The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation believes business accelerators have the opportunity to bridge a gap between capital and entrepreneurs.
That’s why the foundation announced a new grant initiative Friday that hopes to spur more accelerator-like organizations in Kansas City. And applications are now open, and proposals are due by Jan 13.
Starting Nov. 16 during Global Entrepreneurship week, the KC Accelerator Challenge hopes to encourage proposals from programs in the area that provide mentoring, access to resources and other services that help entrepreneurs scale their company.
“A vibrant community must invest in a variety of organizations that have a track record of increasing the success of early-stage entrepreneurs and accelerating business through growth,” Kauffman Foundation CEO Wendy Guillies said in a release. “The KC Accelerator Challenge will directly support organizations that are helping Kansas City to become America’s most entrepreneurial city.”
The foundation is looking especially for organizations that provide a structured educational curriculum, serves an underrepresented population of entrepreneurs or has used research to provide a “novel way to accelerate startups.”
“Kansas City has many of the ingredients for a strong ecosystem for entrepreneurs,” Kauffman Foundation vice president of entrepreneurship Victor Hwang said in a release. “The KC Accelerator Challenge is part of the Kauffman Foundation’s comprehensive approach to address barriers that too many of our entrepreneurs face in Kansas City and the Midwest.”
Applicants are required to meet Kauffman’s funds with a one-to-one match. Applications close on Jan 13.