Startup culture is evolving rapidly and Kansas City is finally on the radar. Just a few years ago, the city was booming with startup businesses and entrepreneurs that couldn’t get off the ground due to a lack of funding, but now times are changing.
According to Startland News, many of Kansas City’s wealthy families used to steer clear of startups due to their statistically high risk of failure and funneled their money into low-risk investments and philanthropic donations instead. However, several tweaks needed to be made to the process so that Kansas City startups could capture the attention of investors and not by door-to-door sales pitches. As a result, venture capital funds started to pop up around the city and created an environment for startups to share their stories in an engaging setting with potential investors.
Flyover Capital provides funding at the seed stage for startups in the central U.S. that are innovative, have a large market opportunity and passionate founder(s). Royal Street Ventures seeks to invest in early-stage startups located in the Mountain West and Midwest regions, and certain companies on the West Coast. The Collective Funds is an up-and-coming venture capital fund that plans to invest $10 million into the Kansas City entrepreneurial ecosystem over the next 2-4 years.
A new fund called KCRise aims to connect local investors with startups who are seeking at least $1 million. According to the Huffington Post, KCRise is facilitated by a group called KCRising, which has established a sustainable 20+ year plan of stimulating the Kansas City economy. Some of their goals include increasing both the number of quality jobs, as well as the median household income in the metro.
Since these venture capital funds have been established, Kansas City has become an epicenter for startups seeking investment. Compared to 2015, according to a report from Mattermark, Kansas City saw an increase of 297 percent of total raised capital in the first three months alone. Falling short to only Portland and St. Louis, Kansas City is now a top player in venture capital funding.