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Startup Genome announces Kauffman grant, launches redesign

Startup Genome builds tools to help community builders measure and grow their local startup community.

Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announced today that it’s awarded a grant to Startup Genome, a free online platform that builds tools to help community builders measure and grow local startup communities.

Shane Reiser, the project’s co-founder, first became connected with Kauffman during his time as COO of Startup Weekend. After more than a year working on Startup Genome part-time, Reiser says he made the decision to get serious about the project. 

“As a side job it didn’t grow very fast and I always regretted that because I knew there was potentital there,” Reiser told Silicon Prairie News. “When we hit 250 or 300 curators just by word of mouth I realized there was some real potential there and decided it deserved my full-time attention.”

A diverse team of Startup Genome curaters help collect and analyze data about startups around the world. Since its inception, the site has now amassed a collection of more than 26,000 founders and 84,000 startups. The startup plans to recruit 1,000 local curators—entrepreneurs, investors, community builders, students, journalists and more—to populate the data.

“Mapping local startup ecosystems not only provides an important tool to communities, but it will create a treasure trove of rare data on local startups,” said Dane Stangler, Kauffman’s director of research and policy, in a press release. “Our plans include studying how startup communities develop and identifying action steps that cities can take to grow their entrepreneurial community and measure their progress.”

With a newly redesigned site, courtesy of Omaha-based firm GoodTwin, the Startup Genome user experience is now more responsive and compatabile with both tablet and smartphone. One of the site’s largest new features is the ability for users to track statistics as the community grows, through a breakdown of active startups, entrepreneurial density and funding history. 

Reiser also said the company hired Geoff Wood, former SPN COO and Welch Avenue founder, to serve as Startup Genome’s COO. Chris Taulborg, of former Des Moines startup vineme, will serve as the company’s lead developer. 

Reiser said he was unable to discuss the amount of the grant.

For more about Startup Genome, read our article: “Startup Genome takes local approach categorizing, visualizing ecosystems


Credits: Photo from StartupGenome.com.

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