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

Buzz from the Bracket: What Makes KC a Great Place to Grow a Business?

Here at KCSourceLink HQ, we have our own opinions on what makes Kansas City a great place to start and grow a business. 

For us, it starts with the entrepreneurs like those you'll find in our Battle of the Brands.

Entrepreneurs are the risk takers and culture makers who are willing to take a chance on an idea, create it, sustain it, shout about it and then turn around and help others up that sometimes steep ladder to business success.

They do that every day, and they've done it again here with the Battle of the Brands. Just by being in the battle, big brands are helping smaller businesses get exposure they normally wouldn't be able to touch. I think that's kinda huge. 

And for us, that greatness continues with the support of a rich, relevant and vibrant network ofentrepreneurial resources. These folks don't create the businesses, to be sure: but they help remove the barriers to success and help more businesses find their victories. They may not "make entrepreneurs," but they certainly do some heavy lifting to make entrepreneurs better and entrepreneurship easier here in Kansas City.

(We connect virtually all of them, so that entrepreneurs can find what and who they need easier.)

As we enter into the Quad Championships of Battle of the Brands, and you decide which two companies in each bracket will duke it out to be named Kansas City’s ruling Microenterprise, Bricks and Mortar, Established and Growing or Innovation-Led company, we wanted to turn the tables on these final rounds of competitors and ask them—what’s so great about Kansas City?

We pinged each of the quadrants’ contenders, and here’s who and how they replied.

What makes Kansas City a great place to start and grow a business?

Red Nova Labs

There are more startup resources per capita in Kansas City than in any other city in the nation. From the Kauffman Foundation to Kansas City Startup Village to the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, a new business can turn to so many places for help and support.

It also helps that Kansas City is something of an underdog. We’re not a huge hub of various industries like other U.S. metros, so a company has to do whatever it takes to succeed. Here in Kansas City, without the extensive nets of existing business infrastructure that companies in other cities have to fall back on and look up to, we must be somewhat naïve about our chances of succeeding – but it’s a naïve optimism that fosters an incredible determination that’s evident in the many businesses throughout the Kansas City area.

Tippin’s Gourmet Foods

Our business started here 34 years ago as a chain of restaurants, and there is hardly a day goes by that someone doesn’t tell us how much they miss the restaurants. In spite of what the right and left coast might think, the people of Kansas City have an adventurous spirit and are willing to try and support new things.

While the national chains do well here, you also see a tremendous amount of local restaurants, business and shops that thrive because KC supports them.

And we don’t make a big deal out of it like some towns who need to remind everyone to “Keep it Local” or “Keep it Weird.”

Hippie Chow

Kansas City has been named one of the top cities to start a business. The metro area has so much to offer for small businesses such as KCSourcelink, Independence Ennovation Center, 1 Million Cups and Kauffman Foundation. There are many wonderful mentors to guide you through different spots in your business plan.

What makes Kansas City Vote for any of these contenders here. But do it fast. Round 3 is only open until 4 p.m. today, Tuesday, March 18.

How can we help you?

Our team helps grow entrepreneurship in Kansas City every day.

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