For almost a decade now Pipeline has supported some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the region.
At its St. Louis module last week Pipeline announced they are accepting applications for their 10th class, which will include a module in Ireland next September.
Over the last nine years Pipeline has gained a reputation for being the premiere community of Midwest entrepreneurs entering their high-growth stage.
In the last six months, Silicon Prairie News has covered several Pipeline member fundraising rounds: Laura Stewart’s Video Fizz for $600K; Brett Byman’s Nobl; Pierre Barbeau’s Moblico for $900K; Paul Jarrett’s Bulu Box for $1.5 million; David Chait’s Travefy for $1.8 million; Blake Lawrence’s opendorse for $1.75 million.
“We knew we wanted to do something special for the 10th anniversary,” said Joni Cobb, President and CEO of Pipeline.
“One of the things that kept coming up was helping our entrepreneurs understand how to become global companies. Rather than just talking about it, we thought it would be much more instructive to have our Midwest entrepreneurs learn about the process in an international environment with others who have walked the walk.”
Pipeline originally looked at London, since some Pipeline members already have offices there. However, advisers suggested they take a look at Ireland.
“We did an advance trip,” said Cobb. “It became obvious that Ireland was preferable over London because the entrepreneurs there, the culture, was such a great match for Midwestern entrepreneurs. They are also very motivated to meet our entrepreneurs, which will make the experience even better. Since we can still bring in people from London and the UK, it’s a win on all levels.”
A decade of impact
Today there are 93 Pipeline members listed on its website.
“Pipeline has become very big but also simultaneously very tight knit,” said Cobb. Not just the entrepreneurs but also the advisers and investors around them.”
Five years in, Pipeline made the decision go beyond Kansas and open their program to the region. Cobb sees this as key to their success.
“Having multi-state first-name basis relationships–I think our region is so much more powerful because of that. These people are friends, work together and play together, they trust each other which allows them to quickly collaborate. We are so much more powerful for that,” said Cobb.
Pipeline plays a central role by helping companies that are scaling fast to stay in the region rather than leave for the coasts. Building a larger network of resources allows regional entrepreneurs to compete on a global level.
“By making their backyard bigger that makes it far more likely they will be able to scale and stay in the Midwest,” said Cobb.
Applications are now open for Pipeline’s 10th year. Applications are due October 21st.
Ryan Pendell is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.