Success Stories 2018-02-01T13:11:34+00:00

Success Stories

Local Artist Creates Business From Iconic Kansas City Scenes

Local Artist Creates Business From Iconic Kansas City Scenes

When Bernadette “Bernie” Lee could no longer lift a case of wine because of a shoulder injury, she left the wine industry after 30 years and turned her painting hobby into a successful business. With Art From Architecture, Lee paints and sells renderings of iconic Kansas City landscapes, college stadiums, sorority houses and custom portraits […]

Mighty Good Solutions has a handle on business

Mighty Good Solutions has a handle on business

Lugging 10 grocery bags up three flights of stairs every week got Ben Rendo thinking there had to be an easier way to carry multiple bags. His big idea – the Mighty Handle – is a simple solution and the first product of Mighty Good Solutions.   To get started, Rendo sought the help of […]

Velo Garage and Tap House

Velo Garage and Tap House

Sip a cold, craft beer while you get your bike fixed When Kiley Sutter opened VeloWagon as a mobile bicycle repair shop in a 1969 Volkswagen bus, he found a winning combination: bikes and beer. Now two years later, he’s expanding into Velo Garage and Tap House in a North Kansas City location that he […]

Hip-Hop duo goes high tech with educational start up

Hip-Hop duo goes high tech with educational start up

How can you capture the attention of kids, have fun and teach a lesson? Try hip-hop! That’s the idea behind H3TV, a local tech business whose owners first approached the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) last year about reworking their business strategy. Now, they are focused on introducing their healthy hip hop and […]

How She Funded It: SBIR Funding Jumpstarts PatientsVoices™ to Improve Patient Satisfaction

Sometimes ideas come from knowing a market really well. Sometimes they come from serendipity—a happenstance encounter with an undeniable opportunity. Mary Kay O’Connor founded PatientsVoices™ from both experience and instinct. But regardless of the source of inspiration, good ideas can’t get off the ground without funding. Mary Kay O’Connor, founder of PatientsVoices™ and recent recipient […]

Shop eclectic creations at new Mid Coast Modern location

Shop eclectic creations at new Mid Coast Modern location

  If you’re searching for that unique, hand-crafted item from a shop that knows its artists, head to Westport where Mid Coast Modern has recently opened a bigger store with even more design-centric creations. Owner Matt Bramlette is excited about his move from the Crossroads to Westport. His new space is larger, which means more […]

El Padrino Soccer Wins KCK Chamber Small Business Award

UMKC SBTDC client and ScaleUP! graduate El Padrino Apparel and Soccer Nation is the winner of the KCK Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award. Owner Raul Villegas’s company not only runs an indoor-soccer league, but also has a retail store that sells soccer apparel and equipment. Congrats to Raul and El Padrino! Photo courtesy […]

JUNK Architects, PC, Kansas City, receives 2015 Excellence in Business Award

JUNK Architects, PC, Kansas City, receives 2015 Excellence in Business Award JUNK Architects, PC, of Kansas City, was honored Tuesday, Feb. 3, as a winner of the 2015 University of Missouri Extension Business Development Program’s (BDP) Excellence in Missouri Business Award. The awards highlight outstanding achievements by firms that have worked with the Missouri Small […]

Success On the Technology Commercialization Path

Success On the Technology Commercialization Path

The same process that keeps paint on car bumpers may keep fillings in your teeth longer. Engineers at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Missouri-Kansas City have created a plasma brush for dentists. It uses a cool “flame” to clean and prep teeth for filling in about 30 seconds. The flame alters the tooth surface to strengthen the bond with […]


Principals: Christina Scott and Kevin Neighley Not many people can say they’ve washed more than a quarter million cars, in under a minute each, with a microfiber-chamois shammy that’s not much larger than a sheet of paper. Christina Scott and Kevin Neighley have. They are the co-inventors and founders of Shamerrific, an innovative line […]

