Global Entrepreneurship Week to ignite KC startup community

Global Entrepreneurship Week returns to Kansas City today, and promises an amazing week of learning, networking and sharing. GEW is an international celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups and bring ideas to life.

Founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 2008, GEW has since expanded to more than 160 countries. Here in KC, GEWKC is piloted by KC Sourcelink, where #GEWKC 2016 was celebrated with more than 100 events and by more than 12,000 attendees.

With more than 150 events, this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week calendar can be a bit overwhelming. Fret not! That’s precisely why they’re broken into four tracks:

Makers and creators: For anyone who makes or creates: brewers, distillers, bakers, inventors and crafters.

Youth entrepreneurship: For KC’s nextgen innovators, inventors and disrupters.

Business Growth: For those who survived the startup phase and are ready for what’s next. Sponsored by CommunityAmerica Credit Union

Business Services: For those looking for specialized services to advance their business. Sponsored by Country Financial

GEWKC begins at 7:30 a.m. today (Monday) with the kickoff breakfast at the Westport Plexpod Commons and continues through Friday. For complete details, visit gewkc.orgThe future is in your hands.

LaunchKC selects winners of $500K in tech startup grants

LaunchKC awarded $500,000 in grants to nine tech entrepreneurs on Friday evening at the historic Power and Light Building. Grants winners celebrate the moment with LaunchKC sponsors and steering committee members.

LaunchKC judges awarded $500,000 in grants to nine tech startup businesses Friday evening, following a months-long competition designed to attract and retain tech entrepreneurs in Kansas City.

The nine winners, including eight from the metropolitan Kansas City area and one from Colorado, were selected Friday afternoon from a pool of 20 finalists. Each of the final 20 presented their business pitches that morning to LaunchKC judges and the Techweek Kansas City audience at the Power & Light District.

Grant winners were announced Friday evening at a special LaunchKC / Techweek Kansas City awards ceremony at the nearby Power and Light Building.

Cambrian Tech, Leawood, Kan., was chosen as the first $100,000 grand prize recipient in LaunchKC history. Cambrian designs augmented reality software for mobile devices.  Its winning business model is focused on the home improvement industry and becoming the mobile destination for DIYers.

Another $400,000 was awarded in $50,000 parcels to eight entrepreneurs, including:

“This was an outstanding competition today. Each of the 20 finalists were strong contenders for LaunchKC’s grants, as well as for building strong, economically successful businesses,” said Drew Solomon, vice president for business development at the EDC and the chair of the LaunchKC competition.

Friday’s announcement marks the culmination of weeks of application reviews and scoring by a panel of more than 35 business and financial leaders, who volunteered their time to thoughtfully narrow the field from 400 applicants from 19 states and five nations to the 20 finalists who competed on Friday.

“LaunchKC has attracted nearly 1,500 applications from throughout the nation and the world during our first three years of competition with tech entrepreneurs,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “This evening’s awards mean that we have reached $1.5 million mark in awards in just three years.”

Friday’s announcement marks the culmination of weeks of application reviews and scoring by a panel of more than 35 business and financial leaders, who volunteered their time to thoughtfully narrow the field from 400 applicants from 19 states and five nations to the 20 finalists who competed on the final day of the Techweek KC conference.

In addition to cash grants, the nine winning applicants will receive a network of support, including 12 months of free office space in Downtown KC; 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 is built to be an economic game-changer in Kansas City, Missouri by supporting start-up businesses, creating jobs, attracting and retaining talent, unlocking value and engaging follow-on investors,” Hurd said.

LaunchKC is a nonprofit, civic engine in the Kansas City entrepreneurial space. It is an initiative of the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation, both of Kansas City, Mo.

The program is fueled each year by the visionary support of corporate, public and philanthropic partners. For 2017, the sponsor honor roll includes:

Supporters: Missouri Technology Corporation; the City of Kansas City, Missouri

Visionaries: Husch Blackwell; KCP&L; The Cordish Companies / Kansas City Power & Light District; William T. Kemper Foundation; Techweek; UMB Bank; Downtown Council of Kansas City; Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City

Contributing: Burns & McDonnell; Lathrop & Gage: Lead Bank; Missouri Department of Economic Development; Polsinelli; Spring Venture Group

Emerging: Allied Global; J.E. Dunn Construction; Google Fiber

Friends: Adknowledge; ITEN; LightEdge Solutions

Supporters: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center; Regnier Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurships; Think Big Partners; and the UMKC Bloch School of Business.

