Meet the Bracket: 16 of Kansas City's Innovation-Led Companies
Entrepreneurs aren’t the same. Not all entrepreneurs want to create billion dollar businesses. Not all entrepreneurs want to scale to massive growth within the next three years. Not all entrepreneurs want to live their business, working a brutal schedule to leave a lasting legacy.
Which is a good thing, because the Kansas City economy is based on many different kinds of businesses—innovation-led enterprises, second stage firms, Main Street businesses and microenterprises—and each play a different role in defining our economy.
(Read more about the four types of entrepreneurship straight from the keys of our fearless leader, Maria Meyers.)
What Is an Innovation-Led Enterprise?
Innovation-led enterprises, for example, are businesses in which research and development bring forth an innovative product or process. The innovation typically involves intellectual property that contributes to a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace and serves as a foundation for a high rate of growth.
Often formed around life sciences or technology innovations, these enterprises can require significant funding and specialized facilities. Owners are willing to give away equity to investors to secure the financial resources they need to scale big and fast.
The “Coaches” of Innovation-Led Firms
With 240+ Resource Partners in the KCSourceLink network, navigating the wide expanse of business-building resources can be daunting, to be sure. Over the past 10 years, we’ve mapped (literally, we created a map) and categorized entrepreneur support organizations across the 18-county Kansas City region. And this is what we’ve found: support organizations cluster, just like the businesses they serve.
Innovation-led businesses may cluster around research institutes and universities as technology is transferred from research labs into the marketplace. Other service providers include:
- Angels Groups and Networks
- Business Accelerators
- Venture Capitalists
- SBIR/STTR Assistance Programs
- Intellectual Property Attorneys
- High-tech and Biotech Incubators
- State government programs, e.g. incentives for early stage seed capital
- University Technology Transfer Offices
- Serial Entrepreneurs
- Some Small Business Development Centers (SBA)
- Mentorship Programs
Our Resource Navigator helps you find, filter and map the right matches for your innovation based on your need, your business stage and/or your location.
Meet the Innovators of Battle of the Brands
Out of companies’ nominations, you chose 16 innovation-led companies to represent Kansas City in this year’s Battle of the Brands. Here are the contenders—and quick links to learn more about them on their own websites, Facebook and Twitter:
Happy Food Co.
The Paw Wash
Allied Global Services
Miles App LLC.
Craters and Freighters Kansas City