You’re on the cusp of developing a cutting-edge technology or science-based business while Kansas City’s entrepreneurial community is buzzing and moving faster than ever before. You want to be part of it, but you need help with the details, including funding and intellectual property protection. Designed specifically by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, this program is an intensive eight-session course designed to give technology and science based entrepreneurs a proven framework and network of connections to help grow a great idea into the next viable innovation.

Experienced business coaches and successful entrepreneurs work together to facilitate critical teachings, guide lively small group sessions, and share practical experiences to enhance your business. Participants learn with and from their peers, creating a powerful network that continues well after the program is complete.

Topics Include:

  • Identifying funding & investors
  • Pre- & post-money valuation
  • Pitching to investors
  • Financial projections & management
  • Due diligence
  • Deal sheets
  • Legal structures
  • Business feasibility & demand

Dates: August 29 – October 24, 2024
Times: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Thursdays
Fee: $649 ($150 with a scholarship)
Scholarships: May be available. Your application will be reviewed for those opportunities.

APPLY HERE for the scholarship and the class

This session includes classes on 9 consecutive Wednesdays. Attendance at all 9 sessions is HIGHLY encouraged.

The Formula 8 combines classroom and online coursework to teach 8 essentials of an entrepreneurial mindset using the business canvas process to inspire and engage participants. We will focus on customer discovery and acquisition for both start-up and existing businesses. Hearing from unlikely yet successful entrepreneurs, participants will learn to evaluate business opportunities from a practical method inspired by the life story of Clifton Taulbert.

This course is a revolutionary learning program designed to inspire and engage participants in the fundamental aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset and the unlimited opportunities it can provide. The overall objective is to empower learners through entrepreneurial thinking and immerse them in entrepreneurial experiences that will enable them to develop entrepreneurial skills. With market testing, you will also be using a canvas tool to test assumptions rather than utilizing traditional business planning.

Dates: September 25 – November 20, 2024 (Attendance at all nine sessions is expected.)
Times: Wednesdays from 5:30pm-8:30pm
Fee: $649 ($150 with scholarship opportunity)
Scholarships: May be available, your application will be reviewed for these opportunities.

Apply for scholarships and the class here.

Pitching to Investors (Please check each date on calendar for delivery)

Do you need funding for your business, but don’t know where to start with your pitch to a potential investor?

Learn the best strategies to convince investors that you are worth their money, and avoid the common pitfalls made by many businesses.

In the Pitching to Investors class, learn:

  • Investor pet peeves
  • Selling your product
  • Market characteristics
  • Competitive analyses
  • Do’s and don’ts of financial slides
  • The “ask” and the “leave”

This workshop is presented by Michele Weigand, managing partner of Focused Perspective with more than 27 years of finance and business development experience. She was the former chief investment officer for KTEC and managed investments for GE Mortgage and GE Reinsurance.

Dates: July 18 OR Oct 3, 2024
Time: 4:30 – 7:00pm
Fee: $49
Make your payment at our Marketplace

Reading and Understanding Financial Statements (Virtual/Zoom)

Learn how to identify key business information that is captured on an income statement and balance sheet in this basic financial class. Participants will learn to calculate several ratios and understand what those ratios mean in terms of business productivity and success. Leave this session with a greater understanding of how to read and interpret financial documents and how to use that information to drive business decisions.

Dates: September 24, 2024
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Fee: $49
Make your payment at our Marketplace

SBIR Bootcamp (In person)

Bootcamp is a two day event. Attendance on both days is required for participation.

Do you have an innovative, significant technology with commercial potential?

Are you interested in or planning to apply for one of the lucrative SBIR or STTR research grants offered by the Federal Government?

Then the SBIR Bootcamp may be right for you. Open to qualified participants, the 2-day Bootcamp will be taught by  Assel Grant Writing Services, one of the area’s top grant-writers, together with our Missouri SBDC technology development and commercialization experts. They will lead you through the process of developing an SBIR or STTR grant proposal. You will receive group and one-on-one coaching as you work through each section of the grant application. By the end of the bootcamp you will have developed an outline for your grant proposal.

$2500 Phase 0 grants may be available to qualified companies for grant-writing assistance.
More information will be available at the bootcamp.

Dates: June 13-14
Time: 9-4pm day 1 & 9-2pm day 2
Fee: No fee for qualified applicants

Social Media Mindset: Build Relationships not clicks!

Social media can be an amazing tool for your small business. Learn how to use those channels to create content that can equal not just sales, but lifelong customers!

Dates: TBD
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Fee: $49
Make your payment on our Marketplace

Startup Boards 101 (In person)

If your early-stage company has just formed a board (or are about to), Startup Boards 101 is designed for you.

This series of three workshops (attendence at all three required) helps entrepreneurs and potential board members understand the whys, whats and hows of early-stage boards.

Those selected founders will have moved beyond the startup stage, will be seriously considering the benefits of an advisory or fiduciary board and will benefit from networking with potential board members.

Spots are limited . Complete the application for consideration as a founder or potential board member.

Dates: August 1 – August 15, 2024
Time: 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Fee:$49 fee for founders, $149 for potential board members – pay links will be sent after acceptance

Apply here for the class


Do you have a technology business that needs funding? This introductory seminar explains how to win Small Business Initiative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grants from federal programs that provide research and development (R&D) funds for small businesses.

Learn how to find grants, how to apply, and the best strategies to gain funding for a growing technology business. The highly competitive SBIR program encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research and research development (R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. SBIR enables small businesses to explore technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs. Numerous Kansas City area companies have successfully funded their research with SBIR/STTR grants that can total up to $1.5 million for each business. Learn how your business could qualify.

Dates:  TBD
Time: 11:30 – 2 p.m.
Fee: $49
Make your payment on our Marketplace

“I feel like the whole city has helped me get to this place as an entrepreneur. However, it all started with ELEVATIONLAB and classes like TECHVENTURE and GROWTH360. Those courses connected me with businesses counselors like Sally and Mark, who in turn connected me with others in KC. We’ve been able to get into accelerators, acquire funding and connect with customers! I’m not sure how this journey would look had I not been plugged in here first!”

Brandy Archie