UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center

Guide: Loans, Grants and Equity Funding  Part Nine

Venture Capital

Venture capitalists (VCs) invest money in newer businesses. These capital investments come later in the business cycle after the company has already had investors. Many entrepreneurs think “big money” when they consider venture capital. But it can be a complicated relationship – and it’s not for everyone. Here’s how it works.

Venture capital basics

Who are venture capitalists?

VCs are private-equity investors. VC firms invest funds provided by limited partner investors. These limited partners can be pension funds, insurance companies, foundations and even individuals with ultra-high net worth.

These firms provide funding to companies that show potential for significant growth. In exchange, VCs get an equity stake in the business. VCs see investing in new or expanding companies as a high-risk, high-return activity. They’re looking to make more than they could investing in the stock market.

What’s an equity stake in a business?

An equity stake means owning a percentage of the business. When a VC invests in a business, they do it in exchange for a percentage of the business. This means they gain significant control over company decisions.

How much do VCs invest?

Venture capitalists usually make good-sized investments, and those numbers are going up. In 2020, more than 10,800 U.S. companies received venture funding. And 3,680 venture funds had $548 billion in assets under management, according to the National Venture Capital Association. The amount of money that VCs invest in individual startups obviously varies. However, they invest after the initial investing rounds, after a business has had time to get their act together and really show potential.

Do VCs invest in the Midwest?

You bet. California and New York have the highest rate of VC investments in the country. In 2020, Missouri ranked 24th and Kansas ranked 38th among states for capital invested by VCs. That money matters. Missouri companies raised more than $475 million in venture capital through a total of 79 deals. And Kansas companies raised almost $100 million through 21 deals.

Is finding venture capital a good idea for my business?

Possibly. Read on – or call KCSourceLink at 816-235-6500. Our Network Navigators provide free help. They can point you to the resources that are right for you and your business, no matter what funding stage you are in.

Who should work with a VC?

Venture capital funding can be a good fit for businesses that are about to see significant growth. But the owners need to be in the right mindset.

Before you meet with a VC, you and your business partners need to answer some tough questions:

  • Am I willing to give up some ownership and control of the company?
  • Can I show that the company will likely show significant revenue and earnings in the next three to five years?
  • Can I demonstrate that my company will produce a solid return for investors?
  • Am I able to take guidance from investors and accept decisions from the board of directors even if I don’t always agree?
  • Do I have an exit plan that might mean I’m not involved in the business in three to seven years?

If your answers indicate major company growth and flexible business partners, finding a VC might be a smart next step. And if you’re not there yet but headed in that direction, KCSourceLink can help you take those final steps. Reach out to our Network Navigators.

How do I prepare to meet with a VC?

Once you’ve taken an honest look at your company, you need a solid business plan and executive summary. It should include:

  • Financial overview for at least the next three years
  • Sales and marketing plans
  • Goals for the next three to five years and the actions you’ll take to reach them
  • Exit strategy

This list might appear short, but those four bullet points represent a lot of heavy lifting. You need a detailed road map for your business and a pitch that perfectly represents it.

We highly recommend working with an expert to find the best investment group and prepare your pitch. Many resources are listed here. Not sure where to start? No worries. Call KCSourceLink at 816-235-6500. We can connect you for free with the experts who can help you reach your goals.

Who Can Help?

Provider Information

ArtsKC - Regional Arts Council

ArtsKC has developed programs and services designed to “unleash the power of the arts.” This includes programs for the arts community, the business community, and services to the civic community. Each specific program or service we provide to artists, arts organizations or the community at large was developed to address a need within our local arts ecology. ArtsKC continually assesses and adjusts our services to respond to the needs of our growing arts community.

Bioscience & Technology Business Center - Lawrence

The BTBC, with locations at both the University of Kansas (KU) Lawrence Campus, and Kansas University Medical Center (KUMC) in Kansas City, is the largest incubator system in the state. It is comprised of three separate facilities totaling approximately 90,000 square feet of wet lab, office space, and shared work spaces.

