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Jeff Harbach Jeffrey Harbach

Smart Connected Capital Highlights Investment Ecosystems in the Midwest

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Palo Alto, Calif. (October 18, 2016) — More than 200 top-tier investors from five continents will gather in Kansas City for the Kauffman Fellows Reunion VC Summit from October 24 to 25. The summit will highlight global trends in venture capital and focus on the explosive growth of the Midwestern startup scene, the transformation of agriculture and future investment opportunities in agtech, and the innovative spirit of the Midcontinent region. The conference marks the 8th Kauffman Fellows global summit, with previous events held in Singapore, Dublin, São Paulo, Shanghai, New York City, Mexico City, and Tokyo.

This ecosystem immersion conference will feature an array of venture capitalists, CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs from the Midwest and around the globe. Keynote speakers Steve Case, CEO of Revolution, and Brad Feld, Managing Partner of the Foundry Group, will both address challenges and opportunities of investing outside Silicon Valley. Their speeches will be livestreamed during the event on the Kauffman Fellows website.

Mark Kvamme, Founder of Drive Capital, Freada Kapor Klein, Partner at Kapor Capital, and a host of other industry leaders will focus on developing diverse talent, opportunities, and capital formation in the U.S. heartland. On Monday October 24, a major announcement will be made by Kauffman Foundation CEO Wendy Guillies about an exciting new partnership between the Foundation and Kauffman Fellows, which will accelerate capital formation expertise across the Midwest.

“I’m excited to welcome Kauffman Fellows to my home town for this year’s VC summit,” said Keith Harrington, Partner at Fulcrum Global Capital and member of Kauffman Fellows Class 20. “I’m thrilled that KC’s entrepreneurs have a chance to connect with top investors from around the world. By co-sponsoring the event, the Kauffman Foundation is honoring the spirit of Mr. K’s entrepreneurial legacy.”

The Kansas City summit is also a reunion. The Kauffman Fellows Program developed inside the Kauffman Foundation in 1995 as part of Ewing Marion Kauffman’s vision to support entrepreneurs by promoting better relationships between venture capitalists and founders. This 8th Kauffman Fellows global summit celebrates the organization’s renewed partnership with and roots in the Kauffman Foundation.

Kauffman Fellows describes its community of nearly 500 Fellows from 40 countries as “Smart Connected Capital” and plans to showcase similar efforts in the heartland. The summit will take place Monday October 24 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and Tuesday October 25 at the Kauffman Foundation.
This strictly closed-door, invitation-only event is open to the media all day Monday and during the Tuesday morning agenda. Tuesday afternoon’s sessions are closed to all but invited guests. Please send speaker-interview requests in advance.

About Kauffman Fellows

Kauffman Fellows offers a two-year innovation and leadership program based in Silicon Valley, now in its 21st year, with nearly 500 Fellows investing billions into startup communities globally. Graduates lead venture capital, government, corporate, university, and startup innovation efforts around the world. Kauffman Fellows has a strong commitment to diversity and actively recruits women and minorities. Inspired by Ewing Marion Kauffman and his legacy of shared ownership, accountability, and experimentation, we measure success in enduring new businesses that generate long-term returns for principals, investors, and society as a whole. For more information, visit www.kauffmanfellows.org and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kauffmanfellows.

Rusty Dornin
Director of Marketing and Communications

Download a PDF of this press release.