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

Guide: Growing Your Business  Part Eight

Business Competitions and Awards

Name recognition, free promotion and greater perceived prominence are just a few benefits of getting an honor.

Make your company a household name and get well-deserved recognition by competing for and winning locally and nationally sponsored awards.

Check the list below for Kansas City's most prominent business competitions that are currently taking nominations.

If you'd like to list a competition or award, please contact info@kcsourcelink.com

Digital Sandbox KC: Where Innovators Come to Play (Ongoing)

Digital Sandbox KC brings together people, ideas and resources to build thriving companies. The program provides much needed early-stage funding to rising stars. The region's longtime leaders including private companies, government agencies and universities have united to help this new wave of entrepreneurs. It's an unprecedented metro-wide effort to help make KC America's most entrepreneurial city.

RESULTS SO FAR:
93 proof-of-concept projects funded for area startups
35 new KC-based companies created
53 companies have secured follow-on investment
$38.2 million in follow-on funding
More than 480 new jobs created, with more than $12 million in payroll

Digital Sandbox KC broadly seeks new innovation in information technology.  The Sandbox provides innovators with proof-of-concept resources to support early-stage commercialization processes. The Sandbox may cover expenses for project consultants, market research, legal support, equipment and other market validation, prototyping and beta testing needs.

The Digital Sandbox KC process requires:
- Completion of the Digital Sandbox KC Online Application
- A Meeting/Pitch Evaluation
- A Board Vote

Please keep in mind that this application will be viewed by those evaluating your submission; those participating in your meeting/pitch and by the Sandbox board for voting purposes. Once your application is received, it will be reviewed for completeness and you will be contacted with information regarding next steps. Submission Tip: Thoroughly reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions prior to submission may improve your outcome.

We offer the BALSA Grant to help first time entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground.

BALSA Grant finalists receive:

  • Free (non-dilutive) cash grant of $1,000

  • The Learning Series, a 10 week comprehensive entrepreneur training program that helps participants realize their potential, introduces them to the St. Louis business ecosystem and brings them industry experts every week that also includes one on one time with each presenter after the session.

    (Valued at $20,000+ in In-kind professional services

  • One-on-one mentoring

The BALSA Grant is designed for first-time St. Louis entrepreneurs wanting to start or grow their early stage business in St. Louis.  We welcome applications from all business sectors, and from non-profit as well as for-profit organizations.  

You can apply to The BALSA Grant twice a year, January 1-15 and July 1-15.

Before applying, be sure to download and read the Entrepreneur's Roadmap.  Also, submitting your idea to Idea Support is a great way to get feedback to improve your BALSA Grant application. 


More Details about the BALSA Grant:
http://www.balsafoundation.org/strong-applications
Do you have a solution that can reduce the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, but need help commercializing and rapidly deploying? The Black & Veatch COVID-19 Response Accelerator is designed for growing companies looking to scale emerging solutions to save lives, help communities cope, and protect the economy.

APPLY HERE
(Selections are chosen on a rolling basis)

Revolution's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Morgan Stanley's Multicultural Innovation Lab, and 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund will invest $2,000,000 in 3 winning companies during the Main Event on December 3rd, 2020.

Companies must submit a completed application no later than 11:59 PM EST Sunday, October 25, 2020, to be considered. The semifinalists will be notified by Monday, November 2, 2020.

Before completing the application, please confirm your eligibility for the pitch competition and the terms of our investment in our FAQ:

https://tour.revolution.com/page/1613821/pitch-faq



You can find the application Here

The Kansas City University Venture Fund believes enhanced connections and mentorship between investors and underserved entrepreneurs can accelerate the growth of diverse businesses. The Kansas City University Venture Program in conjunction with Royal Street Ventures and Fountain Innovation Fund presents Founder Lab. Over three sessions, founders will be paired 1:1 with investors for just over 15 minutes. How you use the time is your choice: pitching, questions, etc. are all viable choices.

Space is limited - sign up soon to reserve your spot!

October 1st | Applications Open
October 8th | Pre-event Information Seminar A
October 22nd | Pre-event Information Seminar B
November 11th| NEXUS Event

If you an under-represented tech founder in the KC region Apply Here

More About KCUVF:

Founded in 2017, the Kansas City University Venture Fund is the investment fund of the Kansas City University Venture Program(KCUVP). They invest in early stage companies with a focus on Midwestern entrepreneurs.

Their team is comprised of students from universities in the greater Kansas City area sponsored by Royal Street Ventures, the Kauffman Foundation and other local organizations as a part of KCUVP, an experiential learning opportunity in private finance.

 

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