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Kansas City Social Venture Studio Announces Third Annual Selected Cohort Companies

The Social Venture Studio, a four-month accelerator which supports promising social ventures working to solve

social, racial or environmental challenges, has selected seven companies to participate in the program.

KANSAS CITY, MO (April 24th, 2024) – The Social Venture Studio is back with the goal of ‘doing well by doing good’, continuing the program for the third year with the announcement of a new cohort. LaunchKC, an initiative of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri (EDCKC) and the Downtown Council (DTC), launched the Social Venture Studio at the beginning of 2022. The program that aims to support entrepreneurs seeking to provide both social impact and return on investment, received many qualified applications for its second year from companies located in Kansas City and beyond. 

Programming is led by the Keystone Innovation District, with consulting from Jacqueline Erickson Russell, Founder and CEO of Social Impact Advisory Group. Now in its third year, the program has graduated fourteen companies from its previous two cohorts and received the IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Award for work in promoting economic equity and inclusion in 2022. The Social Venture Studio is made possible due to the generosity of The Sunderland Foundation.

“We continue to see the social entrepreneurship ecosystem grow and we’re thrilled to continue supporting the intersection of innovative ideas and social impact here in Kansas City,” said Kevin McGinnis, President & CEO of the Keystone Community Corporation. “Heading into our third year, we’ll be building on the solid foundation of our previous cohorts and looking forward to working with this year’s exciting group of social entrepreneurs.” 

These seven selected companies will participate in a four-month program receiving professional support, a grant award, temporary office space, mentoring and network connections to strengthen their social venture business concepts. A culmination event in the fall will be a chance for the companies to reveal their pitches to potential funders and supporters. 

"Social Venture Studio exemplifies the innovative spirit of our community, addressing critical social challenges through sustainable business practices that stimulate job growth and regional investment. It is our privilege to support the vision and efforts of these pioneering entrepreneurs." said Jim Erickson, Director of Strategic Initiatives for EDCKC.

  • Base Academy of Music, Clinton Velazquez – Through the private music lesson format, students at BAM develop relationships with caring mentors, dive deep into learning how to learn, and come regularly to a place where joy is emphasized, celebrated, and prioritized.

  • Civic Saint, Godfrey Riddle Civic Saint sustainably creates artful, affordable homes using compressed earthen blocks (CEBs) for revitalization and wealth creation in redlined areas.

  • CoBuild, Tate Williams CoBuild is a residential construction employment social enterprise providing sustainable employment and trade skills training for young people while simultaneously building housing supply, including affordable housing for our non-profit clients.

  • Connectivities, Mandy Shoemaker – Connectivities creates ready to go, hands-on learning kits specifically designed for teaching social skills and special education.

  • Good Oak, Jacob Canyon Robinson – Good Oak builds farms that promote biodiversity and rich soil, we restore ecosystems on public and private lands and we teach regenerative agriculture practices.

  • Integrity Capital Management, Terrell Jolley – Integrity Capital Management provides more than just housing; we aim to offer comprehensive support and services, ensuring our residents not only have a place to live but a supportive environment in which they can thrive. 

  • Storytailor, JQ Sirls & Herston Fails – Storytailor provides AI-powered, personalized storytelling for children aged 3-8, offering customizable stories that cater to individual preferences and developmental needs.

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