UMKC and Kauffman Foundation launch entrepreneurial grant program

With support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, UMKC is starting a new grant program. (Thinking Bigger)

Robin Ramsey

With support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, UMKC is starting a new grant program. 

Called the Entrepreneurship Innovation Grant (EIG), students and faculty from every department across campus are encouraged by UMKC to submit proposals.

“We don’t want students and faculty to think that entrepreneurship is only a business process, it’s more than that,” Tony Mendes, the managing director of the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UMKC, said. “You can be entrepreneurial in a lot of different ways. So we are providing these grants to help students, faculty, and certain departments on campus to think creatively.” 

The grant program was created in a collaboration with the UMKC Innovation Center, the Regnier Institute at the UMKC Bloch School of Management and the UMKC School of Law. There is an amount of $400,000 available over a two-year period.

Grants of $5,000 to $50,000 will be awarded to submissions that include proposals for curriculum development, technology commercialization, school and department initiatives, community service, engagement, and ecosystem building. According to the university, eligible plans must be viable, realistic, and align with UMKC’s entrepreneurial objectives 

Maria Meyers, the executive director for the UMKC Innovation Center, told UMKC Today that the grant is a direct incentive to stimulate collaboration and growth, adding to the array of UMKC’s many entrepreneurial programs that respond to challenges within the community.

“Converting UMKC skills, ideas and innovations into real-world applications and markets will drive better, more inclusive futures that will help us address and solve today’s and tomorrow’s challenges,” Meyers said.

Mendes advised students to try and submit any idea, saying that an entrepreneurial mindset involves learning from trial and error. 

“I just want to encourage students and faculty to really think about what they’ve been contemplating, that could be an entrepuernial way of looking at your field that you teach or do research in,” Mendes said.

The submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 28.

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