Federal grant aims to help KC build $5M regional seed fund

Pushing aside the Kansas-Missouri “border war,” a bi-state effort in the Kansas City area has earned a federal grant that will help create a $5 million fund for startups.

The Enterprise Center in Johnson County announced Monday it secured a $150,000 federal grant to use for staffing and administrative expenses to raise a $5 million seed fund that could begin investing by 2018.

A bi-state consortium — comprised of the ECJC, the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, KCSourceLink, the OneKCforWomen Alliance, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and area investors — led the grant effort. The area proposal was one of the 41 awardees selected in 2017 from more than 217 applicants nationwide.

The grant helps address a shortcoming in Kansas City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, said Melissa Roberts, vice president of communications and outreach at the ECJC.

Once active, the fund will make investments of up to $150,000 in companies raising pre-seed and seed rounds of $50,000 to $350,000. But to tap the fund, firms must secure a 1:1 match from another investor, grant or lender. The grant will not be used to capitalize the fund.

Read more: Startland News

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