Who You Should Know: Jenny Miller, Ecosystem Builder
Often when we ask people if they’ve heard about KCSourceLink they reply, “Yeah. Y’all do stuff with entrepreneurs; I met Jenny Miller a while back.” Wherever entrepreneurs need help or community needs building, there’s Jenny.
Her ability to connect the dots for so many really is magical, which is why we call our resident network builder the #WizardofESHIP. And now we can also call her a 2017 NextGen Leader via the Kansas City Business Journal.
Only 25 Kansas Citians were inducted into the NextGen program, which facilitates connections amongst these up and coming professionals tagged to be Kansas City’s next leaders.
Next time you see Jenny out and about, be sure to say congratulations. In the meantime, enjoy learning more about our favorite #WizardofESHIP:
The Chinese proverb “You give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime” is an apt way to capture the full impact of Jenny’s work.
As network builder, she provides personalized action plans for business owners and access to the resources those businesses need to move forward with their dreams of small business ownership. These business people then create their own futures and the culture that is and will continue to develop the Kansas City region.
Helping entrepreneurs help their communities
Jenny recently assisted a gentleman that had invented an electric motor. Resources were very limited for this individual, a single father, working full time to support three young daughters.
He had been trying to obtain funding and intellectual property protection for his invention; however, he did not have a prototype or the resources to fully develop a prototype.
Jenny matched this individual to organizations that are currently building out a complete 3D printed cast of the entire motor and a program that will show all working parts and different viewable angles–for free. With these renderings and model, this entrepreneur will be much more likely to receive patent protection and funding to move this motor to commercialization.
Another entrepreneur Jenny worked with runs a local technology startup that was expanding and needed to bring on additional employees. The startup did not feel they had the time to interview, nor the resources to effectively search for, hire, train and pay additional individuals.
Jenny was able to align the startup with resources that would take on the recruitment, hiring and training process, as well as incentives and grants to reimburse parts of salaries for high‐paying jobs, allowing this company to grow and flourish, while creating jobs for the community.
That’s just two examples of the kinds of connections that Jenny makes for our entrepreneurs and for their dreams. In any given year, Jenny helps thousands. (This past year, she and her team made over 5,000 referrals, in fact.)
Bringing the community together to support Kansas City entrepreneurs
Jenny doesn’t just help entrepreneurs one on one. Here are a few other movements that Jenny has had a hand in shaping:
Jenny is a founding member of the KC Coworking Alliance, a coalition that fosters innovation and collaboration among businesses. You can meet the entire family at KC Coworking Day on August 9, at Plexpod Westport Commons where we will try to set a coworking world record.
Jenny also helped to establish and continues to form the Multicultural Business Coalition, a collective of organizations that collaborate to encourage and support a healthy multicultural business community.
Additionally, Jenny plays a pivotal role in organizing Global Entrepreneurship Week, a weeklong celebration of the art and craft of business and the people who make big ideas happen. This year is the 10th anniversary of #GEWKC and for the first time ever we’re crowdsourcing events (think inspirational panels, educational gatherings, workshops…) Learn more and submit your event now.
Get plugged into Kansas City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem
To see first hand the power of Jenny’s magic, send us some info here about your business and needs and we will be in touch with your personalized action plan faster than you can say abracadabra.