It’s showtime for 20 tech entrepreneurs at LaunchKC

Members of the 2015 class of LaunchKC grant recipients will celebrate the second anniversary of their grant awards on Friday evening, when LaunchKC announces winners of the 2017 class.

LaunchKC will take center stage on Friday at the Techweek Kansas City conference to stage the final round of competition among 20 tech entrepreneurs who are vying to take home nine cash grants worth $500,000.

This LaunchKC competition is designed to attract the best and brightest entrepreneurs to come (or stay) in Kansas City and to build their startup companies here. By the end of the day on Friday, LaunchKC will have awarded $1.5 million to 29 entrepreneurs over three years.

“The final round of this year’s competition promises to be very competitive, with 20 entrepreneurs ready to pitch their business plans before a panel of LaunchKC judges and the Techweek KC audience from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the heart of Downtown,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC.

The 20 finalists who will be competing on Friday were selected by LaunchKC judges from a pool of 400 applicants to the 2017 competition. The contenders include 14 from the Kansas City metropolitan area; five from four U.S. states; and one international business from the Ukraine.

LaunchKC is in its third year of serving as a civic engine in the local tech / entrepreneurial space.

LaunchKC is a global grants competition designed to attract tech entrepreneurs to compete for $500,000 in non-dilutive grants and the opportunity to build their new and emerging tech businesses in Kansas City, Missouri. This year, LaunchKC will award nine grants on Friday, including eight $50,000 grants and one grand prize award of $100,000.

“LaunchKC has attracted nearly 1,500 applications from throughout the nation and the world during our first three years of competition,” Hurd said. “When we award the next $500,000 at Techweek on Friday, we will have reached $1.5 million mark in awards in just three years.”

The LaunchKC finalists will compete from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday in The Gallery event space in the Kansas City Power & Light District. Tickets are available at TechweekKC.com. Each entrepreneur will have about five minutes to pitch their business plans before a panel of LaunchKC judges and the Techweek KC audience.

Once the pitch session concludes, the judges will convene to score the finalists and to select the eventual nine grant recipients. They will be revealed in a special LaunchKC / Techweek awards program from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at The Grand Hall at the historic Power and Light Building.

The 20 finalists (alphabetically, by company name and team leader) for the Launch KC grants competition include:

  • Aware Vehicles: ZhiQiang Chen, Kansas City, Mo.
  • backstitch: Jordan Warzecha, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Blue Point 2: Liderman Duin, Leawood, Kan.
  • Cambrian Tech: Heather Spalding, Leawood, Kan.
  • H3 Enterprises: Roy Scott, Kansas City. Mo.
  • HerdDogg: Melissa Brandao, Longmont, Colo.
  • Hidden Abilities: Jamee Miller, Lawrence, Kan.
  • iShare Medical: Linda VanHorn, Kansas City, Mo.
  • MenuHunt: Beau Clinton, St. Joseph, Mo.
  • Miles: Lance Windholz, Overland Park, Kan.
  • Music Spoke: Jennifer Rosenblatt, Kansas City, Kan.
  • PlanIT Impact: Dominique Davison, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Play-it Health: Kimberly Gandy, Kansas City, Kan.
  • Redivus Health: Jeff Dunn, Olathe, Kan.
  • Sickweather: Graham Dodge, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Smart Bridge Health: Hua Wang, Washington, D.C.
  • TradeLanes: Vijay Harrell, Kansas City, Mo.
  • UniExo: Tatiana Holovachenko, Ukraine
  • Vytal: Jared Goering, McPherson, Kan.
  • Zitches: Bart Patenaude, Kansas City, Mo.

In addition to cash grants, the nine winning applicants will receive a network of support, including 12 months of free office space in Downtown KC; 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 is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, in collaboration with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.

