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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Start a Tech Startup and Find Funding with These KC Classes and Resources


Make 2022 the year your tech startup takes flight. Materials and classes from our Resource Partners will give you the tools you need to reach your goals.

Why take a specific class or read a guide to help your tech business or innovative idea? These courses and resources are built especially for the unique needs of this type of businesses. Yes, your startup that forms around a new technology or breakthrough process will go through the same stages as other businesses, but also it will often move at a much faster pace; plus, you'll need help with proof of concept, pitching for equity investments and building leadership teams. Browse our guide built specifically to help your startup grow quickly and find the resources that can keep up.

Also, these courses might illuminate opportunities in tech that you hadn't considered ... or maybe you haven't realized you have a tech business. A course tailored to tech will help you vet your idea and find funding to elevate your concept.

Whether you’re looking to test new tech or ready to disrupt an entire industry, there’s a program for your startup idea in Kansas City.

How to get started

Not sure where to begin? Not a problem. These tech-centric resources walk you through the ins and outs of starting your startup.

To do: Classes and programs

Missouri SBDC at UMKC Startup Boards 101

Who’s it for? Early-stage companies that just created or are about to form a board.

What is it? This series of three workshops helps entrepreneurs and potential board members understand how boards function. Selected participants will learn the benefits of advisory and fiduciary boards.

When: Mondays, Jan. 24, Jan. 31 and Feb. 7,  3 - 6 p.m.

Where: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City, Missouri

Cost: $150

Apply here.

Comeback KC Ventures Business Canvas Workshop

Who’s it for? Innovators and entrepreneurs who want to jumpstart a new project related to the recovery and response to the pandemic.

What is it? KC Digital Drive and the UMKC Innovation Center have been helping early-stage companies grow in ways that help KC recover and respond to COVID-19. This session highlights more of these ideas to spur local innovation.

When: Thursday, Jan. 27, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Where: Online

Cost: Free

Apply here.

Missouri SBDC at UMKC ELEVATIONLAB TECH Venture

Who’s it for? Entrepreneurs on the cusp of a technology- or science-based business.

What is it? This intensive nine-week class gives science and tech founders a proven framework and connections to help grow an idea into a viable innovation. Business coaches, peers and successful entrepreneurs share their insight.

When: Thursdays, Feb. 17 - April 21, 3 - 6 p.m.

Where: Missouri SBDC at UMKC, Kansas City, Missouri

Cost: $75 thanks to a generous scholarship

Apply here.

Learn how to get funding below ...

Ready to Innovate and Disrupt an Industry?

Wondering how you can disrupt an industry, build your own app, create the next innovation or find funding? Download your guide to the Kansas City Innovation Pipeline for tips, tricks, info and inspiration.

How to get funding

High tech can be high maintenance when it comes to funding. But there are ways to get financial support for your innovations. Here are some great courses and funding programs to explore. Not sure which stage you're business is at? Download the Resource Rail ecosystem map and follow the Money Line to see what opportunities are out there depending on the stage of your business.

To do: Classes and programs

 

Digital Sandbox KC: How to Pitch to the Sandbox

What stage is it for? Proof-of-concept capital, prototype development

What is it? This session provides tips on how to craft an effective presentation for funding from Digital Sandbox KC. Participants will learn about the Sandbox process and connect with the team behind the organization.

When: Thursday, Jan. 20, 3 - 4:30 p.m.

Where: Online

Cost: Free

Apply here.


Missouri SBDC at UMKC Winning Federal Research Grants: SBIR/STTR Workshop

What stage is it for? Proof-of-concept capital, rollout capital

What is it? This session offers an introduction to Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grants. These highly competitive programs can help with research and development as well as commercialization.

When: Thursday, Feb.10 or Friday, April 19, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Where: Online

Cost: $49; scholarships may be available

Apply here.

Missouri SBDC at UMKC Pitching to Investors

What stage is it for? Proof-of-concept capital

What is it? This session provides an inside look at how investors think. Participants will learn what investors need to know and what they want to see before they invest in a startup.

When: Thursday, Mar. 24, 4:30 - 7 p.m.

Where: Online and Missouri SBDC at UMKC, Kansas City, Missouri

Cost: $49; scholarships may be available

Apply here.

Missouri SBDC SBIR Bootcamp

What stage is it for? Proof-of-concept capital, rollout capital

What is it? This two-day class will lead participants through the process of developing a grant proposal to the competitive SBIR or STTR programs. Group coaching and one-on-one guidance will work through each section of the application.

When: Thursday, April 28, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Friday, April 29, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Where: Missouri SBDC at UMKC, Kansas City, Missouri

Cost: $2,500; scholarships may be available

Apply here.

To compete: Opportunities for funding

Missouri Technology Corporation IDEA Fund

What stage is it for? Proof-of-concept capital

What is it? This fund supports startups via matching equity or convertible debt investments of up to $500,000. Funding can be used for technology and business development. Over the last decade, the fund has invested about $44 million into Missouri startups.

Deadline: Monday, Feb. 7

Apply here.

Comeback KC Ventures

Who’s it for? Proof of concept capital, rollout capital

What is it? This new fellowship helps accelerate innovations, products and service lines, especially in the areas of public health, education and digital equity. Fellows may receive one-on-one coaching, scholarships to innovation workshops and introductions to investors.

Apply here.

Digital Sandbox KC

What stage is it for? Proof of concept capital, prototype development

What is it? This program awards proof-of-concept funding and couples it with knowledgeable mentorship. Local companies that have a significant IT or digital component and aren’t yet in the marketplace are a good fit. Digital Sandbox KC awards grants four times a year.

Apply here.

Ignitex COVID-19 Response Accelerator

What stage is it for? Market intro

What is it? This accelerator through Black & Veatch works with businesses that need help commercializing and deploying outbreak solutions. The program is designed for growing companies looking to scale.

Apply here.

Kite Proof of Concept

What stage is it for? Proof-of-concept capital

What is it? The Kansas Department of Commerce awards funding ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to help develop a project or product. The goal is to get the organization to the point where it can raise significant capital.

Apply here.

Business Competitions and Awards

What stage is it for? All stages

What is it? This guide to Kansas City’s most prominent business competitions provides a starting point for any innovator in search of capital. Local as well as nationally sponsored awards can help startups get recognition and support.

Get it here.

How to get more help

Need more guidance? KCSourceLink has your back. Here are a few FREE tools to round out your entrepreneurial toolbox.

Personal Action Plan

Who’s it for? KC entrepreneurs who want to be pointed in the right direction as they start and grow their businesses.

What is it? This customized checklist helps business owners—and prospective entrepreneurs—learn what they need to do and who they need to connect with. Share some info and KCSourceLink’s Network Navigators create a plan designed for your industry and your goals.

Get it here.

Missouri SBDC Business Coaching

Who’s it for? Entrepreneurs and small business owners who need help launching or growing their business.

What is it? Personalized, no-cost coaching from knowledgeable business advisers. Some coaches specialize in developing technology-based businesses. This Missouri SBDC offers guidance on everything from financial planning to pitching.

Get it here.


Ready to Innovate and Disrupt an Industry?

Wondering how you can disrupt an industry, build your own app, create the next innovation or find funding? Download your guide to the Kansas City Innovation Pipeline for tips, tricks, info and inspiration.

How can we help you?

Our team helps grow entrepreneurship in Kansas City every day.

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