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

Is There an Elephant in the Family Business?

Running a Family Business

Growing up with the family business’ office next door to your room almost guarantees that you will have business flowing directly through your DNA. Kyle Danner, family business advisor, experienced just that and then spent almost 20 years learning from the challenges and rewards that come along with being in a family company.

To Danner, family and business are one in the same and he was able to take his personal and professional experiences and wrap them up into helping other families with their businesses. Recently during a group workshop, Kyle shared some useful tips to help families promote conversations and changes:

·         Acknowledge the issue/struggle. Being honest is key about what the problem is or can be. Take the time to communicate clearly and rationally.

·         Realize that anything can happen. Unexpected events can occur at any time and at the same time. Be flexible, adaptable and willing to change course if circumstances require it.

·         Understand that other families in business may be going through the same thing. Don’t feel alone or ashamed that everything is not perfect. You can find strength in learning from others’ experiences.

·         Try to step back from tunnel vision. Don’t just see things from one point of view. Deliberately and intentionally, try to see things from a new perspective.

·         Look for constructive ways to handle things. Try to focus on the specific issue with the result being positive changes. Focus on the solution, not the problem.

·         There is more than one side to a story. Everyone could actually be right at the same time if listening is involved first. Take the time to listen to each other, with open ears and hearts.

·         Don’t be afraid to talk to each other. Every family has a story. Be open to communication and share your thoughts.   

Deciding to start or get involved in an already existing family business will come with benefits and backfires. Being prepared is important. Being honest is crucial. Luckily, there are people like Kyle Danner willing to stand by your side, just like family, to make sure you tackle the “elephant in the family business.” To learn more contact Kyle Danner at or

For more mentoring and counseling resources contact:

SCORE – Kansas City

Small Business & Technology Development Center - UMKC

Kansas Small Business Development Center at JCCC


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.