Think Big Kansas City Announces Alterra Bank as Presenting Sponsor

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Alterra Bank will be the presenting sponsor of Think Big Kansas City, the Premier Conference for Entrepreneurs, Investors and Startups.

Think Big Kansas City takes place on May 24, 2011 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

Kansas and Missouri-based Alterra Bank will be the Presenting Sponsor of Think Big Kansas City, the Premier Conference for Entrepreneurs, Investors and Startups, which is set to take place at the Kansas City Convention Center on May 24, 2011. Alterra Bank will join other local and national organizations in supporting this second-year conference to help foster a more successful entrepreneurial community in the local area.

As a bank that believes that “the best transactions begin with a cup of coffee and end with a handshake”, the high-level sponsorship that Alterra is providing will strengthen the partnerships among the bank and the organizations involved in both Think Big Kansas City and the KC entrepreneurial community.

“It’s a unique story for an entrepreneurial bank to be part of Think Big Kansas City,” says Pam Berneking, CEO of Alterra Bank. “There are very few banks that are truly local and truly entrepreneurial and are focused on entrepreneur-led companies in the Kansas City market. I think that because of our unique viewpoint and our unique stage of life, we have a lot to offer in terms of connection and understanding.”

Alterra Bank will join other sponsors such as the Kansas City Business Journal, Tradebot Ventures, Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP, Red Brokerage, Arsalon Technologies, Avid Communications, and many more in order to support Think Big Kansas City’s vision of igniting the Kansas City startup and entrepreneurial community through its coworking space, education, collaboration and access to capital funding.

“I think both Think Big Kansas City and its partners are focused on making sure that entrepreneurs have the tools, connections and resources that they need to succeed,” adds Berneking. “[Alterra Bank] is trying to do the same thing. Beyond that, we are an entrepreneurial company ourselves; we are a small entrepreneurial banking company that is focused on meeting the needs of its entrepreneurs.”

Think Big Kansas City is bringing in Bill Rancic, original winner of The Apprentice with Donald Trump, as its keynote speaker this year. Rancic is to speak to an expected crowd of over 400 attendees at the Think Big Kansas City conference about business success, innovation, managing and leading teams, and developing business skills. As Donald Trump’s original right-hand-man as well as a born entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker, Rancic’s story of ups and downs will be the focal point of the keynote speech at the Think Big Kansas City conference.

Joining Bill Rancic is a lineup of over 20 expert speakers and panelists from across the nation. Among the Think Big Kansas City speakers are Elizabeth Alex (Evening Anchor, NBC Action News), Joe Calhoon (Author and Business Strategist), Scott Mize (Co-Founder, Young Entrepreneurs Organization [YEO] & Silicon Valley Business and Venture Development Executive), Michael Gale (Managing Partner, Gramercy Private Equity), Joni Cobb (President and CEO, Kansas Pipeline), Fred Coulson (Managing Partner, Five Elms Capital) and many more.

In addition, Pitch Big: “Shark Tank” Style, an entrepreneurial competition that emulates ABC’s hit reality television show Shark Tank, will take place at Think Big Kansas City. The top three finalists in Pitch Big will pitch their business ideas to a VC panel of judges in the hopes of winning startup prizes. Judges at Pitch Big: “Shark Tank” Style include Chris Geisert of Tradebot, Rachael Qualls of Angel Capital Group, and Michael Gale of Gramercy.

Think Big Kansas City takes place on May 24, 2011 at the Kansas City Convention Center from 8:30AM until 6:00PM. Early-bird tickets are on sale now for $229, student tickets are $99. Special group and non-profit rates are available upon request. Sponsorship opportunities are limited but still available. Think Big Kansas City is hosted by Think Big Partners, LLC. To learn more or become a sponsor, visit, call (816) 842-5244 or follow on Twitter at @ThinkBigKC.

Think Big Partners is an early stage business incubator, startup accelerator, mentorship-based collaborative network, and inspiring workspace for entrepreneurs, innovators, founders and visionaries. For more information, media requests or to schedule an interview, please contact Allison Way at (816) 842-5244 or visit


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Herb Sih

Allison Way