Two area financial groups are teaming up to ensure entrepreneurs and small-business owners are familiar with the full array of funding options available to them.
“Lead Bank has been trying to find ways to address the total funding gap for entrepreneurs and startups in Kansas City since 2010 when we changed our name and became Lead Bank,” Lead Bank’s vice chairman Josh Rowland told Silicon Prairie News. “One of the things that we did was create an angel fund of our own called Lead Ventures that made angel investments and incubated businesses starting in 2011.”
“In the course of that experience, we certainly began to see the dimensions of the funding problem for entrepreneurs and recognized that there needs to be another solution,” Rowland (right) said.
Now Lead Bank is collaborating with Angel Capital Group’s Kansas City branch to find ways for local startups to have better access to investors and private equity funding.
“Our passion is innovation, so bringing investors and entrepreneurs together, accompanied by other financial institutions, gives startups another opportunity to succeed financially,” Angel Capital Group founder Rachael Qualls said in a press release.
The group will convene for the first time early next week—with Rowland as the chapter president—to discuss the needs of the Kansas City community and Rowland says an agenda will be shaped from there.
“We think there are companies in Kansas City that need to be more aware of Angel Capital Group and there are investors in the KC community that need better access to entrepreneurs,” Rowland said. “It’s a real ecosystem that we could help put together here.”
Rowland says he also hopes to alter perceptions when it comes to the ways startups and financial institutions interact with one another.
“The reality is that banks are perceived as—and in reality they sometimes are—a little difficult for startup businesses to get into and there are some real reasons for that. On the other hand, there’s a perception that maybe needs to be challenged a little bit. There are real opportunities, if done correctly, to start a startup’s banking relationship early and make it doable.”
Credits: Josh Rowland photo from LinkedIn.