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
February 09, 2016

Innovative Entrepreneurship Inspired by a Crime

Mikey Ahdoot and Amir Atighehchi of Nutlock

No one likes being the victim of a crime and when it happens, we want to make a change.

While studying with friends, University of Southern California students Mikey Ahdoot and Amir Atighehchi had their bikes stolen. Many people would have sought revenge, but Mikey and Amir choose to make sure it never happened again.

After viewing security tapes, they identified the hex nut as the weak link so their priority was to improve the nuts. “Product development and engineering were our biggest challenges,” explains Mikey. “The process took over fifty prototypes to create a product that worked.”

Through experiments and research, Amir located Codefi’s 1st50K, a lean competition for lean startups and applied to the event. The team won the competition and relocated to Cape Girardeau to further pursue their startup.

“They’re highly professional, full of talent and everyone is eager to help,” Mikey says of their experience with Codefi. With help from engineers at their school, their Kickstarter campaign and the Codefi committee, Nutlock was launched August 2014.

As with many startups, there are challenges and tense moments. Working with overseas manufacturers and the development process created many headaches. “There’s a saying, ‘everything that can go wrong, will go wrong,’” says Mikey. “But the Kickstarter program kept us motivated.” The team’s greatest joys occurred when their funding goals were more than quadrupled and their product became a reality.

To build success, Mikey and Amir advise other entrepreneurs to study and learn from successful people. “Start with good habits to help you grow—eat well, exercise, meditate—and success with follow. Even if it’s reading one page a day, repeat that habit to build confidence and happiness.”

The Nutlock team plans to take their own advice to become better entrepreneurs and to build Nutlock and future ideas into the best they can be.

Ready to jumpstart your Missouri business?

Check out our business calendar for upcoming workshops and classes all things business growth or sign up for our calendar newsletter, sent straight to your inbox.

For more resources to start or grow your business, check out our Resource Navigator, our interactive database that will connect you to the right resources your challenge, industry and business stage. Looking for more hands-on assistance—or just like talking to real folk? Give us a call at 866.870.6500 and we’ll guide you to the right resources for your business.

Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus, Missouri and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.

How can we help you?

Our team helps grow entrepreneurship in Missouri every day.

Connect with us!

Get insights, inspiration and events to help you start, grow and accelerate MO businesses.