At a time when an independent report was issued stating that the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp. could have conducted more substantial due diligence before investing in tech startup kozoru Inc., the agency's seat on kozoru's board of directors sat empty.
Overland Park-based kozoru ceased operating earlier in October after the search technology firm depleted the $3.6 million it had raised from local investors. KTEC, an economic development agency, invested $667,000 in the company.
Although KTEC's investment called for it to have a seat on kozoru's board, that seat went unfilled after entrepreneur-in-residence Suresh Ramathuri left the agency in July.
"Once Suresh left, they did not appoint another representative," kozoru founder John Flowers said.
"It's difficult to say they had no involvement," Flowers said. "In their defense, it's not like we didn't have a board of people that (knew) what they were doing."
The Gilmore & Bell investigation of KTEC's initial investment in kozoru came just as the company was releasing its technology in June and was entering into conversations with potential business partners and acquirers.
Flowers declined to comment on whether the news of the investigation hurt those discussions. Taylor said the investigation "speaks for itself."