Capital Access Center

The Capital Access Center is a free service to help a business find Capital Resource Partners. The Capital Access Center (CAC), part of the Kansas Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and funded through the 2020 CARES Act, is a consulting service to small business owners needing Capital (Loans, Lines of Credit, etc).

Community Capital Fund

Since 2012, the Community Capital Fund has deployed more than $1,500,000 to neighborhoods and grassroots organizations, as well as entrepreneurs and small businesses, organized nine Community Development Workshops that have collectively drawn more than 2,100 community leaders, and fiscally sponsored ten social ventures that have raised more than $1,500,000 collectively.

Enterprise Center in Johnson County

The Enterprise Center in Johnson County (ECJC) is a venture development organization providing resources and connections to accelerate the success of early-stage companies.

Equity2

equity2 was founded to provide patient capital for new and growing businesses and community-enhancing projects. We utilize Qualified Opportunity Zones as a tool for marrying capital with impact, combining both definitions of equity to achieve positive social and economic returns.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City is dedicated to the creation, advancement, promotion and development of economic opportunities within the Hispanic market and business community.

Innovation Stockyard

The Innovation Stockyard operates the Kit Bond Science and Technology Incubator on the campus of Missouri Western State University with a focus on economic and workforce development, and animal health and nutrition.

InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum

InvestMidwest provides access to capital for emerging, privately held companies to promote entrepreneurship, business growth and expansion in the Midwest, with a focus on technology, food/agriculture, and life sciences.

KC Collective

KC Collective was developed by startup founders for startup founders. Through collective collaboration, we leverage our networks to provide introductions, mentorship, generous perks and discounts from our partners, and the education and resources necessary for driving your business forward.

Missouri SBDC at Northwest Missouri State University - St. Joseph

The SBTDC offers confidential, one-on-one counseling, coaching and training to existing businesses and emerging business owners.

Missouri SBDC at University of Missouri Kansas City

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the SBDC at UMKC is OPEN for (virtual) business; both with our trainings (all online through Zoom) and our appointments with counselors. We learn fast and adapt to changes to keep solving these problems for customers! Contact us at sbdc@umkc.edu to talk about financing options or plans to stay in the game during this time.

RedTire

Assist businesses in ownership transition, succession planning, business valuation, business sales and acquisitions. Provide guidance and counselling to potential buyers. Equally assist both sides by helping the parties negotiate a fair value to make a win-win deal and complete the purchase transaction. All services are offered free of charge.

TechAccel, LLC

TechAccel is a venture development and technology organization that invests across the agriculture, animal health, and food science industries. They work with startups, universities, and corporate partners to fund and advance new discoveries to market.

The Black MasterMind Group Charitable Foundation

The Black MasterMind Group is designed to create strategies to help the Black Entrepreneurial Community; Start, Stabilize, Sustain, and Scale businesses in the black entrepreneurial community. The Black MasterMind Group works collaboratively with organizations, community leaders, business coaches, trainers, educators, and business leaders, to teach entrepreneurial financial literacy and business strategies helping the black entrepreneurial community secure funding.

The Toolbox: Small Business Resource Center

The Toolbox is the go-to resource for everything small business in Wyandotte County, Kansas. All of our services are offered at no-cost to local residents and businesses. We provide support with planning, registering, funding, operating, and growing your business. We take the intimidating checklist of starting and operating a business and distill it down into the essentials through private one-on-one small business coaching. We want to make navigating business-related processes in Wyandotte personable, simple and accessible, so you can get back to doing what you do best — creating, innovating, and succeeding in your business.

Velocity

Our purpose is to provide high quality mentoring, events and leadership services to growth oriented companies, along with networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, to result in positive business activity and facilitate job creation in Lee’s Summit.

Women's Business Center

Provide training, mentoring, networking opportunities and business consulting to help women start & grow their businesses.

Kansas City Area and Regional VC Firms

Provider Information

Capital Access Center

The Capital Access Center is a free service to help a business find Capital Resource Partners. The Capital Access Center (CAC), part of the Kansas Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and funded through the 2020 CARES Act, is a consulting service to small business owners needing Capital (Loans, Lines of Credit, etc).

Dundee Venture Capital

Dundee Venture Capital is an Omaha-based seed stage venture fund with >$5 million invested in Kansas City.

