Ready to Scale? Apply for ScaleUP! KC’s 12th Cohort of Top-Tier Businesses

Ready to Scale? Apply for ScaleUP! KC’s 12th Cohort of Top-Tier Businesses

ScaleUP! Kansas City—a selective, game-changing program, offered at no cost to selected participants—is now accepting applications. Its 12th cohort runs from Jan. 13, 2022, to May 05, 2022. Applications are accepted through Dec. 15, 2021, at


“ScaleUP! KC has a long history—seven years running—of helping Kansas City business owners get the confidence, one-on-one coaching and professional peer network they need to not only grow multimillion dollars businesses but also become business and community leaders,” says Jill Hathaway, program coordinator for ScaleUP! KC. “ScaleUP! KC offers vital support for these businesses that fuel the economy in our metro.”

ScaleUP! KC helps Kansas City business owners prepare their businesses for scalable growth with a 16-week program that blends high-impact training with expert speakers, peer mentoring and one-on-one business coaching at a time when small businesses need the tools to help them scale and remain resilient in the future.

“I’ve been an entrepreneur for nine years now and have owned eight businesses; with that comes a certain amount of ego,” says Isaac Collins, owner of Yogurtini and participant in ScaleUP! KC’s eleventh cohort. “However, I was thoroughly surprised by the high-level knowledge that was taught [through ScaleUP! KC]. I was able to get unstuck in several areas in my business and mindset. This program made me feel like it was Year 1 again. I’m more on fire now to achieve my professional goals than ever.”

The program helps business owners forecast revenue and expenses, create value, carve a niche market, hire the right employees and formulate a succession plan. More than 160 alumni have leveraged the program not only to dramatically increase sales—some to $50 million in revenue—but also to create opportunities to increase their business potential and become true Kansas City business leaders.

ScaleUP! KC alumni AnnMarie Willis of Leverage Lab, Brandon O’Dell of Friend that Cooks, Dustan Fankhauser of LED Direct and Patrick Montgomery of KC Cattle Co., all leveraged what they learned to earn spots on the Kansas City Business Journal’s Fast50 list of the KC’s fastest-growing companies. Additionally, Montgomery was highlighted as Missouri success story by the U.S. Small Business Administration, testified to the impact of the Small Business Development Center to the House Small Business Committee, worked with actor Eric Stonestreet to elevate his social media presence and closed a business deal with Sporting KC.

Alumna Thalia Cherry of Cherry Co. was recognized as one of the Women Who Mean Business by the Kansas City Business Journal and among the 2020 Ebony Power 100, which celebrates influential and inspiring individuals who are making a difference in the African-American community. Her community leadership and youth program, Entrepreneurship KC, was recently featured in a documentary produced by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Freethink.

In addition to the list makers, thought leaders and community builders, ScaleUP! KC alumni have used the transformative lessons, coaching and mentoring to open new businesses, expand operations hire new employees and increase revenues.

Through ScaleUP! KC, Cherry says she learned “the value of diversifying your product line. With risk management, you will be able to identify new opportunities and weather storms.” Two of those new opportunities came during the pandemic: Cherry Co. opened a micro-store in local goods purveyor Made in KC and will join other locally owned businesses as part of the KCI airport’s new concession contract.

Lessons come from a mix of expert coaches, consultants and their fellow business owners who hail from the tech sector, manufacturing, service industries and many other areas of business.

“ScaleUP! KC is a community of businesses that help the greater socio-economic climate in KC,” adds AbdulRasak Yahaya, co-owner of Open Minds Child Development Center. “Our success is also the KC metro’s success. Through ScaleUP!, we have learned to depend on each other, no matter if our businesses directly patronize one another. It is important to see not only the financial and profit skills obtained through the program, but also the social justice that can be leveraged through our involvements in our respective communities.”

To be eligible for ScaleUP! Kansas City, business owners need to have:

· led a company that’s been in business for at least 2 years and has at least 2 employees
· generated annual sales in excess of $250,000
· created a strong market than can generate well beyond $1 million in sales
· drive to lead part of the next generation of business leaders in Kansas City

ScaleUP! Kansas City provides direct support for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and firms that already have a strong foothold, with special emphasis on recruiting under-resourced communities/populations.

ScaleUP! KC is funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the U.S. Economic Development Administration through the Mid-America Regional Council.  Event sponsorship has been funded by Arvest Bank. Administrative support and coaching is facilitated by Missouri’s Small Business Development Center at UMKC, a program of the UMKC Innovation Center.

The application deadline is Dec. 15, 2021. For more information and to apply, visit

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