Old World Spices

Principals: John Jungk, Amy Jungk, Elizabeth Benteman, and Jill Meinhardt Walter Jungk told his son John that pizza, more than likely, was only a fad. It’s a good thing John Jungk didn’t listen. Pizza seasonings were the original impetus behind many years of spice learning, training, and development that eventually led to Old World […]

Matrix Medical

Principals: Ivan E. Brown, Ph.D. and Janet Greene Brown Matrix Medical solves old medical problems with new ideas. Its product line comprises a variety of sports medicine devices that help patients return to normal activities after surgery or injury. From tennis elbow braces to ankle wraps to wound protection, Matrix Medical’s product line treats […]

Flava Cap

Principal: Craig Valentine Vitamin water, bottled tea, energy drinks, fruit drinks: the bottles sit on the shelves as the premixed ingredients drift to the bottom of the bottle or lose their potency. And single-serve powered mixes are messy and easily spilled. Flava Cap has figured out a way to keep these ingredients in the […]

Plug Projects

Principals: Caleb Taylor, Nicole Mauser, Amy Kligman, Misha Kligman, and Cory Imig PLUG Projects was formed in early 2011 by five Kansas City artists. A fresh gallery with a fresh perspective, PLUG is not only a curatorial collaboration between these artists, it’s way to enrich and expand conversations about art. PLUG renovated its West Bottoms […]

Lala Studio

Principal: Lisa Lala Pay off parking tickets. Start a family charitable foundation. Stop biting my nails. Die on my own terms. Download better music. These, and thousands more, are the scribbled goals that make up Lisa Lala’s List Wall Project. Originating in Kansas City in 2009, the List Wall Project is a grassroots drivenconceptual […]

Jane Gotch Dance

Principal: Jane Gotch  What if what people really wanted was not a spectacle but an intimate human connection? That’s the motivation behind Jane Gotch’s art—and the question behind WE!, an innovative, collaborative installation dance performance staged in an abandoned downtown office space formerly occupied by AT&T. WE! took 40 audience members out of their […]

Chris Dahlquist Fine Art

Principals: Chris and Kyle Dahlquist Chris Dahlquist learned to use a camera and develop pictures as she was learning to ride a bicycle and write in cursive. Her school years were spent doing science fair projects where she’d test the photographic medium, learning the rules just so she could break them. All innovation, she […]

Bread! KC

Bread! KC

Principals: Sean Starowitz and Andrew William Erdich BREAD! KC has found a novel way to feed “starving artists.” A microfinancing organization, BREAD! KC provides a sustainable, democratic means of supporting the Kansas City creative community. To do that, it hosts monthly migrating dinner parties to raise money for its microgrants. Preselected artists or organizations […]


Principals: Dave Alburty, Carol Pranulis, and Andy Page There’s a serious gap in biological detection technologies between the size of real-world environmental and clinical sample volumes and the size of sample volumes that can actually be analyzed by biological detectors. InnovaPrep’s technologies fill that need. InnovaPrep improves the way biological samples, especially those containing […]

EV Instruments

Principals: Denise Moser, Robert Casper, Rudy Valenzuela, and Troy Lentz One dashboard to rule them all. That’s the mission behind MiMod®, EV Instruments’ flexible and customizable digital dashboard for electric and high performance vehicles. Through its touchscreen, MiMod allows drivers of electric cars to monitor the vehicle’s s battery, speed, odometer, and navigation. It […]

Craig Safety Technologies

Principals: Brenda Craig Companies typically scatter their safety data, training, and compliance across computer files, paper documents, spreadsheets, and accounting programs—neither an effective nor an efficient solution. Craig Safety Technologies integrates all areas of compliance and risk management into a simple, cloud-based software solution, its Compliance Safety Manager™ (CSM). With this software, companies can […]


Principals: Dr. David Brown, Michael Jackson, and David Orwick Sixty percent of infertility in couples is due to male infertility issues, yet historically, fertility treatments have focused on women, causing disruptive time-consuming and expensive treatments. AndroJek is working to solve that with innovative screening and diagnostics for male infertility. Its world-patented Male Reproductive Healthsm Panel […]