KBA exec begins exclusive Kauffman Fellows program

General published Wed, 2015-07-01 15:57

A long time ago, Keith Harrington set his sights on getting into venture capital. He's just a little bit closer to not only doing it, but doing it better, with the help of a two-year educational fellowship.

Harrington, a managing director of the Kansas Bioscience Authority, made the list of 41 fellows for this year's program. The Kauffman Fellowship Program is an attempt to connect people like Harrington with their backgrounds as investors to global leaders to learn and improve their venture capital efforts.

"Now that we're very clearly in the venture capital market, I wanted to be really good at it," Harrington said, referring to the KBA, which changed its mission several years ago. "I continued to want to be really good at it. I wanted to surrounded myself by the best and learn not only the mechanics, but the art."

The fellowship, which is in its 20th year, originally was created as part of the Kauffman Foundation but was spun off in 2002. Fellows get extensive and accelerated preparation for leadership in the venture capital industry through a specialized executive curriculum and senior mentorship while working in a venture capital firm.

Harrington, who is the only fellow from the Kansas City area, said the first workshop was in June. He realized then, while talking about struggles that he experiences in the venture capital world in the Midwest, that are problems certainly aren't unique.

"What I found really interesting is outside of Silicon Valley there's a lot of commonality about the story I told about Kansas City being a growing ecosystem with lack of capital but no lack of entrepreneurial ideas and energy," he said. "That's a fairly common theme. There are a lot of people around the U.S. and world who have that common story."

He is serving his fellowship at KBA under the mentorship of KBA CEO Duane Cantrell.

- by Ashley Jost, Kansas City Business Journal

Link to KCBJ article: http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2015/07/01/kba-keith-harrington-kauffman-fellowship.html?ana=e_du_pub&s=article_du&ed=2015-07-01&u=g0qEvL7QPYSy7u1B7D1yAJqrYda&t=1435783223