A rebranding and name change for the Kansas City Startup Foundation will see the entrepreneurial community-building organization build on the legacy of Startland News while continuing to grow its education and talent programming.
Now operating as STARTLAND, the organization still boasts its most-widely recognized programs — Startland News, MECA Challenge and Back2KC — which also have been visually refreshed as part of the rebranding, said Adam Arredondo, CEO of STARTLAND.
“STARTLAND will allow us to showcase what we do best: inspiring innovation through stories, experiences, and talent with a particular focus on real-world learning,” he said in a press release.
The new STARTLAND name allows the organization to move beyond its origins in the Kansas City Startup Village, capitalize on the brand recognition of Startland News — the nearly 5-year-old nonprofit newsroom powered by the former KCSF — and reduce miscommunication stemming from use of the word “foundation” in the previous branding, Arredondo said.
“The name ‘KCSF’ has always confused people who rightfully assumed KCSF was either funding startup programs or directly working with founders to grow their businesses. We do neither,” he said. “STARTLAND exists to activate a culture of innovation in which creators and entrepreneurs can be more successful.”
(Editor’s note; Startland News and startlandnews.com — led by Tommy Felts and Austin Barnes — will continue in its independent storytelling capacity, focused on elevating Kansas City’s entrepreneurs, startups, makers, creatives and risk-takers.)
Keep reading after watching STARTLAND’s new hype video below.
STARTLAND — and the team behind it — have grown alongside Kansas City’s maturing innovation ecosystem, added Darcy Howe, co-chair of STARTLAND’s board and founder of KCRise Fund.
“Kansas City, itself, has graduated from a startup to being the home of many companies which have found talent, capital and resource partners to build and stay here,” said Howe. “So it is fitting that our beloved ‘Kansas City Startup Foundation’ graduate to its growth phase and be the flagbearer for KC as ‘STARTLAND.’”
“We aspired,” she continued, “and now can confidently say this region is America’s startland and STARTLAND will continue to provide a guiding light here and to many across the U.S. who are watching and cheering for us.”
Howe serves as co-chair alongside Anita Newton, chief innovation officer at CommunityAmerica. The two lead a bolstered board with members ranging from active entrepreneurs to veterans of the Kansas City corporate scene, including:
- Anurag Patel, co-founder and CEO, Helix Health;
- Christine Kemper, founder, KC Girls Prep Academy;
- Davin Gordon, business development officer, AltCap;
- Marshall Lockton, senior vice president, Mylo/Lockton Companies;
- Martha McCabe, executive director, KC STEM Alliance;
- Roger Nelson, retired deputy chairman, Ernst & Young;
- Thalia Cherry, founder and CEO, Cherry Sports;
- Tina Peterson, founder and manager, Sprint Accelerator; and
- Vinoo Vijay, chief marketing officer, H&R Block.
STARTLAND has also enlisted a group of prominent civic and business leaders as advisors.
Click here to check out the full STARTLAND board and list of advisors.