The startup scene in Kansas City continues to thrive. According to the “Startup Activity Index” released last month by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City jumped 11 places up the list from last year, all the way from 29 to 18. This was the second “most-improved” city falling short only to Orlando which climbed 12 spots from last year.
According to the report, Kansas City did remarkably well in two of the three areas of measurement that the index focuses on. First, the number of Kansas City residents who become entrepreneurs increased by 39 percent from last year. In addition, there was an increase in opportunity entrepreneurship. This means that more entrepreneurs are starting up a company because they see an opportunity and not because of necessity.
What’s driving the flourishing startup community? In addition to accelerators and coworking spaces popping up across the metro, a culmination of innovative leadership, a boost in venture capital, and a deep-rooted tech culture that began with the introduction of Google Fiber has catapulted Kansas City to the next level. The connectedness of the city and the relationships between investors and entrepreneurs has also seen a significant improvement in recent years and has played a role.
The entrepreneurial boom that Kansas City has seen in the last five years has city leaders excited for what the future holds. According to Startland News, Kansas City Mayor Sly James is extremely proud of Kansas City’s ranking in this year’s index. James adds, “Kauffman’s latest report shows that Kansas City is very well positioned to be a leader in startup activity for years to come and that we’re focusing on the right strategies to grow our economy.”