The program is fueled each year by the visionary support of corporate, public and philanthropic partners. For 2017, the sponsor honor roll includes:

Supporters: Missouri Technology Corporation; the City of Kansas City, Missouri

Visionaries: Husch Blackwell; KCP&L; The Cordish Companies / Kansas City Power & Light District; William T. Kemper Foundation; Techweek; UMB Bank; Downtown Council of Kansas City; Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City

Contributing: Burns & McDonnell; Lathrop & Gage: Lead Bank; Missouri Department of Economic Development; Polsinelli; Spring Venture Group

Emerging: Allied Global; J.E. Dunn Construction; Google Fiber

Friends: Adknowledge; ITEN; LightEdge Solutions

Supporters: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center; Regnier Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurships; Think Big Partners; and the UMKC Bloch School of Business.

Techweek takes center stage in local tech scene this week

Techweek returns to Kansas City for its third annual technology / entrepreneur conference + festival this week – Monday through Friday. The local LaunchKC grant competition for tech startups will anchor the conference on Friday.

The third annual Techweek Kansas City conference + festival returns to KC on today (Monday, Sept. 11), featuring a week of learning, networking and playing, along with the final round of competition in the annual LaunchKC $500,000 grants competition for tech entrepreneurs on Friday, Sept. 15.

“Kansas City is one of the country’s most influential, up-and-coming tech hubs,” said Amanda Signorelli, Techweek CEO. “The community has given Techweek a warm welcome.”

A quick highlight reel of the complete Techweek KC schedule for 2017 includes:

  • Monday, Sept. 11 – 1 p.m. Blocktrain Learning Track at Sprint Accelerator; 5 p.m. Innovation Partnership Program Demo Day at We Work; 5 p.m. Pure Pitch Rally at Helix; 7 p.m. Kickoff Party at Boulevard Beer Hall
  • Tuesday, Sept. 12 – 11 a.m. Building Inclusive Tech Communities  at Missouri Career Centers; 1 p.m. Tech, Talk and Touch Tomorrow at the Cerner Northland campus; 5:30 p.m. Official Happy Hour at VML
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13 – 9 a.m. Why Communities Should Be Investing in Inclusivity at We Work; 11 a.m. Demand Generation at ECJC; 1 p.m. Future of Animal Health Corridor at Travois; 3 p.m. KC’s Leaders in Mobile Technology at Pure Pursuit Event Space; 5 p.m. Barrels and Brushes Happy Hour by Husch Blackwell at the J. Rieger Distillery
  • Thursday, Sept. 14 – All day Growth Summit. Program begins at 8 a.m. with Women in Tech Breakfast. Sessions are planned for the entire day, including a Hiring Fair at noon. All sessions are set for the at the Plexpod Westport Commons.
  • Friday, Sept. 15 – LaunchKC Day to feature:
    • 8:30 a.m. Keynote address by Kathryn Minshew of The Muse; and
    • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. LaunchKC finalists to pitch their business plans at The Gallery, Power & Light District
    • 5 p.m. Techweek and LaunchKC awards reception and program at The Grand Hall, historic Power & Light Building

To reserve your spot for any or all Techweek / LaunchKC event, visit Techweek Kansas City to select your ticket options.

 

Techweek is a technology and startup festival with the objective of catalyzing the growth of billion-dollar businesses and spreading wealth creation to diverse people and places. Techweek operates out of Chicago, and features annual technology conferences in nine North American cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City. Techweek has been featured as one of the top 30 conferences for entrepreneurs in 2017 by Inc. Magazine.

The complete Techweek Kansas City conference schedule for Monday through Friday, Sept. 11-15 is available for viewing online. The week will reach a crescendo with the LaunchKC competition on Friday, Sept. 15. The 20 LaunchKC finalists will make their pitches on Friday morning. The nine grant winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony that evening.

LaunchKC, the global grants competition powered by the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation, is in its third year of operations and in using the Techweek platform to stage the final round of pitches

“LaunchKC was a startup itself when we organized and launched the first grants competition in 2014/15,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “And, now, at the end of the LaunchKC day at Techweek, we will have awarded a total of $1.5 million to 29 tech entrepreneurs in our first three years.”

 

Techweek & LaunchKC prep for center stage on Sept. 11-15

Techweek returns to Kansas City for its third annual technology / entrepreneur conference + festival from Sept. 11-15. The local LaunchKC grant competition for tech startups will anchor the conference on Friday, Sept. 15.

