New Round of Entrepreneurship Innovation Grants Announced

Six proposals approved for total of $170,000

The UMKC Entrepreneurship Innovation Grant Program announced its second round of grant recipients in late December. Six proposals were approved in the second round of funding for a total of approximately $170,000 worth of one-year grants.

Projects submitted by UMKC students, faculty and staff will be considered for these grants, which come with entrepreneurial support programs in addition to the financing. The Entrepreneurship Innovation Grant Program is funded by the Kauffman Foundation and is a joint effort by the UMKC Innovation Center, the Regnier Institute at the UMKC Bloch School of Management and the UMKC School of Law to increase entrepreneurial activities throughout the university.

These grants support a variety of initiatives in entrepreneurship including curriculum development, technology commercialization, school and department initiatives, community service, engagement and ecosystem building.

These projects received grants in the second round:

Arts Entrepreneurship Residency

The grant provides funding for a two-day arts entrepreneurship residency with Jonathan Kuuskoski, director of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance’s EXCEL Lab. The residency title is From Portfolios to Platforms: Developing, Launching and Sustaining Arts Projects. Four sequential workshops will prime students to embrace best practices from the realms of entrepreneurship, leadership and management training to enhance their own creative pursuits. Interactive, outcome-oriented sessions will draw from methodologies such as Lean Startup and Design Thinking Process to help students craft creative projects from ideation to funding.

Commercialization of SGM for the Destructions of PFAS

The objective of this project is to scale and commercialize a novel, patent-pending UMKC-grown technology for destruction and complete mineralization of PER and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). It will demonstrate proof of concept to potential investors through creation of a market-ready reactor to meet remedial regulation for the PFAS market.

Entrepreneurial Legal Services Pro Bono Panel

The Entrepreneurial Legal Services and Intellectual Property Clinic will establish a regional pro bono panel of attorneys to assist with Community Services Engagement and Ecosystem Building by providing relevant and timely business information, counseling and management, and legal matters services for low-income aspiring and existing business owners in the Kansas City region.

Pharmacy Innovation Challenge Program

The grant will fund creation of an integrated experience for graduate Ph.D. programs and professional Pharm.D. students within the UMKC School of Pharmacy to engage with the entrepreneurial environment at UMKC and within the Kansas City region. The goal is to create a learning environment that integrates research, entrepreneurial thinking, diversity and engagement with stakeholders outside of UMKC. Students will learn about the entrepreneurial environment in Kansas City, and how to create a business plan for an enterprise in pharmaceutical sciences and/or pharmacy in fields such as precision medicine and digital health.

Development Smart Agricultural Entrepreneurship (SAgE) Program for Sustainable Urban Food Ecosystem

The grant to the UMKC Center for Applied Environmental Research (CAER) will fund development of the Smart Agricultural Entrepreneurship (SAgE) Program to support the development of sustainable urban food ecosystems in the Kansas City metro area. The mission of SAgE is to promote agricultural entrepreneurs (agripreneurs) in urban areas to succeed in the business of farming, which will add value to the quality of life for the agripreneur and their surrounding community. 

Summer Research Opportunities for Students of Color

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship will receive funding to increase the participation of students of color who are interested in entrepreneurship in UMKC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunities (SUROP) program.

Top Stories