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
Calving Technologies' Libby Martin puts a collar on a calf

Meet the Entrepreneur Teams That Landed Cash Prizes for Amazing Ideas, Innovations


Every year, the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management holds the Venture Creation Challenge, where students and alums of schools in the University of Missouri System compete for cash prizes. This year, the content was held virtually and competitors pitched their companies for a chance at the top prize.

“All of the competitors involved in this year’s challenge have demonstrated qualities that set innovators and entrepreneurs apart,” said Jeffrey S. Hornsby, Regnier Institute director. “We are grateful that they have shared their efforts, their drive, their inspiration and their creativity with us. These are the qualities that bring us together today, and that define the Regnier Institute.”

Regnier Venture Creation Challenge

But the Regnier Venture Creation Challenge is about more than money. During the competition, students test their ideas in a supportive environment of educators, mentors and staff who want to see them succeed. Doing that required support from more than 60 mentors, advisers and community partners, who volunteered to serve as judges throughout the rounds of the competition.

“This was an outstanding class of individuals,” said Bob Regnier, naming benefactor and founder, executive chairman and CEO of the Bank of Blue Valley. “It’s the process that’s important. As entrepreneurs, we deal with disruption all the time. When you open people’s mind to what’s new, you open up the sweet spot for an entrepreneur.”

Without further ado, here are the winners in 2020:

Innovation Award

Special Needs Identification App (SNidAP), $500
Special Needs Identification App is the smart wearable that keeps you, your loved one, and the public safety community connected.

Specialty Awards

Outstanding Undergraduate

Generation Green, UMKC and UMKC Enactus, $1,000
Generation Green is focused on repurposing old plastic waste into dry/wet-erase boards, creating new products that help teachers engage students in interactive learning.

Linda Tong Planners, Iowa State University, $1,000
Linda Tong Planners is a business that provides completely handwritten and personalized planners that are customized to each individual person. 

Outstanding Social Venture

Dart, UMKC, E-Scholars and UMKC Enactus, $1,000
Dart gives old bikes new life by repurposing them into affordable, high-quality e-bikes.

Outstanding Creative Enterprise

Vivas y Muerto, Kansas City Art Institute, $1,000
Vivas Y Muerto is a sustainable and eco-friendly jewelry line.

Outstanding High School Venture

MARGOLOH, Blue Valley CAPS, $1,000
MARGOLOH is a hologram that uses water vapor diffusers and fans to create a tornado-like shape in an oval shaped structure.

General Track Awards

Calving Technologies, Mizzou, $5,000
Calving Technologies is an animal agriculture startup, providing monitoring and predictive sensory technology for producers to track the health of their livestock. Their first product is a multi-sensory collar that measures various biomedical parameters of late-gestation cows, predicting the timing of calving events hours in advance - ultimately decreasing calf mortality rates and increasing producer margins.

ChordaWorm Lures, LLC, Iowa State University, $4,000
ChordaWorm Lures, LLC solves one of the largest problems in the fishing industry. The current soft plastic fishing lures on the market are not durable and they are easily ripped off the hook by fish. These lures only last for two to four fish catches each.

Interplay, UMKC and E-Scholars, $3,500
Interplay is working toward automating pet interaction by providing dog owners with an automated dog crate that will allow them to operate it from their smart phone. With the Interplay dog crate, dog owners will be able to see and talk to their dog, dispense food and water to their dog, and open and close the crate from their phone while they're away from home.

Jensen Applied Sciences, Iowa State University, $3,000
Jensen Applied Sciences provides Cloud Technology Solutions to local communities, currently focused on the craft brewing industry. JAS provides plug-and-play devices for craft breweries, as well as custom solutions to any industry. 

Community Business Award

Kanbe's Markets, UMKC alumnus, $5,000
Founded in 2016, Kanbe's Markets is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that developed an unmatched food distribution model in the Kansas City region.

Blue KC Healthcare Innovation Awards

WartPatch, UMKC, $5,000
WartPatch is an immunotherapy-containing dissolvable microneedle patch for the treatment of viral warts.

Flyover Counseling, E-Scholars, $1,000
Flyover Counseling is a telehealth agency providing mental health counseling currently serving Kansas and Missouri.

Norah Health, Mizzou, $1,000
Norah Health developed a patent-pending, AI-powered software solution to improve the patient experience.

Striae Away, Missouri Science & Technology, $1,000
Striae Away, utilizes bioactive glass and its scar-free healing properties in order to treat striae marks post-pregnancy. Striae gravidarum are stretch marks that occur during pregnancy.

The GuideLine, Missouri Science & Technology, $1,000
The GuideLine is a first-of-its-kind device to improve upon the still relatively primitive lumbar puncture (LP) technique. 

The Regnier Venture Creation Challenge, is a University of Missouri-Kansas City business plan and pitch competition promoting entrepreneurship. The Regnier Institute received 50 applications from 7 universities from the Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska region, the UMKC Bloch School E Scholars program and the first-ever high school applicant. A pool of more than 40 reviewers helped narrow the applications down to 10 ventures who were selected to compete on May 1.

New this year was a community business award in the general track competition to show support to small businesses in light of COVID-19 challenges. Monetary awards were made possible through donations from the Regnier Family Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City.

Regnier Venture Creation Challenge benefactors include the Regnier Family Foundation; Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, sponsor of the Blue KC Healthcare Innovation Prize. This annual event is made possible through the support of Bob Regnier and the Regnier Family Foundation, in addition to the Kauffman Foundation and the Bloch Family Foundation for their support of UMKC entrepreneurship programs.

Newsletter Coming Soon.

Subscribe now to get events, tips and success stories delivered straight to your inbox. 

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.

Subscribe