John Fein’s Latest VC Gives Midwestern Startups An Edge

July 26, 2016

9:00 pm

When it comes to giving emerging startups the support they need to succeed, some cities are struggling to meet demand. Startups based in large cities like New York and San Francisco often have no trouble finding a variety of startup-focused resources specific to their niche. But for startups based outside of these tech hubs, conquering the local startup scene can be quite challenging. Fortunately, John Fein and his latest venture may be the solution that Midwestern startups have been waiting for.

While working as managing director at Kansas City’s Sprint Accelerator powered by Techstars, Fein noticed a persistent problem: “very little early stage capital available in Kansas City”, as he stated in a recent announcement. Companies looking to raise up to $500,000 were hard pressed in Kansas City to find support for their efforts. In response, Fein has launched his own VC program to address this need for Kansas City entrepreneurs and emerging startups.

The VC, Firebrand Ventures, is being launched later this year. The work that this VC can do might help to turn around the status quo, that reinforces that Midwestern startups focus primarily on early revenue.

Fein had this to say about the announcement of Firebrand Ventures:

“I think there’s plenty of capital in our communities—in Kansas City, Des Moines, Omaha and beyond. There’s no lack of capital. The void is a comfort level of organizations and individuals to invest in early stage startups… You really don’t have that same thing on the coasts. Culturally they are used to taking chances on early stage startups. They’re comfortable with that process. They understand what to look for and they understand the risks.”

The importance of giving Midwestern startups and entrepreneurs substantial support is paramount to helping them get established in their own ecosystems. And the influence that Fein’s Techstars and other previous ventures have on the startup industry could very well push for a needed reassignment of priorities. The investment of emerging startups and entrepreneurs is necessary for the industry to continue to move forward.

Image via Pexels

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Cameron is a tech and culture journalist, comic book enthusiast, and lives near New York City. A graduate of Stockton University, she's using her words to shift the world of online journalism, one byline at a time. When she's not writing, she can be found reading sci-fi novels, collecting succulents, and planning her next obnoxious hair color. Cameron is an editorial fellow at Tech.Co. Send your tips to or tweet @BlkGirlManifest.

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