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

Venture School - Venture Cafe

Venture School is a 12-week class in St. Louis helping aspiring founders move from the idea stage to launching a real company. Venture School is a select program for aspiring entrepreneurs with a strong software or technology idea they are ready to pursue.


The Venture School curriculum is designed by entrepreneurs and is led by entrepreneurs. The class topics are comprised of the key ideas, concepts, and learnings that other entrepreneurs and our mentors wish they knew when they started. There is no better knowledge than the wisdom of others. 

Sessions are led by expert mentors who have built or led high-growth technology companies. Mentors share their experiences, useful tactics, and critical feedback on students' progress. Venture Cafe provides the mentors with key points we want to be covered, but welcome their input so students receive a variety of viewpoints on each topic. 

The goal of Venture School is to help first-time entrepreneurs validate their idea, refine their idea, develop their product, and prepare them to launch a company. We have designed the curriculum to give entrepreneurs the foundational tools to decide if their idea is valid and they are ready to launch a company. 

The 12-week class will cover the following topics: 

  • Orientation, expectations, mental health, goals
  • Idea refinement, elevator pitches, presentation design 
  • Customer development, market research, customer surveys
  • Product designing, roadmaps, prototyping, databases, outsourcing 
  • Branding, websites, & beta launching
  • Business models, pricing, & competitive research 
  • Online marketing, SAAS metrics, KPIS
  • Hiring & HR, sales, & negotiation 
  • Investor pitch decks & presenting 
  • Equity, funding, & investor communication 
  • Accounting, legal & IP, helpful business tools
  • Final pitches, 360 feedback 

And a final showcase demo day at Venture Cafe Thursday Event. 

There is no fee to apply, but if accepted, the tuition for Venture School is $1,200 per student. The tuition is discounted to $600 for additional founders working on the same idea. 

Interested? Apply here! 


Business Planning

  • Business Plan Consulting, Development and Review
  • Market Plan Development
  • Market Research

Starting a Business

  • Startup Classes


  • E-Commerce/Internet Marketing
  • Startup Classes
Primary ContactTyler Matthews
AddressSaint Louis, MO 63110