Progress Report: How KC Is Increasing Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs
Kansas City investors and entrepreneurs will both tell you that it’s often difficult to find the capital needed to fuel our startups and high-growth companies.
KCSourceLink, in partnership with a number of regional organizations, took on the challenge. Last year, we pulled the data, identified gaps and outlined a plan of action to improve access to capital for our area entrepreneurs.
That deep dive led to the release of the We Create Capital report in June 2015, a 72-page report that laid out the state of early-stage funding along with recommendations to bring millions of dollars in loan, grant and equity capital to Kansas City entrepreneurs.
No one suspected the catalyzing effect that document would have on the Kansas City capital continuum.
Just a year later, the progress on those objectives has been nothing short of amazing. Individuals and organizations too numerous to mention stepped up and began making things happen.
We Create Capital: June 2016 Update reports on that progress. While we still have a long way to go, we are making dramatic progress on a number of fronts—proving once again the power and impact KC’s entrepreneurial community has on driving our economy and strengthening our businesses.
Here are just a few highlights:
Goal: Increase the availability of alternative loans to $10 million by 2020
Update: $6.5 million in 2016
It was a banner year in funding for Justine PETERSEN, We-Lend and AltCap. Justine PETERSEN, now has $5 million invested in Kansas City small businesses and entrepreneurs. Added to existing revolving loan funds. including AltCap, investment potential tops $6.5 million. The launch of We-Lend will begin to lay the infrastructure for a larger microloan fund for the region.
Goal: Increase grant funding to $6 million by 2020
Update: $3.7 million in 2016
Digital Sandbox KC received additional funding this past year, and LaunchKC granted $50,000 grants to 10 companies in its inaugural class.
3. Seed Capital
Goal: Increase seed capital investments to more than $10 million per year by 2020
Update: 89 companies received more than $16 million in 2015
The biggest news for KC investors and entrepreneurs were in the development of equity. Kansas Angel Tax Credits were renewed, angels investors doubled their investments from $1.4 million in 2012 to $2.8 million in 2015. In addition, the community welcomed a new seed fund while three other funds are currently raising money.
4. Venture Capital
Goal: Double the number of venture capital investments in the range of $1 million to $10 million in the Kansas City region by 2020
Update: 20 companies were funded in the $1 million to $10 million range, compared to 17 in 2012
With $165.8 million in venture capital funds headed to Kansas City, we are well on our way to improving access to venture capital: three regional venture capitalists now have a KC presence and two groups are currently raising money.
Download a copy now of the We Create Capital: June 2016 Update and let's keep this momentum going!