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
A white neon sign of two hands shaking
By Donette Lowe
February 18, 2020

These Orgs Are Creating National Discussions About Missouri Entrepreneurship

Here’s what we know about MIssouri startups: they create 80% of all net new jobs. The math there is really easy: if we’re going to grow our economy, then we have to grow entrepreneurship in Missouri. We have to support homegrown business and to do that, we have to put in the hard work, the real words and get policy makers, government officials, etc.  talking about entrepreneurship.

We do that all the time here at MOSourceLink. As the first-stop connection for Missouri entrepreneurship, it’s really our reason for being. We connect entrepreneurs and business owners with the right business-building resources at the right time. 

How you may ask? 

We have a hotline that those in need of help can call (and speak with a real human), guides that outline actionable steps and how to’s, a map to Missouri’s resources by business needs and free step-by-step plans to give your business the push it needs. 

We speak to entrepreneurs daily and those conversations (and ample research) have culminated into data that we share in support of entrepreneurship across the state.

But we don’t stop there. Because we know all the resources, we also know the gaps and we know the best way to build Missouri’s economy is to do it together—with entrepreneurs, with our network of 600+ service providers, with universities, with corporations, with community leaders, and definitely, 100% with you . . .

We’re real that way, we dig in, we create solutions and we work with you to get things done.. Here are a few initiatives that are on our radar that we think should be on yours, too. 

Why? Because entrepreneurship matters. And everyone needs to know that. 

Start Us Up Now Coalition

If we have any hope of moving this needle, entrepreneurship has to move beyond coworking spaces and accelerators and enter the national discussion. Passing the mic to the Kauffman Foundation . . .

“If we’re going to create new jobs, we must support entrepreneurs. Yet, policymakers continue to prioritize big, established businesses over new businesses. The result: Entrepreneurship has remained effectively flat for 20 years, in part because women, people of color, and rural residents lack equal access to the tools needed to start new businesses.” - Start Us Up Now

That’s a baton we can carry forward.  Let’s pass it on. 

MOSourceLink, KCSourceLink, SourceLink and several other organizations have come together as supporters of the Start Us Up Now coalition, an initiative started by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to champion the creation of new jobs and leveling the playing field for startups and small businesses. 

With national support, the coalition has announced a bipartisan plan for policymakers that is focused on creating new jobs.

What’s that mean? 

America’s New Business Plan outlines tactical, field-proven steps that federal, state and local governments can use to better support entrepreneurship and grow our economy at all levels. Among the recommended actions are creating a House Entrepreneurship Caucus, appointing a secretary of entrepreneurship for the governor’s cabinet and so much more.

Subscribe to updates here so you can stay in the now about Start Us Up Now.

NEXT Missouri

On the state level, NEXT Missouri assembles entrepreneurs and those who support them to change the legislative narrative in Missouri about who and what drives economic growth and job creation.

The advocacy coalition will build policy-related awareness among the public, influencers and policymakers by highlighting the impact of entrepreneurship and innovation across the state and developing a unified policy agenda to address some of Missouri’s barriers to entrepreneurship.

The pillars of NEXT Missouri’s platform align with the Kauffman Foundation’s comprehensive “America’s New Business Plan” to help reduce barriers to entrepreneurship.

  • Opportunity: A Level Playing Field and Less Red Tape

  • Funding: Equal Access to the Right Kind of Capital Everywhere

  • Knowledge: The Know-how to Start a Business

  • Support: The Ability for All to Take Risks

Among the key priorities for NEXT Missouri is restoring the potency of the Missouri Technology Corporation, a public-private partnership to promote entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies. The coalition also focuses on providing support for a number of entrepreneur service organizations throughout the state, including the network of Missouri Innovation Centers.

If you love seeing the community you live in thrive, consider being a part of this movement

How Else Can You Get Involved?

Everything starts with a plan. And we’ve been thinking really hard about what that is and how we can advance Missouri entrepreneurship—and when we say “think,” we mean “educate the best minds in Missouri entrepreneurship and help come up with a strategic plan.” Or plans.

Besides actively participating in these support efforts, becoming informed on the state of entrepreneurship in Missouri is another great step. Armed with the data that comprises the details of the current ups and downs of entrepreneurship, you are able to spread the word and be a thought leader. We’ve got you covered!

  • What will help make resources visible and accessible to anyone, in any industry, in any corner of the state?

  • What will help Missouri decision makers understand the real and critical impact of startups?

  • What will really change how we invest, grow and strengthen Missouri businesses?

  • What will transform Missouri business’s access to early-stage capital, the biggest hurdle to getting our businesses on the national map? (Rhymes with “honey,” but, spoilers, it’s money.) 

Deep dive: MOSourceLink published two reports in 2019, Show Me Jobs and Show Me Capital. 

The first way we tackled numbers was to examine the impact of entrepreneurship on jobs in Missouri via our  Show Me Jobs report. Show Me Jobs quantifies the impact of new and young firms to Missouri’s economy and also provides year-to-year comparison data regarding job creation by new and young firms, wage growth and the industrial density of startups.

Take this number to your community leaders >>  80% of all net new jobs in Missouri are created by entrepreneurs. 

We also released the Show Me Capital report, assessing the gaps in the capital landscape. We’ve outlined a community action plan to help Missouri build financial support for early-stage entrepreneurship—a critical step toward helping more ideas and innovations thrive and making Missouri the state of innovation between the coasts.

Take this message to your community leaders >> Only 29% of Missouri’s venture capital investments went back into Missouri companies.

Both reports contain bite-sized facts and figures that you are able to take to your next work or advocacy event, networking hour or dinner conversation. Spread that knowledge! 

 

How can we help you?

Our team helps grow entrepreneurship in Missouri every day.

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