Pipeline Announces Sprint to Join as Top-Level Corporate Partner

Regional entrepreneurial fellowship to partner with Sprint as part of Sprint’s national and local strategy

Business Wire

KANSAS CITY, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Pipeline Entrepreneurial Fellowship today announced that Sprint (NYSE:S) will join as a top-level corporate partner. As a part of Sprint’s aggressive strategy to work with nationally significant entrepreneurial initiatives, Sprint and Pipeline will work together to enhance the corporate involvement in Pipeline and collaborate on additional entrepreneurial program offerings in Kansas City.

Since its founding in 2007, Pipeline has built an elite network of entrepreneurial leaders who work as one to face business challenges, funnel opportunities to their peers, and build market-leading technologies together. Pipeline is an “immersion experience” with the goal to link each of its entrepreneurs to a robust and powerful network of supporters, peers and advisers. In the process, Pipeline entrepreneurs recognize the power of the network and remain engaged as they start new companies, enter even higher growth issues, become investors, and continue as leaders in Pipeline – and in their communities.

“Pipeline is an engine of entrepreneurship for this entire region,” said Kevin McGinnis, vice president of product platforms at Sprint. “Sprint is especially impressed that Pipeline’s focus is on the entrepreneur, not the business – Pipeline is shaping entrepreneurs to be leaders. We couldn’t be happier to be working side by side with Pipeline to grow this region together.”

“Sprint approached Pipeline with ‘entrepreneurial open minds’, eager to learn how they can best assist and engage others in this work,” said Joni Cobb, Pipeline president and CEO. “While we are certainly excited about the financial support, we are equally excited about working together on new initiatives we develop over time. Sprint is moving aggressively in the entrepreneurial space and it’s exciting to be a true partner.”

The Sprint partnership adds to Pipeline’s growing list of regional and national partners who are backing Pipeline’s unique fellowship approach to support high-growth entrepreneurs. Because of an expansion grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and matching funds from other organizations and individuals, Pipeline grew from a Kansas only program to a regional program assisting entrepreneurs from Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.

“Pipeline continues to stand out as one of the most unique models for both accelerating the rate of success of high-growth entrepreneurs, while building out a national network that helps an entire region of entrepreneurs grow,” said Joe Hadzima, MIT Sloan School of Management and Pipeline board member. “Pipeline has a strong and dedicated group of national advisers who believe in their approach, and we are all excited that Sprint is validating our belief that Pipeline's approach is important to large, innovative corporations as well.”

“We applaud Sprint’s vision to engage and assist entrepreneurs here in the Kansas City region and across the country,“ said Thom Ruhe, vice president of entrepreneurship at The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. “It is imperative that corporations get more involved as we all work together to help entrepreneurs thrive, and Pipeline is one of the best assets we have to do just that. As a Pipeline regional founder, we are excited Sprint chose Pipeline as one of its first partners in this work.”

“I know I speak for all of my peer entrepreneurs in Pipeline when I say that this partnership is hands down the most powerful development for entrepreneurs in the Midwest,” said Davyeon Ross, Pipeline entrepreneur. “Entrepreneurs know that Pipeline is home to some of the fastest growing entrepreneurs in the Midwest, and it is inspiring that Sprint understands how Pipeline benefits our entire region. We hope this is the first of many corporate partners to join us as we grow.”

“I joined Pipeline as a regional founder because of my ardent belief that large companies have a vital role to play in encouraging, supporting and backing the entrepreneurs in our region who are growing the next generation of corporate leaders,” said Peter Brown, former chairman and CEO of AMC Entertainment and Pipeline regional founder. “Sprint is trailblazing in many ways right now, and their partnership with Pipeline is testament to their dedication to find the most impactful organizations and partnerships to grow this region through our high-growth and high-impact entrepreneurs.”

To learn more about Pipeline, how to apply for the Fellowship or become engaged in the work, visit pipelineentrepreneurs.com or follow Pipeline on social media: www.facebook.com/PipelineEntrepreneurs and on Twitter @PipelineOrg.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 55 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2013 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as most improved, across all 47 industries measured, during the last five years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in both its 2011 and 2012 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

About Pipeline

Pipeline is an elite organization of the Midwest’s most successful, high-performance entrepreneurs. Our members work as one to face business challenges, funnel opportunities to their peers, and build market-leading technology and life-sciences business together. Each year approximately 10-12 new members are invited to join Pipeline. After an extensive selection process, new members participate in a unique and rigorous yearlong business leadership development program that blends workshop modules, advice from national experts, and a deepening of the relationships among new and current Pipeline members. This introductory yearlong program leverages a national network of business advisers at the forefront of their respective specialties who engage deeply with Pipeline members, effectively extending members’ business networks nationwide.

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Contact:
Sprint
Jennifer Walsh, 913-315-3715
Jennifer.r.walsh@sprint.com
or
Pipeline
Joni Cobb, 913-307-0004
info@pipelineentrepreneurs.com
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