Enterprise Center in Johnson County

The Enterprise Center in Johnson County (ECJC) is a venture development organization providing resources and connections to accelerate the success of early-stage companies.

Equity2

equity2 was founded to provide patient capital for new and growing businesses and community-enhancing projects. We utilize Qualified Opportunity Zones as a tool for marrying capital with impact, combining both definitions of equity to achieve positive social and economic returns.

Firebrand Ventures

Firebrand Ventures is a new kind of Midwest venture fund. We combine a strong brand, vast network, and deep experience with startup hustle to invest in exceptional early stage software startups.

Five Elms Capital

Five Elms is a growth equity firm exclusively focused on B2B software companies.

Flyover Capital

The mission of Flyover Capital is to provide capital to assist founders in creating the next generation of technology success stories areas outside of the traditional tech hubs.

iiM

Innovation in Motion (iiM) is an angel capital firm headquartered in Merriam, Kansas. We employ a disciplined approach to identifying, funding and curating startup and early stage companies in the Agriculture, Animal health and Human Health sectors.

InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum

InvestMidwest provides access to capital for emerging, privately held companies to promote entrepreneurship, business growth and expansion in the Midwest, with a focus on technology, food/agriculture, and life sciences.

KC Collective

KC Collective was developed by startup founders for startup founders. Through collective collaboration, we leverage our networks to provide introductions, mentorship, generous perks and discounts from our partners, and the education and resources necessary for driving your business forward.

KCRise Fund

KCRise Fund is a venture capital co-investment fund designed to help bring more financing to early-stage businesses in the area.

Konza Valley Capital

Konza Valley Capital is a licensed Small Business Investment Company that provides private equity capital to lower middle market companies having potential for substantial growth and long-term equity appreciation.

Leanlab Education

LEANLAB Education is an organization that builds communities and launches transformational innovations into K12 schools.

Leawood Ventures

Leawood Ventures provides investors with unique and scalable access to diversified private venture equity and mezzanine debt opportunities identified, evaluated, and actively managed by an experienced team of entrepreneurs and investors who leverage technical and operational expertise to maximize returns.

Missouri Technology Corporation

MTC is a public-private partnership created by the Missouri General Assembly to promote entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies through commercialization programs, innovation centers and innovating funding programs.

Open Prairie Ventures

Open Prairie is a Midwest-based, private equity fund manager providing fund deployment, advisory and strategic planning services.

OpenAir Equity Partners

OPENAIR Equity Partners is a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in early venture, mid venture, late venture and later stage investments.

Royal Street Ventures

Royal Street Ventures is a Utah-based venture capital firm that has expanded into the Kansas City region.

TechAccel, LLC

TechAccel is a venture development and technology organization that invests across the agriculture, animal health, and food science industries. They work with startups, universities, and corporate partners to fund and advance new discoveries to market.

TGP Investments

TGP Capital Partners is a Kansas City based private equity investment fund formed to make middle-market investments in well-managed, profitable, and growing companies.

The Toolbox: Small Business Resource Center

The Toolbox is the go-to resource for everything small business in Wyandotte County, Kansas. All of our services are offered at no-cost to local residents and businesses. We provide support with planning, registering, funding, operating, and growing your business. We take the intimidating checklist of starting and operating a business and distill it down into the essentials through private one-on-one small business coaching. We want to make navigating business-related processes in Wyandotte personable, simple and accessible, so you can get back to doing what you do best — creating, innovating, and succeeding in your business.

Velocity

Our purpose is to provide high quality mentoring, events and leadership services to growth oriented companies, along with networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, to result in positive business activity and facilitate job creation in Lee’s Summit.

Other VC Resources

Check out the KCSourceLink calendar. It’s a complete list of upcoming events. You’ll find opportunities ranging from fine-tuning your idea to pitching it to potential investors.

Get personalized VC help

Finding the right funding at the right time can be a challenge. But you don’t have to go it alone. Check out The Resource Navigator to narrow down your search. Or, give us a call at 816-235-6500. KCSourceLink can create your Personal Action Plan of next-step resources for free.

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