InvestMidwest has whittled down the applicants for next month’s venture capital forum, announcing five Kansas City area companies will take the stage at the premier pitch event.
Thirty-six fast-growing startups overall — representing 15 Midwest, East Coast and Southern states — are expected to present to venture capitalists, corporate investors, private investors and other key business professionals who attend InvestMidwest.
While 40 Kansas City companies accounted for nearly 30 percent of the forum’s applicants, only about 14 percent of the final list reflects startups from the KC metro, according to InvestMidwest figures.
Names of applicants and presenters are not released before the event. (Applications closed in early January.) Among the KC-based presenters are an Olathe life sciences company, two Overland Park tech firms, a KCMO life sciences startup and a KCMO tech company.
InvestMidwest also features startups in agriculture, food and bioenergy tracks.
“These young companies represent some pretty spectacular high-growth businesses seeking to power their businesses to a new level,” said Christine Walsh, executive director of InvestMidwest. “We received some great applications from all over the country. It’s fortunate that we have such a strong panel to handle the selection process. Their insights consistently result in some dynamic businesses representing a well curated group of investment prospects for venture capitalists and other investors.”
The venture forum is set for March 19-20 at the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center. Click here to register for the event.
Companies that presented at the previous 19 InvestMidwest events have raised funding in excess of $1 billion in equity, corporate collaborations and exit proceeds, according to the organization. The forum alternates between Kansas City and St. Louis each year.
Two Kansas City startup veterans are expected to headline the speaker portion of InvestMidwest’s breakfast and luncheon programs: Tim Barton, Edison Spaces co-founder and former chairman/CEO of Freightquote, which was acquired by a Fortune 200 company in 2015; and Steven St. Peter, MD, founder and managing director of Vie Ventures, a life sciences venture capital company, and former president and CEO of Aratana Therapeutics in Leawood.
“The Midwest has a wealth of talent, and we are fortunate to have two terrific businessmen to speak at our 20th InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum,” said Walsh.