On Friday, KCSourceLink released their fourth annual We Create KC report on the state of Kansas City entrepreneurship.
Since 2013, We Create KC has been a useful report in tracking Kansas City’s progress in the region’s mission to nurture entrepreneurship and economic growth.
KCSourceLink is a network of over 240 business-building resources that in 2016 alone made 92,000 connections to help entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Kansas City metro region find assistance.
“At KCSourceLink, our first goal is always to help make our entrepreneurs stronger by connecting them to the right resources they need to start and grow,” said Maria Meyers, founder of KCSourceLink and executive director of the University of Missouri–Kansas City Innovation Center, of which KCSourceLink is a part.
“To do that effectively and efficiently, we measure the vitality and sustainability of our entrepreneurial ecosystem and work collaboratively with our full network to fill gaps and strengthen our entrepreneurial infrastructure,” said Meyers.
The report, produced under an award from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration and with support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, identifies and is merited on in six key areas of development:
-Maximize entrepreneurial support resources
-Dramatically increase available startup and growth capital
-Create a strong entrepreneurial pipeline of ideas
-Tell the story
-Build entrepreneurial talent
-Engage the broader corporate community
A few highlights from 2016 the report provided by KCSourceLink include:
Starts: 4,679 KC startups hired their first employees in 2015, with those in service/education/administration related industries ranking highest
Capital: KC funding organizations collectively reported a 290% increase in available capital for early stage entrepreneurs
Innovation Pipeline: Whiteboard2Boardroom provides a snapshot of and access to more than 200 next gen, homegrown technologies, ready entrepreneurial leadership and commercialization
Christine McGuigan is the Associate Editor of Silicon Prairie News.