With an eye toward helping those who help entrepreneurs, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation said Friday that it will provide matching funds to organizations that act as “venture accelerators” in the six-county Kansas City area.
The new grant initiative will ask for proposals Nov. 16 during Global Entrepreneurship Week. By Feb. 15, organizations must submit applications that detail how they would use the money to serve startup or early-stage businesses.
There’s a catch to the offer: The winning organizations will need to make a one-to-one match of Kauffman funds.
The foundation, which has entrepreneurial research as one if its two top funding concerns (the other is education research), said applicants must meet at least one of these criteria:
▪ Provide a structured educational curriculum or technical assistance for entrepreneurs.
▪ Serve an underrepresented population of entrepreneurs.
▪ Present a novel way to speed startup growth that could be tested as a research project.
Kauffman Foundation CEO Wendy Guillies said the new KC Accelerator Challenge will help shrink a gap between people who are starting businesses and the resources available to them in the metro area.
The grants must be used for development and implementation of curriculum and technical assistance for entrepreneurs.
The foundation hasn’t yet determined an exact budget for the new grants program or how many awards will be made. Further details will be announced during Global Entrepreneurship Week.