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
September 29, 2016

Dings & Dents Lead to Startup Idea

Entrepreneurs Amanda and Jason Todt of Cosmetic Tech

The owner of an automotive ding and dent repair company in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Amanda Todt, realized a problem: there is very little retail business for repair technicians. “Most technicians work for dealers or body shops,” says co-founder of Cosmetic Tech, Jason Todt, “and have little opportunity for their own retail work.” Amanda and Jason’s solution was to create a mobile application for these technicians to promote and advertise their services, but they encountered an immediate problem. “Which came first: product development or customer acquisition?”

To find answers, they relied on research, networking and the local entrepreneurial community for answers. “The information available for startups, online resources and our twenty-year experience within the car industry gave us the knowledge and support we needed to develop our product.”

A few short months after their initial idea in early 2016, Amanda and Jason entered the 1ST50K contest. “Pitching to a large audience and sharing our vision was a frightening experience, as is creating a product that doesn’t exist.” Amanda and Jason had invested a lot of their own money to develop their idea, uncertain whether they would get a return on their investment. However, they have gained satisfaction from working together, meeting new people and exploring new opportunities. “TechFest and the International Mobile Tech Expo are events that we otherwise wouldn’t have experienced without taking on this project.”

Jason’s advice to other startups comes from motivational speaker, Les Brown, “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” Jason adds, “You never know where you’ll end up until you try.”

As one of two winners of the 1ST50K contest, Jason and Amanda are thrilled to be working with the business network in Cape Girardeau. They will continue to promote their business, develop their product and begin beta testing in the near future.

Does your Missouri business need a touch-up?

For 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.

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