Success Stories2018-07-19T11:11:41-06:00
October 14, 2019

Thirsty for Success

Luke Einsel had an idea seven years ago. Take smoothies and frozen drink products to the public through food service programs, thereby redefining beverage distribution. Thirsty Coconut was born and is thriving in the Kansas City market and eight other states! “It was a complete disaster” says Luke
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August 12, 2019

Tech Company Gains Pivotal Insights from SBTDC

Donald Hawkins started his business with a simple idea: help small businesses communicate affordably and effectively with their customer base. However, translating the concept into reality required some high-tech development. Hawkins started by creating a system for customers to push notifications and messages about their businesses. But in
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July 15, 2019

Udo Gets You Help, When You Need It

You’re ridiculously busy at work. The kids need summer activities planned. It’s time to schedule the dog’s annual checkup, and you have 50 thank-you notes that need to go out. What if you had a personal assistant who could handle it all? Better yet, what if your employer
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June 12, 2019

College Coaching Network Creates a Roadmap for Students

When it’s time for high school students to consider college, it can be tough, and sometimes expensive, to navigate the application and scholarship process. That’s where College Coaching Network fills a needed niche. For families that cannot afford a college planning service, College Coaching Network offers a scholarship
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May 13, 2019

SBDC Client Expands Beyond The Bear Necessities

When Matt Bramlette found himself unemployed after a long and successful career in advertising and design, he took a new direction, stepped out on a limb, and opened a retail store. His first location was in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, but later expanded and moved
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April 12, 2019

Will Brown Saves Clients from “Decorating Distress”

If you worry about how your home looks and feels when you walk in the door, you’ve probably experienced what William Brown calls “decorating distress.” Here’s where he wants to come to the rescue. “Acknowledging that our souls need spaces to replenish and renew away from the many
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March 12, 2019

KRockArt Launches from a Love of Painting

Kristen Rock Chouinard left a corporate career on the chance that she could turn her passion into a new business. Today, her love for painting has evolved from a therapeutic and creative outlet into an entrepreneurial quest with KRockArt. “When I create, one of my many hopes is
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February 13, 2019

Jen Rarey Harnessing Creativity

Jen Rarey was enjoying a successful eighteen-year career as a Creative Director at Hallmark when her name was among the hundreds who found themselves suddenly unemployed in the Hallmark layoff of 2015.  While she knew layoffs were coming, she thought her position was secure, but she was wrong. 
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January 11, 2019

The Brewkery Taps Handcrafted Kombucha

Taste a handcrafted, artisanal kombucha and meet the founders of this Lucky Elixir at The Brewkery, a kombucha brewery in the Northland. Founded in 2015 by Amy Goldman and Sean Galloway, The Brewkery opened with a mission to make great tasting, handcrafted, artisanal kombucha that is local, healthy
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December 12, 2018

Lightworks Tackles Growth and Balance

When Kathi Vandel started Lightworks, Inc. in 2002, she wanted a business that created balance between light and dark, art and engineering and most importantly, work and family. “The backbone of our company rests on the concept of balance,” she said. “That’s why the company was formed, and maintaining
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November 12, 2018

M-Power Enterprises builds from Primal Cry

Marisa Wiruhayarn’s entrepreneurial journey began when she left Thailand in the early 1980s for a fresh start in the United States. But it would be many years later before her spicy Thai hot sauce would truly launch her into a business of her own. Shortly after coming to
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October 12, 2018

The Business of Inclusion & Diversity

I joined Dionne King on a rainy weekday at Quay Coffee in the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. As always she looked like she was ready to meet with the top brass of a major corporation. That wasn’t far from reality. She only had a few minutes for
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September 14, 2018

New Owner Positions for Growth

Stella Crewse started at the bottom in a male-dominated industry. She worked her way up from part-time bookkeeper, learning everything she could about the plumbing business in her 14 years at Morgan Miller Plumbing. Then in 2017, she bought it. Crewse began the business transition by enlisting the
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August 15, 2018

Teen Entrepreneur Aims High

High-achieving, eighteen-year-old Erin Smith will not be following her friends to college this fall. Instead, she’ll delay her entrance to Stanford University to take the next step in developing her medical technology venture, FacePrint. For the past two years, Smith has been working with the UMKC Small Business
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July 9, 2018

A Cut Above

Dane Casey and his wife moved to Kansas City from San Francisco, California in 2017 to pursue his dream to open Venturemen Barbering Shoppe. After years of research and training Dane will celebrate a grand opening this summer in the crossroads arts district of Kansas City. Dane’s passion
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June 13, 2018

TicketRX makes it easier to resolve traffic tickets

Everyone hates getting a traffic ticket and then trying to resolve it without going to court. But for over-the-road truck drivers, an unresolved traffic ticket can mean lost income or a lost job. Bryan Shannon’s own experience as a college student led him to create TicketRX to make
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May 14, 2018

iShare Medical creates records in one secure file

What if your medical records could follow you from doctor to specialist to hospital and always be complete, secure and easily shared? That’s the concept behind iShare Medical, a Kansas City based company that has grown with the assistance of the UMKC Small Business & Technology Development Center
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April 11, 2018

Midwest Comfort Homes helps homeowners after a disaster

A traumatic childhood experience ultimately led Travis Thonen to start his own business to help others restore their houses after fire, water, smoke and hail damage. “I personally went through an experience with my family many years ago when our family home in Raytown, Missouri almost burnt to
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