6 Imperatives for Entrepreneurial Growth
Yesterday, KCSourceLink released the We Create KC report (#WeCreateKC), a baseline look at our region’s delivery on the promise of becoming America’s most entrepreneurial area.
The report, produced under an award from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, is organized around six imperatives that were identified as key areas of development in the region’s quest to nurture entrepreneurship and economic growth. These six imperatives came out of research conducted by several local organizations, and helped focus this particular Big 5 initiative defined by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
The Six Imperatives for Entrepreneurial Growth
- Maximize entrepreneurial support resources. KCSourceLink was created to and is leading this effort to continually evaluate resource gaps, create collaboration among existing resources and create a triage center for startup companies.
- Tell the story. Doing the good work isn’t enough. We have to tell people about it, whether it’s about the Animal Corridor, the good works behind Google Fiber, the traction of our startups, the folks who have IPO’d or been on Shark Tank or have been recognized with a James Beard Award. Already, Kansas City has garnered some impressive media and hit some notable lists. But the work is far from done and honestly, is never finished.
- Create a strong entrepreneurial pipeline of ideas. Engaging research institutions and corporations and matching ideas with seasoned entrepreneurs, that’s the way we give rise to new innovation and move ideas from the whiteboard to the boardroom.
- Build entrepreneurial talent. We want Kansas City to be seen as the preferred place to develop high-growth businesses. That means we need ideas—and the talent to realize them. The goal: support STEM efforts and entrepreneurial education at all levels—from grade school to graduate school.
- Dramatically increase available startup and growth capital. It’s about education: for entrepreneurs and investors. When we invest in our startups and growth companies, all boats rise.
- Engage the broader corporate community. Everyone needs to be all in. Immersing large corporations fully in the entrepreneurial ecosystem brings invaluable expertise, connections and resources to generate spin-outs, ignite research and help startups succeed.
The Four Types of Entrepreneurs
The report also looks at the quadrants of entrepreneurship, recognizing that not all entrepreneurs are alike.
In 11 years of working in the entrepreneurial community, KCSourceLink has developed a framework for categorizing entrepreneurs as Microenterprise, Main Street, Innovation-Led and Second Stage. Resources to support business growth tend to cluster around these areas, and all are critical to a thriving, vibrant economy.