top of page
kansas-city-aerial-view.jpeg

MAKING INNOVATION VISIBLE

Who We Are

Welcome to Keystone Community Corporation (KCC), an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 2018. We are dedicated to bringing together educators, corporations, entrepreneurs, and the community to foster a diverse and thriving innovation community in downtown Kansas City. At KCC, we believe that innovation knows no boundaries and should transcend industry verticals. Our mission is to create a collaborative environment where ideas can flourish and positive change can take shape.

WHAT WE DO

The Keystone Innovation District catalyzes economic development in the Kansas City Region by building and supporting a community of innovators, creatives, and entrepreneurs. We are dedicated to making a lasting impact and empowering individuals to thrive in the evolving innovation landscape. We do this using 3 strategic imperatives: 

  1. Programming and Placemaking: Our focus is on leveraging programming and placemaking to drive successful outcomes, rather than solely relying on real estate. By implementing best practices in these areas, we aim to optimize and improve the chances of success for all stakeholders involved.

  2. Regional Collaboration: We firmly believe that many of the economic, political, and social challenges facing the Kansas City region can be effectively addressed through the power of regional stakeholder cooperation and engagement. By working together, we can achieve more significant and impactful outcomes.

  3. Equitable and Inclusive Impact: The planning, development, and operations of the Keystone Innovation District are guided by our commitment to fostering a positive, equitable, and inclusive impact. Our long-term regional economic development program aims to bring the future of education, entrepreneurship, and employment to the community, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to thrive.

HOW WE DO IT

At Keystone, we have a clear approach to how we achieve our goals. Our process begins with a strong foundation in education, which serves as the starting point for all our programming. From there, we foster both collaboration and community engagement, prioritizing social impact, ensuring that our initiatives align with the needs of the community.

Through active engagement and collaboration, we improve opportunities in entrepreneurship and workforce development, both in the Kansas City region and beyond.

Via our programs, promote economic expansion and growth by:

  • Increasing startup activity - with focus on high-growth and tech-enabled ventures

  • Increasing research commercialization and regional capture of that commercialization

  • Improving talent attraction & retention

  • Stimulating job creation and growth

  • Strengthening regional institutions

Most of our programming is driven by the concept that innovation happens when disciplines and ideas intersect, documented best in this book and short video: The Medici Effect, NRG Digital

Explore the research on Innovation Districts!

2014-2018

Origin

The initial initiative was titled "Innovation Hub" and developed as part of the overall KC Rising Strategic Plan in 2015. Solving for the lack of innovation density and proximity of innovation assets through place was a way to ensure innovation and entrepreneurship were an economic catalyst for the bi-state region. 

However, with no dedicated leader or resources the project failed to move forward until 2018.

2018-2019

Planning

With a new leader in place, the initiative gathered momentum. The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City funded a Feasibility Study and Market Assessment in 2018.

Over 20+ innovation district visits also occurred in the first half of 2018. These visits yielded a set of best practices ad lessons from other cities to apply to the KC approach.

In 2019, the Kauffman Foundation funded a regional listening tour and the development of a Governance Strategy report and three-year startup plan. The plan was published November 2019.

2020-2021

Pandemic

Amidst the challenges of a global pandemic, Keystone pivoted nimbly. Shifting programming and stakeholder strategies virtually in March 2020, the organization garnered partner support and developed programming strategies with its key stakeholders.

Physical district planning was deferred until 2021 due to the extenuating circumstances.

2022-2023

Campfire

The dawn of 2022 saw Keystone entering a 'Campfire' phase, establishing its first presence in the proposed neighborhood, and was marked by pivotal achievements.

The CoLAB, Keystone's epicenter, triumphantly opened its doors in May 2022, orchestrating over 75 third-party programs in its inaugural year and fostering a family of seven co-resident partners.

2022-2024

Programming

Stepping into the domain of 2022-2024, Keystone's commitment only intensified. Community development programming, represented by 'Sessions,' ignited in June 2022. The Social Venture Studio was unveiled, amplifying the impact.

Large ecosystem partners started hosting their programs at CoLAB in 2023 as well.

As Keystone enters this next phase of growth, district priorities include a formal district planning process, development of an innovation center and establishing the Keystone Innovation District as a civic priority.

