As part of the Day to Celebrate Women during Global Entrepreneurship Week, Athena League highlighted the female leaders of three startups that won a LaunchKC $50,000 grant earlier this year.
The conversation got candid. These women offered “real talk” about what worked for them, what almost led them to crash and burn, and how KC rallied behind their causes to give them re-ignite their fire. Kris Adair, co-founder of artificial intelligence startup Mycroft A.I., said she and husband launched a small internet service provider business in Lawrence 11 years ago. However, they found that the community wasn't as supportive and encouraging as it could have been.
"We tried to do something different in a small town, and it maybe wasn't welcome," Adair said. "Then all of a sudden getting into a community that's supportive, that wants you to win and wants you to succeed, it's so incredibly eye opening."
For FEWDM co-founder Kacie Saunders, she and her husband had developed an app but didn’t have the resources to improve it. She and co-founder husband Tommy turned to local resources at Pinsight Media to improve their app. Saunders added that in Kansas City, the local entrepreneurs and businesses, like Pinsight, willingly give their time and share advice.
"It's definitely competitive, but people don't see you as a threat," Saunders said. "They see a win for you, despite where they are in their business, as a win for Kansas City."
Gretchen Henry, founder and CEO of ConsultUS Technology, adds that the community support in KC is unparalleled.
"It's like a big hug the city's giving you," she said. "All the support is unbelievable. It's all about team and loyalty."