LaunchKC, the non-profit initiative founded by the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, (EDCKC) and Downtown Council (DTC) has just been awarded close to a half million dollars ($165,000 per year) over the next three years by the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC).
LaunchKC, founded in 2015, aims to create a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in KC by providing grants, networking opportunities, and business support to early-stage tech companies. Past participants include organizations such as SuperDispatch, Bungii, Data Appraisal, and over 110 others.
“At EDCKC, we believe that today’s startups are tomorrow’s job creators and economic engines,” said Tracey Lewis, EDCKC President and CEO. “It’s why one of our organization’s three main focus areas is dedicated to entrepreneurism.”
In total, over $3 million in grant funding was awarded through MTC’s Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity (MOBEC) grant program to organizations that support entrepreneurs in Missouri, in an effort to expand the state’s entrepreneurial capacity and grow its innovation economy. Seven other non-profits and university organizations across the state were recipients of the MOBEC grants including organizations such as UMKC Innovation Center – Digital Sandbox KC, Cortex in St. Louis, and others.
“This investment will help us propel the next generation of great brands and companies in Kansas City,” said Tommy Wilson, Director of Business Development for the Downtown Council.
The MOBEC grant funding will be used to support innovative entrepreneurs by offering them non-dilutive grant funding, office space, educational programs, and access to mentors.
“LaunchKC has been successful in attracting and keeping startups in the area, which has had a significant impact on the economy, including creating jobs and securing additional funding,” said Becca Castro, EDCKC Strategic Initiatives Manager. “Entrepreneurship is truly a winning strategy for economic development and community vibrancy.”
Across its programs, LaunchKC has served over 110 companies that have created more than 950 jobs in Missouri and attracted over $420 million in follow-on capital. In addition, 67% of all companies who have participated in LaunchKC programming are women and/or minority-led.