Comeback KC Ventures
Turning pandemic response solutions into sustainable businesses
While COVID-19 took a tremendous toll on our lives and livelihoods, it also unleashed a wave of creativity and energy as our community developed responses to the pandemic. From the early days of the response, a wide-ranging group of public and private sector partners sought to address needs, fill gaps, and develop new solutions. Even amidst early uncertainty, we adopted the brand of Comeback KC as an umbrella for these public-private partnerships, looking ahead to a brighter future.
Comeback KC Ventures is an effort to help turn those innovative solutions into a permanent part of our economic recovery. The Comeback KC Ventures program is designed to highlight new solutions that have emerged in response to COVID-19 and to support entrepreneurs developing these solutions into ongoing products, service lines, and businesses. Comeback KC has been a community collaboration from the outset, and the Comeback KC Ventures program is no different. Here are the specific ways you can get involved:
- Share solutions you have seen that have impact and promise
- Participate in an upcoming discovery workshop
- Serve as a mentor to Comeback KC Venture Fellows
As solutions are discovered, and on a rolling basis, at least 20 entrepreneurs will be invited to become part of a Comeback KC Venture Fellows group. Through Comeback KC Venture Fellows, entrepreneurs will importantly connect with each other, but also to training, counseling, and industry experts help provide needed support to rapidly develop solutions to meet these opportunities.
Each Comeback KC Venture Fellow will:
- Create and meet with an advisory board
- Build community through peer-to-peer roundtables
- Increase visibility to investors
- Attend classes and educational sessions
- Have an opportunity and get application support for funding through programs like SBIR and Digital Sandbox
This program is being funded through an 18-month grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, led by KC Digital Drive and the UMKC Innovation Center and is open to people that reside within the 9-county Kansas City region. We are hoping to sprint toward 10 new high-growth potential companies that generate 30 new jobs and $5 million in follow-on funding by October 2022.
All Participants are encouraged to apply for Digital Sandbox KC proof-of-concept project support. An average of $20,000 in direct technical assistance is available per project. See www.digitalsandbox.kc.com.