In 2009, KVC was able to provide over $300K in in-kind donations and support to entrepreneurs using a $5,000 seed grant issued by the Kellogg Innovation Network. This remarkable creation of value is a testament to both the dedication of our volunteers and leaders as well as the quite obvious market need that exists for such a service. Our 2010 goals are even more ambitious with an expected $100K funding and the resulting, in-kind support to entrepreneurs totaling over $1.1M.
KVC brings together a diverse network of entrepreneurs and industry professionals to mentor new businesses and their leaders. Rather than working only with fully developed ideas and technologies, KVC focuses on entrepreneurs in the early stages of business development, applying the localized knowledge of our staff and volunteers which, in most cases, is far more useful in accelerating commercialization than is seed funding alone.
Through this, we help to build and develop new companies, commercialize new technologies, create new jobs, and spur economic growth. In the words of one entrepreneur whose company KVC helped launch: “KVC helped us tighten our investor pitch and improve our model. We wouldn’t be here without KVC.”
Entrepreneurs change their industries through new products, unique services and, above all, innovative ideas. KVC works to inspire those new ideas through its educational materials and programs including managerial and strategic tools, interviews with thought leaders, and resources for continuing education.
Over the course of 2009, we produced podcasts designed to provide KVC entrepreneurs with academic and industry expertise, and covered topics such as social entrepreneurism, lessons learned from NBC’s Apprentice participants, and lectures on disruptive innovation theories. Our educational videos, drawn from universities from across the country, cover topics ranging from using an innovation radar to focus entrepreneurial energy, to improving competitiveness, to lessons in “selling” innovation in established corporate environments. We also held the first session in our new entrepreneurial lecture series. The session was a course in writing effective business plans taught by Kellogg Professor Barry Merkin.
As the old saying goes, no man is an island. New entrepreneurial business ideas live and die under that same adage. KVC ensures that good ideas are connected to the talented men, women, and strategic partners who can help bring them to life. The centerpiece of this effort is the Business Concept Review meeting. These meetings, held quarterly, provide entrepreneurs with an opportunity to present their ideas and garner the support of community members who can connect them to the resources they need to move their businesses forward.