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3 Ways Kansas City's Corporate Leaders Can Support Local Startups

By Martha Salinas

The world’s largest companies are often associated with high-rise offices and massive workforces. But behind most success stories are humble beginnings. Amazon, for example, was started in Jeff Bezos’ garage before becoming the most valuable company on the planet earlier this year.

It can be easy for industry leaders to lose sight of where they started or how they might inspire those who hope to achieve similar success. However, those who donate just a little bit of time and money can help startups get off the ground while also reaping potential dividends along the way. 

Access to new networks of potential partners along with fresh perspectives on industry issues are just a few of the many perks executives stand to gain from helping startups. Better yet, a more robust startup scene can help pave the way for economic growth that will benefit the surrounding community for years to come.

From becoming a mentor to offering funding, explore the ways in which you can help entrepreneurs find success while also advancing your organization and the local community.

Offer a shoulder to lean on

In today’s highly competitive startup landscape, mentorship is essential to staying afloat. Seventy percent of small business owners who receive mentoring keep their company open for five years or more – twice the rate of those who aren’t connected with a mentor. Interested in offering up your expertise and experience? Reach out to startups directly or partner with an organization, such as a startup incubator or entrepreneurship networks, that can match you with a startup in need of some advice. 

Techstars is one example of the many accelerator programs that are bringing startups and mentors together. Check out the organization’s Kansas City community to learn how you can start supporting local entrepreneurs. Whether it’s offering feedback on pitch ideas or outlining next steps for an upcoming product launch, there’s no limit to the ways in which you can help startups in your community.

Share the wealth

Although the U.S. coasts have traditionally served as hotbeds of angel investing, they aren’t the only areas in need of funding. More than 60 percent of angel investors live outside of Silicon Valley, New York and Boston. If a startup’s growth trajectory is particularly impressive, consider opening up your checkbook. While mentorship is invaluable, an influx of cash also stands to provide businesses with the flexibility and opportunity needed to continue innovating.

Ensure you’re investing in the most promising startups by joining a network of accredited angel investors, such as Women’s Capital Connection (WCC). Designed to highlight women-led startup business opportunities, WCC helps prevent a lack of funding from becoming a barrier to great ideas while empowering women along the way.

You can read the full article on Startland News

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