A group of student investors in the Kansas City University Venture Program are working to jump start deal flow and create relationships with Kansas City entrepreneurs.
Launched in 2017, the student-led fund is hosting a pitch event to start a dialogue with area startups in hopes of finding their newest investment deals, said Nate Crosser, a University of Kansas law student and an intern with the fund.
The fund aims to not only boost area businesses with funding but also better educate the future of venture capital professionals, Crosser added.
“It gives students in Kansas City real world exposure to and experience with venture capitalism,” he said. “We hope that this will help create a base of knowledgeable young private finance professionals who can get involved in KC’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We hope to bolster the local economy by investing in home-grown businesses and by playing a part in further establishing KC as a startup hub — having a robust professional finance sector is a key part of that.”
The KCUVF inaugural pitch event is set for March 30 at the WeWork Corrigan Station, Crosser said. All innovative companies with the ability to scale can apply, he added.
Businesses interested in pitching to the KCUVF can apply here.
A panel of representatives from five or six businesses are expected to participate in the casual and conversational pitches to gain a better knowledge of the startups and the teams, Crosser added.
With one startup already in its portfolio — Apptegy, based in Little Rock, Arkansas — KCUVF’s investments range from $15,000 to $100,000.
Led by Royal Street Ventures in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the University Venture Fund and the Sorenson Impact Center, the KCUVF program is modeled on the long-standing success of the Utah University Venture Fund, the largest student venture program in the U.S.