Kauffman Foundation awards funding to 7 entrepreneurial organizations, 1 in Iowa

The Kauffman Foundation has selected 7 organizations to receive funding through its Central Standards RFP.

The 2021 Central Standards Request for Proposals provides matching funds to encourage and accelerate collaborations between two or more entrepreneurship support organizations working together to support Heartland entrepreneurs in the states of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. 

One Iowa-based organization, the University of Iowa’s MIT Venture Mentoring Services (VMS), received funding. VMS, an entrepreneurial mentorship program developed at MIT, is partnering with universities around the U.S. and abroad to support local entrepreneurs including the University of Iowa.

Here are the seven organizations whose projects will be funded in the first Central Standards round this summer:

  • Celebrate EDUESU-13 | Support for the establishment of entrepreneurship education programs, in partnership with local ESU-13, to support entrepreneurs with disabilities in Western Nebraska.
  • Employee Ownership Expansion NetworkMissouri Center for Employee Ownership | Support for the launch of the Missouri Center for Employee Ownership to provide education to current business owners and prospective entrepreneurs on employee ownership structures and concepts.
  • Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc.St. Louis Development Corp | Support developing and launching the UrbanMain entrepreneurship support program to provide education for entrepreneurs operating in low to moderate income neighborhoods in St. Louis, MO.
  • Nebraska Community FoundationValley County Community Foundation Fund | Support to establish a cohort of twenty rural Nebraska communities for the purpose of providing customized entrepreneurship education programs and facilitated peer-based entrepreneurship support best practices.
  • Prospect Urban Eatery (Community Capital Fund)Catalyst Kitchens | Support to launch the Prospect Urban Eatery, a kitchen incubator providing entrepreneurship education and prototyping support to low-income food industry entrepreneurs in Kansas City, MO.
  • University of IowaMIT Venture Mentoring Services | Support for the establishment of a statewide mentorship program for entrepreneurs operating in Iowa. The mentor program will license the Venture Mentoring Services model developed by MIT and previously tested in Kansas City.
  • WEPOWER STLKiva | Support for the establishment of a Kiva Hub in St. Louis, MO to provide micro-lending capital access options to entrepreneurs from communities in the region that have been systemically left behind.