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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.

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UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center

ScaleUP! Kansas City Reveals Fourth Cohort


The ScaleUP! Kansas City program welcomes its fourth cohort of 17 companies to its program aimed at helping Kansas City’s homegrown companies aim for their first $1 million in revenue.

“ScaleUP! Kansas City continues to fill a key and vital gap in our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Jill Meyer, program director of ScaleUP! KC. “Building a business is hard and lonely work and business owners spend a lot of time working IN their businesses, but rarely have the time or resources to work ON their businesses. ScaleUP! KC gives them that perspective and gives us a chance to provide mentoring and training to these businesses that are so key to our economic growth.”

Recently, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that they will continue to fund ScaleUP! Kansas City for another two cohorts, giving up to 30 more Kansas City area businesses a chance to strategically focus on building growth.

Introducing the Fourth Cohort of ScaleUP! KC

Over four months, ScaleUP! KC business owners participate in intensive curriculum, coaching and peer-mentoring that connects them with subject matter experts and equips them with the strategic perspective necessary to position their businesses for growth.

The fourth ScaleUP! Kansas City cohort includes:

Erin Bardon, BNB Design, Bonner Springs, Kansas

BNB Design is a full-service architecture and interior design firm with a focus on commercial, multifamily housing, health care and government projects. Founded in 2003, BNB Design has planned and designed more than two-million square feet of space for local businesses, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and national government agencies.

Jacob Bourret, Innovating Solutions, Belton, Missouri

Innovating Solutions is a smart-technology company that develops innovative, smart and easy-to-use gadgets. One of their primary inventions is Tappecue, a wi-fi BBQ smart-thermometer that ensures meat is properly cooked.

Germaine Chappell, Chappell Electric, Kansas City, Missouri

Chappell Electric is an MBE, SLBE and Section 3 company that provides commercial and residential services, which include electrical wiring, lighting system installation, low voltage electrical installation and service upgrades for new construction and renovations. 

Ryan Deveney, Studio Build, Kansas City, MIssouri

Studio Build believes that integrating the design and build processes produce the best projects for their clients. In order to provide the most efficient service, Studio Build takes the master builder role in lieu of the more traditional architect/builder role.

Luke Einsel, Thirsty Coconut, Olathe, Kansas

Thirsty Coconut is a food service distributor focused on healthy products located in Olathe, Kansas. Founded in 2012, Thirsty Coconut distributes healthy products to cafeterias in schools, universities, hospitals and corporate environments to help drive a large volume of sales, with trucks delivering to these locations on a daily basis.

Georgina Herrera, Mackech Jewelry, Overland Park, Kansas

Mackech Jewelry is a wholesale and retail fine jewelry business located in Overland Park, Kansas. Within the company is MCK Brands, a group of five jewelry brands that offers its customers a unique design that merges current fashion trends with Mayan culture. Mackech designs and distributes jewelry brands to department and jewelry stores throughout Mexico and the United States.

Philip Lopez, Arboles Tree Trimming, Kansas City, Kansas

Begun in 2006 out of owner Philip Lopez’s home, Arboles Tree Trimming has since expanded to provide tree-trimming services in both residential and commercial capacities across the Kansas City area. Clients include the Unified Government of Wyandotte County Kansas City, Kansas; City of Roeland Park, Kansas; Jackson County Sports Complex; JE Dunn; Kansas Gas; and numerous others.

Philip Mabion, Bethlehem Home Health Care, Kansas City, Missouri

Bethlehem Home Healthcare is a privately owned home health care company located in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri, servicing the whole Kansas City metropolitan area. Bethlehem provides services such as skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, aide and attendant care, veteran services, bath aide and meal preparation—all in the patients’ homes.

Habte Mesfin, Revocup Coffee Corp, Overland Park, Kansas

Revocup is a coffee roasting company and coffee shop based in Overland Park, Kansas, that pledges 10 cents of every dollar received to assist coffee farmers around the world. Launched in 2012, Revocup Coffee Foundation focuses on building sustainability in the coffee industry and providing education to coffee farmers in Ethiopia.

Ronald Mirick, Cass County Choppers, Pleasant Hill, Missouri

Established in 2008, Cass County Choppers/Trikes created a bolt-on trike kit for motorcycle riders. In 2011, Cass County Choppers made the decision to add Turret Press Parts, a manufacturer of clamps and components for turret press machines, which filled a need to assist manufacturing businesses with replacing frequently damaged parts with more reasonably priced alternatives.

Brandon O’Dell, Friend That Cooks, Shawnee, Kansas

Beginning in 2008, Friend That Cooks personal chefs offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. They send personal chefs to homes for a half day every week to shop, cook, clean up and stock a week's worth of healthy, premade meals to reheat. In addition to weekly meal prep, Friend That Cooks chefs also offer in-home parties and cooking lessons. 

Ryan Sciara, Underdog Wine Co., Kansas City, Missouri

Underdog Wine Co. is a retail wine and spirits store located in the Crestwood Shops. The wines are organized by weight and flavor profile rather than by country and varietal. In addition to the more than 400 select wines, Underdog stocks a small but well-thought-out selection of artisan spirits, craft beers and bean-to-bar chocolate bars.

Christina Scott, Shamerrific Shine, Overland Park, Kansas

Shamerrific Shine is a full service eco-friendly auto detailing and hand car wash service. Shamerrific Shine company utilizes patented, environmentally friendly cleaning products that allow them to clean vehicles and achieve superior results, usually without using chemicals.

Kunjan Shah, Quark Studios, Overland Park, Kansas

Quark Studios provides integrated web and mobile solutions for an end-to-end product cycle and field rollout support. Quark Studios’ core competencies include project assessment, planning, development, integration and implementation of web and mobile solutions and deployment processes for enterprises and government organizations.

Dana Ward, Great Day Moving, Kansas City, Kansas

Great Day Moving is a local, veteran-owned and operated Kansas City moving company providing both residential and commercial services, whether locally or long-distance. Great Day’s seeks to introduce its valued customers to integrity and accountability before, during, and after moving day.

Cecilio Webb, Webb Technology Group, Kansas City, Missouri

A veteran and minority-owned business, Webb Technology Group’s guiding principle is to design technology solutions to make the everyday connection better for people.

Kenneth Yancy,, Kansas City, Missouri is a software development and telecommunications company. Founded in 2006, specializes in responsive websites, mobile apps, target mobile outreach/marketing and custom software. Software development projects range from mobile apps to building software platforms similar to Facebook and YouTube.  

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 and ScaleUP! KC continues to be one of its flagship programs. 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.

To be selected for ScaleUP! Kansas City, applicants had to meet the following criteria: lead a company that has been in business for at least two years; currently have revenues between $150,000 and $500,000; and have a strong market than can generate more than $1 million in sales.

ScaleUP! fills a gap in the Kansas City entrepreneurial ecosystem to support businesses that have significant revenues but require support and expertise to rise to the next level.  The UMKC IC is poised to boost these businesses to the higher sales and revenue that will yield job creation.

For more information or to apply for Cohort 5 or 6, go to

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