- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City-area organizations dedicated to fostering startups in the region are planning to increase investment funds to help establish small businesses.

Leaders of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the entrepreneurial community are expected Monday to introduce a plan called “We Create Capital,” The Kansas City Star (https://bit.ly/1d9aMP4 ) reported.

“We’ve seen a number of companies leave the area because of a lack of capital formation here,” said chamber chairman Terry Dunn. “We need to make the dollars and keep the dollars in our backyard instead of losing them to New York or other venture capital centers.”

Financing experts say entrepreneurs aren’t aware of all the resources and funding sources available to them. They add that there’s not enough venture capital funds for an area the size of Kansas City metro.

The strategy aims to at least double by 2020 the current amount of local capital venture investments that run in the $1 million to $10 million range, which a KCSourceLink report says funding of that type and size total about $43 million. KCSourceLink is a network of about 240 local organizations deal with early-stage business development.

The plan also calls for increasing awareness about available startup funding and building stronger ties between individuals or companies looking to invest.

Dunn said wealthy people increasingly are looking for entrepreneurial investment opportunities, but they need possibilities to be vetted by experts before committing money.

“They want to invest in businesses they understand, and we need to develop fund managers who can help young companies grow and connect them to interested investors,” Dunn said.

Meanwhile, the chamber also is lobbying in Topeka, Kansas, and Jefferson City, Missouri, to help keep lawmakers aware of the need for government-backed startup loans and other funding.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, https://www.kcstar.com

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