Regnier Family Foundations give $3 million to UMKC 

Gift will endow the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation


Aug. 27, 2012

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and the UMKC Foundation have received a $3 million gift from the Regnier Family Foundations to endow the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, housed in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. The Foundation was established in 1990 by Victor A., Jr., Robert D. and Catherine M. Regnier to honor their parents’ legacy.

“The institute has demonstrated excellence nationally and globally in business entrepreneurship and innovation. Now UMKC is taking that experience and strategically infusing other schools on campus with an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset,” said Victor Regnier, FAIA ACSA Distinguished Professor at the University of Southern California School of Architecture. “This allows the entrepreneurial spirit of the Bloch School to strengthen all disciplines. Taking an entrepreneurial approach to the application of knowledge and research in engineering, law, performing arts and health sciences is a model from which every university can benefit.”  

The foundations established for Victor L. and Helen Benning Regnier promote higher education, children’s programs and libraries, primarily in the Kansas City area. The UMKC gift will provide an opportunity for more students to apply to the Institute’s nationally and globally ranked entrepreneurship programs offered through the Bloch School.  

Founded in 2005, the institute's mission is to inspire and nurture entrepreneurs and innovators through transformational education and research. Its vision is to be a global leader in creating and disseminating knowledge to advance entrepreneurship and innovation.  

The Regniers have been long-time supporters of the institute, having named the institute’s Venture Creation Challenge (Regnier Family Foundation/Bank of Blue Valley Venture Creation Challenge) with an annual gift in 2007.

The challenge is designed to encourage student venture creation through a forum in which students can present new venture concepts to local investors, business leaders, and entrepreneurs. Throughout the year, UMKC students develop business plans supporting commercialization of high-growth-potential technologies as well as their own original ventures. Student teams compete in the challenge for various awards.

“The Regnier Family understands the significance of this experiential learning challenge as well as the quality of the entrepreneurship programs at the Bloch School,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “Their gift will allow the institute to continue to draw the best students and prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs who will be critical to our regional, state and national economies.”

In 2011, the Bloch School was recognized as one of only 11 schools in the nation with both undergraduate and graduate programs ranked in the top 25 in entrepreneurship and innovation by Princeton Review, and Bloch's MBA Entrepreneurship emphasis was recognized as the 2012 National Model Graduate Entrepreneurship Program by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  

Also in 2011, UMKC was ranked No. 1 in the world for innovation management research due to research conducted by faculty in the Bloch School's Department of Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Michael Song, Mark Parry and Lisa Zhao. Song and Parry are the No. 1 and No. 4 innovation management scholars in the world, respectively.   

“This gift brings the Campaign for UMKC to more than $126 million toward the campaign goal of $250 million,” said Alan Atterbury, chairman of the UMKC Foundation. “The foundation received a record amount of donations during the fiscal year, which ended June 30. The grand total was more than $65.5 million.”

UMKC and the UMKC Foundation are grateful to the Regnier Family Foundations for their generous gift that will benefit many generations of entrepreneurs to come.  

For more information, visit the UMKC Foundation website.