Three Kansas City area startups are honing their approaches with an array of resources at a business development program at Kansas State University.
Acre Designs (Kansas City, Kan.) and AEGLE Palette (Shawnee) and Alvoru Clothing (Shawnee) were selected to participate in KSU’s Launch a Business program, which is designed to cultivate promising ventures in Kansas in hopes of creating jobs. Now in its second year, the five-week LAB program taps KSU’s assets — including professors, students and alumni mentors — to help entrepreneurs turn a concept into a successful business.
“We try to identify really high-growth entrepreneurs and pull them into the K-State family,” said Chad Jackson, director of the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship at KSU, which manages the program. “First and foremost this is about creating companies and jobs in Kansas. Secondary to that, we want to support businesses, give great opportunities to entrepreneurs and engage faculty and students with that.”
Acre Designs co-founder Jennifer Dickson said that the program’s mentors have been particularly helpful as her company gets off the ground. Acre is taking a new approach to homebuilding with smart, sustainable design in mind by using technologies to make homes more efficient.
“They have a very interesting group of people that have a good mix of skillsets and experience,” Dickson said. “The focused sessions have helped us dig into some great topics. … We’ve made good connections with mentors and people within their networks. There have been some really good opportunities.”
The program also will be offering about $80,000 in prizes to the companies during a launch party at the university. Attendees at the party — set for June 25 — will have the opportunity to vote for a company that most impresses them.
For more information on the program, click here.