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Innovation and the spread of bright ideas are central to a city’s growth and development.

A lot of innovative work is happening in Kansas City, but many are not aware of the movements that are currently working to disrupt the public educational system in Kansas City.

Kansas City has its fair share of difficult issues to solve. And anyone who lives in Kansas City is aware of the public school system’s ongoing challenges. Innovation in KC has ignited many of our industries like the art and tech sectors, but the educational system feels woefully neglected.

One organization called The Lean Lab aims to change all that by creating a new movement that embraces innovation, entrepreneurship, scientists, technologists, students, parents, investors, educators and a healthy dose of risk. 

Here’s an introductory video that gives you an overview of The Lean Lab:

The Lean Lab was founded in 2013 by Katie Boody and Carrie Markel, both of whom have a background in education and a passion for innovation. Their goal is to revolutionize the educational system in Kansas City by bringing the best and most passionate change makers together and help fund their innovative proposals. The founders are quick to admit that what they’re doing is not a band-aid solution to the problems in the schools. They are providing the supportive environment for entrepreneurs, educators and other change makers so that these new ideas can take off within public schools and act as a catalyst for more innovation.

According to Startland,

“The Lean Lab will award fellows in the program up to $10,000 in seed funding and an additional $25,000 for the top two teams. The $50,000 in funds is thanks in part to the program’s partnership with Village Capital, the KC Social Innovation Center, and the City of Kansas City, Mo. The goal is to fuel projects and ideas that will close achievement gaps and build a better future for public-school students.” Startland

Here are the founders explaining their vision of The Lean Lab:

The main goal of The Lean Lab is to incubate breakthrough education innovations. The founders also believe that the quality of a child’s education should not be determined by their zip code. 

If you’d like to check out what The Lean Lab is all about, there’s a free event from 4-5 pm on July 1, 2016 at the Sprint Accelerator, 210 West 19 Terrace, Kansas City, MO 64108. At the event you will hear the Fellowship teams present their progress on their projects so far. They are looking for community feedback and involvement from the entire Kansas City community. Details about the event are here.