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
Karl Dunivent, Choice Cabinets

Hitting Home with Choice Cabinet KC

Karl Dunivent, Choice Cabinets
Choice Cabinet KC
Karl Dunivent | Kansas City, Mo. | Second Stage

After experiencing only a 25 percent sales growth in 2015 after a succession of 100 percent growth in the years prior, Karl Dunivent of Choice Cabinet KC decided he needed to do something different to renew his sales.

That’s where ScaleUP! KC came in. After a big “aha” moment (too busy working in the business and not on the business), Karl is now expecting an increase of 30 percent in sales in the next year.

Read below what he learned in the ScaleUP! KC program in his own words.

Have you or do you plan to hire employees? Who, when, and how many?

I plan to add part time in the office looking for an order expediter and help with Quickbooks.
I’m always looking for designers that would most likely be hired as 1099 employees. I would give them leads from the home show and let them schedule appointments to sell products.

Have you or do you plan to expand your facility or production? When and how?

In one to two years, I would like to move into a combination warehouse and showroom. Currently, we have separate facilities about 10 miles apart.

What revenue or capacity increases do you project as a result of those efforts?

We are projecting a 30 percent sales increase this next year as a result of our renewed efforts spurred on by the ScaleUP! KC program.

Why did you apply to ScaleUP! KC in the first place?

After reading up on the ScaleUP! KC program, it seemed like a great opportunity. My hope was that Scale Up! KC would help me focus and get over the sales hump. We had been experiencing 100 percent revenue increase year after year sales growth, but only had 25 percent increase in 2015. I was looking for opportunities to learn how to grow and be more profitable.

What was your first “aha” moment?

I was working on the marketing module homework with my wife, and we were planning our marketing strategy. She mentioned that we should get a list of remodelers to sell our cabinets to and draft a letter to send them. I said we have that list and we have that letter. We sent it out the first year of business and got a few remodeler customers. The “aha” was I was so busy working in the business and not on the business. We lost focus and it took ScaleUP! KC to help me see that.

Tell me about your cohort. How have they added value to the program, to your business?

I think we are developing into a pretty tight knit group. We have met post ScaleUP! KC and will continue to bounce ideas around. We all have similar issues and being able to discuss with a group of confidants is helpful.

What advice would you give to folks who are considering applying to ScaleUP! KC?

Go into ScaleUP! KC with an open mind, be prepared to be challenged and let everything you are currently doing be challenged.

Find Choice Cabinet KC
Web: www.choicecabinetkc.com
Facebook: ChoiceCabinetKC
Houzz: ChoiceCabinetKC

About ScaleUP! KC

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Innovation Center (UMKC IC) was awarded one of the first ScaleUP! America program contracts nationwide by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The program provides direct support for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and firms to include underserved and underrepresented communities/populations while strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The result is expected to be measurable economic impact and job growth in local communities.

Applications for Cohort 4 are now open.  You can apply here to be considered for acceptance into ScaleUP! KC and drive your business to even greater heights: www.scaleupkc.com. The deadline for Cohort 4 applications is April 19, 2016.

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.

Subscribe