light, Lead Bank, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Polsinelli, Downtown Council of Kansas City, Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City
  • Contributing: J.E. Dunn Construction, Lathrop & Gage, Marriott Kansas City Downtown
  • Supporters: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers; Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Think Big Partners, UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management

Click here to learn more about becoming a LaunchKC sponsor.