The third annual Techweek Kansas City conference + festival returns to KC on Monday, Sept. 11, featuring a week of learning, networking and playing, along with the final round of competition in the annual LaunchKC $500,000 grants competition for tech entrepreneurs on Friday, Sept. 15.

“Kansas City is one of the country’s most influential, up-and-coming tech hubs,” said Amanda Signorelli, Techweek CEO. “The community has given Techweek a warm welcome.”

A quick highlight reel of the complete Techweek KC schedule for 2017 includes:

  • Monday, Sept. 11 – 1 p.m. Blocktrain Learning Track at Sprint Accelerator; 5 p.m. Pure Pitch Rally at Helix; 7 p.m. Kickoff Party at Boulevard Beer Hall
  • Tuesday, Sept. 12 – 11 a.m. Building Inclusive Tech Communities  at Missouri Career Centers; 1 p.m. Tech, Talk and Tour Tomorrow at the Cerner campus; 5:30 p.m. Official Happy Hour at VML
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13 – 1 p.m. Future of Animal Health Corridor at Travois; 3 p.m. KC’s Leaders in Mobile Technology at Pure Pursuit Event Space; 5 p.m. Barrels and Brushes Happy Hour by Husch Blackwell at the J. Rieger Distillery
  • Thursday, Sept. 14 – All day Growth Summit at the Plexpod Westport Commons. Program begins at 8 a.m. with Women in Tech Breakfast. Sessions are planned for the entire day, including a Hiring Fair at noon.
  • Friday, Sept. 15 – LaunchKC Day to feature:
    • 8:30 a.m. Keynote address by Kathryn Minshew of The Muse; and
    • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. LaunchKC finalists to pitch their business plans at The Gallery, Power & Light District
    • 5 p.m. Techweek and LaunchKC awards reception and program at The Grand Hall, historic Power & Light Building

To reserve your spot for any or all Techweek / LaunchKC event, visit Techweek Kansas City to select your ticket options.

Techweek is a technology and startup festival with the objective of catalyzing the growth of billion-dollar businesses and spreading wealth creation to diverse people and places. Techweek operates out of Chicago, and features annual technology conferences in nine North American cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City. Techweek has been featured as one of the top 30 conferences for entrepreneurs in 2017 by Inc. Magazine.

The complete Techweek Kansas City conference schedule for Sept. 11-15 is available for viewing online. The week will reach a crescendo with the LaunchKC competition on Friday, Sept. 15. The 20 LaunchKC finalists will make their pitches on Friday morning. The nine grant winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony that evening.

LaunchKC, the global grants competition powered by the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation, is in its third year of operations and in using the Techweek platform to stage the final round of pitches

“LaunchKC was a startup itself when we organized and launched the first grants competition in 2014/15,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “And, now, at the end of the LaunchKC day at Techweek, we will have awarded a total of $1.5 million to 29 tech entrepreneurs in our first three years.”

 

 

LaunchKC advances 20 businesses to competition finals

LaunchKC has selected 20 businesses to compete for nine grants totaling $500,000 at the LaunchKC grant competition at Techweek on Sept. 15. Steering Committee chair Rachel Merlo of Google Fiber is pictured during an address to Downtown Council members and stakeholders earlier this year.

 

LaunchKC announced today its selection of 20 tech entrepreneurs who will be in Kansas City in three weeks to compete for $500,000 in grants, and an opportunity to build their business enterprises here. The finalists were selected from a pool of 400 grant applicants.

The 20 contenders include 14 from the Kansas City metropolitan area; five from four U.S. states; and one international business from the Ukraine. Each will be in Kansas City in mid-September to compete for nine startup grants, during the Techweek Kansas City conference + festival from Sept. 11-15.

“It has been another strong year for applications to LaunchKC,” said Drew Solomon, senior vice president of business development at the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, and competition chairman for LaunchKC. “We are very fortunate to have the immense support of our judges, sponsors and the Kansas City community in securing the final 20 who will compete for the $500,000 available in this year’s competition.”

LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.

