Startups enlisted in the war for capital know the struggle: a perilous gap between seed and success. The Enterprise Center in Johnson County’s new investment boot camp aims to arm them for battle.
The Pitch Perfect mini-accelerator program focuses on helping established startups advance to the next round of development by teaching such skills as calculating valuation, understanding financial terms, presenting well during the due diligence process, and portraying confidence during an angel pitch.
“Our entire goal is getting them funding ready,” said Melissa Roberts, ECJC vice president of communications and outreach. “We’re not trying to help them build traction. Companies already need to have that momentum going.”
Pitch Perfect will be an eight-week curricular program split between classroom-like learning and individual angel mentoring for five to six entrepreneurs per quarter, Roberts said. The program, made possible by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, likely will culminate in a private demo day-type event.
“Kansas City is a great place to bring an idea to life,” Roberts said, noting, however, that it takes more than just early-stage development to get those ideas off the ground.
Many startup businesses get caught in the challenging phase between seed and angel funding — the pool from which ECJC will accept promising Pitch Perfect participants, she said.
“Qualified entrepreneurs will be running a startup company and will have traction sufficient to justify an institutional round of investment in the next 3-6 months,” ECJC’s website reads.
The first boot camp session begins Sept. 20 with the application process now under way. The program is free with no money or equity taken by ECJC, Roberts said.