UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center
By Sarah Mote
August 28, 2013

Meet the Cheetahs: Business Resources for Second Stage Companies

Resources for Cheetahs (and Gazelles and other metaphors for second stage companies)

Cheetahs, gazelles, economic powerhouses—there’s no lack of metaphors for second-stage entrepreneurs and the companies they’ve guided beyond the startup phase and into million-dollar revenues.

Their impact on local economies is undeniable. According to the Edward Lowe Foundation (see most of the new jobs are currently being created in these firms.  

“Second-stagers are powerhouses when it comes to job creation,” says Penny Lewandowski, director of entrepreneurship development at the Edward Lowe Foundation in the foundation’s four-page report Pumping Up Entrepreneurial Culture, which tackles the impact and struggles second stage companies.

“[S]econd-stagers often have national or global markets that bring outside dollars into their communities. They attract new investors to a region. And they recruit talented employees, which boosts a community’s human capital.”

What Is a Second Stage Company?

Focused on growing and expanding their businesses, second-stage firms generally have between 10 to 99 employees and/or $750,000 to $50 million in revenue—and because of where they are in the business cycle, they have drastically different needs than startups—and need different resources.

While the startup phase is focused on developing products and finding those first customers, second-stagers struggle with other issues.

For these second-stagers, business plans have morphed into strategic marketing plans. Finding a location is replaced by funding an expansion. Defining a market niche transforms into market diversification. And finding a team to launch the business becomes a quest to realize new operational efficiencies and the search to find, or train, the people who can take the business to the next level.

Resources for Second-Stagers

With 200+ resource partners in the KCSourceLink network, navigating the wide expanse of business-building resources can be daunting.

Second-stage entrepreneurs often find the help they need to grow through:

  • Professional Service Providers, e.g., banks, accountants, management consultants, attorneys, insurance agents
  • Economic Development Corporations
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Revolving Loan Fund Programs
  • Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)
  • Manufacturing Extension Programs
  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs and SBTDCs)
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers
  • Export programs
  • Market Research
  • SBA Lenders
KCSourceLink’s Resource Navigator helps these growing businesses find just the right resource for their size, stage and challenge. 

strategic marketing

Why Your Business Should Be Under Constant Renovation

Even the most successful businesses need to think about change and what they can do to keep their brand top-of-mind. Here's why renovation is critical for your marketing and business effort.

market diversification

Ready to Sell to the Government?
Winning a government contract can double your business quickly. Find out how—and where—to get started with these business-building resources for government procurement

Can't Be a One-Trick Pony: How to Diversify Your Product Portfolio
Truth is, it's hard to rely on one core product or service. Diversifying your product portfoliocan prepare your business for the unknown. Here's how to do it.

operational efficiencies

Who Cares About Costs? Here's How to Structure Your Business to Last
Many companies are too concerned with costs and operate shortsightedly. But a business who measures growth and progress in years, not months, is a much easier ship to steer. Here's how to structure your business for the future.


Five Roles You Need on Your Big Data Team
While many companies obsess about how to turn their data into value, they often spend too much time on the "data" and not enough time on the "people" side of the equation. Get the people side of the equation. And then bring those lessons home.

Flickr photo by wwarby.


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