The Summit will kick-off with a keynote address from Kansas City Mayor Sly James on the role cities play in supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Implementing business-friendly programs and policies in your city helps create a supportive ecosystem for small business and start-ups. This series of breakout sessions will discuss programs that peer network cities are using to meet the needs of small businesses, and explore how cities are adapting their policies to eliminate unnecessary hurdles for business owners.
Knowing how to accurately track small business growth and measure the impact of city programs are foundational elements of small business development efforts. This series of breakout sessions will address how to access better data about small businesses in your city, and how to effectively quantify the success of local government programs that encourage small business and start-up growth.
A series of ignite-style presentations on innovative small business programs from peer network cities, followed by Q&A.
A panel discussion with entrepreneurs from the Kansas City region will share their experiences and provide insight into how local governments can support start-ups at all stages of growth.
The peer network will visit Kansas City’s 1 Million Cups program. Each week, in locations across the country, entrepreneurs present their start-ups to a diverse audience of mentors, advisors, and entrepreneurs. Participating entrepreneurs receive real-time feedback on possible ways to improve their business plans.
Learn about two emerging trends on the entrepreneurial scene - innovation districts and the “maker movement” – and local government’s role in fostering their growth. Innovation districts are geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators and accelerators. The maker movement is a growing grassroots collective of inventors who are hand-making and selling everything from robots to knit scarves to photography.
Bill Dietrich, President and CEO of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, will share Kansas City’s entrepreneurship story and provide the history of the Kansas City Crossroads Art District.
The Kansas City Crossroads Arts District is a unique area of the city burgeoning with entrepreneurship, innovation, arts and culture. On this mobile tour, the peer network with engage with representatives from three entrepreneurship support organizations: Sprint Accelerator, Think Big Partners, and Office Port.
Sprint Accelerator, Think Big Partners, and Office Port will host concurrent open houses and tours for peer network members.
Discuss the diversity of the small business landscape, financing needs and key roles of local government in closing the access gap.
Participants will learn the toolbox of financing strategies with a focus on increasing the capacity of new or disconnected businesses to access traditional loans, including credit enhancement, business skills training, collateral support, and revolving loan funds.
Panel discussion facilitated by Wells Fargo on small business access to capital in the KC Region.
Participants will learn the key components of a wide variety of capital access strategies, including microlending, crowdfunding, angel capital, and state and federal programs.
Structured and facilitated roundtable discussions focused on both foundational and emerging strategies to allow participants to dive deep on those they may consider for their community.
Full group discussion on actions needed to take these strategies home to your community. Reflect on lessons learned and discuss tangible ideas for next steps.
InterContinental Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
Registration for the Summit is free and includes hotel accommodations and conference meals.
The National League of Cities will reserve your hotel accommodations at the InterContinental Kansas City. Please email Emily Robbins at firstname.lastname@example.org with your check-in and check-out dates as soon as possible. Participants do not need to make their own hotel arrangements. You will receive confirmation details from the InterContinental Kansas City by Friday, September 26. (Please contact the hotel directly with any special accommodations requests.)
InterContinental Kansas City
401 Ward Parkway
Kansas City, MO
Please note: Airfare is not included in registration. Financial assistance toward airfare may be available for cities with travel moratoriums.
Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
601 Brasilia Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri