KANSAS CITY, MO, November 4, 2020: As LaunchKC, kicks off its seventh year, it also kicks off a new partnership with Keystone Labs, part of the Keystone Community Corporation. LaunchKC is a nonprofit initiative powered by the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri. LaunchKC has become an economic engine that has generated nearly $50 million in funding and hundreds of new jobs in the region.
As a tech accelerator, LaunchKC has benefited from corporate partnerships to create industry focused business accelerators to support entrepreneurs and regional innovation. Through their various accelerators, they have helped start-ups bring ideas to market through mentorship, fundraising and opportunities to test and refine their products and services. Keystone brings an entirely new level of programming, resources and corporate and academic partners to the table.
“This is the sweet spot of our mission,” says Daveyon Ross, Board Chair for Keystone. “Today innovation is no longer locked up in narrow industry silos. For entrepreneurs to succeed, they need to be plugged into an entire ecosystem, and at Keystone, that’s precisely what we’ve built.”
Keystone Labs will provide an array of operational functions to LaunchKC, including the planning, development and execution all educational programming; office space and real estate to the participating companies; program management staff; and development of the business models between participating companies and industry.
“This partnership is a big step forward for LaunchKC,” says Bill Dietrich, CEO of the Downtown Council. “As we look to the next 10 years for our own strategic plan, we know that innovation is key to growth and Keystone will further fuel our ability to attract and retain companies to Kansas City.”
Currently, LaunchKC has three accelerators: The Brush Creek Partners InsureTech Accelerator, The Nueterra Capital Launch Health Accelerator, and The Black & Veatch COVID-19 Response Accelerator. Not only does LaunchKC help local entrepreneurs, the program has gained national attention, attracting companies from tech hubs including San Francisco, Boston, and New York to KC.
“As we continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic, LaunchKC is one of our most important programs for our entrepreneurial community,” says T’Risa McCord, Interim President and CEO of EDCKC. “History has shown us that innovation is sometimes sparked by challenge.”