Ford Motor Company Fund and 1863 Ventures Launch Third Annual Kansas City Pitch Competition

Entrepreneurs / 20th December 2022

1863 Ventures and Ford Motor Company Fund have announced the opening of applications for women business owners and social entrepreneurs in the Kansas City metropolitan area to compete for up to $50,000 in a Shark Tank-style competition to start and scale businesses. All women entrepreneurs located in Kansas City and the 14 surrounding counties are encouraged to apply. Since 2018, Ford Motor Company Fund has awarded $350,000 in total funding to women entrepreneurs in Kansas City, MOWashington, D.C.Miami, FL and Detroit, MI. The deadline to apply is February 10, 2023.

Last month, Kansas City entrepreneurs gathered on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus at the Bloch School of Management for the HERImpact Entrepreneurship Summit. HERImpact, a partnership between Ford Motor Company Fund and 1863 Ventures, provides women business owners & social entrepreneurs with access to capital, training and other critical resources.

Former HERImpact Pitch Competition winner Conner Hazelrigg welcomed attendees and spoke to the imperative of impact and socially conscious work through the development of her company, 1773 Innovation Co. and its solar-paneled electric charging stations. The acknowledgement of humanity–that business owners should be conscientious–was a common theme addressed during the Entrepreneurship Summit. (Colleen Monroe, Founder of Floraloom, designs floral arrangements with the support of women’s shelters; and Cynthia Fails, Founder of LaunchCrate Publishing, is leveling publishing rights for authors.) Access to capital dominated the conversation, featuring Charlotte Clark, Co-Founder of Foresight which is creating an investability score to replace traditional credit metrics for entrepreneurs; Karis Harrington, Chief of Business Development at Kansas City G.I.F.T., granting more than $680,000 to 35 Black-owned businesses; among others such as Kelli Jones, Managing Partner of Sixty8 Capital, and Anthony Williams, Market President at AltCap, who both added perspective to the stewardship of venture capital funding for underestimated founders.

“The HERImpact program offers a local review of the startup ecosystem in the region,” said Maxwell Young, Director of Communications, 1863 Ventures. ” We are excited to return to Kansas City for the HERImpact Pitch Competition on March 8 to financially support women entrepreneurs and the emerging business development in Kansas City. We encourage women business owners at the pre-seed and seed level to apply to the competition for the chance to be awarded a cash grand prize.”

“Expanding access to capital and mentorship is critical to women’s success as they start their own businesses,” said Yisel Cabrera, Senior Manager of Economic Mobility at Ford Motor Company Fund. “We are thrilled to invest in women’s ambitions through our partnership with 1863 Ventures.”

$50,000 will be awarded to finalists of the HERImpact Kansas City Pitch Competition on Wednesday, March 8, from 1-3 PM CSTApplications are now open to women business owners in the Kansas City metropolitan area (i.e., the 14 counties straddling Missouri and Kansas). The submission deadline is February 10. We invite everyone back to the Bloch School of Management to witness the pitch competition live. The event will also be live-streamed. Register here. For more information, please visit https://1863.smapply.io/prog/herimpact_kc_pitch_2022/.

About 1863 Ventures

1863 Ventures is an independent, Black-led national business development nonprofit and venture capital accelerator for New Majority founders (i.e., individuals who have been historically marginalized). The District of Columbia-based organization supports over 3,200 entrepreneurs across the United States, leveraging capital investments, owned curricula, grant support, and corporate partnerships to scale businesses from high potential to high growth. Learn more at 1863ventures.net.

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