Kauffman Foundation Announces KC Accelerator Challenge

Request for Proposals to be issued during Global Entrepreneurship Week to support local venture accelerators

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (November 15, 2016) — Calling all Kansas City-area entrepreneurship accelerator programs: With Global Entrepreneurship Week Kansas City in full swing, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s KC Accelerator Challenge is now accepting requests for proposals. Applications will close Jan. 13, 2017.

The KC Accelerator Challenge is a grant initiative that addresses a key ingredient in Kansas City’s entrepreneurial community – venture accelerators. The goal of the program is to support the entrepreneurial education functions of early-stage accelerator programs operating in the Kansas City region. The Foundation will issue grants of up to $300,000 to successful applicants.

“We are confident the KC Accelerator Challenge will help bridge the gap between early-stage startups and the resources available to them,” said Wendy Guillies, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation. “This initiative will further increase Kansas City’s stature as a global leader in entrepreneurship.”

Qualified applicants will be required to meet a one-to-one match of Kauffman Foundation funds and must provide at least one of the following mentorship resources or services:

• A structured educational curriculum and/or technical assistance for entrepreneurs.
• Serving an underrepresented population of entrepreneurs.
• A novel way to accelerate startups that can be tested as a research project. 

The RFP is one component of the Kauffman Foundation’s larger goal to increase the reach of early-stage accelerator programs in the Kansas City community, particularly in populations that have not previously had access to them.