The Downtown Council (DTC) and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, (EDCKC) are proud to announce that the LaunchKC grants competition will be accepting applicants for their signature grants competition starting August 7th through September 17th.
To apply and learn more about LaunchKC’s grant program, visit https://www.launchkc.org/
The non-profit’s cornerstone program, supported by the City of Kansas City, Missouri, aims to create a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in KC by providing grants, networking opportunities, and business support to early-stage tech companies. After a four-year hiatus, the competition resumed in 2022 and is back again this year with continued civic and local government support.
“We understand the power of local companies and believe that every start-up has the potential to be the next big economic engine, job creator, or KC headquarters,” said Jim Erickson, EDCKC Director of Strategic Initiatives. “With nearly 100 local volunteers willing to help with the competition’s selection process, business mentoring, and more, we know the community is behind this effort just as much as we are.”
Starting August 7th through September 17th, LaunchKC will conduct a nationwide search for innovative and diverse early-stage startups looking to scale their businesses. $50,000 grants will be given out to up to eight start-ups that will also gain access to a host of support services, local mentors, networking opportunities, support with temporary office space, and more.
LaunchKC does not take equity in the companies that the non-profit community benefit organization supports. “After being back for just a year now, the startups we’re helping are hiring local talent, building a strong pipeline for economic growth, and we’re looking forward to welcoming even more”, said Becca Castro, EDCKC Strategic Initiatives Manager.
Qualified applicants – who must be located in KCMO or are willing to relocate to KCMO – will have their applications evaluated by a panel of reviewers comprised of LaunchKC staff, industry experts, entrepreneurs, past grant recipients, and business leaders. Reviewers will narrow the pool of applicants through three rounds of judging. In the final round, approximately 20 applicants will participate in in-person interviews and of those 20, up to eight will be selected and announced at an event on November 14th during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Emphasis will be placed on tech companies with high-growth potential that prioritize equitable business practices and see Kansas City as an ideal home for their business. “There’s so much momentum in downtown KC, these start-ups are only continuing to add to the fabric of our dynamic and growing community”, said Tommy Wilson, Downtown Council Director of Business Recruitment
Since the first grants competition in 2015, LaunchKC has supported over 100 companies, and collectively, those companies have attracted over $250 million in follow-on capital. In addition, more than two-thirds of companies that have participated in LaunchKC programming are women and/or minority-led.
Powered by a purpose to ignite KC’s entrepreneurial spirit, LaunchKC (LKC) invests in high-growth startups through accelerators, studios, and a signature grants competition. Co-founded by the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri (EDCKC) and Downtown Council (DTC), the non-profit was founded in 2015 and now partners with Keystone Innovation District on programming efforts. See more at www.launchkc.org
About Downtown Council
The Downtown Council (DTC) is a private, nonprofit membership organization representing Kansas City’s best businesses, property owners, nonprofit organizations, and anyone who is invested in Downtown’s success. The organization is committed to creating a vibrant, diverse, and economically sustainable Downtown. See more at www.downtownkc.org
The Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri (EDCKC), is a 501c4 agency that works to retain and grow its resident businesses, attract high opportunity companies to locate in the city, and attract and retain a skilled and diverse workforce all to ensure a vibrant community and growing, self-sustaining economy. See more at www.edckc.com