Veteran Kansas City Chief Dontari Poe is hosting a competition that bridges young Kansas Citians and entrepreneurship.
Set for Dec. 13 at Think Big Coworking, Poe Man’s Challenge will pair nine local startups with 30 Kansas City high school students and pitch the companies to a panel of celebrity judges, including Poe and his teammates. Participating students will receive coaching from startup founders and then pitch the company as if it is their own.
Poe said he’s excited to acquaint more young Kansas Citians with entrepreneurship.
“It’s important that kids get exposed to what startups are all about. It will put them in a good position,” Poe told Startland News. “I feel that they’ll be ahead of me, at my age, if they start now. … Even if they never do a startup, learning how to pitch is an important life skill. We are always pitching ourselves for all sorts of things.”
Poe recently made his first tech investment in Lab Sensor Solutions, a company based in Redwood City, Calif. He hopes that Poe Man’s Challenge will inspire students to gain an entrepreneurial mindset in students, thus making an impact in Kansas City.
Mark Nolte, the founder of Start Talking, said he’s participating in the event to help educate the next generation of entrepreneurs.
“The more these students can learn now, the better they will be prepared to be entrepreneurs,” he said. “I hope we will see more events like this in Kansas City in the future.”
Below are the participating Kansas City area startups. To learn more or to purchase tickets for the event,click here.