In case you missed the flurry of headlines, Startland News is now a nonprofit.
I wanted to take moment to share with readers what this change means for our future as mission-based storytellers. To explain, let’s look back at how Startland News evolved from initially just an idea into what it is today.
Nearly three years ago, while I was a reporter at the Kansas City Business Journal, I was approached by a friendly source of mine to grab a coffee.
Nothing was unusual about the rendezvous request, save its enigmatic subject. I recall thinking as I walked to Opera House KC, “What are we even talking about?”
The source, who I knew as an energetic startup guy, was Adam Arredondo. We often chatted about big ideas, usually in the form of new businesses or the culture of Kansas City. Even if it wasn’t a story, he might have a story tip, “So why not take the meeting?” I thought.
This conversation was no different. We spoke abstractly about what if there was a publication in Kansas City that reported exclusively on startups and entrepreneurship. And what if I ran it?
Skeptical, my brow furrowed faster than Lorenzo Cain rounding second base. I had hundreds of questions for him and many meetings in the following weeks. But, needless to say, I was too excited to pass up the prospect of building something new, serving my community and challenging myself.
Here we are, 32 months later, and Startland News has transformed from an idea to platform tapped by thousands across the U.S. hoping to learn about Kansas City’s boldest innovators.
As you might have seen earlier this week, Startland’s former parent organization, the Center of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development, has been absorbed by the nonprofit Kansas City Startup Foundation. This merger is a result of hard work and action — especially the astounding generosity of Mike Wrenn and Becky Cole — and you can learn more about that here.
So let’s jump into what that means for Startland.
Structurally, not a lot will change. We will continue to report many stories on the Kansas City area’s most innovative ideas from entrepreneurs, startups, government, educators and corporations. And we will still spotlight risk takers and bold progressive action we find important to you and the broader Kansas City community.
Our mindset, however, changes for the better as a nonprofit, affording an opportunity to more actively live out the belief that entrepreneurial thinking can make the world a better place.
By definition, not everyone is an entrepreneur, nor should they be. However, everyone can think entrepreneurially in how they approach problems, seek opportunities or create value in their pursuits.
In that regard, Startland’s brand of mission-based journalism will elevate the entrepreneurial mindset so that everyone — not just business owners or investors — can see its power. We hope that by highlighting this mentality, we can better address challenges in our community together and foster a more inclusive approach that prioritizes diversity.
To that end, you can expect deeper stories that challenge the status quo, buck assumptions or more creatively relay information. They might make some uncomfortable or even be perceived as controversial, but no story published will be without the community’s best interests at heart.
Thank you for your readership and support thus far. Startland would not exist if it weren’t for you, your curiosity and passion. We’re excited to open the next chapter on Startland’s journey and I’d like to ask you to join us.
Please reach out to me with your thoughts, questions, concerns or ideas on this next phase.
Bobby Burch, Startland News Editor-in-Chief