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 17, 2016

Be Polished. Be Composed. Be Dapper. Keefe Cravat.

Jordan Williams of Keefe Cravat

When your father inspires you to create something, what do you do? Jordan Williams of Kansas City was 20 when his father challenged him. Being interested in the gentleman’s lifestyle and wanting to create something physical, Keefe Cravat was developed in 2013.

Jahleel Allen had been interested in fashion since 11th grade, but lacked connections. A chance meeting of Keefe Cravat’s neckwear designer, James St. Laurent, led to him applying for and accepting a sales manager job for the company. “I never considered a career in neckwear, but lots of self-reflection and brand edification inspired me to accept the position.”

For the team, all in their late teens and early twenties, their youth and lack of connections was an obstacle. “Kansas City is a great place for any startup. With a lot of hard work, team work, social media and our newsletter, we took advantage of the opportunities available through the city.”

Their first networking event as a team was rewarding for them. “The ThinkBig event was the first time we appeared as a team,” says Jahleel. “Having something physical to wear while representing the company was a great experience. It gave us a presence and an image.”

Through their efforts, they exceeded their 30-day Kickstarter goal and Jordan’s work was showcased during the Kansas City Fashion Week. Their neckwear draws attention and interest through their unique blend of recycled fabrics, hand-painted designs and even burlap. “We want to standout and another way we accomplish that is through handmade pieces. We like the intimacy this presents.”

Jahleel and the Keefe Cravat team advise others to be 100% committed to whatever you do. “It’s not about the company,” explains Jahleel. “Know who you are and stay true to yourself. These are the qualities that overcome obstacles.”

Get connected with Keefe Cravat


Twitter: @keefecravat


Instagram: @keefecravat

Your move

Make MOSourceLink and our 460+ Resource Partners part of your business growth, do-it-right team. Reach out to us and let us know what you want to make happen in 2016. Odds are good we know an expert, a program or an event that can help you get there.

Call us at 816.235.6500, email us at or visit our tips, events and resources specific to your entrepreneurial type.

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.

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