Some of the world’s biggest names in animal health will come to Kansas City later this month. (The ones that don’t already live and work here, that is.)
They’ll be attending the KC Animal Health Investment Forum on Aug. 30 at the Kansas City Convention Center. Seventeen early- and mid-stage companies will present their solutions to an audience that will include approximately 46 funds and 117 animal health companies.
“Our event was the first forum, globally, specifically focused on animal health,” said Kimberly Young, president of the KC Animal Health Corridor, which hosts the forum.
In many cases, the presenters will be seeking funding. Since the forum launched in 2010, its featured companies have raised about $170 million in investment.
But they often walk away with other benefits.
“They can also pitch for industry partnerships,” Young said. “They can be pitching for a licensing deal. They can be pitching to be acquired.”
Among this year’s presenting companies, most come from outside the area. Three are based in other countries: Canada, Ireland and Israel. One is from the Kansas City area.
But that can be a good thing. If an out-of-town company connects with an established Kansas City business, that young company will be more likely to open an office here or even relocate to the region. It’s not too different from how Silicon Valley acts as a magnet for tech startups.
Those young ventures and their solutions could ultimately blossom into the major animal health companies of tomorrow.
“The industry is seeing a lot of innovation from these early-stage, entrepreneurial companies,” Young said.