Is the Missouri SBDC at UMKC the Small Business Administration (SBA)?
The SBDC is not the Small Business Administration, but it is part of a national network of SBA Small Business Development Centers that deliver SBA resources on the local level.
How does Missouri SBDC help businesses?
Our staff provides confidential, business coaching and ELEVATIONLAB training designed to help clients make good decisions as they start or grow their businesses. Coaches are experienced and knowledgeable business advisors who work with clients to provide expertise, guidance and feedback, as well as access to a wide range of local, regional and national resources.
Business coaching is enhanced with ELEVATIONLAB training programs covering an array of subjects. All classes and workshops are designed to increase your knowledge, build your confidence and prepare you to manage a successful business. SBDC has counselors that specialize in technology ventures, working extensively with technology-based businesses and university researchers in commercializing innovative technologies.
Can you help me with my business idea?
SBDC provides essential start-up business education to help prospective business owners navigate a path through a variety of state and federal programs, services and tools they need to grow and prosper. We specialize in new business start-up, existing business growth and technology business development.
I need funding for my business. Can you help me with loans and grants?
SBDC does not make loans, but does work with a wide variety of funding sources including banks, lending agencies, equity and private capital funders to assist our clients in determining the best financial path for their business.
For clients involved in developing innovative, research-based products of interest to the federal government, SBDC technology counselors provide assistance in accessing grant resources. SBDC assists businesses in accessing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, a Federal funding opportunity to support research and development projects and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, designed to fund public/private sector partnerships between small businesses and universities or research institutions.
How do I speak to a business coach?
If you operate a business located in the Kansas City metropolitan area, fill out a short form on our Contact page. You will then be contacted by staff to access services and obtain assistance. Calling our office is not the best or fastest way to speak to a counselor. If you are a Missouri business in another part of the state, visit the Missouri SBDC website to find the SBDC office nearest you.
Is there a fee for your services?
Our business coaching services are provided without charge. Funded in part by federal and state tax dollars our training programs are subsidized, making them either free or affordable.
What do I need to know about training in ELEVATIONLAB?
All your ELEVATIONLAB related questions can be answered right here. The first place to go after you have all your answers, is our calendar and click on the class you would like to take. Registration with payment or application will be available on each training page.
Do you still offer fasttrac classes?
The SBDC uses a new ELEVATIONLAB curriculum that covers much of the previous business growth information, plus provides additional business mentoring and resources to help you throughout the life of your business. If you are in a start-up phase, check out ELEVATIONLAB NEW VENTURE. When you business is ready for growth, you’ll want to sign up for ELEVATIONLAB GROWTH VENTURE. For technology-based businesses, the best course is ELEVATIONLAB TECH VENTURE.
How is Missouri SBDC connected to UMKC?
The University of Missouri-Kansas City is the host institution for our center through the UMKC Innovation Center. We share UMKC’s strong commitment to entrepreneurship and are involved in a variety of activities connected to its teaching and student experiential learning opportunities.
Missouri SBDC fills a vital role in connecting the university to the entrepreneurial and innovative business community – a role that has been strengthened in recent years with the addition of seasoned, high-level consultants specializing in technology development and transfer and in developing high-growth businesses.
Where are your offices located, and are walk-in visits welcome?
The SBDC office is located in the UMKC Innovation Center, 4747 Troost, Kansas City, MO. The in-depth nature of our coaching and training, as well as COVID, does not make services to walk-in clients possible. Most sessions and trainings are currently virtual due to the COVID pandemic. All appointment and training confirmation will include details even as we move forward. The fastest and best way to receive assistance is to fill out the contact form. Joining our e-mail list is the best way to receive information about ongoing training programs and events.
Does the center cancel trainings/close for inclement weather or other issues?
We learned a lot about this question in 2020! Yes, we do cancel in person classes in response to city and health recommendations as we move through the pandemic. At this time, all classes are virtual through December 31, 2021 and will be re-evaluated in 2022. When we are in person, occasionally classes are cancelled for inclement weather or low enrollment. In the case of inclement weather, you will be notified as soon as possible. We follow the UMKC campus weather policy, if campus is closed, so are we! If a class is cancelled for low enrollment, you will receive an email at least 24 hours in advance when possible. You will be offered a refund or will be moved to the next available class.