Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Register now to qualify for KCKCC’s Innovation Summit

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Calling all future entrepreneurs. Kansas City Kansas Community College is once again hosting the KCKCC “Innovation Summit” – one of the premiere start-up pitch competitions in the region.

The third annual Innovation Summit is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 4 in Upper Jewell on the KCKCC campus, 7250 State Ave.

The purpose is to inspire entrepreneurs, individuals and educators to innovate; connect people and organizations; mentor and promote Kansas City’s entrepreneurial spirit and engage and facilitate community leaders so that they can promote entrepreneurship as a vital part of the culture and economic health. Innovation Summit partners include KCKCC, State Street, the Kansas Small Business Development Center, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the Wyandotte Economic Development Council, KCSourceLink, the KCK Women’s Chamber, the KCK Chamber of Commerce, the KCK Black Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Business Center, the Central Avenue Betterment Association, the Leavenworth County Development Council, Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas, Emporia State University-KC and SCORE.

“This Innovation Summit is about bringing together lots of people from varying backgrounds and disciplines in order to combine creative ideas so that these innovations can become a reality,” said Jay Matlack, director of business retention and expansion for the Wyandotte Economic Development Council and former coordinator for Workforce Development for KCKCC. “We hope anyone who has an idea feels invited to come as an attendee or attempt pitching their idea so that they can test whether their innovative ideas are feasible.”

After a keynote address and presentation from Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Mark Holland, participants will have a chance to walk through the Elevator Pitch Exhibit. This is an opportunity for selected entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas in front of investors, other entrepreneurs, business leaders and venture capitalists for a chance to win a portion of the $10,000 State Street Perfect Pitch Award.  After a short break, exhibit winners will be announced, and the top six earners in each division qualify for the three-minute pitch competition.

There are two divisions in the perfect pitch competition – the general division, for those 19 and above and the high school division, for those who are 14 to 18-years-old. Three chances are available to qualify for the State Street Perfect Pitch competition. Each pitch person will be given three minutes to pitch an idea, followed by three minutes for questions from the judges. The following are qualifying dates:

  • Feb. 13 – KCKCC Flint Building, Room 3619B
  • March 11 – KCKCC Flint Building, Room 3619B
  • March 13 – Emporia State University-KC, 8400 W. 110th St., Suite 150 in Overland Park
It is recommended that those who want to participate attend the first session if possible. This will give individuals a chance to tryout again on the second or third dates if not selected.

In addition, the Kansas Small Business Development Center will give critiques to those at the first tryout, allowing individuals to get free consulting from the development center between tryouts as a way to improve their pitch.

The KSBDC will be at KCKCC from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 19 and from 1 to 4 p.m. April 1 in Room 3619B of the Flint Building.

Those who qualify for the perfect pitch competition are then allowed to set up an exhibit and share their ideas during the Elevator Pitch Exhibit at the Innovation Summit.

Exhibitors will give a 30 second elevator pitch and attendees will invest their Monopoly money in those ideas that interest them. The top six earners (three from the general division and three from the high school division) move onto the State Street Perfect Pitch Competition.

First place in each division receives $2,500; second place, $1,500 and third place, $500.

To reserve a spot at one of the tryout sessions or for questions, call 913-288-7284 or email

Registration can also be completed online at Select Workforce Development and then Innovation Summit.