Business

LaunchKC Announces Finalists in $50,000 Grant Competition

LaunchKC announces 20 finalists who are in the running for 10 $50,000 grants and help building their businesses in downtown KC.  

LaunchKC has selected 20 tech entrepreneurs who will compete for $500,000 in grants and a leg up in building their business in KC.

“We were looking for the best and brightest to compete in the LaunchKC grants competition. We were very fortunate to have outstanding applicants who exceeded even our high expectations,” says Drew Solomon, vice president of business and job development at the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, and chair of the LaunchKC global grants competition, designed to attract tech entrepreneurs to compete for one of 10 $50,000 grants and the opportunity to build their new and emerging tech businesses in Kansas City, Missouri.

The 20 contenders include 12 from the Kansas City area; seven from seven U.S. states; and one from Santiago, Chile. Each will be in Kansas City in mid-September to compete for 10 startup grants during the Techweek KC conference from Sept. 14-20.

In addition to $50,000 grants, the 10 winning applicants will receive a network of support, including 12 months of free office space in downtown KC; industry-specific mentor teams for each grant recipient; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders in and around Kansas City, all designed to elevate their efforts to build high-growth, tech sector businesses and jobs in downtown KCMO.

“LaunchKC is built to be an economic game-changer in Kansas City, Missouri, by supporting startup businesses, creating jobs, attracting talent, unlocking value and engaging follow-on investors,” says Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council of Kansas City, Missouri. “Our first class of finalists gets us closer to realizing this vision.”

The LaunchKC initiative was unveiled by Mayor James at the Downtown Council’s Annual Luncheon in early 2015. LaunchKC will reach its crescendo with final judging and the announcement of the 10 grant recipients at Techweek Kansas City on Friday afternoon, Sept. 18.