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Austin Falley
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Business professor organizes conference on angel investing, venture capital

Tue, 03/26/2013

LAWRENCE – Leading researchers and practitioners will converge next month to discuss current developments in early-stage investing at a conference led by a University of Kansas School of Business professor.

George BittlingmayerSpeakers at the conference are leading researchers in venture finance, as well as key figures in Kansas City’s entrepreneurship system. The conference, Early-Stage Investing, will be April 5 at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City.

“We have made a special effort to bridge silos, both between academics and practitioners, and among academics themselves. We have both finance and management areas represented,” said George Bittlingmayer, KU finance professor and conference organizer.

Early-Stage Investing is sponsored by the Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation, which promotes education and research in entrepreneurship.

“The conference reflects my passion for bringing academics and practitioners together,” Bittlingmayer said. “The University of Kansas can play a key role in the development of Kansas and the Kansas City area as a center for entrepreneurial activity.”

Bittlingmayer notes Kansas City’s growing national reputation as the center of the “Silicon Prairie,” an area of the Midwest, including Kansas, known for its developments in entrepreneurship and technology.

“Entrepreneurship in this area has received extra impetus from the rollout of Google Fiber and KU’s increasing role as a regional source of innovation and engaged scholarship,” Bittlingmayer said. “Every entrepreneurial ecosystem in the U.S. has a major research university associated with it, and the University of Kansas is playing a major role in the one developing here.”

The event includes panelists from leading entrepreneurship and venture capital groups around Kansas City, including ThinkBig Partners, Mid-America Angels, the Enterprise Center of Johnson County and Grassmere Partners.

Researchers from Arizona State University, Duke University, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Harvard University and Willamette University will present their work. Participants include faculty and graduate students from the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri, at both Kansas City and Columbia campuses, and other institutions, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the Enterprise Center of Johnson County.

“The focus of this conference – the financing of entrepreneurship – highlights one important aspect of what KU faculty, alumni and our friends in the business community can do to support innovation that can change the world,” Bittlingmayer said.

For more information on Early-Stage Investing, contact George Bittlingmayer via email or at 785-864-7541.



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