Techstars boosting startups with Kansas City accelerator program

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The new startup accelerator program in Kansas City could have a quick and significant impact on the region.

Techstars Kansas City in July welcomed 10 companies as part of their three-month start-up based in WeWork Corrigan Station, and has started working with the entrepreneurs to help them achieve their goals.

Techstars was first created in Boulder, Col. in an effort to build a startup ecosystem in the area to help promote companies in their early stages. Since then, it has grown into a global effort, with more than one thousand companies graduating from the program. Techstars hosts programs in Los Angeles, New York City, London, Paris, Berlin and 21 more cities.

“It’s a privately-owned company that provides selected entrepreneurs with capital and connections and helps them establish and scale their businesses,” Lesa Mitchell, Managing Director of Techstars KC, said. “The Kansas City program launched in January, and our 10 companies showed up in July and will be here until October 12 when we have ‘Demo Day’, where they will all do pitches.”

Techstars invests $20,000 upfront and a $100,000 convertible note in exchange for 6 percent equity of the companies accepted into their accelerators. The companies are required to relocate to the city of their accelerator for 90 days, where they will receive assistance from the Techstars program, both in resources and mentoring.

The latest established program is based in Kansas City, with 10 new companies taking part. Five of the tech firms come from Missouri and Kansas.

“The benefit to the entrepreneurs and companies is for access to the knowledge, the capability and the network that Techstars has. This is the largest global network supporting entrepreneurs,” Mitchell said. “The benefit to the region is access to companies that they could invest, access to companies that they could become first customers of, and hopefully, access to companies that could create a team in Kansas City or relocate here.”

The 10 companies in the Kansas City program:

Ampogee (Greensboro, N.C.)
CasaIQ (Kansas City, Mo.)
GRIT Virtual Construction (Wichita, Kan.)
Hanzo (Kansas City, Mo.)
NexusEdge Career (Santa Monica, Calif.)
Planetarians (Kansas City, Mo.)
REP AI (San Francisco, Calif.)
Somatic Labs (Phoenix, Ariz.)
TeacherTalent (Austin, Texas)
Vector Legal Method (Kansas City, Mo.)

“Hopefully many customers will be linked up to them while they are here in the Midwest region,” Mitchell said. “Our goal is to scale them as quickly as possible.”

This story originally appeared in The Missouri Times.

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