A recent report dissected a deluge of details on Kansas City entrepreneurship, analyzing its demographics, talent pipeline, capital sources and more.
And the prognosis, according to entrepreneurial resource hub KCSourceLink? Kansas City is making steady progress toward its goal to become one of the United States’ most entrepreneurial cities.
“We are committed to supporting the entrepreneurial community — the pioneers, champions and heroes who’ve gotten us to this point,” said Maria Meyers, founder of KCSourceLink. “And we’re also committed to tracking the numbers to measure our progress.”
KCSourceLink’s “We Create” report, released Tuesday, tackled several subject areas: access to capital for entrepreneurs, the idea pipeline, and resources to support startup and growth. KCSourceLink is an entrepreneurial resource network of more than 240 business-building resources. In 2015, the organization made more than 155,000 connections to help entrepreneurs and small business owners in Kansas City.
Here are five compelling findings from the third annual report.
1. There are a lot of young Kansas City entrepreneurs.
One out of three Kansas City entrepreneurs — 33 percent — are between 18 and 34-years-old, according to the 2016 KC Entrepreneurship Survey. The same survey found that 69 percent of the entrepreneurs’ businesses make less than $50,000. About 45 percent of those surveyed earned revenues of less than $10,000.
2. Most Kansas City ventures are funded by private savings or credit cards.
About 65 percent of the 343 businesses surveyed said they used either personal savings or personal and business credit cards to fund their business.
3. Angel investing has grown considerably in the last two years.
Angel investing in Kansas City has grown from $2.12 million in 2013, to $2.84 million in 2015 — a 34 percent increase. That number may continue to grow, as the Angel Capital Group recently transitioned to a managed fund that targets tech and science startups with investments ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.
4. In the last year, the Kansas City metro has welcomed several new funding sources, while older funds have strengthened their presence.
Royal Street Ventures — a $25 million seed fund — will open an office in Kansas City and invest up to $500,000 in startups. “iiM” also kick off operations in Kansas City, investing in early-stage animal health, human health and agribusiness companies, targeting investments of $50,000 to $300,000. In addition, the KC Rise fund is in the midst of raising $20 million and will co-invest in local startups that successfully nab a term sheet from another venture capital organization.
5. Kansas City is well short of meeting its talent needs.
In 2015, there were nearly 7,700 job postings for STEM jobs. Companies in the metro area, however, were able to only hire about 2,550 candidates. That’s not a good trend, as STEM job openings in the metro area have increased 63 percent since 2013, while hires have only increased about 15 percent during the same period.