Kauffman Foundation Scholarship Program for Mid-Continent Investors

Class 22 Scholarship Recipients


The first three scholarship recipients began their Fellowship in June 2017 and already see the distinct advantages that the Kauffman Fellows Program can give them to help build regional ecosystems.

Lisa Feria, Stray Dog Capital (Kansas City)

The program has already helped Lisa understand how critical it is to form deep relationships in the investment community.

Scott Bernstein, Lewis & Clark Ventures (St. Louis)

Scott says he’s already learning how investors in the Midwest can band together and become a more tight-knit investment community.

Thad Langford, Flyover Capital (Kansas City)

Thad believes the Kauffman Fellows Program can bring much-needed industry expertise to mid-continent ecosystems.

The Kauffman Foundation has made a grant for 12 scholarships to experienced fund managers to attend the Kauffman Fellows Program. The scholarships total $960,000 over a 3-year period, beginning in 2017. The Program expects to award four scholarships each year, with two recipients selected from the Kansas City metro area, one from the Heartland states (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska), and one from the mid-continent region that stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians.

Purpose of the Scholarships

The scholarship program is designed to connect experienced Kansas City and mid-continent investors with venture capitalists in over 40 countries on 6 continents where Kauffman Fellows are located, including established innovation hubs such as Silicon Valley, New York City, London, Berlin, Tel Aviv, and Shanghai, as well as emerging hubs in Lagos, Mexico City, Talinn, Istanbul, and Mumbai.

A hallmark of Kauffman Fellows is increasing the individual and collective power of the 525 Fellows to solve worldwide challenges by leveraging each other’s strengths. Ultimately, Heartland investors’ participation in Kauffman Fellows will expand their learning, knowledge, and experience, which will spur capital investment opportunities and fuel the growth of mid-continent entrepreneurs.

Eligibility Requirements and Application Process

  • Candidates must be from one of the designated geographies:
    • 2 scholarships – Kansas City metro area
    • 1 scholarship – Heartland states (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska)
    • 1 scholarship – Mid-continent region (Rocky Mountains to Appalachians)
  • Candidates must be US citizens or permanent residents. Scholarship recipients must be able to legally stay in the United States beyond the program’s completion to continue their work.
  • Candidates must complete the application process and be accepted into the Program.

 How to Apply

  • There are no additional forms to fill out. Scholarship applicants from the designated geographies are automatically considered for a Kauffman Foundation Scholarship.
  • Scholarships, which cover tuition for the 2-year Kauffman Fellows Program, are awarded following acceptance into the program.
  • All other expenses, including travel, meals, and lodging, are the responsibility of the Fellow, which are estimated to be $10,000-$15,000 over the 2-year period.
  • Class 23 applications must be completed and submitted by December 15, 2017.
  • Award Notification: March 1, 2018.

Responsibilities of Scholarship Recipients

  • Attendance at all 7 modules and 2 international summits is mandatory for all Fellows.
  • Scholarship recipients will meet at least once annually in the Heartland to develop the regional cohort.
  • Scholarship recipients will volunteer at least 40 hours in mentoring and educating entrepreneurs in each of the two years of the program.
  • Scholarship recipients will preferably serve at least one Heartland company on the board of directors or as an advisor, and will use best efforts to review and invest in the Heartland when circumstances are appropriate.

For More Information

Contact Katlyn Mease at kmease@kfp.org.