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Corporation of Kansas City
Kansas City Area
Marion Ewing Kaufman
City area can be as little as half the cost of other major cities, and labor costs are
also below big-city averages, says Capan. That helps his frm stay competitive with
New York-based rivals. Yet Capan still fnds good – and loyal – talent coming out
of local universities; he hires many of his 30 to 50 summer college interns each
year for permanent positions.
Housing is also afordable, commutes are short, and the city has an excellent
“People have discovered what a wonderful place this is to build a career and a
life,” says KCADC’s Cowden. With a median home price of $179,200 at the end of
2016, Kansas City was well below the national median of $235,000, according to
the National Association of Realtors.
On the Money
Historically, there had not been a strong local venture capital presence. “You’d
see a lot of Kansas City companies raising money on the coasts, because they
couldn’t get it here,” says Rohr of SquareOfs. But now, even that is changing.
With a growing number of angel and venture groups in the area, KCSourceLink
counted $752 million in available capital for early-stage Kansas City companies in
2016—nearly four times its 2013 tally of $193 million. The recent sale of former
StartUp Village denizen EyeVerify, Inc. – funded in part by Kansas City-area
investors ThinkBig Partners LLC and Flyover Capital, among others – to Alibaba-owned Ant Financial Services Group for a reported $100 million may well result in
more local investments.
Such exits “help fund the next crop of companies and brings awareness to folks
who might not otherwise fund startups,” Rohr notes.
The Kaufman Foundation is also increasing resources to help local VCs learn
from those in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.
“There’s a lot of growth momentum, and it’s hard to pinpoint one thing” that’s
INC. BRANDED CONTENT / KANSAS CITY
driving the renaissance in Kansas
City, says Guillies. “But success begets
Of course, like any other city on the
move, Kansas City is a work in progress.
“While we have accomplished so much,
there is still so much to do,” Solomon
notes. “It is critical for our community
and partners to be humble and keep
striving towards our collective goal of
being the best version of Kansas City
we can be.”