KCSourceLink Hires New Senior Director to Champion KC Entrepreneur EcosystemDavid Cawthon
Michael S. Carmona will further champion Kansas City entrepreneurs in his new role as the senior director for KCSourceLink, a program of the UMKC Innovation Center that links entrepreneurs to the right resources to start and grow businesses and helps build collaborations to fill gaps in the Kansas City entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In his role as KCSourceLink’s director and network builder, Carmona will work beside the 230+ business-building organizations in the KCSourceLink network to increase access and visibility of these resources to entrepreneurs and to improve the capacity and resiliency of Kansas City’s entrepreneurial support organizations.
“I’m so excited about the opportunity to work with an amazing group of individuals and organizations to dive deeper into our collective mission of building an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem,” says Carmona. “I am also thrilled to work with so many great entrepreneurs, coaches, mentors and supporters to create opportunities and jobs in the Kansas City metro.”
Carmona, a community developer who’s spent more than a decade working with small businesses, comes to KCSourceLink from the Community Capital Fund, where he oversaw more than $2 million in funding to support underserved communities in the Kansas City area. Before that, he held multiple positions at the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation, where he led the development of the organization’s asset-wealth-building programs for underserved people in the KC metro and provided technical assistance to entrepreneurs. Both the Community Capital Fund and Hispanic Economic Development Corporation are among the more than 230 business-building organizations in the KCSourceLink network that help aspiring entrepreneurs and established businesses in the Kansas City metro.
As a network builder with KCSourceLink, Carmona will focus on civic engagement, relationship building and community partnerships to advance entrepreneurship across the region and further develop one of the most well-connected entrepreneur ecosystems in the country. Through the KCSourceLink hotline, he will manage thousands of incoming requests from aspiring entrepreneurs, established business owners in addition to corporate and community leaders who want to connect to Kansas City entrepreneurship.
“Michael truly understands how entrepreneurship can elevate communities,” says Maria Meyers, executive director of the UMKC Innovation Center and associate vice chancellor for economic development at UMKC. “He has led and lived that vision, working passionately with entrepreneurs to get them connected to capital and resources and with community leaders to advance economic prosperity. We know that under his leadership, we can make Kansas City the most entrepreneurial and most inclusive city in America.”
Last year, thousands of entrepreneurs who contacted KCSourceLink used its Resource Partner Network to start a business, improve their business, increase sales, expand operations, solve a problem, hire employees and more.