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KC Entrepreneurs Talk Funding, Business Advice at BIG Breakfast

KC Entrepreneurs Talk Funding, Business Advice at BIG Breakfast


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It can be tough for young, growing companies to find funding in Kansas City, but it’s not impossible.

That was one of the takeaways from Thinking Bigger Business’ BIG Breakfast on June 11 at the Kauffman Foundation. The quarterly breakfast features stories and insights from four local entrepreneurs, many of whom have appeared in recent issues of Thinking Bigger Business.

This time, the panelists included Jeff Blackwood of ABPathfinder, Callie England of Rawxies, Lisa Sackuvich of ARJ Infusion Services and Dr. Michelle Robin of Your Wellness Connection.

England’s company relocated to the West Coast for a time, but eventually moved back to Kansas City, where she’s benefited from working with programs like the Pipeline Entrepreneurial Fellowship and plugging into the business community.

She said that it can be more challenging to locate funding here, but pointed to two local groups—the Women’s Capital Connection and the Mid-America Angels—that have helped Rawxies grow.

Blackwood echoed England’s comments. He said that ABPathfinder was fortunate to find a great angel investor in the form of Matt Watson of Stackify. Networking has helped the company secure further VC investments from FCA Venture Partners of Nashville and Dundee Venture Capital in Omaha.

More out-of-town investors are starting to pay attention to Kansas City companies as they see other investors successfully exit from positions they’ve held in KC startups. It doesn’t hurt that Kansas City has a reputation for a powerful work ethic.

Each panelist’s company offers a product or service that helps with customers’ well-being.

Rawxies, for example, makes a line of vegan, gluten-free snacks, and Your Wellness Connection provides a range of wellness services. Dr. Robin also hosts a radio show, delivers talks on better health and writes books—in fact, she has a new book coming out next month. She’s set a goal of influencing 1 billion people to achieve big shifts in their health by making a few small changes in their behavior.

ABPathfinder has developed a software solution that makes autism therapists more efficient when assisting clients.

ARJ Infusion Services provides home-based infusion therapies that allow patients to continue living life on their terms. The company is on pace to hit a 20 percent increase in revenue this year.

“Our mission is making the patient experience excellent,” Sackuvich said.

James Hart

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James Hart is a freelance writer based in Kansas City.

Categories: News Updates

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