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
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These Low- or No-Cost Classes Will Help You Start or Grow Your Biz in KC's Urban Core


Whether you’re thinking about starting a business in Kansas City, Missouri, or have one you’re ready to rev up, the Urban Business Growth Initiative is ready to help with a suite of high-impact classes for high-impact entrepreneurs.

What kind of impact? In the past five years, we’re talking about 455 scholarships (that means more money in your pocket for a course that could start your new career that YOU build from the ground up.) And there are more results in the numbers: UBGI has helped start 63 business, created 350 jobs and led to a $49 million increase in sales. The bottom line: The program will equip you with the mindset, knowledge and skills to turn that passion into a real full-time gig.

Think about it: actual time to work ON your business and not just IN it with coaches, peer business owners, seasoned entrepreneurs, who can help you think through your plan and map out your steps toward success. And you can do that with people—expert business coaches and peer business owners who are in the trenches with you—who all understand your challenges (because they’ve been there) and can help you clear those hurdles to help you vet your business idea and prime your venture for growth.

These in-person courses will expand your business knowledge and help you make all the right moves as you learn right along with other ambitious entrepreneurs in Kansas City, Missouri. (So you can expand your network and make those vital, lasting connections you just can’t with online-only courses.)

So what’s stopping you from signing upLike right now? These classes will start before you know it.

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Save Hundreds of Dollars and Learn How to Launch Your Business

If you reside or operate your business in Kansas City, Missouri, you’re eligible to save hundreds of dollars on these classes when you apply for an Urban Business Growth Initiative scholarship.

(See a list of UBGI-qualifying courses at the bottom of the post.)

And not only will you save on the class, you’ll also save on the time, money, sweat, tears and frustration you would’ve spent trying to figure how to start and scale a business on your own ... because #teamwork.

Ready? Apply now.

Your entrepreneurial (and UBGI) inspiration


Need some proof these programs are super valuable? OK. Take Crystal Pihl, who wasn’t sure how to take her love of creating art and convert it into a business. But after UBGI, she discovered how her creative passion could be her full-time gig.

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“I got a lot of beautiful interactions with amazing people in the class, and hearing their stories and vision really inspired me; it gave me confidence with my business and skills,” she says. “Entrepreneurial Mindset Training really provided an environment for that to happen.”

>>>>>Read Crystal’s story and others in the 2019 UBGI annual report.

Tech entrepreneur Donald Hawkins saw what happens when businesses left the community he grew up in—and he didn’t want that to happen in KC. So when he wanted to improve his app that aims to connect customers, communities and small businesses, UBGI taught him how to clarify his value proposition, define who his customers were and tweak his business model.

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“The Tech Venture class gives you the connections and tools to get the foundation built correctly,” he says. “Like everything in life, if the foundation is good, you can build as high as you'd like.”

>>>>>Find out how Donald built his app and got into a top tech accelerator.

So are you ready to create your own small-business success story? Apply for a UBGI scholarship here for winter classes while they last. Seriously. Don’t wait. (Scholarship are awesome, but they’re limited.)

So What Does the Urban Business Growth Initiative Do Exactly?

The UBGI program creates economic impact and empowerment in Kansas City’s urban core. In fiscal year 2018, it helped business owners in Kansas City, Missouri, reach more than $2 million more in sales and helped create 58 new jobs through courses and counseling from the UMKC Small Business Technology Development Center.

Read the full 2018 impact report here.

Here’s the gist: These scholarships help people who live and work in Kansas City, Missouri, make a real, positive impact in their communities.

Upcoming Classes with Available UBGI Scholarships

This winter, UBGI will help more KCMO small-business owners, contractors and construction business owners develop their entrepreneurial mindset, plan and solidify their businesses’ financials and prepare for strategic growth with scholarships to selected programs.

Click on the class title to apply. Scholarships go fast. Don't wait to apply:

ELEVATIONLAB™ CONSTRUCTION VENTURE

Jan. 8 - Feb. 26 on Tuesdays from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Do you have a construction business you’re eager to grow? Work on your business strategy with the help of experts who understand the industry and can guide you how to apply what you learn to your real-world operation. Plus, after the eight-session course is up, you’ll still have access to those coaches so you can keep your business moving forward.

Cost: $649
$75 after UBGI scholarship


ELEVATIONLAB™ NEW VENTURE

Jan. 22, 29 - Feb. 19 on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

If you want to own your own business, this program will help you see if you idea will work and help you make the tweaks to ensure you’ll have a successful business. You’ll hear guest speakers and entrepreneurs who understand what it’s like to start and run a biz, and you’ll get access to coaching that’ll help inspire you and solidify your idea. Plus, this course is geared toward those who want an accelerated program in just five sessions.

Cost: $649
$75 after UBGI scholarship


Entrepreneurial Mindset Training

Feb. 20 - April 17 on Wednesdays from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Have a business idea but don’t know where to start? Do you want to learn how to be an entrepreneur? Get that vital foundation (and some inspiration) during this course.

Cost: $649
$75 after UBGI scholarship


Social Media Road Map for Business

Feb. 26 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Want to learn how to craft a social media strategy for your company? This is the course. Get examples and ideas, understand what really matters for your biz, find out what to do about ugly comments and bad news and learn a whole lot more. You’ll leave with a clear action plan you can use.

Cost: $199
$0 after UBGI scholarship


Reading and Understanding Financial Statements: It’s All about the Benjamins!

March 5 from 5:30–8:30 p.m.

Financial statements may be complicated, but they’re also the core of any successful business. Experts will guide you through every tricky bit.

Cost: $149
$0 after UBGI scholarship

 

This is close to what I need but not quite. What else do you have for budding entrepreneurs?

Glad you asked. KCSourceLink is the go-to for KC entrepreneurship. We can plug you into the right course, mentor, organization or group for your small business, startup, passion project, side hustle or idea-in-the-making.

Just give us a call at 816-235-6500 or fill out your request over here at www.kcsourcelink.com/myplan. We’ll develop a Personal Action Plan to help connect with resources and opportunities so you can hit that next milestone.

Get Your Personal Action Plan

Ready to get your thing started? Tell us about yourself, your business and your challenge and we'll develop your Personal Action Plan, your customized checklist of what to do and who to meet to move your business forward.

How can we help you?

Our team helps grow entrepreneurship in Kansas City every day.

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