Four years ago, an ambitious program for the Kansas City area set “becoming America’s most entrepreneurial city” as one of its five top goals. But a big barrier has stood in the way: Not enough investment money has been getting to enough startup businesses.
Leaders of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the entrepreneurial community today will introduce a plan to leap that hurdle by building up local investment funds to help grow and keep business startups in the area. It’s either that or continuing to lose them to cities where investors are more likely to take interest. The strategy is based on extensive research by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and KCSourceLink. The latter program, housed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is a network of about local 240 organizations, mostly nonprofits and educational institutions, that deal with early-stage business development.