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

Guide: Start a Business  Part One

Evaluate Your Business Idea

A restaurant doesn’t just make the most delicious sandwich ever: It sells hundreds of sandwiches a day. And an author doesn’t just write the most beautiful story imaginable: She sells a ton of books.

A sandwich and a story—those are ideas. The five-star restaurant and best-seller book—those are successful businesses. And the big difference between the two?

People who are willing to buy: Customers.

Yes, ideas are everywhere. Successful entrepreneurs know that not every idea is a good business opportunity. Because at the end of the day, an idea can certainly change the world, but a business also has to make money.

How do you know if your idea is a good business opportunity? If people are willing to buy it. Before you bet the ranch on your idea, take the time to research who will buy your product or service and what competition you will face.

>> If you have a specific question you need answered right away, send us a little info and we’ll get back in touch with steps you can take this instant (& it’s free!).

Here are some questions to ask yourself to begin to grow your idea:

  1. What kind of business do I want?
  2. What products/services will my business provide?
  3. Why am I starting a business?
  4. What is my target market?
  5. Who is my competition?
  6. What is unique about my business idea and the products/services I will provide?
  7. How long can I have to finance the company until I start making a profit?
  8. How will I price my product compared to my competition?
  9. How will I market my business?
  10. How will I set up the legal structure of my business?
  11. How many employees will I need to start up?

How do I evaluate my business idea?

Before starting a business you should absolutely understand what you’re signing up for. You need to know your market, know your competition, and research your idea to make sure you can turn a profit. So, before you make business cards, commission a logo and definitely before you lease a space or buy a building, take the time to fully research what you need to do when it comes to starting a business.

Here are your first steps:

Get your (free) Personal Action Plan

Call us at 866-870-6500 or tell us a bit about what you need and we can help you with the next steps and resources you’ll need to start or grow your business. Whether you’re just starting out or thinking about taking your business to the next level, we’ll send you an action plan specific to your needs. And, of course, it’s free.

Take a business class

Taking a class on how to start a business will give you perspective on the entrepreneurial mindset <LINK> you need to have in order to set your business up for success. Use our business calendar to find startup classes in your community.

Learn the language

The world of entrepreneurship comes with its own language and if you want to be taken seriously when talking to potential funders and other entrepreneurs, you’re going to need to understand a few key startup terms.

Learn from those who’ve been there, done that

And stay in the know with helpful advice from experts, read some inspirational stories about Missouri entrepreneurs’ journeys and get a curated list of key events in the metro that’ll help your business. It’s all here in our newsletter.

Other resources to help you get started

Successful entrepreneurs know that not every idea is a good business opportunity. Before you bet the ranch on your idea, take the time to research who will buy your product or service and what competition you will face.

>> Remember if you ever feel overwhelmed, give us a call at 866-870-6500 or send us a message. We can guide you through the next steps you need to take to start your business.

Connect with us!

Get insights, inspiration and events to help you start, grow and accelerate MO businesses.


How can we help you?

Our team helps grow entrepreneurship in Missouri every day.