Entrepreneurship
2:06 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

What Are The Biggest Challenges Facing Kansas City's Entrepreneurship Scene?

Entrepreneurship group 1Week KC wants to make Kansas City a top destination for innovative businesses and start-ups, a goal they're promoting with a week-long celebration that began Monday.

The obstacles and challenges that entrepreneurs face are wide and varied, but here is what some of the people who attended this week's events had to say about the climate in Kansas City:

Kate Weinstock
Kate Weinstock
Credit Cara McClain / KCUR

“I don’t really think it’s an obstacle of Kansas City, but to get the startup money to start your own business, it’s so hard to get a loan from a bank with the economy right now. Unless you have some sort of private funding, that’s your biggest challenge. You could be located anywhere and have that problem.” — Kate Weinstock, who works for an advertising agency based in Lawrence, Kan. 

Keith Baird
Keith Baird
Credit Cara McClain / KCUR

“Financing is by far the biggest challenge. It’s the grease that makes the wheels move.” — Keith Baird, who works with entrepreneurs developing product prototypes for Pivot International based in Lenexa

Kim Randolph
Kim Randolph
Credit Cara McClain / KCUR

“The drawbacks have been banking and being able to get in the door, but it’s getting better. If you are a new business and you need resources and training, a $600 training fee is not in your budget, especially when you are learning how to set up your books. It’s just a cost you can’t afford.” — Kim Randolph,  Director of Operations at P/Strada, LLC, who has helped start businesses in Kansas City and New Orleans, La.

Charles Starkey
Charles Starkey
Credit Cara McClain / KCUR

“Having tried to start my own business in the past, the biggest challenge is taking the jump. It can be scary.” — Charles Starkey, owner of Starkey & Company, LLC

Henry Randall
Henry Randall
Credit Cara McClain / KCUR

"This is a time in our history where there are more and more entrepreneurs than ever before, so the environment is receptive but also extremely competitive. I think that the biggest challenge that people run into is finance, trying to find the right group to finance your ideas or projects. I think finding sources either through banks or venture capitalists is really difficult. Right now, most of the funding is in places like Silicon Valley.” — Henry Randall, a Kansas City-based physician who recently started a health care consulting company as well as a company specializing in product commercialization