briefly mentioned: UMKC Innovation Center sparks partnership with local

Roze Brooks

The UMKC Innovation Center is partnering with SparkLabKC, a locally based internet business incubator.

SparkLabKC selects 10 new internet companies in the Kansa City region each year for a 90-day accelerator program.

The program offers up to $18,000 in seed capital, cross-industry mentorships and advisory services, free workspace and marketing to potential investors.

The partnership combines the UMKC Innovation Center’s expertise in entrepreneurial startups with SparkLab’s internet focus.

SparkLabKC hopes to bridge an experience and capital gap in what they believe is a rich community for early-stage startups.

Interested businesses may fill out applications starting Feb. 1.

Applications will be open until March 31.  The 90-day program is broken into monthly phases.

  • The first month entails in-depth mentoring to refine business and product strategy.
  • The second month focuses on prototype development.
  • The third month focuses on refining the prototype pitch for “Demo Day”, in which each company presents its prototype product to Angel investors and venture capitalists.

The program begins on May 29 and runs until Demo Day, Aug. 23.

Kansas City has favored well in rankings for startup firms. Forbes listed Kansas City as one of the U.S. Biggest Brain Magnets for attracting college graduates in 2011.  StartupDigest.com ranks Kansas City among the top five fastest growing startup communities in the world.

Other SparkLabKC sponsors and partners include MRIGlobal, University of Kansas Center for Technology and University of Missouri-Columbia.

Companies considered for the business accelerator program must have one experienced coder.  Company size is limited to two-to-four founders. Each company receives seed capital of $6,000 per founder with a maximum investment of $18,000.

To apply or access more information, visit SparkLabKC.com.
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