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

Now Accepting Applications in Kansas City

Calling all artpreneurs and innovators, entrepreneurs and scalers: get ready to grow your businesses with these grant competitions, mentoring programs and funding opportunities.

Skim and scan below to find the opportunity that meets your needs—and be sure to check out our business competition page for more and ongoing awards, grants and funding opportunities.


Quadrant: Main StreetStartup, Microenterprise
Deadline: June 27, 2016

Artist INC is a cutting edge training seminar that addresses the specific business needs and challenges artists of all disciplines face every day. Limited to 25 participants per session, artists gather for one night a week for eight weeks to learn business skills specific to their art practice and apply those skills cooperatively with their peers. Using an innovative class design, artists learn and grow together through artist facilitator mentoring, small group application activities, as well as large group discussion and multimedia lecture. Now in its eighth year, the Artist INC workshop has been completed by more than 300 Kansas City artists. 

Meet the team behind Artist INC. 

Launch KC 

Quadrant: Startup, Innovation-Led, Second Stage
Deadline: July 6, 2016

LaunchKC, a civic engine in the Kansas City tech space, is seeking the best and brightest entrepreneurs to apply and compete for $500,000 in grants this year. LaunchKC is committed to elevating KC’s brand as an innovation leader by investing in scalable vertical sectors like advanced manufacturing; animal health; cloud services; data analytics; and educational, financial, health, mobile, and real estate technology. 

Learn more about Launch KC.  Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards

Kansas Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards

Quadrant:  Main StreetStartupInnovation-LedSecond Stage
Deadline: July 15, 2016

Since 1983, the United States has observed National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week to recognize the outstanding achievements of minority businesses. In celebration of MED Week, the Kansas Department of Commerce's Office of Minority and Women Business Development has developed an awards program. We invite you to nominate minority-and women-owned businesses, advocates, young entrepreneurs and corporations throughout the state who exhibit outstanding achievements in their respective industries. 

Meet Kansas City's Multicultural Business Coalition. 

Digital Sandbox KC Digital-Sandbox kc

Quadrant: StartupInnovation-LedSecond Stage
Deadline: Rolling

Digital Sandbox KC broadly seeks new innovation in information technology.  Any emerging startup or established companies can play in the Sandbox. Research organizations and technology transfer offices, both corporate and academic, can also submit technologies for further development.

The Digital Sandbox is best positioned to help companies that: have a significant IT/digital component; have disruptive technologies/clear competitive advantages; are building platform technologies, enabling the development of future products and processes; are local to Kansas City, MO, and plan to stay that way; have strong, clearly defined management teams; are not already in the marketplace; need first in funding; or have a project of some sort standing between them and key investors or customers.

Check out the last five companies to enter the Sandbox. 

ScaleUP! scaleupkc

Quadrant: Main StreetInnovation-LedSecond Stage
Deadline: Open

Many business owners have difficulty moving beyond $150,000-$750,000 in sales. For four months, ScaleUP! Kansas City will immerse 12 to 15 entrepreneurs in courses and collisions that will connect them with a high caliber network of peers, resources and mentors and change the trajectory of their businesses.

The cornerstones of ScaleUP! Kansas City are FastTrac® Listening to Your Business™ and FastTrac® Growth Venture™, proven energizers for businesses positioned to scale. Courses are supplemented with Kauffman Founders School, peer-to-peer round tables and “collision” sessions that unite you with subject matter experts. And the most meaningful part of ScaleUP! is the lifelong connections you’ll make with your peer cohort—other entrepreneurs who face the similar challenges as you.

Meet the current cohort of ScaleUp'ers!

Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Programhelzberg entrepreneurial mentoring program

Quadrant: Main StreetInnovation-LedSecond Stage
Deadline: August 1, 2017

The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP) was founded in 1995 by Barnett Helzberg, Jr., former owner and President of Helzberg Diamonds. Inspired by his twenty-three year mentoring relationship with Ewing Kauffman, HEMP matches seasoned, successful entrepreneur mentors with less-experienced entrepreneur mentees. Considerable mentoring is also fostered through peer-to-peer relationships derived from involvement through HEMP.

Components of the program include a one-on-one mentoring relationship, networking opportunities with peers and veteran business owners, exposure to mentoring skills that can be applied to any professional or personal situation, business educations discussing greatest successes and lessons learned from peers and top CEOs in the community, and field trips to locations of entrepreneurial interest within the Kansas City area.

Read about more mentor programs in Kansas City. 

Tips, Events + Resources for Startups

Not quite what you're looking for? We've got two places for you to go: find a business competition that fits your business stage or visit your Startup page for events, resources, classes and more to get your startup ready for speed.

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.