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
December 21, 2016

Creating a Connection to Your Past

John Ross of the small business startup Voices of the Past

How well do you know your grandparents? For many, including John Ross of House Springs, Missouri, he never had the opportunity to know them. With the birth of his daughter, he wanted to ensure she got that chance. “The most we have is an occasional family story, but most are forgotten. I wanted to change that,” explains John. What started out as a conversation with his father, became the foundation for Voices of the Past, an online service to preserve family stories, memories and history.

Once John decided he was the one to make the idea a reality, he had to face a hard truth. “I had an idea of what I wanted but I had no business experience, I’m not a developer, and, of course, I lacked the financing.” His process started with lots of self-education. While learning about business development, John outlined what Voices of the Past would ultimately look like and sought a developer who could put it together.

Another obstacle John battled is self-doubt. “It’s tough to know where you’re going when there is so much you don’t know.” His reluctance to borrow money has stalled him, stating that the financial commitment is mildly terrifying, but he’s moving forward with crowdfunding plans. He also receives support from his employer which allows time during the work week to pursue his entrepreneurial ideas. He’s also grateful to his father for support, ideas and encouragement.

Despite his doubt, it’s great fun to develop his vision. “Dreaming up ideas, functionalities and concepts is exciting, then watching it come to life is amazing.” Voices of the Past will officially launch January 2017.

Motivated by his own experiences, John advises, “If you have an idea, go for it. The worst thing to happen is to wonder ‘what if’. You have to at least try.” His own discovery was, “The longer this doesn’t exist, the more opportunities are lost.”

Don't let your Missouri business become a thing of the past

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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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