Kansas City, MO. (October 24, 2016) – The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Kauffman Fellows announced a partnership today to spur more capital investment opportunities in the Midwest. Beginning in 2017, the Kauffman Foundation will award 12 scholarships that will enable emerging fund managers from Kansas City and across the Midwest to join Kauffman Fellows, a highly sought-after, two-year venture capital and leadership program based in Silicon Valley.
"We are proud to partner with the Kauffman Foundation on this bold initiative to accelerate the education of investment and innovation leaders in Kansas City and across the Midwest," said Jeff Harbach, CEO of Kauffman Fellows. "This is a big deal for investors in the region, and we welcome their participation in the Kauffman Fellows Program."
The $960,000 award will fund four scholarships per year for each of the next three years. Two recipients a year will hail from the Kansas City metropolitan area; one from the heartland states of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska; and one from the midcontinent region stretching from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians. The goal of the scholarships is to enhance capital-formation expertise across the Midwestern United States and support Kansas City as a regional hub for investor networks.
"This partnership is a key component of our emerging 'Kauffman Midwest Capital Creation' initiative, designed to address key market gaps and help Midwestern entrepreneurs become more successful," said Wendy Guillies, President and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. "Our research released today shows signs that new sources of capital are emerging outside of traditional geographic hubs. Our work with Kauffman Fellows provides access to an extensive network of thought leaders who will be invaluable resources as we work to solve the Midwest capital gap."
Created by the Kauffman Foundation in 1995, the Kauffman Fellows Program was designed to enhance entrepreneurial access to venture capital by improving understanding and relationships between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. For more than 20 years, Kauffman Fellows has pursued Ewing Marion Kauffman's vision for the venture capital industry to better reflect the entrepreneurial community and to give back to society as a whole. This scholarship program renews the distinctive partnership between the Kauffman Foundation and the Kauffman Fellows Program.
Kauffman Fellows is the premier leadership organization in innovation and capital formation, with graduates leading venture capital, government, corporate, university, and startup innovation efforts globally. Nearly 500 Fellows now lead more than 200 venture capital firms representing funds that invest billions into startups in more than 40 countries around the world. Kauffman Fellows has a strong commitment to diversity and actively recruits women and minorities. Inspired by Ewing Marion Kauffman and his legacy of shared ownership, accountability, and experimentation, we measure success in enduring new businesses that generate long-term returns for principals, investors, and society as a whole. For more information visit www.kauffmanfellows.org and follow us at www.twitter.com/kauffmanfellows.