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

The Sandbox is Growing & So Can Your Business


Digital Sandbox KC was designed to help companies validate concepts, leading to new business starts and follow-on funding.

Three years in, the results speak for themselves:

  • 65 proof-of-concept projects funded for area startups

  • 34 new KC-based companies created

  • $1.2M in project development funding

  • $28,275,304 in follow-on funding

  • 49 of 65 (75%) receiving project funding have secured add-on investment

  • 339 jobs created with more than $9 million in payroll

  • $3,141,733 in sales for 2015.  Collectively $16,737,921 in sales since inception (5 companies have crossed the $1 million sales mark)

  • 55 products launched, 38 patent applications, 6 patents awarded

This momentum shows no sign of slowing.

“Now, we’re looking to expand the reach of the program into other verticals, like the recently launched Energy Sandbox , and other local markets, like our partnerships with the cities of Olathe and Independence,” explained Jeff Shackleford, executive director of Digital Sandbox KC. “It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when we collaborate and combine resources to help early-stage entrepreneurs.”

In addition to a recent collaboration with Independence, Missouri, Digital Sandbox has now partnered with GXP Investments to launch Energy Sandbox.

“We believe the Energy Sandbox can drive innovative thinking in the energy space, and further establish the Kansas City region as an entrepreneurial hub,” said Dennis Odell, senior director at GXP Investments.  “We hope this support will surface many new ideas and encourage entrepreneurs working on the challenges of energy.”

GXP Investments is the non-regulated investment affiliate of Great Plains Energy Incorporated, the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest.

In addition to the Kansas City region, applications to Energy Sandbox are encouraged from throughout the Great Plains Energy service area, which spans western Missouri and eastern Kansas.

Applications are taken on a rolling basis and evaluation/selection cycles run every eight weeks.  Energy Sandbox funding may cover expenses for project consultants, legal support, equipment and other market validation, prototyping and beta testing needs.

You can apply here.

And, as always, if you have any questions about applying, send us an email at or give us a call: 8162356500.

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