Mayor Betsy Price led a delegation of 60 Fort Worth business and community leaders Nov. 1-2 to study education, entrepreneurship and regional collaboration in Kansas City, Mo.

This city visit was planned by the City of Fort Worth, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and Visit Fort Worth. The trip is an outgrowth of the three organizations’ strategic plans, which call for collaboration on economic development.

“This is an opportunity not only to hear from experts on important topics but also for our leaders to spend quality, focused time together discussing ways to collaborate in our progress,” Mayor Price said.

The trip is sponsored in part by American Airlines. You can see the itinerary and list of delegates at http://bit.ly/KC_PressRelease.

Price selected Kansas City because of its progress as a hub for entrepreneurs and for its work in early childhood education, one of her top priorities.

Both education and entrepreneurship are also top priorities for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where the delegation spent a half day. Kauffman is one of the largest private foundations in the nation, with an asset base of $2 billion.

“Education goes hand-in-hand with economic development. That’s why our Fortify plan supports early childhood literacy programs such as Read Fort Worth,” said Bill Thornton, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Kansas City has become a hub for entrepreneurs, spurred by the arrival of Google Fiber in 2011 and now supported by numerous non-profits and business initiatives.

Similar efforts are taking root in Fort Worth, which will participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week for the first time this month.

The delegation visited with Kansas City officials and experts, including:

  • The Hon. Sly James, Mayor
  • Adam Arredondo, CEO, Kansas City Startup Foundation
  • Matt Condon, Chair, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
  • Donna M. Deeds, Educator in Residence, Kauffman Foundation
  • Mike English, Executive Director, Turn the Page KC
  • Halley French, Program Officer in Education, Kauffman Foundation
  • Wendy Guillies, President and CEO, Kauffman Foundation
  • Adrienne B. Haynes, Innovator in Residence, Kauffman Foundation
  • Dr. Dale Herl, Superintendent, Independence School District
  • Maria Meyers, Executive Director, UMKC Innovation Center
  • Tina Peterson, Co-Founder, Sprint Accelerator
  • Toby Rush, Serial Entrepreneur
  • Sheri Gonzales Warren, Program Director, Mid-America Regional Council

This is the first city visit of its kind for Fort Worth. Organizers want to make it an annual event, with different topics each year.

“Collaboration is the key to our future,” said Bob Jameson, president and CEO of Visit Fort Worth, which promotes tourism and conventions. “We will achieve more working together than by the single efforts of any one organization.”

The logo for the trip is a variation on Fort Worth Now, created for the collaborative event held earlier this year at SXSW in Austin. The badminton shuttlecock is a Kansas City icon inspired by sculptures at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art.

The City, Chamber and Visit Fort Worth are seeking input for the 2019 city visit.