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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Going Up? These Upcoming Programs Can Help Your KC Small Business Grow, Scale

Growing a business is filled with unique challenges. There’s a reason why anywhere from 50-70% of new businesses fail within the first four years. But the good news is that you don’t have to face these obstacles alone.

Experts and organizations right here in Kansas City can help you roll with the changes and meet your venture’s evolving needs. Whether you’re just trying to stay open or need to figure out how to scale, there are mentors, coaches, peer networks and trainings from KCSourceLink Resource Partners that can help you reach your goals.

These programs are designed for businesses that have been around for two or more years. Make sure you’re ready to apply because many of these opportunities have upcoming deadlines. Then, get ready to learn, build and grow.

GAME – Growth, Action, Measurement, Engagement

Who’s it for? Owners of businesses that have more than $250,000 in sales. The company must have been in business for more than three years.

What is it? GAME shares best practices from Kansas City business experts. Following the GrowthWheel® tool, the program dives into what entrepreneurs need to make their business better by exploring topics like business concept, customer relations, operations and organization. Participants will create action plans for 30, 60 or 90 days, get ongoing one-on-one counseling from advisors at the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Johnson County Community College and have the opportunity to connect with fellow business owners at peer-to-peer roundtables.

When: (Runs year-round) Wednesdays Sept. 8, Sept. 29, Oct. 27, Nov. 10 and Dec. 1, 7:30 to 10 a.m.

Cost: $99 total for five sessions

Apply here.

Grow Your Business Globally

Who’s it for? Business owners who want to serve international markets.

Representatives from state and federal agencies will talk about how to develop an export plan. Sponsored by Missouri SBDC, Kansas SBDC and World Trade Center Kansas City, the event will address market identification, financing and shipping risk.

When: Wednesday, Nov. 10, 12 - 5 p.m.

Where: Union Station Kansas City – Chamber Board Room

Cost: Free but registration is required

Apply here.

Growth Mentoring Service

Who's it for? The Growth Mentoring Service program has helped founders of AR, biotech, SaaS, bioremediation, retail, freight aggregator and other companies scale. Founders can be from a variety of industries as long as they’re working to grow their company – and that growth includes job creation.

What is it? The Growth Mentoring Service program is an MIT-developed mentoring program aimed at helping growth companies scale. Unlike other mentoring programs, founders receive a team of mentors who meet with the founder each month to help them reach their strategic goals.

When: Applications are always open, and founders are added each month. If selected, founders receive a team of mentors for 14 months, with the option to extend for an additional six months.

Cost: Free

Apply here.

ScaleUP! Kansas City

Who’s it for? Leaders of Missouri and Kansas companies. The business must have been open for at least two years and have at least two employees. The venture must generate more than $200,000 in annual sales and have a strong market that can generate more than $1 million in sales.

What is it? ScaleUP! Kansas City is a four-month program. The curriculum helps business owners streamline their processes, strategize for growth and energize their ventures. It’s an opportunity to take your business up a level with technology development, franchising or new product development. The program includes a strategic plan to scale your business over the next three years. Mentoring and coaching are available during and after the program. Each cohort consists of up to 15 entrepreneurs. Business owners from underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply.

When: January through May 2022

Deadline: Dec. 15, 2021

Cost: Free

Apply here.

Pipeline Fellows

Who’s it for? Leaders who are CEO/president, founder or co-founder of their company. Applicants must reside or have their principal place of business in Nebraska, Kansas, the Kansas City metro area or the St. Louis metro area. The program generally only accepts one applicant from each company.

What is it? Pipeline is a highly selective year-long fellowship. It blends workshops with advice from national experts and extensive peer mentoring and networking. Pipeline is designed to help leaders of companies that have the potential for high growth. The program helps participants address real-time issues. And programming is ongoing after the initial fellowship year.

When: Four mandatory three-day modules, January through November

Deadline: Oct. 27, 2021

Cost: $2,500 for 2021 fellowship

Apply here.

Pipeline Pathway

Who’s it for? CEOs, presidents and founders who are members of underserved communities, such as women, minority or rural entrepreneurs. Applicants must reside or have their principal place of business in Nebraska, Kansas, the Kansas City metro area or the St. Louis metro area. The program generally only accepts one applicant from each company.

What is it? Pipeline Pathway is a new program for early-stage entrepreneurs who are still working a traditional job but have the goal to move full time to their startup within the next two years. The year-long fellowship is designed for leaders whose companies are past the idea stage and who can clearly define the trajectory of the business. Content is centered around business logics for entrepreneurs.

When: Four mandatory three-day modules, January through November

Deadline: Oct. 27, 2021

Cost: Free

Apply here.

HEMP – Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program

Who’s it for? To be a mentee, applicants must fulfill all or some of these guidelines: They have been the main decision maker of their business for at least three years. The venture has an annual revenue of $1 million to $100 million and has at least five full-time employees. Applicants must have a desire to grow their business. Only one applicant per company will be accepted.

What is it? HEMP is a three-year program that connects mentees with mentors who are veteran business owners and executives. Mentors and mentees meet at least twice a month to share experiences and expertise. In addition, HEMP hosts up to 20 events a year, including an annual retreat, participant appreciation event and educational programs. Participants must attend 75% of all HEMP events.

When: Ongoing

Deadline: August, though applications are ongoing

Cost: $150 application and self-assessment processing fee; $6,500 annually

Apply here.

Want other opportunities for your business?

Not finding the program that speaks to your needs? KCSourceLink Network Navigators can help. Provide a little info, and they’ll design a free, customized Personal Action Plan just for your business. Did we mention it’s free?

You can also check out our Resource Navigator. This tool lists hundreds of organizations and opportunities to help you reach your business goals.

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