A $145,000 allocation for Velocity Lee’s Summit represents the first step in the City of Lee’s Summit getting serious about investing in innovation, said Grant Gooding.
“There is a lot of talent in Lee’s Summit and we wanted to give entrepreneurs a place and an ecosystem to foster the development of their businesses,” said Gooding, who sits on the board of directors for Velocity LS and is CEO of Proof Positioning. “It was really encouraging to see that the city was so on board with investing in local startups.”
Velocity LS was formed in 2015 to create economic growth through innovation by providing resources, education and a place to foster continued entrepreneurship. It joins such other city partners as Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council and the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce.
The City of Lee’s Summit decision late last month to provide $145,000 in funding to Velocity LS over two years is validating, said Chuck Cooper, the group’s past chair.
“Velocity now has the ability to scale up our resources and truly foster a habitat of innovation in Lee’s Summit,” he said. “Aligning our supportive efforts, such as mentorship programs, with rapidly growing businesses, Velocity facilitates a local fertile environment for our entrepreneurs to succeed.”
The funding reflects the city’s support of results-based innovation, said Bill Baird, mayor of Lee’s Summit.
“We are passionate about nurturing and growing the tremendous talent we have in Lee’s Summit,” he said. “Velocity will be our secret ingredient in creating the most productive environment to help our start-up businesses and entrepreneurs grow and succeed. Funding Velocity shows our city council’s commitment to economic strategic planning with an identifiable return on investment, measurable in increases in our employment and tax base.”
Stronger entrepreneur communities within the metro means increased vitality for the overall Kansas City ecosystem, Gooding said.
“Having Lee’s Summit as another physical and financial resource for new ventures does nothing but strengthen KC’s already stellar reputation as an entrepreneurial city,” he said.