Entrepreneurs hoping to provide both social impact and return on investment are encouraged to apply for the inaugural cohort of LaunchKC’s Social Venture Studio — an effort focused on creating sustainable business models to tackle social, racial, or environmental issues.
Click here to apply through March 30.
The studio is seeking a diverse cohort of leaders, organizers said. Five to seven companies are expected to be selected for the six-month program — prioritizing Kansas City entrepreneurs for the first cohort — receiving professional support, grant awards ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, temporary office space, mentoring and network connections to strengthen their social venture business concepts.
A culmination event in the fall will be a chance for the companies to reveal their pitches to potential funders and supporters.
LaunchKC, an initiative of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri (EDCKC) and the Downtown Council announced the first-of-its-kind Social Venture Studio in November during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Click here to read more about why organizers are launching the program.
Reconciliation Services, which owns a prominent Kansas City social venture, Thelma’s Kitchen, will closely advise as a social venture industry expert and, as with all other LaunchKC efforts, Keystone Innovation District will administer programming, with consulting from Jacqueline Erickson Russell, founder and CEO of Social Impact Advisory Group.
The Social Venture Studio was made possible thanks to financial support from The Sunderland Foundation Hadley Project.
“Increasing access to capital, resources, and opportunities for BIPOC and female leaders is imperative to both solving social problems and having a robust business community,” said Erickson Russell. “Social Venture Studio will be empowering the next high-growth organizations who can lead the way to a more prosperous and equitable future.”
LaunchKC continues to see momentum, its leaders said, wrapping up its seventh year, having invested $3.5 million in cash grants to 86 companies, as well as continuing to strengthen its mentorship ecosystem.
Forty-nine percent of LaunchKC participant companies are minority or woman-owned businesses and $236 million in follow-on funding has gone to support these companies, according to LaunchKC.