For Immediate Release: November 14, 2023
KANSAS CITY, MO – The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded a $2 million Build to Scale grant to the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), along with partners BioNexus KC, KC Digital Drive, and Pipeline Entrepreneurs to advance Digital Health KC. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation will match the award, totaling $4 million, to build upon existing digital health strengths in the KC region.
Digital Health KC will create ideal conditions for a vibrant ecosystem, catalyze collaboration, and connect critical elements such as ideas, talent, companies, capital, and customers. This funding will fuel Digital Health KC to support healthcare technology entrepreneurs, foster innovation, build and strengthen the region’s talent pool, and inspire economic growth.
“Our ecosystem is rich in talent and ideas but requires additional financial and industry-specific support. Solving healthcare’s most significant challenges involves people, processes, and technology, all aligned to provide solutions. Digital health offerings are among the most promising solutions seeking to improve access and quality while addressing the ever-increasing cost of care,” said Dick Flanigan, CEO of Digital Health KC. “This grant will increase our resources for funding, mentorship, connectivity, and guidance to attract and grow companies in the KC region.”
Over the next three years, Digital Health KC and partners will advance early-stage digital health companies with programming to increase understanding of the unique aspects of building healthcare solutions, executing a go-to-market plan, and identifying and providing industry-specific mentors and business acumen support.
This investment will result in more than 20 new startups for a regional total of 120+ companies, 15 completed beta customer projects, $45 million in debt and equity investment, and 500 new jobs for the KC region.
“Ecosystem building is a team sport, and it starts with community organizations uniting for a common purpose – to build a thriving digital health network with intentionality,” said Maria Meyers, Executive Director of the UMKC Innovation Center. “We are pleased to partner and grateful to the Kauffman Foundation for providing needed matching funds to bring this federal investment to the region. Our collective commitment to digital health will catapult the KC region and profoundly impact our community.”
Initially funded by the Patterson Family Foundation, Digital Health KC was launched in March 2023 by BioNexus KC, a life sciences non-profit creating opportunities at the nexus of human and animal health.
The community heavily supported the EDA Build to Scale proposal, including industry, healthcare providers and payers, investors, economic development organizations, workforce, government, and non-profit organizations in the KC region.
About Digital Health KC:
With over 100 companies and 25,000 experienced professionals, Kansas City’s digital health companies are solving healthcare’s biggest challenges. Digitizing healthcare requires deep knowledge and experience of the care process, payment models, and data.
Digital Health KC supports existing companies, from start-ups to the largest enterprises, while attracting digital health businesses to the KC region. Digital Health KC connects ideas, talent, companies, capital, and customers to advance healthcare innovation.
About UMKC Innovation Center:
From whiteboard to boardroom, the UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country. With a suite of high-impact programs that serve tech ventures, deliver entrepreneurial education, and build our entrepreneurial ecosystem, the center helps emerging and existing business owners, including students, faculty, and community members, to hone their business basics, evaluate commercialization opportunities and connect with the right resources at the right time. Find out more at umkcinnovates.com.
About BioNexus KC:
The KC region is a global leader at the nexus of human and animal health, inspiring thinkers from diverse disciplines to combine their efforts for a common purpose — healthcare innovation. For nearly 25 years, BioNexus KC has been advancing the region’s strengths in digital health, cancer research, health equity, informatics, and rare disease.
BioNexus KC stimulates collaboration, accelerates emerging technology from concept to reality, and creates opportunities at the nexus of:
- Human and Animal Health
- Urban and Rural Health
- Healthcare and Information Technology
- Academia and Industry
- Kansas and Missouri
About KC Digital Drive:
KC Digital Drive is the civic organization that supports the ecosystems for broadband, connectivity and digital equity, and emerging tech innovation, and helps to steward the region’s digital transformation. The organization was established by the cities of Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas to mobilize diverse community partners around collective action in digital inclusion and digital innovation, and drive economic development for the bi-state region. Learn more at kcdigitaldirve.org.
About Pipeline Entrepreneurs:
Since 2007, Pipeline has successfully identified the region’s top innovators and surrounded them with the education, support, a network, and resources to enable their businesses to gain traction and grow. As a result, Pipeline’s members have consistently outperformed their peers in revenue, job creation, and economic impact on the region. Over 200 entrepreneurs have graduated from the Pipeline program. Collectively, this group of entrepreneurs has generated more than $2.2BN in revenue, raised more than $750MM in capital, and created more than $950MM in wages for the region. To learn more, go to https://pipelineentrepreneurs.com.
BioNexus KC – Director, Communications and Marketing