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
Chris Goode of Ruby Jean's Juicery

Need a Business Coach or Mentor? Explore Some Great Opportunities for KC Entrepreneurs


You are so lucky. You know that?

You’re in Kansas City … one of THE BEST places in the country to start or grow your business. We have over 240+ nonprofit organizations that can help guide your from inception to second stage and beyond. Here, we’re sampling just a few here that have hot opportunities you gotta jump on NOW (because those deadlines are almost here).

One of the best ways to give your business (or business idea) a leg up is by learning from some of the best minds in Kansas City entrepreneurship. In fact, dozens of KC-area organizations are currently promoting deep dive classes and programs that will equip you with business coaches, a peer community and the business know-how and confidence to help you clear your obstacles and reach your next milestone.

And the one thing that all these opportunities have in common? You learn right along with fellow business owners: people who are in (or recently have been) in the same situation you are. Call them peer mentors, call them comrades in entrepreneurial arms—often, what they end up being at the end of the program are confidants, customers, mentors, partners and friends. Add those folks to the expert coaches who lead these sessions, and you have a powerful, strong network that will have your back.

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.

So quit mulling those startup and scaleup thoughts and DO SOMETHING. Get some expert training on how you can test that concept and make it a reality OR grow or scale something you’ve already built with the help of some of the best business coaches and entrepreneur peers and mentors that the KC metro has to offer.

No matter the stage of your business, from solidifying your business idea, to starting a tech company, to growth, scaling, second stage and exit … there’s something here for everyone and for every stage of your business journey.

It’s time to take whatever you want to do to the next level. Find your niche and drop that flag. We’ve got some growing to do.

Serial KC entrepreneur Donald Hawkins is an ElevationLab alum

“I have a business idea, but I need help getting started.”

Entrepreneurial Mindset Training 

Who’s it for? This course is a revolutionary new learning program that’ll prep you to think like an entrepreneur and immerse yourself in experiences that’ll show you what you need to succeed. You’ll also use a state-of-the-art tool to test your assumptions outside of traditional business planning. Learn more about Entrepreneurial Mindset Training.

When: Sept. 18 - Nov. 13
Deadline: Sept. 11
Cost: $649; $75 after UBGI scholarship

ELEVATIONLAB™ NEW VENTURE 

Who’s it for? If you want to start a business, but you’re not sure what to do next, check out this five-week course offered by the Missouri Small Business Development Center at UMKC. And if you work or reside in Kansas City, Missouri, there’s a hefty scholarship you can grab—an 88 percent savings. Get more details here.

When: July 23 - Aug. 20; Oct. 1 - 29
Deadline: July 18
Cost: $649; $75 after UBGI scholarship

ELEVATIONLAB™ TECH VENTURE 

Who’s it for? When you’re ready to start an innovation-led company, start here. This program is an intensive eight-session course designed to give technology- and science-based entrepreneurs a proven framework and network of connections to help grow a great idea into the next viable innovation. Get more information here.

When: Sept. 18 - Nov. 13
Deadline: Sept. 11
Cost: $649; $75 after UBGI scholarship

Don’t see a class that meets your needs or your schedule? Explore the calendar for more classes and future course dates. (Or just give us a call, and we’ll point you in the right direction. Digits: 816-235-6500)

Project United Knowledge

Who’s it for? Project United Knowledge offers a 12-week accelerator program for those who have a very early-stage idea that could solve our community’s most pressing issues, namely in the industries of agriculture, health care, education and technology.

When: The first of four cohorts starts Aug. 27 and culminates in a “demo day” during Global Entrepreneurship Week - Kansas City in November. 
Cost: $350; scholarships are available.

Applications accepted at projectuk.org.

“I want to get my business ready to scale.”

Growth360

Who’s it for? You asked for it, and the Missouri Small Business Development Center at UMKC created it. Growth360 is new to the KC entrepreneurial ecosystem and was created to fill that gap between starting a business and scaling it. To be selected for Growth360 cohort, business owners must be in business for more than two years, have more than $50,000 in revenue for the prior year and work on the business full-time.

When: Fridays, Sept. 20 - Nov. 22, 2019
Deadline: Sept. 11
Cost: $0, to selected participants, but an application is required

If you’re somewhere between growth and scaling, this course will prime you for bigger things ahead. Grow your peer network, hear from experts and learn from fellow business owners who’ve been where you want to go.

