Lesa Mitchell has been called a “one-woman hub” and a “human LinkedIn.” She’s recently put her connections and expertise in service to Kansas City by stepping up as the new director of TechStars Kansas City.
Techstars is a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars has been investing in Midwest based companies since 2007 and is one of the largest investors in what Steve Case refers to as the Rise of the Rest communities.
“We care about investing in founders who we believe can scale great companies. We identify founders that have a unique ability to solve the problem that is the focus of their company. The founding team are the most critical variable to the success of a company.”
Part of Lesa’s mandate is encouraging and nurturing Kansas City-based entrepreneurs. Another part is bringing talent to the region. The first TechStars Kansas City class includes four native companies, but also six from all parts of the country.
Lesa’s travels have taken her around the world to work in a variety of startup hubs. Her goal prior to Techstars was to build a network of global experts and derive lessons from a variety of communities' successful growth models.
"There are great companies everywhere and if I could have taken more companies, I would have at least three more companies in my Techstars cohort from KC. Through the work of the Digital Sandbox KC, LaunchKC, Project UK, Lean Lab, Pipeline and the Sprint Accelerator, these KC-based organizations are doing an amazing job of nurturing local talent as well as bringing new talent into our community."