Meet 10 of the most compelling, emerging startups poised to make bold headlines in 2024. From spacetech to artificial intelligence, beer to golf, blowouts to big rigs, these companies share at least one critical component beyond sheer momentum.
They help reflect a new golden era in Kansas City.
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It’s a theme echoed throughout the local economic development community, rippling from the region’s sports scene to massive new corporate tech and manufacturing commitments, all the way to startup and main street entrepreneurs.
No one seems to remember a more exciting time in the City of Fountains.
And these founders are scaling into that potential with companies that challenge mainstream assumptions — revealing and solving pain points old and new, while redefining what kind of world comes next.
At least half of the companies on this year’s list of 10 Kansas City Startups to Watch are built with aspects of equity and inclusion expressly woven into the fabric of their missions — not as gimmicks, but as the means to scale real-world change using tools never before at the hands of humans.
In today’s landscape of Kansas City innovation, narrowing this list down to just 10 companies is nearly impossible — even after nine years covering startup newsmakers.
The final result represents the spectrum of entrepreneurial spirit coursing through the region; a teaser of what Startland News’ editorial team believes is to come in the year ahead.
As always, this isn’t a contest between companies; there’s no “top startup” to declare better than the rest, and a startup’s funding is just one element within the selection process. The 2024 list exists to elevate remarkable entrepreneurs and unlock new opportunities for some of the city’s fastest growing startups that might otherwise be overlooked amid Taylor Swift sightings and the slow rollout of what promises to be a brutal election year.
This list was compiled through nearly three months of research and conversations with community experts, funders and support organizations. Ultimately, curation of the list relied heavily on the honesty, openness and track record of founders.
The Startland News editorial team culled 35 semi-finalists from hundreds of nominations and newsroom-generated leads, narrowed that list to 15, and finally to the 10 selected members of the Startups to Watch class of 2024 — a cohort of founders eager to prove themselves in the new year, and backed with the headline-grabbing potential to make it happen.
Navigate through the photo carousel below to see the 10 Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2024.
Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2024
Startups to Watch is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.