Each startup receives investment, mentorship and business services, an offering Think Big Partners managing partner Herb Sih said is done through a "joint venture" of three entities. Think Big Ventures, a fundrecently launched by Sih and Think Big Partners senior partner Tyler Prochnow, provides each startup an $18,000-$24,000 investment in exchange for a 6-8 percent equity stake. Think Big Partners provides business services. Bizperc, a coworking space owned by Think Big Partners, provides office space.
A new venture capital fund that will invest in metro-area startups has raised $3 million toward a $35 million goal.
The Think Big Ventures I fund is a new effort from Kansas City-based Think Big Partners, an early-stage business incubator and tech-focused startup accelerator. The group launched the fund in late May, saying it would focus on investments in early-stage, tech-based Web services, applications and software.
An Aug. 16 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows the fund received its first investment June 1.
PlanetReuse, a member of the bizperc coworking space here in Kansas City, among 12 other startup businesses, was awarded a $250,000 grant from Chase and LivingSocial earlier today.
Twelve small businesses from across the nation received $250,000 grants through Mission: Small Business, a program designed to increase awareness of the important role small businesses play in local communities. The grant program is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
KANSAS CITY, MO—June 14, 2012—Kansas City-based startup accelerator Think Big Partners has opened the application window for its first-ever Think Big Accelerator class, a 14-week program that will aid tech-focused, early-stage startups and entrepreneurs in launching a business faster, stronger and smarter this September.
With a team made up of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and founders of startup companies, Think Big Partners’ accelerator program combines lessons and observations from other successful programs across the nation to create a model that allows experienced and budding entrepreneurs to build new startups. Think Big Accelerator sets itself apart, however, by allowing these entrepreneurs to maintain life outside of their businesses while participating in the program.
“We have studied, observed and finally created our own accelerator model that we think will work better for entrepreneurs who want to remain dedicated to their families and other obligations while still participating in the program,” says Herb Sih, co-founder and managing partner of Think Big Partners.
In order to facilitate this idea, the first class of Think Big Accelerator allows entrepreneurs to arrive ready to work on Monday and leave on Thursday night during the 14-week program. This model will let traveling entrepreneurs return home on the weekends to spend time with family and manage other responsibilities.
“We have studied what can be done in a short period of time in the startup world,” says Tyler Prochnow, co-founder and senior partner at Think Big Partners. “After studying the success that startups have in sprint programs like Startup Weekend, Startup Bus and hackathons, we created Think Big Accelerator’s model for the fast-paced, highly-focused entrepreneur.”
“We are amazed at what can be done in a short amount of time,” says Sih. “With important milestones and deadlines in place, we believe that the entrepreneur participating in Think Big Accelerator will be able to maintain a work-life balance and recognize the opportunity to reenergize, refresh, refocus and reflect at the end of each week by connecting with family when returning home. It’s a contrary belief, but we think that stepping away from a business actually allows entrepreneurs to work smarter, faster.”
Entrepreneurs accepted into the program will receive what Sih refers to as “rockstar treatment” while building their businesses in Kansas City. Think Big Accelerator has assembled the ingredients for participating entrepreneurs to come to Kansas City and work on their businesses comfortably. The accelerator will provide custom-tailored key elements for the entrepreneur such as real estate, essential service providers, dry-cleaning, restaurant specials, living arrangements, technology, office space and more. Kansas City businesses interested in providing discounted services for Think Big Accelerator entrepreneurs are encouraged to contact Think Big Partners at (816) 842-5244.
In addition, those accepted into the accelerator program will partake in field trips to many Kansas City locations for inspiration, education, collaboration and ideation.
Think Big Accelerator is looking for five to ten technology-based startups (especially businesses with a focus in consumer-facing services, software, web services, apps, etc.) to participate in the program.
Entrepreneurs will participate in the 14-week program Monday-Thursday with the goal of building a successful startup and finally pitching to investors at the end of the program on two separate demo days—one traditional, and one utilizing a state-of-the-art technology.
The application window for Think Big Accelerator will be open June 15, 2012 until August 10, 2012. Think Big Partners’ first class will start on September 10, 2012 and finish up with graduation and demo days during the week of December 10, 2012.
Think Big Accelerator will take 6-8% equity in participating companies with an $18,000-$24,000 investment. Additionally, there will be an alternative track for those who are not interested in funding but would like to participate in the program.
To learn more about Think Big Accelerator, please visit www.thinkbigpartners.com/accelerator.
About Think Big Partners
Think Big Partners is an early-stage startup accelerator and mentorship-based collaborative network located in Kansas City, Missouri. Think Big Partners has successfully launched or grown over 150 successful companies with its creation of coworking spaces (bizperc), entrepreneurial conferences (Think Big Kansas City and iKC), essential services, startup resources and funding (Think Big Ventures). To learn more about Think Big Partners, please visit www.thinkbigpartners.com.
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