Eight venture accelerators in the Kansas City area will receive a combined $840,000 of grants and sponsorship as part of the first KC Accelerator Challenge sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the foundation announced Tuesday.
The KC Accelerator Challenge, announced last fall, sought to provide a funding boost to organizations that provide “critical mentoring, access to resources and services” to early-stage companies in the Kansas City area. Eligible organizations had to submit applications for funding by February.
The grant recipients announced Tuesday are:
- The Enterprise Center of Johnson County’s Investment Bootcamp
- The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program’s Amp Up
- The Sprint Accelerator
- Techstars Kansas City
- Project United Knowledge
- Rightfully Sewn
- ScaleUp Kansas City
These winning organizations are required to make a one-to-one match of Kauffman Foundation funds and to provide at least one of the following mentorship resources or services:
- A structured educational curriculum and/or technical assistance for entrepreneurs
- Serving an underrepresented population of entrepreneurs
- A novel way to accelerate startups that can be tested as a research project
The challenge is part of the Kauffman Foundation’s Zero Barriers movement, which seeks to address the obstacles entrepreneurs face in starting businesses.
“We know from recent research that more startups lead to higher productivity, wage growth and quality of life for the entire community,” Wendy Guillies, the Kauffman Foundation’s president and CEO, said in a release.