I never thought I’d be here.
Comfortable with a keyboard, coffee and notepad, I’ve always thought of myself solely as a journalist. After years writing about entrepreneurs, I never imaged that one day the strategies and struggles they shared would help me make sense of leading a new venture.
Indeed, entrepreneurship is often glamorized. I’ll admit that as an outsider reporting on business owners, I envied their freedom, courage and seemingly limitless opportunity.
Little did I understand how startup life can at times be isolating, infuriating and disheartening. You can throw around the cliches — a roller coaster of emotion, pushing a rock up a hill, herding cats — but they hardly capture the feeling. But for all the challenges it affords, the triumphs become that much more gratifying.
And, fortunately, I’m here today to share with you one such moment. After its launch 18 months ago, I’m proud to announce that the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is now a marquee sponsor of Startland News.
The preeminent organization dedicated to purveying entrepreneurship, the Kauffman Foundation is offering significant financial support to Startland News’ mission of reporting on Kansas City innovation. I’m thrilled the foundation is backing our mission to inform Kansas Citians and the world on the area’s vibrant entrepreneurial community, and its support is sure to further our impact.
“It is vital to tell the full story of what’s going on in Kansas City’s growing entrepreneurial community — the successes and challenges, the people and the businesses, the questions and the answers,” said Nathan Kurtz, entrepreneurship program officer for the Kauffman Foundation. “Having an outlet solely focused on entrepreneurship in Kansas City informs and connects entrepreneurs, policymakers and the organizations that support entrepreneurs.“
In addition to financial support, the partnership will afford Startland News unparalleled access to the Kauffman Foundation’s leadership and deep network of researchers. The support not only will help expand Startland’s local impact, but also provides the concept of hyper-local news on entrepreneurs tremendous validation.
We’ve been astonished and humbled by the community’s hunger for local news on entrepreneurship. You may be surprised to know that about half our readers derive from outside the Kansas City metro, and that reach to outsiders will only increase with the foundation’s support.
The Kauffman Foundation joins one of the unsung heroes in Kansas City’s entrepreneurial community — the Affinity Enterprise Group — as key supporters of Startland News. A Kansas City-based conglomerate created to empower and support investors in the residential real estate industry, AEG is the primary investor in CEED, Startland’s parent organization. CEED — or the Center for Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development — is dedicated to supporting and cultivating the early-stage business community in Kansas City.
“Entrepreneurs are the bedrock of our economy and the key to economic independence – not only for Kansas City but the world,” AEG CEO Mike Wrenn said. “As an entrepreneur myself, I feel a responsibility to help support the next wave of entrepreneurs in my community, and Startland News helps accomplish that. I’m happy to see the Kauffman Foundation support Startland and I’m excited to see it grow as a result.”
In addition to our sponsors and investors, Startland News wouldn’t exist without the support of the Kansas City community. We do this for you and we’re thankful that you find value in our content. As always, we welcome your thoughts, feedback and suggestions. Your emails and calls do not go unnoticed and you have no idea how much fuel your kind words provide.
Thanks for reading and keep building, Kansas City!