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
Sparks fly out from a central point surrounding a person holding a light at night
By David Cawthon
January 07, 2020

Fire Up Your Business in 2020 with Discounts on Top KC Entrepreneur Programs

The new year is HERE. So it’s time to make good on those business resolutions and make sure you’ve got a great 2020 vision by taking advantage of a few of these great opportunities for your Kansas City business, no matter what you do and no matter what you want to accomplish this year (finding funding, nailing down your social media plan, finally taking that first step to start your business, getting a business coach who can help your business grow).

But keep in mind that this short list isn’t comprehensive; there are WAY MORE opportunities out there to help KC entrepreneurs and small business owners (like you) take that first or next step. 

Check out Kansas City’s most comprehensive business calendar for hundreds of upcoming events. Or peruse the Resource Navigator, which lists over 240 nonprofit organizations that can help you start or grow your entrepreneurial passion. And while you’re at it, download the Resource Rail, which maps your entrepreneur journey in KC and shows you which of those 240+ Resource Partner organizations you can access along the way, from inception to exit.

Let’s get to it!

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

Block Knowledge (formerly Project United Knowledge)

Who’s it for? Block Knowledge offers a 12-week accelerator program for those with 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 application deadline is Jan. 24. The next cohort starts Feb. 18. 

Cost: $350; scholarships are available.

Submit your application by Jan. 24 here and explore projectuk.org for more information.

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.

New this year: Enroll for class, and you’ll have the chance to win thousands of dollars in microgrants for your business.

When: Nine sessions, the first starts Jan. 29

Deadline: Jan. 24

Cost: $649; $75 after UBGI scholarship for those who live or work in Kansas City, Missouri

Apply here.

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.

New this year: Enroll for class, and you’ll have the chance to win thousands of dollars in microgrants for your business.

When: Nine sessions, the first starts Feb. 20

Deadline: Feb. 17

Cost: $649; $75 after UBGI scholarship for those who live or work in Kansas City, Missouri

Apply here.

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

BetaBlox

Who’s it for? For the select 10 companies that show the most promise of scaling, BetaBlox starts as an accelerator, turns into an incubator and ends as an adviser. Take advantage of networking, access to investors, startup classes, coaching, office space and more.

When: Apply by Jan. 31, 2020. Cohorts run a full year.

Cost: BetaBlox gets 5 percent equity ownership when your company is acquired, goes public or starts paying dividends.

Apply by Jan. 31.

ELEVATIONLAB™ GROWTH VENTURE

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.

New this year: Enroll for class, and you’ll have the chance to win thousands of dollars in microgrants for your business.

When: This 11-session course starts Feb. 7 and meets on Fridays

Deadline: Feb. 4

Cost: $649; $75 after UBGI scholarship for those who live or work in Kansas City, Missouri

Apply here by Feb. 4.

AltCap: NeXt Stage KC

Who’s it for? This program is built for minority and women entrepreneurs who are running second-stage companies ready for growth. Take advantage of advanced business development training, an executive coach and access to a national business network that’ll prepare your business for more funding and contracting opportunities.

When: The seven-month course starts March 20 and is available to 20 select business owners who meet the requirements. Apply by Feb. 14, 2020.

Cost: $1,000; scholarships are available

Apply by Feb. 14.

Sprint Accelerator

Who’s it for? Innovative startups and scaling companies that have goals that align with Sprint and want to form a long-term relationship with the wireless carrier by leveraging its 5G network will be selected for this accelerator. Candidates often come from the cloud gaming and entertainment industry; edge computing; a platform or app that’s for a broader developer audience; mixed reality and virtual reality; and smart places (venues, cities, factories, buildings and more).

When: Applications close Jan. 31, 2020. The program starts April 6 and culminates June 25 with a Demo Day.

Cost: Free

Apply by Jan. 31.

Looking for something else?

No sweat. Like we said before, Kansas City has over 240+ nonprofit organizations that have classes, events, competitions and celebrations throughout the year to help you start or grow your business or nonprofit, so there are PLENTY of other opportunities. So tell us a bit about what you need here or call 816-235-6500, and we’ll craft your (always free) Personal Action Plan (that’s your customized set of next steps to move your business forward).

And while you wait for your custom plan from KCSourceLink, check out Kansas City metro’s most comprehensive business calendar for hundreds of events each month for entrepreneurs, business owners, doers, dreamers and makers, just like you.

How can we help you?

Our team helps grow entrepreneurship in Kansas City every day.

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