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New Team Member Tackles Kansas City Portfolio

Nathan Kurtz

nathan_kurtzHi, I'm Nathan Kurtz, and I'm really excited to join the Entrepreneurship team this month at the Kauffman Foundation. There are a few questions I love asking new people I meet. It allows me to understand a little bit about who she/he is as a person. By way of introduction, here are a couple of those questions, with my answers.

First question: What do you want to be when you grow up?

I love this question.  I want to be the guy on the team that helps refine and execute the plan.   My background is entrepreneurial in nature, and operational in scope.  At virtually every position I’ve held, I have come alongside a visionary entrepreneur and helped them operationalize, scale and grow our business.  I continue to learn so much, and I am grateful to have had each opportunity to work with some amazing teammates and entrepreneurs throughout my career.   I love the challenge of figuring out – both big picture and in the details – what am I going to do each day to solve my customers’ problems and make working with my company easier. 

Second question:  What is a favorite quote of yours, and why? 

The late, great Peter Drucker stated, “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”  I take this to heart and have learned that solving a real, painful problem for a customer, and pursuing excellence in taking care of each customer, creates value, sustainability, and the opportunity for individual and professional growth.  It also provides the opportunity to solve this problem for new customers, and potentially solve related problems for current customers.  That’s powerful!

Third question:  What do you do at the Kauffman Foundation?

I get to help live out the Foundation’s mission of fostering economic independence by advancing entrepreneurship and education.  I am working in the Kansas City community, promoting entrepreneurship and the Foundation’s programs with local startups, entrepreneurs and civic and business leaders. I am also working with my fellow associates to develop and scale several programs in the Entrepreneurship department.

Closing thoughts. Ask yourself "What can I do today to create and keep a customer?" Do I have an idea for a business that solves a migraine-like problem for my current/potential customers? Do I have a compelling reason why they would choose to pay me to solve this problem? Find these answers and talk to people you do know, and especially, that you don't know. Then refine and execute the plan.

Please feel free to reach out anytime at and follow me at @nathankurtz.

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