Despite Kansas City’s recognition as a tech hub, its variety of incubator programs and array of successful startup ventures, the metro’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is still trying to fill the money gap.
How can the community ensure that entrepreneurs have access the capital they need? Well, as KCSourceLink knows well, appropriate funding resources vary widely depending on the firm’s mission and market.
And while there are a wealth of opportunities throughout the year, here are four with application deadlines drawing near.
Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity (MOBEC)
Application deadline: Nov. 1, 2016
MOBEC is the Missouri Technology Corporation’s key investment strategy. Through the program, MTC will make strategic investments — up to $500,000 per grant — to expand the support system for entrepreneurs that are commercializing new technologies or that enhance the capacity of Missouri to grow its innovation economy. MTC asks that applicants accelerate scientific discoveries and strengthen high-tech clusters.
Public or private nonprofit Missouri research institutions or nonprofit entrepreneurial support organizations are also eligible to apply.Recipients may use grants to develop a fund that would help entrepreneurs leverage additional capital, provide entrepreneurs with mentorship, networking, entrepreneurial training and commercialization assistance, as well as embark on technology workforce development initiatives, research centers of excellence or physical infrastructure to support entrepreneurial activities. For more information on eligibility, click here.
InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum
Application deadline: Nov. 11, 2016
For entrepreneurs looking for a chance to pitch their company in front of dozens of prospective investors at once, consider applying to InvestMidwest. The Kansas City-based venture capital conference will showcase up to 45 Midwestern companies in life sciences, tech, agriculture, food and other industries.
In its 18th year, the event regularly attracts around 300 attendees. It will be held in Kansas City at Crown Center March 28 through the 29th, 2017.
Missouri Tech Launch
Application deadline: Nov. 16, 2016
As part of the IDEA Fund, MTC will award pre-seed funding — no more than $100,000 per individual award — to Missouri startups that are committed to a discovery in one of the following high-tech industry clusters: animal health, plant science, biomedical science, applied engineering, or defense and homeland security.
Startups must have less than 500 employees and will be evaluated on their market potential, proof of concept and intellectual property development. Applicants must also be in partnership with a Missouri research university or institution, or be willing to establish one. For more information about the opportunity, click here.
KC Global Cities Initiative (GCI) Micro-grant program
Application deadline: June 30, 2017 or when funds are exhausted
While its deadline is further out, the GCI micro-grant program will be done for the year when its funds allocated, which could be quick.
The program reimburses small and medium size businesses who seek to expand into the world market. Thanks to a grant from JPMorgan Chase, the program will dish out multiple $5,000 awards. The money is to be spent toward translation services, international marketing, market research, market access problems, staff export training or other related undertakings.
“This is an important part of our mission to increase Kansas City’s share of the international pie,” KC Chamber CEO Joe Reardon said in a release. “With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the U.S., the opportunities are there.”
Firms must have under 500 employees to apply and live within the Kansas City metropolitan statistical area. Two grants will be awarded to companies less than 2 years old. One grant each will be reserved for a veteran-owned company, minority-owned company and a woman-owned company. For more information, click here.