Announcing major support of SPN from the Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation today announced major sponsorship of Silicon Prairie News in order to rapidly increase our organization's presence in Kansas City, where the Kauffman Foundation …

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation today announced major sponsorship of Silicon Prairie News in order to rapidly increase our organization’s presence in Kansas City, where the Kauffman Foundation is based.

This sponsorship allows us to bring on our first full-time team members in Kansas City, beginning with a community builder. The addition of full-time staff – and soon an office – in Kansas City is a major milestone for SPN because it rounds out our presence in the Silicon Prairie’s flagship cities of Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City.

This new support from the Kauffman Foundation, which first sponsored our work in 2010, brings the organization a presence on every page of our site – check out their logo in the footer – and puts its name atop the group of sponsors for the next four Silicon Prairie Series events, including the to-be-named Kansas City event in 2013. The Kauffman Foundation will also be the premier sponsor of next year’s Silicon Prairie Awards. We’re proud to have the Kauffman name behind these events. The first, Thinc Iowa 2012, is less than three weeks away.

Today is an exciting day for SPN, which we founded a little more than four years ago with the goal of highlighting and supporting the region’s startup community. We began as a blog, held a small event, then a big event and soon added our first team member. Today, we still publish blog posts, but now much more frequently. We still hold small events, but now almost monthly. We still produce big events, which will soon number four per year. And we continue to expand our team, which is now seven employees strong. The backing of the Kauffman Foundation, the largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship, comes at a pivotal time in the growth of our organization and the region as a whole.

Beyond the financial support, our relationship with the Kauffman Foundation dates back to 2008, when we were headed to Highlight Midwest, an event held at the foundation’s headquarters. It was a goal of our organization to begin working more closely with Kauffman, learning from its decades of research and work related to building entrepreneurial communities. Its staff’s knowledge, published papers and support of other entrepreneurial organizations has had a significant impact on SPN.

As we often say, and have learned from the efforts of Brad Feld in Boulder, the work of building a startup community is a 20-year commitment. So we’re just getting started and are humbled and encouraged by the new level of support from the Kauffman Foundation. Full steam ahead!

For more on today’s announcement, read the Kauffman Foundation press release.

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