This Is How Kansas City Creates Super Entrepreneurs
It's no coincidence Kansas City keeps churning out strong entrepreneurial leaders. The city is host to an entire ecosystem of high-caliber business development, coaching and mentoring resources.
In fact, one of the most prestigious leadership development programs in our region (and now Ireland!) is celebrating its tenth year of helping shape high-performing entrepreneurs. Pipeline is a regional technology entrepreneur fellowship program, designed to systematically identify high potential technology entrepreneurs and match them with best-in-class training, resources and mentors to facilitate their dynamic growth.
As part of its Innovator of the Year gala last week, Pipeline introduced (via kilts and bagpipes) its 2016 Pipeline Entrepreneurial Fellows, which includes four Kansas City area entrepreneurs. And so, we extend our hearty congratulations to Blake Hawley of Lawrence’s Integrated Animal Health, Kimberly Gandy of Play It Health, Jeff Rohr of SquareOffs and Tommy Saunders of FEWDM.
About This Year’s KC Pipeline Fellows
Before these leading Kansas Citians became Pipeline Fellows, they took advantage of local programs and resources designed to help them take their businesses to great heights.
Before he introduced the world to the OmniBall on the reality TV show “Sweat Inc.,” Tommy Saunders of FEWDM, for example, participated in ScaleUP! KC, an intense four-month coaching program designed to connect entrepreneurs with an exclusive network of peers, resources and mentors and change the trajectory of their businesses.
Jeff Rohr, founder of SquareOffs, received a grant through LaunchKC, a business model competition for tech startup firms launched just last year.
And Kimberly Gandy and her company Play-It Health was one of the first six companies to “play” in Digital Sandbox KC, tapping the Sandbox’s resources and corporate partners to transform what was once an innovative idea into a growing business.
These KC entrepreneurs fellows join nine other Pipeline fellows in the 2016 class : Clayton Chapman of The Grey Plume, Michelle Faits of Pro-Arc Diagnostics, Keith Fix of Blabfeed, Brian Handrigan of Recursive Labs, Justin Kallhoff of Infogressive, Sarah Mirth of Artifox, Devon Seacrest of Realbot, Vishal Singh of Quantified Ag and Kyle Tabor of Invisible Industries.
The gala also marked the graduation of the 2015 class. Four graduating members hail from Kansas City: Callie England of Rawxies, Jill Minton of T. Loft, Davide Rossi of Fitbark and Laura Steward of Video Fizz. Congrats to the graduating class of 2015.
More Growth Opportunities for Kansas City Entrepreneurs
Digital Sandbox KC, LaunchKC, ScaleUP! KC and Pipeline join a strong continuum of resources in Kansas City that help entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses.
Ready to take your business to the next level? Check out these programs, aimed to help high-growth, businesses reach even greater heights.
>Who’s it for? Businesses with revenues greater than $150,000 who are ready to aim for their first $1 million in revenue.
Funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, ScaleUP! KC helps 30ish qualified businesses each year reach their first million in revenue through high-caliber training, industry-specific connections and the camaraderie of like-minded peers. Applications for the fourth cohort (starting in May) are open now at www.scaleupkc.com.
> Who’s it for? Businesses with revenues greater than $250,000
GAME is hosting a five session workshop for businesses with revenues over $250,000 that are on the verge of growing or need to evaluate their growth strategy beginning February 9. Session 1 will cover “Assessing Your Business for Growth - Keys to Successful Growth Planning.” Attend all five sessions for $299.
> Who’s it for? Businesses with $1 million in revenues and higher and 3+ years in business.
Becoming a HEMP mentee can be invaluable for your business and entrepreneurship experience. Applications to participate in the program as a mentee or mentor are due in August of each year.
For more resources to start or grow your business, check out our Resource Navigator, our interactive database that will connect you to the right resources your challenge, industry and business stage. Looking for more hands-on assistance—or just like talking to real folk? Give us a call at 816.235.6500 and we’ll guide you to the right resources for your business.
This post was written by Lauren Caldwell, writer, social media nerd and newest team member. You can connect with her on Twitter at @missuglyshoes.