Editor’s note: KCultivators is a lighthearted profile series to highlight people who are meaningfully enriching Kansas City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The KCultivator Series is sponsored by WeWork Corrigan Station, a modern twist on Kansas City office space.
Kansas City’s future depends on whether the business community invests in homegrown talent, Davin Gordon said.
“It doesn’t have to be a tech venture or some sort of high-growth business,” AltCap’s business development officer said of the way entrepreneurs can impact Kansas City with a change of mindset. The AltCap Your Biz pitch competition, for example — an effort for which he’s led the charge — is aimed at accelerating startups and small businesses by offering the opportunity for a small cash infusion.
Enabling entrepreneurs to pursue their passion is an integral part of Gordon’s identity. It’s a result of his upbringing in a single-parent household, he noted.
“I learned the value of the dollar at a young age,” Gordon said. “I saw my mom hustle to make ends meet. Whether [that meant] selling burritos to her coworkers to help pay for special occasions, vacations, or big celebrations.”
As he recalled his childhood, Gordon noted his mother was to thank for his role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In his early work with AltCap, Gordon saw a need for access — to capital, support, and ecosystem progression — in the entrepreneur space, he explained.
“I’ve taken on the challenge [of addressing access] by continuing to learn about other, more progressive cities and organizations, pushing the AltCap team to strive for even more impact,” he said.
Arming himself with goals and vision, Gordon is motivated to help add diversity to Kansas City’s startup scene. Using his story to elevate entrepreneurs, hustling — like his mother — to build a better life and a stronger community, he said.
Startland News sat down with Gordon to learn more about who he is outside of the entrepreneur space. The KCultivator Series is sponsored by WeWork Corrigan Station, which provides entrepreneurs and businesspeople a community and a workspace.
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
A historical figure you’d like to have coffee with and why: Dr. Martin Luther King just because of his resiliency and the way that he was able to make such a large impact, not only in our country but in the world.
The animal you’d want to become in your next life: Probably a dog because of how well they’re treated, how people are treating them as family members, that quality of life.
You’re up to bat for the Royals, what’s your walk-up song: “So Fresh, So Clean,” by Outkast.
Favorite food joint in KC: Being a foodie, man, that’s impossible to answer. A lot of people are probably going to hate on me, I think everybody can agree: Slaps. It’s my favorite barbecue place right now.
New technology that you’re most excited about: To be very frank with you, the new iPhone. Outside of that –– besides trying to think of something that I use frequently or that I would be excited about –– I think what I’m most excited about is a lot of sustainability sort of stuff.
What word or phrase do you hate the most? “I can’t” or “We can’t.” I feel like we limit ourselves and our ability to really reach our full potential because of that sort of mindset, that sort of perspective.
What you hope you’re remembered for: Besides my hair? Just the way that I make people feel when I’m around. I’m able to produce positive energy and leave people feeling better about themselves than they did before they met me.
Biggest failure: I wouldn’t say I’ve had any big failures. I will say, I wish I would have taken school a little bit more serious. I think I could [have gotten to] where I want to be a little bit quicker if I had taken education and those sort of things a little bit more serious.
You have a time machine and can travel anywhere in the past or future. Where and when do you go? Future. I’m just really anxious to see, not only if I have any offspring, but the world –– I’m really interested to see how things are going to start panning out.
Your mantra or motto: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
What keeps you awake at night? All the people that I promised I would do things for and I haven’t followed up on it yet.