Kansas startups receive $850,000 through new equity loans and programs

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Four Kansas startups have received a total of $850,000 through new loan and equity programs.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced the first round of funding recipients from the GROWKS loan and equity programs to help small businesses – especially those in underserved areas – access capital in the early stages of their business. growth.

In the first round, Governor Kelly said four businesses — three of which are run by women — received a total of $850,000 in matching capital.

“GROWKS loan and equity programs remove the barriers that entrepreneurs face when trying to start a business,” Kelly said. “My administration is committed to ensuring that small businesses – including those in underserved communities – have the opportunities and resources they need to succeed, create jobs and drive economic growth.”

Earlier in 2022, Kelly announced the creation of the Kansas Framework for Growth GROWKS Loan Fund and GROWKS Equity Programs to be managed by the Kansas Department of Commerce. She said the funds would distribute $69 million granted to Kansas through the US Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative. Together, she said the two represent the broadest set of small business financing programs offered by the state.

“Connecting small businesses in Kansas to capital that will help them grow and prosper will strengthen the state’s overall economy,” said Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland. “I am thrilled that this first round of funding from GROWKS is reaching the entrepreneurs it is meant to help.”

The Governor said the programs use extensive networks of community and business support partners through NetWork Kansas to provide matching funds for bank loans. She said the approved money has already raised more than $4 million in private capital.

Ultimately, Kelly noted, more than $1 billion in funds will be invested by the private sector over the life of the programs, which can be used for day-to-day small business expenses like inventory, equipment, supplies and working capital.

“The GROWKS program provides much-needed investment funds to support private equity capital in these innovative ventures,” said Trish Brasted, president of Entrepreneurial Growth Ventures, an organizational unit of NetWork Kansas. “Seed-stage capital markets have become more challenging over the past six months, which has heightened the importance of this program.”

Kelly said the first set of recipients include:

  • QuickHire, Inc. – A Wichita-based technology platform that connects job seekers to service-based work opportunities. The funds will be used to support marketing, market research and commercialization.
  • Celerity Enterprises, Inc. – A Kansas City-based technology platform that focuses on securing special price agreements between suppliers and distributors. The funds will be used to hire staff, develop sales and modernize the platform.
  • ELIAS Animal Health, LLC – An Olathe-based medical biotechnology company advancing new therapies for the treatment of cancer in companion animals. The funds will be used to expand manufacturing capacity, sales, marketing and customer service.
  • SoHome Kids Foundation – A Neodesha-based startup that aims to provide residential facilities for children 18 and under in the state’s foster care system. The funds will be used to renovate a group home.

“Raising capital is one of the biggest challenges small businesses face, and we were thrilled to receive this funding,” said Tammie Wahaus, CEO of ELIAS Animal Health, LLC. “This exciting program comes at a time when capital markets are tightening and regional support for local businesses is essential.”

For more information on GROWKS, click HERE.

Comments are closed.