Comeback KC Celebration Story

Comeback KC Celebration Story

The UMKC Technology Venture Studio and KC Digital Drive teams celebrated March 7 Comeback KC Ventures, a program that supported innovations that aim to solve pandemic-related issues, built in just 18 months. It was a culmination of work and community collaboration these past 20 months that led to new companies, the growth of others and most importantly the broad impacts of our Comeback KC Ventures fellows’ efforts to curb the impact of the pandemic on the Kansas City region and beyond.

The TVS team and Comeback KC Ventures fellows were joined by two amazing headline speakers: Maria Flynn and Dick Flanigan, who are partnering to cement Kansas City as a powerhouse for digital health – from startup to large enterprise. They inspired the packed room with their vision for an effort that unites the strengths of our ecosystem to produce the talent and technology to build exceptional solutions in digital health. On the heels of the pandemic, many of the Comeback KC Fellows are developing digital health solutions that exemplify our regions talent and innovative capacity in the space.

The Comeback KC Ventures program was a partnership between the UMKC Innovation Center’s Technology Venture Studio and KC Digital Drive. TVS was awarded funds from the Economic Development Administration to support entrepreneurs working to solve the problems created by or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. For almost two years, our teams rallied the community to support these entrepreneurs with expertise, funding and networks. We saw these ideas and companies grow and are proud to see them continue their journeys as founders.

We are so grateful for the countless hours our advisor cohort volunteered, adding critical insights throughout the program. We saw many of our fellows build lasting relationships with these subject-matter experts and, on occasion, even convince them to join their teams. President Harry Truman said, “It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t care who gets the credit.” In this case, first credit goes to the fellows, who took the leap to solve challenging and pressing problems. Next is the secret sauce: Their trajectories were impacted by an ever- growing web of enthusiastic, concerned individuals in our community who wanted them to succeed. That group is almost impossible to name but integral to the goal of solving the most pressing problems.

The final celebration of Comeback KC Ventures was a room full of people who represented that collective effort that gave everyone involved great hope for the future of our community post- pandemic, our ability to solve hard problems and for the future of Kansas City as a hub for digital health.