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 “brain breaks” for kids through their technology platform that’s digitally streamed into schools.
Their SBTDC advisor, Jill Meyer, first steered founders Roy Scott and Reggie Gray into a Kauffman FastTrac® TechVenture™ class taught at SBTDC. From there she helped them get to Digital Sandbox KC, where they secured $25,000 in funding. Now, H3Enterprises is one of 15 businesses participating in ScaleUP! Kansas City, a partner program with the SBTDC. Read all about this SBTDC success story…
The How2 Series of workshops presents market proven principles for product development, commercialization and growth strategies for both start-up and existing businesses. Principles that are key to innovate and scale products and services are actively discussed.
The How2 participation format offers greater understanding of important topics, leading-edge tools and processes that immediately improve your business!
Join us for sessions that include:
- How 2: Develop and Apply Customer Insights
- How 2: Turn an Idea into a Product
- How 2: Build a Business Model Canvas
- How 2: Create Competitive Advantage
Facilitator, Sally Williams, is certified in Steve Blank’s Lean Startup process and has led development and commercialization of more than 100 new products across 11 different industries.
Register now for session 1 on March 15, 2017.
Jill Hathaway joins the UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center team officially on October 24, 2016. Jill has worked for over 20 years in the footwear, clothing and accessory industry as a manufacturer’s sales representative, product design consultant, retail sales trainer, new brand developer, territory manager, international buyer, successful retail store owner, and retail marketing guru. She served as a Board Member for the National Shoe Retailers Association for several years developing programs to implement growth and success for retail businesses across the country. Giving back to her community, she has served on executive committees for fundraising with several area non-profit organizations and has focused on business development and consulting for the past few years.
The 18th annual InvestMidwest is seeking applicants to present at the conference on March 28-29 in Kansas City. InvestMidwest continues to attract great investors to see presentations from the best high growth companies in the Midwest—companies that have presented at InvestMidwest have raised over $1 billion in funding and through acquisitions.
There are three industry tracks: life sciences, IT/general business and food/ag/bioenergy. Attached is information on the application process for your reference and to apply visit www.investmidwestforum.com.
The InvestMidwest selection committee will consider companies that meet the following criteria:
- Seeking a minimum of $1M
- Projecting $20M in revenue within five years
- Located within the center corridor of the United States
The early application deadline is November 11. Companies that apply by the early deadline receive preferential consideration from the selection committees. The final application deadline is January 13. Please spread the word regarding the InvestMidwest application process and encourage entrepreneurial companies seeking venture investment to apply to the program.
To provide potential applicants a perspective on the InvestMidwest program, view the video interviews from several past InvestMidwest presenters.
Questions? Contact Christine Walsh at 314-444-1151.
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 of $270,000 in grants, knows this reality well.
In 2009, she was preparing to restart her consulting practice when she came across some “light” reading about HCAHPS scores—Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems—and how hospitals that did not continuously improve their patient satisfaction scores would lose Medicare reimbursements.
As experience would have it, Mary Kay had spent the better part of her career helping corporations collect and translate customers’ stories into meaningful and actionable feedback that improved financial returns. Why not use a similar approach to help improve health care?
Mary Kay established PatientsVoices to convert patient feedback into insight that hospitals could use to improve patient experiences and increase Medicare reimbursements. She knew how to find out what mattered to patients, but needed help developing software to cost-effectively analyze and prioritize improvement opportunities from the patient’s perspective.
Mary Kay recruited area experts to help build the platform. The application automatically identifies patterns in patient feedback—the problems and opportunities that patients repeatedly mention in the stories they tell. It provides hospital administrators with clarity on how to improve patient satisfaction.
In the fall of 2014, Mary Kay had taken PatientsVoices as far as she could. With help from the UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center, Mary Kay landed a coveted SBIR Phase I grant (Small Business Innovation Research award) for $150,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The company used the NSF funds to develop a prototype application for mining patient data.
Once the initial grant was received, the company was better positioned to receive follow on funding. The company did in fact receive an additional $20,000 in support from Digital Sandbox KC to build a customized dashboard.
With help from the KU Bioscience and Technology Business Center (BTBC), PatientsVoices received a $100,000 investment from Google to build the company’s cloud-based infrastructure. The development team can test different software configurations without having to worry about processing costs and storage capacity.
“Mary Kay’s unique business model improves patient satisfaction through a process that actually lowers costs and improves information capture and flow,” says Frank Kruse, BTBC vice president. “The company’s technology dramatically and measurably improves a hospital’s ability to improve operations and patient outcomes on the fly. This is unheard of in the current environment.”
Currently, PatientsVoices technical team is refining the prototype and will apply for SBIR Phase II funding, which could bring up to $750,000 to continue development of the company’s technology.
Hospitals that improve patient satisfaction and market their patient-centered care to consumers have the opportunity to become what Mary Kay calls ‘destination hospitals.’ As hospitals build a reputation for providing value—high-quality services and great patient care, patients will seek out those hospitals, rather than going to one that’s ‘close to home’. Mary Kay noted that by improving patient loyalty and attracting more consumers, hospital administrators can increase market share. Even a 1 percent increase in market share can result in millions more dollars in annual revenue for the typical hospital.
Article edited from KCSourceLink. Original article authored by Sarah, Mote, marketing director at KCSourceLink. Photo by Austin Walsh Studio.
Find more success stories at http://www.kcsourcelink.com/entrepreneurs-in-action.
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Kansas City, MO – July 8, 2016
Michelle joined the SBTDC in late February. A resident of Missouri from birth, she attended the University of Missouri – Columbia and received a BA in Communications. She has now lived in many places, but is very excited to be home and take on this new role. Michelle has worked in varied fields throughout her career. She was an employee benefits insurance underwriter, an elementary education teacher and aide, and she spent many years perfecting the art of “domestic engineering”.
She is the newest member of the SBTDC team and is responsible for coordinating training including the registration process. She also gives general support with projects and team needs.
Michelle is looking forward to her role with the Small Business & Technology Development Center and has enjoyed learning with her new team!
The UMKC Small Business & Technology Development Center is Kansas City’s leading resource for starting and developing businesses. The staff provides one-on-one counseling sessions and entrepreneurial training to individuals and businesses of all types and stages and assists thousands of entrepreneurs in the Kansas City region each year. Experts in a variety of fields, the UMKC SBTDC staff specializes in technology development and commercialization, in addition to strategic planning, economic gardening, marketing and international trade. The UMKC SBTDC is part of the network of Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers and an affiliate of the UMKC Innovation Center. For more information about the program, visit their website at sbtdc.umkc.edu. You can also find them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
For immediate release
Contact: Carmen DeHart
Director of Outreach Programs, UMKC Innovation Center
Regional Direction, MO SBTDC
816-235-6428 or email@example.com