School may be out for the summer, but class will soon be in session for area entrepreneurs.
The Digital Sandbox KC’s “Summer in the Sand” series has returned for its fourth year of entrepreneurial education and networking.
The program — which will feature one event per month from June to September — offers participants the chance to dive into everything from makerspaces to early-stage regional funding prospects.
It’s an excellent opportunity for area entrepreneurs to learn and meet one another, said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC.
“What we continue to really see is the need to connect people,” Shackelford said. “Whether it’s to resources or funding sources or folks with knowledge in areas entrepreneurs need help in, it’s making sure that early-stage entrepreneurs know about all the different programs. … The more of those types of programs they work with the higher probability of success.”
This summer’s four events are:
June 8 – How to Pitch to the Sandbox
July 6 – Makerspaces: “Like a Gym for People Who Build Stuff”
Aug. 3 – Equity and Crowdfunding: How the New Rules Affect You
Sept. 7 – Regional Funding for Early-Stage Companies
In past years, the series has attracted more than 200 entrepreneurs, Shackelford said. This year, they expect to have as many as 250 participants, he added, partly due to the program’s relaxed question-and-answer structure.
“We put Summer in the Sand on as an opportunity for folks to really gain insight into the topics in an informal and open environment that’s not really structured,” Shackelford said. “We want everybody to feel welcome to comment, have questions and network. … We feel there’s a need there.”
Since Digital Sandbox’s 2013 launch, the organization has funded 64 projects, helped launch 27 new businesses, enabled the growth of 247 jobs and spurred $22.7 million in follow-on funding. The program is funded in part by two i6 Challenge grants from the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, as well as universities, private companies and KCSourceLink.