NetWork Kansas announced today that Kansas City Startup Village (KCSV) was selected as the first NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship (E-) Village and has been awarded $125,000 in tax credits, enabling the KCSV to raise approximately $167,000 to be loaned to startup businesses in this area of Kansas City, Kan. wired with Google Fiber. KCSV joins a network of 39 Entrepreneurship (E-) Communities that provides similar support in rural and distressed urban communities to locally-owned businesses.
The E-Village pilot program is modeled on the six-year old E-Community partnership, which has grown from an initial group of six communities in 2007 to thirty-nine in 2013. The NetWork Kansas E-Community partnership model allows a town, a cluster of towns, or an entire county to raise seed money for local entrepreneurs through donations from individuals or businesses within the community. During the first six years of the E-Community partnership, more than $7.5 million have been raised to seed local entrepreneurship loan funds. The KCSV E-Village will create a similar fund available to startup businesses.
The KCSV E-Village is distinct from the 39 E-Communities in its startup focus and access to Google Fiber Internet. Founded in 2012, the KCSV focuses on fostering entrepreneurial activity through collaboration in a dense community that has already grown to include 24 companies.
"The Kansas City Startup Village is pleased to partner with NetWork Kansas to bring a new opportunity to our local entrepreneurs. The formation of an E-Village will not only provide a direct benefit through funding assistance, but, more importantly, access to additional resource partners and a way to leverage other funding streams," said Jonny Kot, Co-Leader of KCSV.
The KCSV will establish a leadership team comprised of local KCSV entrepreneurs and outside resource partners, both public and private. The leadership team will determine strategy and vision for the E-Village. A separate financial review board will evaluate prospective applications from startup entrepreneurs.
"We are excited to partner with the Kansas City Startup Village to pilot the E-Village concept," said NetWork Kansas Director of Statewide Programs Corey Mohn, "We believe these entrepreneurs have the energy and ideas to leverage this opportunity to further accelerate the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kansas City."
The KCSV has until mid-December to raise donations in exchange for the tax credits it has been awarded. Interested donors should contact Jonny Kot about tax credit availability. The tax credits are valued at 75% of donations and offset state income tax liabilities for individuals and/or businesses.
The resulting KCSV E-Village funds will then be available beginning in January 2014 to be awarded to Kansas startups, primarily as matching loans. In addition to the establishment of the E-Village fund, KCSV will complete a series of strategic activities during 2014 designed to enhance the effectiveness of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in order to drive long-term sustainability.
Since 2007, NetWork Kansas E-Communities have loaned or granted $3.5 million to businesses in their communities through this funding source and leveraged an additional $19.9 million dollars, for a total investment of $23.4 million dollars into businesses in E-Communities. This funding has spurred the creation or retention of nearly 475 jobs in these same communities and has immeasurable positive effects on the entrepreneurial ecosystems of these participating areas.
To learn more about the Kansas City Startup Village, Contact:Jonny Kot, KCSV Co-Leader and CEO of Tech-Pointer913.871.1600 JonnyKot@Tech-Pointer.com
To learn more about the E-Village Pilot Project, Contact:Corey Mohn, Director of Statewide Programs785.firstname.lastname@example.org
About NetWork Kansas:NetWork Kansas was established as a component of the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 to further entrepreneurship and small business growth as a priority for economic and community development in the State of Kansas. Backed by more than 500 resource partners statewide, NetWork Kansas promotes an entrepreneurial environment by connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with the expertise, education, and economic resources they need in order to succeed. For more information about NetWork Kansas, visit www.networkkansas.com, or call 877.521.8600.