Kauffman Fellows Program hopes to bring more businesses to the area

Posted at 3:50 PM, Oct 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-24 18:25:24-04

A local program is doing its part to bring more businesses and jobs to the area.

It’s through the Kauffman Fellows Program, which has more than 200 investors, known as fellows, throughout the world.

The program is holding a three day summit right in Kansas City, Missouri, getting educational and leadership development and also seeing what investment opportunities may exist here.

“It really provides some leadership and shows how our local community can engage with venture capitalists and get more money flowing into Kansas City and more companies that create more jobs,” VP of Public Affairs and Communications for the Kauffman Foundation, Larry Jacob said.

On Monday, the Kauffman Foundation announced it will invest in scholarships for the Kauffman Fellows.

“Kauffman Fellows is one of the best and most unique training leadership organizations around the world for venture capitalists,” Jacob said. “Our scholarships guarantee that folks from Kansas City, in the Midwest participate in this program. What that does is it creates a hub here for investors and that really puts Kansas City on the map. We're very excited about that.”

Jacob said this will allow local investors, a part of the Fellows Program, a chance to receive a scholarship, bringing in more money, jobs and businesses to the KC area.

“I just say there's such an optimism in Kansas City right now,” Jacob said. “We're really tapping into that at the Kauffman Foundation and trying to invest to keep that momentum going for Kansas City to build those businesses, to build those jobs and really create a better community.”

One local investor, Scott Ford says through this summit, it allows entrepreneurs from around the world to get a taste of Kansas City and how they can invest.

“I think Kansas City is a real merging market for entrepreneurial activity and to have this class of investors all collected together in town is amazing,” Ford said. “It puts a great light on Kansas City. It gives exposure to the businesses that are being developed here and to have this level of exposure from this investor community is just, it’s just awesome.”

The $960,000 award will fund four scholarships a year for the next three years.

Recipients will be from Kansas City, one from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska, and then one from the mid-continent region between the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians.

The recipients will be announced next June.

For more information about the Fellows Program, click here.



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