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
Pitch Your Business to Venture Capitalists from around the Nation

Pitch Your Business to Venture Capitalists from around the Nation

Pitch Your Business to Venture Capitalists from around the Nation

High growth potential entrepreneurs—you have the opportunity to pitch your early-stage business to hundreds of venture capitalists, investors and business executives at the InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum on March 28 – 29 in St. Louis. The early application deadline for presenters is November 10.

You are eligible to present if you run a company in the Midwest seeking a minimum of $1 million and projecting $20 million of revenue within five years. The InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum will include three separate industry tracks: life sciences, information technology and agriculture/food/bioenergy.

There are advantages to applying before November 10, the early deadline. “If the selection committee members have questions, early applicants have time to clarify and strengthen their cases,” explains Christine Walsh, InvestMidwest executive director. “That can make the difference in the committee’s decision regarding a company being invited to present at InvestMidwest.”

Companies that presented at InvestMidwest’s previous 18 events have raised well over $1 billion in equity investment. Here with more reasons to apply and some tricks of the trade are experienced entrepreneurs and investors.

Chris Motley, Better Weekdays, Inc (St. Louis, Missouri)

Chris Motley is the CEO of Better Weekdays, a tech platform that helps employers hire college students easier. Last year was his second pitch at InvestMidwest. He returned to the forum because he successfully earned new investors after year one.  

“InvestMidwest is a great opportunity to showcase your business and what you’ve done, in front of the most relevant people—investors. Capital is very important.”  

His advice to interested entrepreneurs? Know your story and have real traction. “The process of an entrepreneur is validating your idea as an actual opportunity. Once you know it is an opportunity it’s figuring out the most efficient way to execute that opportunity. And then presenting it in a way that’s clear and understandable.”  

Darcy Howe, KCRise Fund

Darcy Howe is a longtime investor who now runs KCRise Fund, a sidecar fund which co-invests with institutional venture capitalists in early-stage companies based in KC.  

“Venture capital firms from around the country are very intrigued by what’s going on in Kansas City and in the Midwest.” That’s why she always invites venture capitalists to InvestMidwest.       

The concentration of this two-day event is tremendously impactful. “I just talked to an entrepreneur who said it would take me a month to meet all of the people who were in that room for my eight minute presentation. [InvestMidwest] has tremendous value for the entrepreneur and the investor.”  

Jeff Shackelford, Digital Sandbox KC

Jeff Shackelford is the director of Digital Sandbox KC, a proof-of-concept program at the UMKC Innovation Center. He attends InvestMidwest to see how the entrepreneurial ecosystem is maturing in the region and is consistently impressed.

“[InvestMidwest] is an awesome opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet potential investors, as well as meeting each other. Meet other folks who are trying to do similar things as you are because there’s going to be some real benefit.”

His advice to interested entrepreneurs? “Get ready. You got to be at the right time for this to be the right place. If you are at the right stage, it’s about being prepared.” Here’s some advice on pitching from experts in our Resource Network.

Applications will be accepted for InvestMidwest through January 12, 2018, early applications are due November 10.

Looking for other funding opportunities?

If you’re looking for startup resources, but the InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum isn’t a perfect fit for you, give us some information in our CapitalMatch funnel and we will help you find your next step and maybe even your next investor.

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