LaunchKC, Keystone join forces + Office Summit set for Tuesday

LaunchKC enters partnership with Keystone Labs

As LaunchKC begins its seventh year, it kicks off a new partnership with Keystone Labs, part of the Keystone Community Corporation. LaunchKC is a nonprofit initiative powered by the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri. LaunchKC has become an economic engine that has generated nearly $50 million in funding and hundreds of new jobs in the region.

As a tech accelerator, LaunchKC has benefited from corporate partnerships to create industry-focused business accelerators to support entrepreneurs and regional innovation. Through its various accelerators, LaunchKC has helped start-ups bring ideas to market through mentorship, fundraising, and opportunities to test and refine their products and services. Keystone brings an entirely new level of programming, resources, and corporate and academic partners to the table.

“This is the sweet spot of our mission,” says Daveyon Ross, Board Chair for Keystone. “Today innovation is no longer locked up in narrow industry silos. For entrepreneurs to succeed, they need to be plugged into an entire ecosystem, and at Keystone, that’s precisely what we’ve built.”

Keystone Labs will provide an array of operational functions to LaunchKC, including the planning, development, and execution of all educational programming; office space and real estate to the participating companies; program management staff; and development of the business models between participating companies and industry.

“This partnership is a big step forward for LaunchKC,” says Bill Dietrich, President, and CEO of the Downtown Council. “As we look to the next 10 years for our own strategic plan, we know that innovation is key to growth and Keystone will further fuel our ability to attract and retain companies to Kansas City.”

Currently, LaunchKC powers three accelerators: the Brush Creek Partners InsurTech Accelerator, the Nueterra Capital Launch Health Accelerator, and the Black & Veatch COVID-19 Response Accelerator. Not only does LaunchKC help local entrepreneurs, but the program has also gained national attention by attracting companies from tech hubs including San Francisco, Boston, and New York to KC.

“As we continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic, LaunchKC is one of our most important programs for our entrepreneurial community,” says T’Risa McCord, Interim President and CEO of EDCKC. “History has shown us that innovation is sometimes sparked by challenge.”



Office Summit to elevate opportunities in Downtown KC

All eyes will be on Downtown Kansas City, as area business leaders gather on Tuesday to explore the future of commercial office space at the Downtown KC Office Summit.

Highlighting this year’s program will be a briefing by Spencer Levy, the CBRE executive from Baltimore – an icon of global commercial real estate – along with four Downtown business leaders who are on the cutting edge of commercial office planning for today and tomorrow. For Levy, his briefing will be a return engagement, having earned rave reviews as the Office Summit keynote speaker a year ago. 

Mark your calendars for 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10 for the virtual, 4th annual Downtown KC Office Summit, presented by the Downtown Council of Kansas City (DTC). There is no charge for tickets, which are available via Eventbrite. A pre-Summit program will begin at 2:45.

The Office Summit will celebrate dramatic progress in the Downtown office marketplace to date on many fronts, including:

  • Waddell & Reed decision to relocate its headquarters to a new, 260,000-square-foot location in Central Business District of Downtown
  • SafetyCulture, an Australian company, decision to move its move its North American headquarters to the Crossroads Arts District of Downtown
  • Loews Kansas City Hotel opens its spectacular 800-room, 23-story convention hotel across the street from the Kansas City Convention Center in Downtown

“Downtown Kansas City is perfectly positioned for attracting new companies and elevating established businesses,” said Suzanne Dimmel, director, Cushman & Wakefield Kansas City, and chair of the Office Summit.

The 2020 Downtown  KC Office Summit will feature outstanding business leaders who share their Downtown insights and strategies, along with visions for tomorrow, including:

  • Hon. Quinton Lucas, Mayor, City of Kansas City, MO
  • Spencer Levy, Chairman, America’s Research & Senior Economic Advisor, CBRE
  • Suzanne Dimmel, Chair, Downtown Office Summit; Director, Cushman & Wakefield Kansas City
  • Mike Klamm, Chair, Downtown Council Business Attraction Committee; Manager Director, CBRE Kansas City
  • Panel members:
  • Vince Bryant, Founder and Developer, 3D Development
  • Parag Chitnis, Acting Director, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • Kim McDonald, Vice President of People, Spring Venture Group
  • Shelley White, Reinsurance Operational Excellence Lead / Managing Director, Swiss Re Group

“The Downtown Council is committed to creating a stronger, more prosperous, and more resilient downtown for the 21st century,” said Bill Dietrich, president and CEO. “This year’s Office Summit will enable us to interact directly with area business leaders and owners about how they can build their businesses, lives, and careers right here.”

The Downtown KC Office Summit is made possible by 

  • Presenting Sponsors – Centric, Generator Studio and McCownGordon Construction
  • Gold Sponsor – Hallmark
  • Silver Sponsors – 3D Development, Area Real Estate Advisors, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Greater KC Chamber of Commerce, JE Dunn, Lathrop GPM, Lewis Rice, Thomas McGee
  • Bronze Sponsors – Copaken Brooks, Henderson Engineers

Click here to register. For more information, contact Julie Shippy,