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

How They Did It: Red Nova Labs Wins the Third Battle of the Brands


We cornered the folks at Red Nova Labs and got them to tell us exactly how they won this year's Battle of the Brands. Here's what Katelyn Wyss, Marketing/Sales coordinator, had to say.

How did you promote your involvement in Battle of the Brands?

We pulled out all the stops. We posted on Red Nova Labs’ social media pages asking people to vote for us, and all our employees shared the competition on their personal pages. We even had employees’ moms begging for votes on Facebook and through email, and one person’s mom printed out flyers to give to everyone she met. Some of us used text, email, chat, phone calls and conversations with random strangers at lunch to push for more votes.

What impact were you able to see or measure as a result of Battle of the Brands?

We saw spikes in the number of people who liked and followed us on social media. More importantly, we saw so much interaction with our brand. One of our Facebook posts was shared 33 times. We’re lucky to have a great following that really believes in us. Plus, we received many more job applications than we usually do, which is exciting!

How exactly did a tech company beat out AMC Theatres!? the Roasterie!? Cerner!?– some of KC’s iconic and most revered brands?

We kept up our excitement about the competition from start to finish of each round. We used our internal social media tool to keep the energy up and motivate each other to get more votes. At Red Nova Labs, we take the time to find the right people to fill each position, so we’re always staffed with people that will step up to any challenge. If you tell us we can’t do something, we find a way to make it happen.

We’ve also worked hard from the beginning of our days to build a brand that people trust. So when we asked people in the self storage industry or the Kansas City startup scene to vote for us, they didn’t hesitate to do so. Kansas City Startup Village even sent out two tweets asking its followers to support us.

We also have friends and family from all over the world who voted for us. Although they might have felt bombarded by the last rounds, our Facebook friends and Twitter followers stepped up and voted. We believe this is a testament to the quality of our brand, which we’re constantly seeking to improve in everything we do.

What advice would you give next year’s contenders?

Don’t give up. Stay excited so your coworkers are pumped and you can play off each other’s energy. Start asking people to vote for your brand at the beginning of each round and then take advantage of those final hours of voting. Bosses, reward your staff after each victory (from kind words to mimosas, this kept us motivated throughout the competition). Don’t be afraid to ask people to vote; the worst they’ll say is no. Ultimately, believe in your brand and fight for it – you never know who will stand up and vote alongside you.

Ready to put some more brainpower behind your entrepreneurial idea?

Our Resource Partners have classes for that. Our business calendar has (keyword: affordable!) workshops on blogging for your business, Facebook ads, Google ads and LinkedIn or sign up for our biweekly calendar newsletter, sent straight to your inbox.

How can we help you?

Our team helps grow entrepreneurship in Kansas City every day.

Connect with us!

Get insights, inspiration and events to help you start, grow and accelerate KC businesses.