The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Missouri Kansas City, has recognized Sandy and Christine Kemper as Entrepreneurs of the Year.
The Kempers are behind multiple entrepreneurial efforts based in Kansas City. In 2008, Sandy founded C2FO, the world’s market for working capital, after recognizing the limitations of financial institutions to create a transparent view of working capital finance for small and large companies. Christine is the founder and President of Kemper & Company, a marketing firm that serves various clients worldwide. The company handles everything from marketing research to strategic communications and media relations. Together, they founded The Collectors Fund (TCF), the management company for the American Masters Collection and the Twentieth Century Masters Collection, the first art ownership and investment funds that allowed members to display the art in their homes. In addition, the Kempers manage the Kansas City Collection, an organization that promotes Kansas City’s artistic community by encouraging local companies to display local artists’ work in their offices.
“The success of the teams driving C2FO, TCF and K&Co has allowed us to focus a bit of our energy on the broader theme of education. My first real start up was called Education, Inc., back when I was 24 years old. It focused on at-risk kids in the KCMO public school system. What a privilege to have a part in founding a great company that worked with the most important customers in the world — the next generation! In many ways it remains our favorite start-up and its memory shapes our work with YEP KC, our next generation entrepreneur endeavor and KCGPA, the first girls only, inner city charter school in KCMO that Christine has founded.” — Sandy Kemper
In 2016, Sandy and Christine co-founded YEPKC (Young Entrepreneurs Program, Kansas City) along with four other C2FO employees. YEPKC allows juniors and seniors in high school to develop and practice their entrepreneurial skills and explore their interests through hands-on professional experience by interning with fast-growth and start-up businesses in the Kansas City area. The interns are awarded $500 per week, and a $5,000 college scholarship upon completion of the program. Currently, Christine is in the process of establishing the first all-girls, college preparatory charter school in Kansas City.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards event has been a Kansas City tradition since 1985. All proceeds from the event benefitg the student and community programs at the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The awards event is an opportunity for people of all ages, backgrounds, and industries, to come together and celebrate their passion—entrepreneurship.
Other honorees include Moshe Safdie, who has been recognized as the Henry W. Bloch International Entrepreneur of the Year. Safdie is an architect, urban planner, educator, theorist, and author. The four recipients of the Marion and John Kreamer Award for Social Entrepreneurship are BNIM, JE Dunn Construction, Mark One Electric, and U.S. Engineering. These four companies worked together to build the Kaufmann center, which was designed by Safdie.
A Student Entrepreneur of the Year will also be announced at the event. The selection will be made among entrepreneurship students who have successfully developed and launched a business, product, or venture. The honoree will be selected by the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation leadership and Regnier Institute Advisory Council, and will be awarded a $2,500 scholarship.
The awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, located on 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri. A Venture Showcase and Reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with the awards program following at 7:30 p.m.