Entrepreneurial Dreams Take Flight with M.I.R. Program

Mentors in the Bloch Executive Hall are ready to help students build their business ventures


Maddy Bremer/Roo News

Students can find the M.I.R. Program on the third floor of Bloch Executive Hall.

Jarrod McDaniel, Staff Writer

  UMKC’s Bloch School has reintroduced a program aimed to help students achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. Located in room 317 of Bloch Executive Hall, the Regnier Institute Mentors in Residence (M.I.R.) program will give students the feedback and guidance they need to create and grow successful businesses. 

  The M.I.R. program is led by a team of over 100 mentors who have businesses in all fields, sectors and industries. According to business consultant and M.I.R. mentor Bernie Fried, these mentors are dedicated to helping students succeed in the world of entrepreneurship. Fried believes the program can offer something invaluable. 

  “I can teach you how to think like an entrepreneur,” Fried said.  

  The program is designed for mentors to connect with and support students who are looking for extra help in launching and growing their ventures. The program is open to all students who have an interest in entrepreneurship or who are already working on their own business ideas. 

  This program is a hidden gem on campus many students don’t know about. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down UMKC’s campus, and most students transitioned to online learning. Now that students are returning to campus, the M.I.R. program hopes to become more visible. 

  “We are excited to relaunch the M.I.R. program and provide students with the support they need to succeed,” said Philip Gonsher, assistant director of the mentor program. 

  “The mentors get just as much from the program as the mentees,” said Matt Heelan, the Regnier Mentor managing the M.I.R. program. “Some of the proudest moments in my career were when I was building teams, empowering people to take on roles and projects and achieving the vision and goals that enabled small to medium-sized organizations to be successful.” 

  Heelan hopes that the advice students receive from M.I.R. mentors will help them to avoid certain mistakes when they face inevitable situations as an entrepreneur.  

  “If I’ve been doing something for twenty years and could give you a shortcut in your career or industry, then why not use it?” Heelan said.

  According to Heelan, the M.I.R. program is poised to make a positive impact on the student community by providing access to experienced mentors, resources, and support. The program will provide an opportunity for students interested in entrepreneurship to make their business ideas a reality. 

  Aside from offering advice and first-hand experience, the mentors in this program can help students formulate and write business plans and financial plans. 

  The M.I.R. program is available to all students, not only those who attend the UMKC Bloch School. Click here to find additional details about the M.I.R. program. 

[email protected]