LaunchKC takes on Austin at SXSW Interactive Festival

In Entrepreneurs, Technology by EDCKC Staff

In early March, LaunchKC kicked off its 2017 application process at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. The Interactive Festival, designed for tech startups, attracts thousands of attendees from around the globe.

This year, the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, and LaunchKC, in partnership with Husch Blackwell and the Kauffman Foundation, hosted the KC Outpost. This event was designed to promote the LaunchKC grant competition and the City’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem to a national and global audience.

The KC Outpost, held at Maggie Mae’s on Austin’s popular Sixth Street, showcased emerging trends and local Kansas City companies including Rieger Whiskey and Charlie Hustle. The day kicked off with a presentation on the national state of entrepreneurship and venture capital by Ambio Morelix, senior research analyst and program officer in entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation.

Following the presentation, guests were invited to network with past grant recipients and Kansas City business leaders. Later in the evening, LaunchKC sponsored Tech.Co’s annual startup night awarding the winner with a $1,000 grand prize.

Now in its third year, KC Outpost continues to establish an identity for Kansas City as a place for entrepreneurship and innovation.

The 2017 LaunchKC grant competition opened March 1st and will feature eight $50,000 grants and one grand-prize $100,000 grant. Additionally, each finalist will receive mentoring and one ear of free office space. The top 20 finalists and grant recipients will be announced at the annual Techweek Kansas City conference Sept. 11 – 16. The deadline for application is midnight Friday, July 7, 2017. To learn more about LaunchKC and to apply, visit

By Drew Solomon, Senior Vice President Business and Job Development, EDCKC