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:
“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.
“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
“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.
“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
"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