Accelerator guru group Techstars announced Wednesday that it’s launching a new program in Kansas City after leading the Sprint Accelerator for three years with Sprint.
Lesa Mitchell, a former vice president of innovation and networks for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, will serve as the managing director of the Kansas City accelerator.
“We’re excited to announce that we’re deepening our commitment to the rapidly emerging startup ecosystem in Kansas City with the launch of Techstars Kansas City,” the company said in a blog post. “We are excited to continue to support this thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Like its accelerators in Seattle, Boston, Boulder, Austin, London and Berlin, the Kansas City program will have a “horizontal” focus that will accept promising tech startups in nearly any field.
The new program also will retain a similar model to the Sprint Accelerator in that it will be an intensive three-month and mentor-driven experience. It also will inject $120,000 in capital into each startup in exchange for 6 percent equity. It also will host a demo day to show off its participating startups after the program concludes.
Techstars has yet to determine where its facility will be in Kansas City. Though it has a managing director in Mitchell, the organization still must hire a program manager and several associates.
Applications for the program will open in January 2017 and the program will begin in July 2017. Similar to its program with Sprint, Techstars will select 10 startups from around the world.
The accelerator group appears to be still searching for corporate partners in Kansas City, and asked interested companies to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Techstars co-founder Brad Feld is no stranger to the Kansas City area. An advisor for the Kauffman Fellows program, Feld also purchased a house — the Feld Fiber House — for entrepreneurs in the Kansas City Startup Village.
Techstars in May indicated that it would maintain its roots in Kansas City regardless of a corporate sponsor. Former Techstars managing director John Fein said in May that Techstars has loved its time in Kansas City and was then in conversations with several area corporations for prospective partnerships.
“The good news is that Techstars is 100 percent committed to Kansas City,” Fein said. “We’ve valued the Sprint partnership over the past three programs and hope that we can continue to do this with Sprint. But regardless, Techstars is 100 percent committed to growing the Kansas City community. … The bottom line is that there’s a ton of momentum in Kansas City, and Techstars recognizes that and wants to continue to play a role in that.”
Stay tuned for more information on this news.