Funding and Finances

Wes Smith (left) and Roy Scott (right), cofounders of Healthy Hip Hop

Empowering Kids through Healthy Hip Hop: A Journey from Music to Tech Entrepreneurship

The journey of Kansas City startup Healthy Hip Hop began with a personal revelation for its founder, Roy Scott, who, after reflecting on the impact of mainstream hip-hop, envisioned a platform that could offer a healthier alternative for young listeners. Roy grew up in Kansas City immersed in hip-hop culture....

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Susan and Brittni Blaser, founders of Casa Di Vite in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

Vacant Old Building Inspires New Entrepreneurs’ 3 Dream Businesses

When Susan Blaser, 61, noticed a 4,800-square-foot historic stone building for sale in downtown Excelsior Springs, Missouri, she immediately saw potential for a business … well to be accurate, three businesses. Although the space had been vacant for over 30 years, Susan thought the former funeral home would be perfect...

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Tyrean "Heru" Lewis and a coworker pose for a photo next to a cart of watermelons.

Heru Urban Farming Is Cultivating Something Big in St. Louis Neighborhoods

Tyrean “Heru” Lewis' journey into urban farming began with a simple yet profound realization – the scarcity of fresh, sustainable produce in his own community. Tyrean, a former physical education teacher, recalls his days as a vegan in 2017 when he struggled to find fresh produce. “Over 850,000 people in the St....

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Dr. Natalie King, founder of Florae Beauty

Born in a Kitchen, St. Louis’ Florae Goes Beyond Textured Hair Products

One of the first things you notice about Dr. Natalie King is her long, voluminous, curly brown hair. “It’s something that’s always been at the background of everything that I do,” Natalie says. “Coming into the corporate world – into spaces where you have to lead with a ‘good’ image –...

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Chrystal L. Graves of Liquid Hair Institute

How a Missouri Hair Stylist Went from Salon Owner to Tech Founder

Successfully starting, growing and transforming a business is a journey filled with hurdles, triumphs and lessons learned—especially when it comes to leveraging your brick-and-mortar experience to create a tech startup. Chrystal L. Graves has plenty of experience chasing and achieving her entrepreneurial dreams, from building a roster of clients as an...

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Melodi Wisswell of Platinum Paws in Columbia, Missouri

How A Resource You Should Use Turned an Entrepreneur’s Love for Animals into a Dog-Grooming Salon

Melodi Wisswell’s career path seems obvious in retrospect. She’s always loved animals. She has a business degree. And she wanted to live near her family. Now, she’s opened Platinum Paws, a high-end dog-grooming spa in Columbia, Missouri. Here’s how all the pieces came together with the help of the...

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Luke Phelps and the Vroom Solar team

How This Missouri Startup Is Bringing Solar Power to Rural America

Sometimes, the idea for a new business is right under your nose. That was certainly the case for Luke Phelps’s Vroom Solar, which came about when he saw a need for power in remote and mobile situations in rural Missouri. But let’s back up a bit to see when this...

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Keeyoung Kim, chef and owner of Chingu

How Crowdfunding Bolstered This Missouri Entrepreneur’s New Restaurant amid Unexpected Challenges

In the recipe for small business success, patience and determination are two key ingredients. But there’s also the business side to consider and the looming stat that 1 in 5 businesses fail in their first year. Keeyoung Kim, chef-owner of Chingu, a new restaurant and bar in the Westport neighborhood of...

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A view of Columbia, Missouri

Opportunity for Budding Missouri Tech Startups as Scale VC Closes Second Fund

Scale VC, a venture capital fund based in Columbia, Missouri, has announced the closing of a $5 million fund that will invest in and support early-stage tech founders. Through the new fund, Scale VC will invest $50,0000-$150,000 in 30-40 companies over the next three years. The new fund includes a $1...

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$700K USDA RISE Grant Primes Green Hills RPC, MOSourceLink to Grow Agriculture Jobs in NW MO

MOSourceLink and Green Hills Regional Planning Commission have teamed up to create more opportunities in agriculture entrepreneurship in Northwest Missouri.

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