January 1st marks my four-year anniversary of “being my own boss.” And while the last four years have been exhilarating, they have also brought on plenty of stress and speed bumps.
Luckily, Kansas City has a lot to offer when it comes to learning how to start and grow your own business. And the honest truth is I probably would not still be my own boss today if it weren’t for the help from those resources.
And since they helped me, I figured I would share them with you. So, without further ado, here are some great entrepreneurial resources to help you in your own entrepreneurial journey.
Coworking not only provides you with a place to work, but it provides you with connections to other like-minded entrepreneurs. I’ve enjoyed both Think Big Coworking and also WeWork. You can find a comprehensive list of Kansas City’s coworking options from the Kansas City Coworking Alliance.
In addition to coworking, you should frequent local coffee shops where you are bound to run into other entrepreneurs and freelancers. My favorites are Mildred’s (in the Crossroads) and The Roasterie (I frequent the Corrigan Station Café below WeWork, the Factory Café, and the Brookside Café).
News & Information
Support Organizations & Educational Opportunities
For starters, you can use go through training programs such as Kauffman FastTrac and the UMKC E-Scholars Program. You can work with KC Bizcare to obtain all of your relevant local licenses and tax numbers. And if you are seeking funding for an early stage business, you can apply for free grant funds from the Digital Sandbox.
You can also find valuable resources and additional connections from the Kansas City Startup Foundation (specifically, its Resources Page and Hitchhiker’s Guide) and through KC Source Link (specifically, it’s Resource Guide).
If your business has a technology focus, you should check out the KC Tech Council for news and events about the tech industry in Kansas City. And last, if you are in the art world, you can find free accounting and legal help from the Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts.
Groups & Events
When you are looking for groups to join or things to do, here are a few options.
First, you should join the Startup KC Facebook Group. If something is going on in town that you should know about, you can find it there. You should also follow the Startland News Community Calendar. It lists pretty much everything going on in town.
If you are in the freelance marketing space, you should join The Freelance Exchange of Kansas City. And if you are into social media, be sure to attend the monthly meetups with the Social Media Club of Kansas City.
From there, you should consider attending one of the many great opportunities to watch other entrepreneurs present their ideas and learn from their successes and failures. Some of my favorites are 1 Million Cups, Tech Stars Demo Day, Sprint Accelerator Demo Day, BetaBlox Demo Day, and TechWeek.