Program provides skills and mentors for budding entrepreneurs
The Entrepreneurship Scholars (E-Scholars) program offered by the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is now accepting applications from budding entrepreneurs eager to launch scalable and sustainable ventures.
E-Scholars is an intensive, early-stage venture development program offered by the Bloch School’s Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Open to both community members and UMKC students, the academically-based program provides entrepreneurs with knowledge, support, and resources to succeed.
The next class begins Sept. 9, with an August 31 application deadline, and will accept a maximum of 35 ventures. The nine-month program includes a series of 14 workshops, held Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., over the course of two semesters.
Launched in 2011, E-Scholars has served as the launching pad for companies such as Insysiv, Lending Standard, RFP 365, Integrated Roadways, Patients Voices, Mobility Designed, By Grace Designs and many more. E-Scholars have access to:
- a series of subsidized workshops thanks to generous contributions by sponsors
- a state-of-the-art facility
- pro-bono attorneys and legal services
- networking events with alumni, mentors and faculty
- preparation for large-scale competitions with monetary prizes
- a large network of mentors in Kansas City consisting of industry experts in:
- HR and management
“Participants in the E-Scholars program benefit from a large network of people dedicated to giving back to the next generation of entrepreneurs,” said Stephanie Campbell, assistant director of the Regnier Institute. “We help early-stage ventures build a solid foundation for a successful launch, by guiding them through a process to test their assumptions, build on their ideas and develop a strategy to make their idea a reality.”
Additional information, cost structure and application instructions are available at go.umkc.edu/e-scholars. Here are answers to Frequently Asked Questions about E-Scholars:
What are the eligibility requirements for E-Scholars participation?
There are no specific eligibility requirements in terms of degrees, GPA, etc. Applicants need an idea for a business, and a dedication to that idea to work hard on it for at least one year.
What is the description of the ideal candidate?
First and foremost, a candidate must be willing to listen to and incorporate feedback and advice. Flexibility is also critical, as things will rarely go according to plan for an entrepreneur, and being willing and able to adjust on the fly is vital for success. Beyond these two characteristics, dedication and persistence are requirements. Finally, having some sort of subject matter expertise in whatever field they seek to start a business is extremely important.
How many people/ventures will be accepted into the program?
We accept up to 35 ventures per cohort. The next class of cohorts begins this September and the second cohort of the year will begin in January 2018. A venture may be a single founder (at least, when beginning), or a venture may already have multiple people on the team.
Is there a cost to participate? How much? Is financial aid available?
All admitted E-Scholars participants automatically receive a $5,000 scholarship, which covers the majority of program costs. The financial assistance is available thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Regnier Family Foundation, and other generous partners. The remaining program costs must be covered by the venture in one of the following ways.
Participate as a community member to earn a non-academic certificate. This option costs $1000 ($500/semester) for the program, per venture. Ventures who choose to pay the full amount up front receive a 20% discount. Additionally, for any venture with at least one founder/co-founder who is a verifiable graduate (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) of any School, College, or Program of UMKC, we offer a 20% discount. Only one discount may be applied to each venture’s total program fee.
Students seeking academic credit only pay the tuition of the courses related to E-Scholars. The program fee is waived.
What are the days and times in which programming takes place? Is it a full time commitment, or do some E-Scholars still have “day jobs”?
Almost all E-Scholars still have day jobs as they work to get their ventures from idea to launch, and then from launch to growth.