Growth360 brings a group of diverse business owners together and gives them a 360-degree perspective to illuminate those blind spots and make smarter decisions for business growth. The program is offered at no cost, but you have to apply.

Apply here.

ScaleUP! KC alums pose for a picture

“I’m ready to aim for $1 million or more in revenue.”

ScaleUP! Kansas City

Who’s it for? ScaleUP! KC is for companies that’ve been in business for at least two years, have revenues greater than $200,000 and are ready to aim for their first $1 million in revenue. (Haven’t hit that $200K mark? Scroll up and check out Growth360, which was created to be that step in between startup and scaleup.) 

When: Cohort 10 runs from January through May 2020. Exact dates TBA.
Deadline: Dec. 15, 2019
Cost: $0 to selected participants, but an application is required.

ScaleUP! KC, an intensive 16-week program for Kansas City entrepreneurs, offers coaching, training and peer mentoring that teaches small-business owners how to scale, forecast revenue and expenses, hire and retain employees and more. Plus, ScaleUP! KC offers a personal and structured peer learning experience with know-how and wisdom from expert business coaches, peer mentors and past ScaleUP! alums, who’ve been there and conquered that.

ScaleUP! KC helps qualified businesses reach their expansion goals and engages companies that have the potential to scale and increase market visibility, all to create more jobs in KC and contribute to the region’s economic health.

Apply for the ScaleUP! Cohort by Dec. 15, 2020. The next one starts January 2020 and runs until May.

“My established business needs a plan for growth.”

GAME - Growth through Action, Measurement, & Engagement

Who’s it for? Businesses with revenues greater than $250,000.

When: 7:30 - 10 a.m. on Aug. 15, Aug. 29, Sept. 12, Sept. 26 and Oct. 10 (pick and choose the courses you want)

Cost: $50 per daylong course or $99 for all five

If you run a growing company that wants a growth agenda and a plan you can use to expand your business, you should get in the GAME. Each session covers one of the four areas that affects every business: business concept, customer relations, operations and organization.

We’re talking about action plans from 30 to 90 days, roundtables that focus on your opportunities and challenges, tips and insight from experts, ongoing one-on-one business counseling and more. All this is provided by the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Johnson County Community College.

Apply now. Classes start soon!

Kansas City tech entrepreneur Toby Rush was a Pipeline Fellow

“I run an innovation-led company and need a mentor to help guide me to exit.”

Pipeline Entrepreneurs

Who’s it for? CEOs, presidents, founders or co-founders who own, control or license the business’s intellectual property and operate in Kansas, Nebraska, the KC metro and St. Louis entrepreneurs tied to Washington University.

When: The next cohort starts Jan. 23, 2020
Deadline: Oct. 21, 2019
Cost: $5,000

If you’re a company focused on technology, innovation and disruption and want a mentor to help guide your company to an exit, see what Pipeline Entrepreneurs offers. The regional technology entrepreneur fellowship program identifies high-potential technology entrepreneurs and matches them with best-in-class training, resources and mentors to help their company grow.

We’re talking about an immersive fellowship program that blends workshop modules, expert advice and robust mentorship from the entire Pipeline network.

Applications open Aug. 26, 2019. Apply by the Oct. 21 deadline.

“I need a mentor to help my business reach second stage.”

Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program: 

Who’s it for? Businesses with $1 million to $100 million in revenues, five or more full-time employees and three or more years in business

When: Three-years of mentorship starts mid-September 2019
Deadline: Aug. 1, 2019 (HEMP accepts only one cohort per year)
Cost: $5,500

If you’re eyeing second-stage growth and want to be connected with some of the top business leader mentors around, this program is certainly one to check out. The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program was founded in 1995 by Barnett Helzberg, Jr., former owner and president of Helzberg Diamonds. Inspired by his 23-year mentoring relationship with Ewing Kauffman, HEMP matches seasoned, successful entrepreneur mentors with second-stage entrepreneur mentees.

Becoming a mentee at HEMP can be invaluable for your business and experience as an entrepreneur. You will learn from some of the industry’s most influential and successful leaders and gain knowledge through their personal experiences. Mentors have included Henry Bloch of H&R Block, Jack Schmid of J. Schmid & Associates and Dave Lockton of Lockton Companies.

You’ll get 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 education discussing greatest successes, lessons learned from peers and top CEOs in the community and field trips to locations of entrepreneurial interest in and outside of Kansas City.

Applications are due Aug. 1.


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