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Kauffman Foundation announces grant to extend Pipeline’s impact

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has announced a new three-year challenge grant of up to $1.435 million to support and enhance programming for Pipeline, an exclusive community of high-potential entrepreneurial leaders building high-growth companies throughout the Midwest region.

The grant follows a close relationship between the two organizations since Pipeline’s inception and will be matched dollar for dollar with private sector participation — including its own entrepreneurs.

“This grant comes at an extremely pivotal time in Pipeline’s history,” said Joni Cobb, Pipeline president and CEO in a release. “To now be able to put real muscle into the support we give our long-term members is the day we have all been waiting for. We can’t wait to get to work and find partners who are as excited as we are to play a part in our growth.”

Operating since 2006, Pipeline has emerged as the Midwest’s premier organization for successful, fast-growing entrepreneurs. It operates as an entrepreneurial fellowship that identifies, trains, mentors and connects the highest potential, high-growth entrepreneurs.

Upon graduation from the year-long fellowship, the entrepreneurs then join as full members to continue working with Pipeline as they continue to face challenges and opportunities in their growth.

Pipeline received its first challenge grant from the Foundation three years ago to make possible the expansion from a Kansas-only program to one serving entrepreneurs from Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Since its expansions to Nebraska in late 2011, Pipeline and has accepted a total of 13 entrepreneurs from across the state to participate in the program, four of whom are currently Fellows.

“After only a few short years as part of the Pipeline region, I can tell you that the respect Nebraska has for this organization is immense,” said Dr. James Linder, Pipeline regional founder (Nebraska) and board member who is currently serving as the interim president of the University of Nebraska. The university is among Pipeline’s regional founders.  “Our entrepreneurs value the programming, our investors value the impact on company quality and our entire state appreciates the contributions Pipeline has made to our entrepreneurial ecosystem. We can’t wait to be a part of ‘what’s next’.”

This new grant will continue to support this regional format, while also providing funds to develop and deploy substantial new programming for its ongoing and growing the membership of entrepreneurs.

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About the Kauffman Foundation:

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and follow the Foundation on Twitter and Facebook.

About Pipeline:

Pipeline is an exclusive community of high-potential entrepreneurial leaders building high-growth companies throughout the Midwest region. Pipeline’s class of Fellows represents Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. Each year, approximately 10-12 new Members are invited to join Pipeline after an extensive selection process. New Members participate in a unique and rigorous year-long business leadership development program that blends workshop modules, advice from national experts and a deepening of the relationships among new and current Pipeline Members. As keystones of the regional business environment, Pipeline Members are creating jobs, investing in their businesses and communities and mentoring the next-generation of business leaders.