Steve Roatch has global experience and a Twentyseven Global location in two entrepreneurial cities, giving him an ideal perspective on what makes Kansas City’s innovation scene unique and where the city needs to grow next.
According to Roatch, there are several factors that give Kansas City a leg up. “The grassroots effort by KC Startup Village has been invaluable, attracting investors, the attention of the Mayor, etc,” he said. “Kauffman’s 1 Million Cups gets us a lot of positive press. Silicon Prairie News has done a great job of telling KC’s story.”
Despite the pros, Kansas City does have some challenges. Roatch said, “We need more champions from large business and lead investors or VCs. Kansas City has no Brad Feld (Denver – Foundry) or Brian Matthews/Jim McKelvey (St. Louis – Cultivation Capital). Those people in those cities are true entrepreneurs. Kansas City’s investor class primarily consists of people who have done well in big business. The money is there, but the leadership must come from those who have seen great successes in starting their own businesses.
We’d like to thank Kate Hodel for writing the article! Check it out here.