LaunchKC is a global grants competition designed to attract tech entrepreneurs to compete for $500,000 in non-dilutive grants and the opportunity to build their new and emerging tech businesses in Kansas City, Missouri. This year, LaunchKC will award nine grants on Friday, Sept. 15, including eight $50,000 grants and one grand prize award of $100,000.

“LaunchKC has attracted nearly 1,500 applications from throughout the nation and the world during our first three years of competition,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “When we award the next $500,000 at Techweek, we will have reached $1.5 million mark in awards in just three years.”

Today’s announcement marks the culmination of weeks of application reviews and scoring by a panel of more than 35 business and financial leaders, who volunteered their time to thoughtfully narrow the field from 400 applicants from 19 states and five nations to the 20 finalists announced today.

The 20 finalists (alphabetically, by company name and team leader) for the Launch KC grants competition include:

  • Aware Vehicles: ZhiQiang Chen, Kansas City, Mo.
  • backstitch: Jordan Warzecha, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Blue Point 2: Liderman Duin, Leawood, Kan.
  • Cambrian Tech: Heather Spalding, Leawood, Kan.
  • H3 Enterprises: Roy Scott, Kansas City. Mo.
  • HerdDogg: Melissa Brandao, Longmont, Colo.
  • Hidden Abilities: Jamee Miller, Lawrence, Kan.
  • iShare Medical: Linda VanHorn, Kansas City, Mo.
  • MenuHunt: Beau Clinton, St. Joseph, Mo.
  • Miles: Lance Windholz, Overland Park, Kan.
  • Music Spoke: Jennifer Rosenblatt, Kansas City, Kan.
  • PlanIT Impact: Dominique Davison, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Play-it Health: Kimberly Gandy, Kansas City, Kan.
  • Redivus Health: Jeff Dunn, Olathe, Kan.
  • Sickweather: Graham Dodge, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Smart Bridge Health: Hua Wang, Washington, D.C.
  • TradeLanes: Vijay Harrell, Kansas City, Mo.
  • UniExo: Tatiana Holovachenko, Ukraine
  • Vytal: Jared Goering, McPherson, Kan.
  • Zitches: Bart Patenaude, Kansas City, Mo.

In addition to cash grants, the nine winning applicants will receive a network of support, including 12 months of free office space in Downtown KC; 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 is built to be an economic game-changer in Kansas City, Missouri by supporting start-up businesses, creating jobs, attracting talent, unlocking value and engaging follow-on investors,” Hurd said.

LaunchKC is a nonprofit, civic engine in the Kansas City entrepreneurial space.

The program is fueled each year by the visionary support of corporate, public and philanthropic partners. For 2017, the sponsor honor roll includes:

Supporters: Missouri Technology Corporation; the City of Kansas City, Missouri

Visionaries: Husch Blackwell; KCP&L; The Cordish Companies / Kansas City Power & Light District; William T. Kemper Foundation; Techweek; UMB Bank; Downtown Council of Kansas City; Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City

Contributing: Burns & McDonnell; Lathrop & Gage: Lead Bank; Missouri Department of Economic Development; Polsinelli; Spring Venture Group

Emerging: Allied Global; J.E. Dunn Construction; Google Fiber

Friends: Adknowledge; ITEN; LightEdge Solutions

Supporters: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center; Regnier Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurships; Think Big Partners; and the UMKC Bloch School of Business.

 

LaunchKC begins judging hundreds of applications

Blooom the local financial technology business, was one of 10 startups to win $50,000 grants from LaunchKC during its first competition in 2015.

LaunchKC, the global grants competition for tech entrepreneurs, completed a successful application campaign in July – topping its goal for number of applications to the 2017 competition.

About 400 applicants from 19 states and five nations were submitted by entrepreneurs who will be competing for $500,000 in LaunchKC grants that will be awarded at the Techweek Kansas City conference in September.

“LaunchKC has attracted about 1,500 applications from throughout the nation and the world during our first three years of competition,” said Drew Solomon, who chairs the competition for LaunchKC. “This year’s field is a tough one – with great talent, vision and drive clearly visible in their applications and pitch videos.”

Following an extensive judging process that begins this week, the field will be pared down by late August to 20 finalists who will compete for nine grants – including a $100,000 grand prize and eight $50,000 grants – on Friday, Sept. 15 at the Techweek KC conference.

