AUSTIN, Texas, March 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- LaunchKC, the Kansas City-based grants competition for tech startup businesses, will kick off its 2017 application process at the annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW) on Sunday. This year, LaunchKC will provide the award for 'Startup of the Year' at Tech.Co Media's annual startup night, which takes place after a presentation by the Kauffman Foundation and company pitches at the KC Outpost.
"The KC Outpost and partnership with TechCo provides the platform to not only promote LaunchKC, but also the Kansas City community and all we have to offer a business," said Drew Solomon, senior vice president of business development, Kansas City (Missouri) Economic Development Corporation. "We continue to demonstrate why we feel Kansas City is a great place to start and grow the next venture."
Entrepreneurs can win up to $100,000 in funding and one year of free office space in Kansas City's innovation district through LaunchKC. Winners will be supported by LaunchKC's coaching, mentoring and funding programs to help develop high growth, successful businesses in the Kansas City area. The deadline for applications is midnight July 7, 2017.
"We are continuing to search for the best and brightest startups and early-stage technology businesses to apply and compete for grants and free office space," said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC. "Our competition has drawn more than 400 applicants each year, and has funded successful startups that have gone on to raise millions in venture capital funding from Kansas City."
The 2017 LaunchKC grant competition features a $500,000 grant pool awarded to the top nine applicants –one $100,000 grand prize grant recipient, and eight $50,000 grant winners. The top 20 finalists will attend the annual Techweek Kansas City conference on September 11-16, where a panel of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will select winners. Companies can apply at www.LaunchKC.org.
Previous grant recipients include blooom, HealthID, Integrated Roadways, KC Drone Company, Nodal Security, PopBookings, IntelAg, Square Offs, Vertisense, VideoFizz, Big Bang, BLITAB, Consult US, FEWDM, Forest Devices, Labor Chart, Mobility Designed, Mycroft, Perfect Cube and Super Dispatch.
"The entrepreneurial culture in Kansas City is the strongest I've seen in nearly two decades," said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council. "The work that LaunchKC is doing to bring in entrepreneurial talent from around the world is one reason our region has become a draw for innovation and start-up investment."
LaunchKC focuses on business models in scalable, vertical sectors where Kansas City already has considerable expertise, including Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture, Animal Health, Big Data, Cloud Services, Data Analytics, Financial Tech, Health Tech, Mobile and Real Estate.
LaunchKC is supported by public, private and philanthropic partners including the Missouri Technology Corporation, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the William T. Kemper Foundation, The Cordish Companies and UMB Bank. To learn more about LaunchKC sponsorships, visit www.launchkc.org/sponsors.
LaunchKC is a platform for attracting tech entrepreneurs and their early stage businesses to establish/grow emerging enterprises in Kansas City, Missouri. It is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City working in collaboration with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City. The LaunchKC grants competition has invested $1 million in 20 grant recipient companies in its first two years of operations. It annual competition stems from Mayor Sly James' bi-state innovation initiative established in 2012. www.launchkc.org @launch_kc
About Greater Kansas City
Home to 2.5 million people, the Kansas City region is recognized as "America's Creative Crossroads" as a center for technology and artistry. Kansas City was selected for the roll-out of Google's 1 Gigabit Google Fiber service, and for one of Cisco's most comprehensive Smart+Connected Cities programs. www.thinkKC.com
SOURCE Kansas City Area Development Council