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

Local Designers Strut their Designs at Kansas City Fashion Week

The life of a high fashion designer is, essentially, that of a bootstrapping, devoted entrepreneur. Not only are they the manufacturer, often making their products themselves, but they are also the CEO, marketer, customer service rep and the list goes on (and on).

Kansas City Fashion Week gives fashion designers a chance to showcase their garments (ahem, products) to the public. Dare we say its 1 Million Cups meets BetaBlox Demo Day meets a fashion runway?

This year Kansas City Fashion Week showcased nearly a dozen of Kansas City’s highly talented fashion designers March 12-19, 2016. In case you missed the runway shows and parties, we scoped a few of them out for you below.

Dolyn Bags: Ami Beck created DOLYN, a luxury leather bag company, after earning her Fashion Design degree from Stephens College of Columbia, Mo.

Keefe Cravat: Created by Jordan Williams, Jahleel Allen and James St. Laurent, Keefe Cravat is a men’s neckwear line (you may have heard us talk about Keefe Cravat once or twice). P.S.: Kansas City Mayor Sly James is a fan.

Architexture: Husband and wife duo John and Christina Moncke have extensive backgrounds in commercial fashion. John won the Major League Soccer Merchandiser of the Year in 2012 and currently serves as the vice president of Retail Brand and Stadium Revenue for Sporting Kansas City. Christina is a lead college instructor in the Fashion Merchandising program at the Art Institutes International in Kansas City.

Erin Paige: Erin Paige Stegman’s jewelry designs have been featured on television programs and lifestyle publications. She was even the keynote speaker at KC Magazine’s Most Influential Women 2015 event.

christianMICHAEL: Christian Michael Shuster is no stranger to the runway showcasing his modern menswear collection at Kansas City Fashion Week, Omaha Fashion Week and Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week

Work it

Whether your dreams are fashioned in your basement or strutting the windows of a storefront, Kansas City has plenty of resources to get you from microenterprise to Main Street. The following Resource Partners have the tools to help your business work it.

1 Million Cups

Need to meet like-minded creatives and entrepreneurs? 1 Million Cups engages entrepreneurs through a weekly educational and networking program—every Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Kauffman Foundation.

Think Big Partners

Think Big Partners is an early-stage startup accelerator & mentorship-based collaborative network. It includes a coworking space (Think Big Coworking), entrepreneurial conferences and events, essential services, startup resources and funding (Think Big Ventures).

The masterminds behind Keefe Cravat praise Think Big’s networking events. In our Entrepreneurs in Action piece, Jahleel Allen says, “The Think Big event was the first time we appeared as a team. Having something physical to wear while representing the company was a great experience. It gave us a presence and an image.”

Johnson County Library MakerSpace

The Johnson County Central Resource Library MakerSpace provides resources, tools, and programs for hobbyists, entrepreneurs and small business owners. Did we mention it has a green screen and light kit? It’s perfect for anyone who needs to take professional-looking photograph on a serious entrepreneur budget.

Small Business & Technology Development Center - University of Missouri Kansas City

Do you need to sit down with a professional and have a serious business chat? The UMKC Small Business & Technology Development Centers offer one-on-one counseling and training to business owners and emerging business owners.

Put your best foot forward

Did you know the KCSourceLink calendar is jam-packed full of super helpful workshops and courses on starting and maintaining a business? Filter events by “business growth” or “business planning” to find events that interest you.

Call us at 816.235.6500, email us at or visit our tips, events and resources specific to your entrepreneurial type, whether you're innovation-ledsecond stagemicroenterpriseMain Street or a startup.

Written by Lauren Caldwell, writer and professional personal assistant. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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