Pipeline's Joni Cobb (center) accepts an award while flanked by the Kauffman Foundation's Victor Hwang and Julia Irene Kauffman, Ewing Kauffman's daughter and a foundation board member. | Courtesy of Pipeline

Kauffman extends support of Pipeline entrepreneur program with 4-year grant



Pipeline, a Kansas City-based organization that runs a fellowship program for Midwestern entrepreneurs, has received a challenge grant worth up to $2.087 million over four years from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Pipeline announced Tuesday.

The grant is Pipeline’s third and largest to date from the Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City-based nonprofit focused on entrepreneurship and education. Pipeline previously announced matching grants from the foundation in 2011 and 2014.

“We are so grateful to have the strong backing of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as we continue to identify, train, and connect our region’s highest growth entrepreneurial super stars,” Joni Cobb, Pipeline president and CEO, said in a release.

The Kauffman Foundation funds will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, with private contributions, according to Pipeline.

Established in 2006, Pipeline runs a yearlong training fellowship for entrepreneurs leading high-growth companies. The organization also offers a membership network for past fellowship participants.

Previous Kauffman Foundation grants allowed Pipeline to grow its regional footprint and expand its programming for entrepreneurs. The new funds will help the organization set its regional boundaries for the next four years and continue its programming for current fellows and ongoing members.

Pipeline’s boundaries currently include the Kansas City and St. Louis metro areas, plus Kansas and Nebraska. Its new boundaries will be determined largely by support toward the matching grant, Cobb said, but the organization doesn’t anticipate a significant change in its geographic scope.

Since Pipeline’s inception in 2006, more than 100 entrepreneurs have gone through its yearlong fellowship. The program’s member firms have combined to generate $1.1 billion in revenue and create more than 1,600 jobs, according to Pipeline.

“At the Kauffman Foundation, we see entrepreneurial programs from all over the world, so it is especially gratifying to know that one of the very best grew up right here in our backyard,” Kauffman Foundation President and CEO Wendy Guillies said in a release. “Pipeline is getting results and does so with a very unique model that supports our highest growth founders.”

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