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
KC Chamber-Small Business

Kansas City's Top 10 Small Businesses Share Their Stories

KC Chamber-Small BusinessCongratulations to all of the teams nominated as the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Top 10 Small Businesses of 2016. We look forward to learning who wins at the Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon during 1WeekKC on Wednesday, May 25.

Keep reading to learn more about the teams and how you can propel your business to a top spot next year.

Veracity Consulting of Lenexa, Kan.

Angela Hurt, Veracity’s founder and CEO, stopped by our blog to tell us why Kansas City is a great place to be a woman in tech, and what we can do to keep that trend going, “The message we need to get out there is women can be successful in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine careers. And we’re doing that right now. There are amazing resources in this town not just for women entrepreneurs to connect, network and grow their businesses.” For more on those resources, visit our Coaches Corner.

Weave Gotcha Covered! of Kansas City, Mo.

Kelly Wilson, owner of Weave Gotcha Covered, is also featured in our We Create KC report his year. Here is a taste of what she’s all about:

“Wilson steadily grew Weave Gotcha Covered! from $12,500 in revenue its first year to over $700,000  in 2015. She leveraged word of mouth and strategic partnerships as well as the timely training, planning and one-on-one coaching she received from ScaleUP! KC.

“Since the beginning, we’ve really concentrated on paying our bills and staying afloat,” says Wilson. “We never stopped to think about what money would allow our business to do.”’

For more, go here.

Alpha Energy and Electric Inc. of Kansas City, Mo.

This business is just over a decade old, and in that short amount of time they’ve come a long, long way. Travel with me back in time:

“Incorporated in 2005, AlphaEE had its humble beginnings in a two room office space at the 18th and Vine Incubator with just two employees, founders Gabriel Okafor and Ike Nwabuonwu. They figured out early that if they were going to grow into a strong business they needed help from strong businesses who had already overcome the challenges they had yet to face.

"So before they opened their business, they knocked at the doors of successful construction companies and minority businesses around Kansas City. Rather than running into doors closed to competition, they found them flung wide open to collaboration.”

For their entire origin story, visit our first We Create KC report.

k12itc of Kansas City, Mo. 

Here is a quick Q&A with Krista Sandt, director of sales at k12itc:

What resources have you utilized in the Kansas City small business ecosystem to help your business grow and learn? 

“We have been involved with the Greater KC Chamber’s Entrepreneur Trips and Networking Events. The chamber has provided our organization with resources and introductions that have been invaluable.”

Why did you decide to apply for the small business award? Why is it a benefit to your business and what have you gained from the process?

“We decided to apply for the Small Business award as a way of continuous improvement. The award processes has allowed us to take a step back and evaluate our organization as a whole. It has clearly shown us our areas of strength and our areas of improvement.”

Lead Bank of Kansas City, Mo., and Lee’s Summit

Next up, Joshua Rowland, Vice Chairman of Lead Bank: 

What resources have you utilized in the Kansas City small business ecosystem to help your business grow and learn?

We have benefited from our relationship with the UMKC Regnier Mentoring program, the Economic Development Corporation of KC, LaunchKC, and the KC Chamber of Commerce.

Why did you decide to apply for the small business award? Why is it a benefit to your business and what have you gained from the process?

We were proud to be nominated by a client, and so felt we should compete for this honor.  We believe that the  award process helps our business by demonstrating to our clients and staff what our bank stands for, and how we are seen in the community.   We want our staff to be energized and excited  by their work, and the prospect of this recognition really does that.  Likewise, we want clients and prospective clients to know about us, and everything that we are doing, to create greater loyalty and affinity.


Posty Cards of Kansas City, Mo. 

One more Q&A, this time with Janet Coats, director of marketing at Posty Cards: What resources have you utilized in the Kansas City small business ecosystem to help your business grow and learn?

"In years when training funds were made available by the state of Missouri, we qualified for grants and brought in trainers for several weeks each spring for company-wide classes ranging from Meyers Briggs, to general workplace skills to LEAN manufacturing.  Although funds were not available in 2015, we were still able to host educational sessions on topics such as workplace safety, personal financial planning and sustainability. 
"Our focus on sustainability has led to participation in many local events and programs.  For example, In 2015 we participated in the KCP&L Sustainability Circles, an intensive six-month program designed to help companies in our community learn from each other as they work together to complete sustainability action plans for their organizations.  Also in 2015, company president Erick Jessee was keynote speaker at the Kansas City Green Fair where he spoke about the huge impact small businesses can have on how quickly we as a country reduce our energy consumption."

Why did you decide to apply for the small business award? Why is it a benefit to your business and what have you gained from the process?

Our greeting cards are sold throughout the United States and internationally to businesses who recognize the importance of staying in personal contact with clients and employees.  We design, print and sell our products all under one roof, our LEED Platinum-certified Kansas City headquarters.  Although we’ve been in business almost 70 years, customers purchase online or by phone and many aren’t aware of our location.  The KC Chamber’s small business events have been a great way to help us get discovered as a hometown company."

Here are the the rest of the Greater Kansas City Chamber Commerce’s Top 10 Small Businesses of 2016:
  • Centric Projects of Kansas City, Mo.
  • Adams-Gabbert & Associates LLC of Overland Park
  • DataLocker of Overland Park
  • International Builders & Consultants Inc. of Kansas City, Mo.

Ready to take your place in the spotlight?

If you’re a small business owner looking to get on this list next year, you should sign up for ScaleUP! Kansas City.

ScaleUP! will help you work towards $1 million in revenue by providing four months of courses and collisions that will connect you with a high caliber network of peers, resources and mentors and change the trajectory of your businesses.

ScaleUP! Is sure to help you make more money, grow your business and impress the judges. Applications are due by Tuesday, April 19, so get started… now! 


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