With a visit Thursday from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon at the Sprint Accelerator, the MTC announced that it would inject an additional $250,000 into LaunchCode, which expanded from St. Louis to the City of Fountains in January. The additional funds bring the total support from MTC for the LaunchCode’s Kansas City expansion to $500,000.
“Kansas City’s thriving business community and highly-educated workforce make it the ideal location for tech companies to locate and grow,” Gov. Nixon said. “The burgeoning technology scene here in Kansas City’s Crossroads is a big reason why Missouri is a nationally-recognized leader in high-tech jobs and innovation. By balancing budgets and making smart investments in education and entrepreneurship, we will continue to move Kansas City and the entire state forward.”
Founded in 2013, LaunchCode is currently partnering with a variety of Kansas City companies — including EyeVerify, UMB, Blooom and Venture360 — and connecting with the region’s developers. The nonprofit’s goal is to support Kansas City’s tech ecosystem and provide a new pipeline of homegrown tech talent.
The organization was founded by Jim McKelvey, who was a co-founder in Square and is officing in the Sprint Accelerator. McKelvey previously sat down with Startland News to discuss LaunchCode’s plans.
“You can expect an accelerated version of what we did in St. Louis, which has been very successful,” he said. “The idea with LaunchCode is we are about bringing people into the ecosystem on behalf of the businesses. LaunchCode focuses on the needs of the businesses. We do education, we do reach out to underserved populations, but that is not our mission. Our mission is to solve the tech talent gap. So the way we do that is very specific: we start with the companies, we find out what the companies need and we help them.”
Also as part of the announcement, Gov. Nixon welcomed Pramata, a tech firm based in San Francisco that opened an office in the Crossroads and will create 15 jobs. Pramata offers business-to-business services to help companies retain and grow customer relationships.
“Kansas City offers a unique combination of a skilled talent pool along with a central location,” Saklani said. “It’s the ideal place to anchor our U.S. expansion and a fantastic base from which to serve our customers. We’re looking forward to being a member of and contributor to the local community.”