“LaunchKC has attracted about 1,500 applications from throughout the nation and the world during our first three years of competition,” said Drew Solomon, who chairs the competition for LaunchKC. “This year’s field is a tough one – with great talent, vision and drive clearly visible in their applications and pitch videos.”

LaunchKC is a nonprofit initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, in collaboration with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.

LaunchKC is fueled by the visionary support of corporate, public and philanthropic partners, including:

  • Strategic: Missouri Technology Corporation, the City of Kansas City, Missouri
  • Visionary: Kansas City Power & Light District, William T. Kemper Foundation, UMB Bank
  • Contributing: Burns & McDonnell, Google Fiber, KCP&L, Lead Bank, Husch Blackwell, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Polsinelli, Techweek
  • Emerging: J.E. Dunn Construction, Lathrop & Gage
  • Friends: Allied Global, ITEN, Marriott Downtown Kansas City
  • Supporters: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center, Regnier Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurships, Think Big Partners, UMKC Bloch School of Business

 

 

 

LaunchKC application countdown reaches 2 (days)

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 only 2 more days to the 2017 competition.

The magic number number is down two!

Tech entrepreneurs have only three days left before applications are due for the LaunchKC grants competition on Friday. And, there is MUCH at stake for tech startups.

Not only will LaunchKC give out $500,000 in grants – including one $100,000 grand prize – to nine entrepreneurs, but also the final round of competition will unfold live at Techweek Kansas City  on Friday, Sept. 15.

LaunchKC is a platform for attracting tech entrepreneurs and their early stage businesses to establish/grow emerging enterprises in Kansas City. It is seeking the best and brightest entrepreneurs to apply and compete for $500,000 in non-dilutive grants.

In its first two years, LaunchKC has awarded $1 million via $50,000 grants to 20 startups from six states and three nations. This year will mark the first time that LaunchKC has featured one $100,000 grand prize.

The application window for the third annual LaunchKC competition is open until 11:59 p.m. Friday. To apply, go to the online application at http://launchkc2017.startupcompete.co/

“Let LaunchKC be the fuel for your entrepreneurial fire,” said Mike Hurd, spokesman for LaunchKC. “A $50,000 grant – let alone a $100,000 grand prize – would serve as a powerful liftoff for a startup business.”

Countdown: 7 reasons & 7 days left to apply for LaunchKC

LaunchKC has awarded $1 million in grants to 20 tech entrepreneurs, including this group from 2016, over the last two years. Applications for the third annual grants competition are due next Friday, July 7.

Tech entrepreneurs have only seven more days to apply for a share of the $500,000 funding pool offered by LaunchKC, the global grants competition.

LaunchKC is in its third year of offering $500,000 in non-dilutive grants to tech startups, following a rigorous competition that culminates at the Techweek Kansas City conference in September.

“The LaunchKC grants application is available online now through midnight on Friday, July 7,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “This is your opportunity to compete for a share of the grant pool.”

LaunchKC has awarded $1 million in grants over the last two years to 20 entrepreneurs from six states and three nations.

Entrepreneurs can apply for a LaunchKC grant online via the LaunchKC.org website. And, with only seven days left before the application window closes, Hurd offered seven reasons why a budding business leader should apply now:

  1. You could score a $100,000 grant! LaunchKC will award eight $50,000 grants, plus – for the first time – one $100,000 grand prize.
  2. Free office space in Downtown for one year. Each grant recipient will score free working space in the heart of the Crossroads – home of KC’s innovation district
  3. Professional coaching from mentors with expertise in your niche. Each grant recipient will be paired with an industry-specific mentor team
  4. Free educational programming for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. Each recipient will get the chance to learn the basics of business development from those who have been there.
  5. Pitching in the big show! Following weeks of assessment, LaunchKC judges will select 20 applicants to advance to the Techweek Kansas City conference, where they will make their pitches before a live judging panel and audience on Sept. 15.
  6. Everything starts with a spark. LaunchKC has invested $1 million in grants for 20 tech entrepreneurs over the last two years. Consider LaunchKC as the fuel to your flame. Light up!
  7. You can’t win if you don’t play, err, enter. Applications for the 2017 LaunchKC competition will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 7. Click here to  review the online application form.

