UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

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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
KCSourceLink Community-Based Network Navigators
By Sarah Mote
October 11, 2021

KCSourceLink Wins Award of Excellence from University Economic Development Association

Helping start and grow businesses in Kansas City is our mission, purpose and passion—and (we won’t lie), it’s icing on the multitiered community ecosystem cake to be recognized nationally for the work we and our network does to help KC entrepreneurs follow their mission, purpose and passion.

Recently, the University Economic Development Association recognized KCSourceLink and our Community-Based Network Navigator program with an Award of Excellence at its UEDA Summit.

We are more than honored for our work and Kansas City to be recognized as a national model for best practices in entrepreneurship-led economic development.

Meet Our Community-Based Network Navigators!

KCSourceLink established our Community-Based Network Navigator program to help meet entrepreneurs where they are and expand the reach of KC’s entrepreneurship network. These Navigators are folks who work after hours, on weekends, part-time and across the Kansas City metro to help make sure entrepreneurs and small business owners know the no- and low-cost resources that are available to help them start, grow and accelerate their businesses.

(Interested in helping entrepreneurs find the right resource at the right time? We’re always looking for new Navigators. Join our team!)

For example, you may have seen Andrea on Telemundo's Acceso Total KC or meet Emily or another Community-Based Network Navigator at an entrepreneurship event or you may have even chatted with Susan on a virtual call.

We started this program because we know that access to resources that provide financing, education and connections are key for small business successes. However, entrepreneurs don’t know what they don’t know and often access to those resources is disproportionate for business owners from socially and economically distressed communities. To fill the gaps, these Navigators help to build bridges between business owners and the Kansas City network of 240+ business-building resources.

About the UEDA Awards of Excellence

The UEDA’s Awards of Excellence Program recognizes organizations who are transforming their campuses into engines of economic prosperity through leading edge initiatives in categories spanning the realms of talent, innovation and place. Established in 1976, the UEDA is an organization for higher education, private sector and community economic development stakeholders.

“Never before has economic engagement of higher education institutions been more critical to our economic redesign,” said Tim Hindes, UEDA executive director. “UEDA’s model of highlighting best practices in economic engagement continues to locate, highlight and recognize those initiatives that best exemplify sustainable models that are making remarkable, positive impacts on regional economic ecosystems across North America.” See the complete list of UEDA award winners.

Need some help finding the right resources for your business? Meet with one of our Navigators. You can call our business hotline at 816-235-6500 or let us know what you need at

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