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.
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Let's Venture: Entrepreneurship Panel + Resource Fair

Friday, September 24 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm • Organized By VENTURENOIRE
4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110


Connect with resources to start or grow your business and discover how Venture Noire is changing the game for Black business in America.


Let's face it: Black entrepreneurs are often over mentored and under-resourced. Venture Noire is changing that through tailored programs and savvy capital investment to support healthy Black businesses.

Join Venture Noire, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Black and minority entrepreneurs, for its first Kansas City event titled Let’s Venture, which is designed to connect you with next level business resources and insights about the future of Black business in America.


  • 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.: Resource Networking with Key Partners
  • 11:00 a.m. - Noon: Live Panel with Q&A


Featuring a panel of venerable KC entrepreneurs alongside Venture Noire Founder and nine-time entrepreneur Keenan Beasley from 11 a.m. to Noon. Real talk from panelists about their journeys as Black business owners (bumps, pivots, successes, on-going challenges, and all) to discover how Venture Noire's core programs are changing the game and can benefit YOUR business. Learn what resources they use to overcome challenges, tips for building a successful business, where they go for advice, what's next for their brands, and much more. Come with questions for panelists during the live Q&A.


Video overview from Venture Noire's signature In The Black program linked above.


More than just talk, Let's Venture will connect you with resources and organizations ready to help you start or grow your business through its Resource Networking Session from 10:30 - 11:00 a.m. This is your time to find solutions to your pain points of starting, growing, and/or operating your business on the daily and in the future. Be ready for candid conversations with organizations eager to help you succeed.

Key Networking Partners (updated Sept. 12):

  • AltCap
  • Community Capital Fund
  • KC BizCare
  • KC Black Owned
  • KC Chamber
  • Melanated Investments / Markets
  • Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce
  • RW2 Career and Technical Education
  • Porter House KC
  • Square One at Mid-Continent Public Library
  • Venture Noire

COVID PRE-CAUTIONS: Out of concern for your and other participants' health and safety, masks will be required at all-times during the event. Seating will be limited to 50 percent capacity to allow for social distancing. A virtual option is available for those unable to attend in-person.

SPREAD THE WORD: Images and text for social posts, event flyer, and more available for download here.


KEENAN BEASLEY, beyond Venture Noire, Keenan is CEO of Supply Factory Brands, which invents and invests in CPG brands. A serial entrepreneur, Keenan previously led several multibillion-dollar brands, including Tide, Gillette and Garnier at L’Oreal, RB, and Procter & Gamble. He guest lectures at USC and is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point.

JANNAE GAMMAGE, Tech Founder & Consultant, is on a mission to shift the landscape for founders. She has received countless recognition for her continued work as an entrepreneur and founder of the award-winning company, The Market Base. An entrepreneur since age 14, Jannae has also worked as a marketing consultant for 100+ small businesses and entrepreneurs to create equitable experiences and mentorship to facilitate growth.

THALIA CHERRY, Founder of CHERRY, is a collegiate multi-sport All - American athlete. As an athlete who purchased hundreds of sports related products, Thalia recognized the absence of products that captured innovation and fashion- forward styles for not only female athletes but also women in general. CHERRY strives to create a brand that exemplifies sports, fashion and fun.

DAN SMITH, provides organizational leadership and direction to The Porter House KC. He is also an entrepreneurship instructor in the UMKC Bloch School. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, he has worked in both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors in the past 14 years and started/owned/operated five businesses, including The Porter House KC. Daniel serves on the executive boards of Reconciliation Services and the Latino Arts Foundation.

GODFREY RIDDLE (moderator), Founder and President of Civic Saint, creates inspiring communities where people reach their full potential. Founded in October 2020 following the loss of his parents and a grueling battle with cancer, his business, Civic Saint, is a purposeful lifestyle company that creates affirming apparel and accessories to advance social justice through its proceeds.


September 24 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Add to my Calendar
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Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110
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