LaunchKC is a non-profit initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City and the Economic Development Corp., and is funded by generous and visionary sponsors, including:

  • Strategic – Missouri Technology Corporation, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the William T. Kemper Foundation, Techweek;
  • Visionary – Kansas City Power & Light District, UMB Bank;
  • Contributing – Burns & McDonnell, Google Fiber, Husch Blackwell, KCP&L, Lead Bank, Missouri Department of Economic Development;
  • Emerging – Polsinelli, J.E. Dunn Construction, Lathrop & Gage, Marriott Downtown Kansas City;
  • Supporting – Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center; Regnier Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurships; Think Big Partners; UMKC  Bloch School of Business.

More? Contact Mike Hurd, marketing officer, mike@downtownkc.org or 816/447-2136.

 

Countdown is ON for LaunchKC applicants: 30 days to go!

Kansas City prepares to welcome LaunchKC finalists to town for the Techweek conference and judging in September.

With just one month to go before the LaunchKC application deadline officially closes, entrepreneurs still have time and plenty of incentive to apply for $50,000 and $100,000 in equity-free grants.

LaunchKC, the grants competition for tech entrepreneurs, is open to startups from around the globe. Each applicant will be competing for one of eight (8) $50,000 grants and one (1) grand prize grant of $100,000.  Recipients also receive expert mentorship, incubator space, and they win access to resources, and infrastructure to build their business in Downtown Kansas City.

 

“This is a time to take your chance,” said Drew Solomon, competition chair for LaunchKC. “You have until midnight on Friday, July 7, to elevate your startup business plan, gain access to a non-dilutive grant, complete the online application form, prepare a pitch video, and enter LaunchKC.”

The 2017 LaunchKC competition opened on March 1, and celebrated with a kickoff event during the acclaimed South X Southwest Festival in Austin. The online application form is available at http://launchkc2017.startupcompete.co.

“Our goal for 2017 is to raise the bar in our search for the best applicants, which is one of the reasons we are offering at grand prize of $100,000 to one recipient” Solomon said. “Our emphasis is on the future of Kansas City and the tech-driven enterprises that allow for continued growth and development of this city.”

Once the application window closes online July 7, Solomon will lead a panel of business leaders as they begin the rigorous review of the applications over the next six weeks. All applications will be reviewed multiple times, as judges narrow the list of contenders down to 20 finalists.

When the judging concludes on Aug. 24, the finalists will advance to the Techweek Kansas City conference on on Friday, Sept. 15, where they will present and compete before a panel of judges and conference attendees.

In 2016, LaunchKC selected its second class of 10 entrepreneurs, including Mycroft, ConsultUs, FEWDM, Super Dispatch, Big Bang, Perfectcube, Mobility Design, Forest Devices, Innovelity and Labor Chart.

In 2015, grant recipients included Blooom, Health ID, Integrated Roadways, KC Drone Company, Nodal Security, PopBookings, Pycno, Square Offs, Vertisense and VideoFizz.

“It’s amazing to see what this program has done for the city, and in turn what the city has done for the recipients”. Solomon said.

LaunchKC research of the 2015 grant recipients – as of March 2017 – indicates the buinesses employ 48 full-time Employees, which was a net increase of 20 FTE’s from the prior year.  Also, the average salary of a grant recipient’s full-time employees is $68,500, up by nearly $28,000 from the prior year.

LaunchKC is supported by a strong base of sponsor partners from the public and private sectors, including; the Missouri Technology Corporation, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the William T. Kemper Foundation, the Kansas City Power & Light District, UMB Bank, Burns & McDonnell, KCP&L, Lead Bank, Google Fiber, Husch Blackwell, Polsinelli, the State of Missouri Department of Economic Development, Lathrop & Gage, J.E. Dunn Construction, Marriott Downtown, Techweek, the Downtown Council of Kansas City and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.

To learn more about the LaunchKC competition, or becoming a sponsor partner, visit www.launchkc.org for more information and to access the online application form http://launchkc2017.startupcompete.co.

With only 30 days left to apply, this is the perfect time to to jump in.