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: Loans, Grants and Equity Funding  Part One

Funding Stage Definitions

What is seed funding? When should I look for Series A? The chart below, with descriptions provided by the Enterprise Center of Johnson County, can help you determine what stage of funding to pursue.


  • Amounts: <$100,000
  • Company Life Stage: Pre company
  • Purpose: Idea development and formation of founding team
  • Available data: Little to none
  • Who invests: Founder, Friends and Family; some state programs; contests; crowdfunding; SBIR; equity for service
  • Risk level: Extremely high
  • Expected rate of return: None
  • Examples: Digital Sandbox companies


  • Amounts: $250,000 - $1 million +
  • Company Life Stage: Early development
  • Purpose: Seed funding is used for research and development, proof of concept, product testing, prototype development. Companies move from idea to model and begin testing the market.
  • Available data: Soft data, value proposition, founder experience
  • Who invests: Founders, Friends and Family; crowdfunding, Angels
  • Risk level: Extremely high
  • Expected rate of return: 50-75%
  • Examples: Knoda, Volunteer Mark

Series A

  • Amounts: $1-3 million
  • Company Life Stage: Development
  • Purpose: Series A usually provides resources to further develop and scale the product; validate the business model (engage customers); and establish time to market
  • Available data: Validation, time to market, initial customer feedback
  • Who invests: Angels, VCs
  • Risk level: Very high
  • Expected rate of return: 40-60%
  • Examples: Divvy HQ, Leap2, MyEDMatch

Series B

  • Amounts: $3-7.5 million
  • Company Life Stage: Shipping product
  • Purpose: Series B funds are often used to scale a business. Additional funding allows the company to complete product development, ship product and create early revenues.
  • Available data: Preliminary revenues
  • Who invests: VCs
  • Risk level: High
  • Expected rate of return: 35-50%
  • Examples: EyeVerify

Series C

  • Amounts: $7.5-10 million
  • Company Life Stage: Product backlog
  • Purpose: The Series C is often used by a company for operating capital to expand markets, to strengthen the balance sheet or to finance an acquisition.
  • Available data: Predictive revenues
  • Who invests: VCs
  • Risk level: Moderate
  • Expected rate of return: 30-40%
  • Examples: Aratana


  • Amounts: $10-20 million
  • Company Life Stage: Profitable
  • Purpose: Mezzanine financing usually helps a company prepare for an IPO or acquisition.
  • Available data: Hard data, net income
  • Who invests: VCs
  • Risk level: Lower
  • Expected rate of return: 25-35%
  • Examples: AMC

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