2023-2024

District Growth

Keystone History & Phased Approach

Our Vision

The Keystone Innovation District, will be more than just a "place," rather a dynamic community where education partners, corporate entities, and philanthropic organizations come together to shape the future. We believe in the power of ideas and aim to be a hub where new, world-changing concepts are born.

As a part of our commitment to build a regional innovation community Keystone Innovation District believes in the following efforts: 

INNOVATION FOR ALL

INNOVATION DRIVEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

REGIONAL COLLABORATION TO INCREASE ECONOMIC COMPETITION

SUCCESS IN THE URBAN CORE

Historically, the development of innovation density has led to greater income segregation. KCC aims to create economic mobility with an imperative to create a welcoming and vibrant community that supports accessibility for the people who have been historically excluded from the innovation economy. Diversity and inclusion are key tenants to our planning process and as we chart the path for generations to come, both involvement and leadership from those with unique perspectives is critical to our long-term success. 

Not all entrepreneurs and small/local business owners have the same needs and types of support. Our focus is on tech-enabled, high-growth, and venture-backable startups. Our goal is not simply to be a co-working space for start-ups rather a place where NEW, BIG, WORLD_CHANGING ideas are born. 

The Keystone Innovation District will be the piece of the puzzle Kansas City has been missing in achieving successful and impactful 'collaborative scale'. By connecting our disparate efforts to create maximum positive impact, reducing overlap where possible, and allowing Kansas City to be a more competitive ecosystem. 

While our focus is not on real estate to start, ultimately, our desire is to grow in a location that provides, accessibility to the region, proximity to KC's urban core, access to talent and the ability to attract talent, mixed-use and ability to scale (density), as well as proximity to creative assets.

The Faces Behind Keystone

1516205778545 (4).jpeg

Kevin McGinnis

President & CEO

Kevin McGinnis is an innovative leader driven by an unwavering passion for pushing the boundaries of possibility and a profound belief in the extraordinary potential of Kansas City's diverse industries. As an accomplished executive leader within one of the nation's leading technology companies, with deep entrepreneurial experience starting a corporate accelerator and leading a growth stage tech firm, Kevin brings a wealth of expertise to his role. 

Against the backdrop of his notable career, Kevin astutely identified a significant void within the region's landscape—a gap that stifled collaborative opportunities at scale and impeded economic advancement. This realization only deepened his conviction that Kansas City, with its unique blend of diverse industries and resources, can flourish. Leveraging his extensive background in fostering innovation and inspiring leadership, he has assumed the role of a catalyst, orchestrating a dynamic collaboration between civic leaders, corporate entities, and community advocates.

Kevin McGinnis embodies the spirit of innovation that resonates with our modern era. His unwavering leadership serves as the driving force behind Kansas City's transformation into a thriving hub of collaboration and progress. As we embark on this transformative journey under the guidance of a visionary leader, we invite you to join us in shaping a future where diverse industries thrive, innovation knows no bounds, and Kansas City proudly shines on the global stage.

Keystone Community Corporation Board of Directors

Picture1_edited.png

Doug Girod

Chancellor, University of Kansas

unnamed (4).png

Andrea Ellis

Principal & Creative Strategist, Walkabout Woman Enterprises LLC

unnamed (10).png

Rob Steele

MD, EVP and Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Children's Mercy Kansas City

unnamed (1).png

Anita Davis

Chief Mission Officer, Goodwill of Western Missouri & Eastern Kansas

Chris Stibbs Headshot (1).jpg

Christopher Stibbs, CFRE

Vice President of Development, Newhouse

tyjaunlee_edited.jpg

Tyjaun Lee

Vice Chancellor Administrative Services, Metropolitan Community College

Picture8.png

Davyeon Ross

Co-founder & President, DDSports & ShotTracker Inc

unnamed (5).png

Jeff Geheb

Global Chief Experience Officer, VML

Angela Kennedy_AoK Consulting_2 (1).jpeg

Angela Kennedy

Founder & Lead Dream Maker, AoK Consulting

Community Team

Jaquelilne-novamediahouse.com-001.jpeg

Social Impact Advising Group

Jacqueline Erickson Russell

1629736948352.jpeg

VFA KC Director & Black Excellence KC

Craig Moore

Zik Nwanganga (1).jpg

FiredUp KC

Zik Nwanganga

IMG_4914 2.heic

Social Phantom

Gwen Gillette

bottom of page