UMKC Delivers All Online Classes for the UM System Entrepreneurial Scholars and Interns Program

Missouri Technology Corporation provides $145,000 to grow number of student entrepreneurs in the state

KANSAS CITY, MO. – The Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is delivering all of the online courses for the Entrepreneurial Scholars and Interns Program (ESIP) for each of the UM System campuses.

Each of the four System campuses offers a combination of in-person and online courses through the program. Each campus delivers its own in-person courses, but all of the online courses offered at all four campuses are sourced from UMKC.

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2015 Entrepreneur of the Year Lineup Announced


EOY 2015

UMKC Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Announces Honorees for 30th Annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, University of Missouri-Kansas City, has announced the honorees for its 30th Annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards celebration and the calendar of events for the 2nd Annual Henry Bloch Entrepreneurship Week.

“Fearless City: Celebrating Those Who Fearlessly Create” is the theme for the week. The festivities kick off with the EOY Awards on Monday, Nov. 16 at the Kansas City Convention Center, Grand Ballroom, 301 W. 13th St., Suite 100, Kansas City, Mo. A Student Venture Showcase begins at 6 p.m. with the dinner immediately following at 7 p.m.

Anne St. Peter, founder of Global Prairie, will serve as honorary dinner chair. St. Peter is a dedicated Bloch School volunteer and member of the Regnier Institute Advisory Council.

The 2015 honorees are:

oneill-home-pageDanny O’Neill, Bean Baron, The Roasterie
Regional Entrepreneur of the Year

O’Neill’s passion for coffee was inspired by a trip to Costa Rica during his senior year in high school. He founded The Roasterie in 1993 on three basic premises: to find the best coffees in the world; to roast them the best way known to man; and to get them to his customers as fast as humanly possible. He opened the first Roasterie Café in Brookside in 2005. The company has grown to include three cafés and a roasting factory with event space.

O’Neill is well respected in the industry and earned “Super Taster” status on the Specialty Coffee Institute Sensory Aptitude Test in 2001. He serves on a number of advisory boards for Kansas City companies and associations, including the University of Missouri-Kansas City Board of Trustees.

white-home-pageGary White, CEO and Co-Founder,
John and Marion Kreamer Award for Social Entrepreneurship

Recognizing a need to empower people in the developing world to gain access to safe water and sanitation, White established in 2009. The organization was the result of a merger between WaterPartners International, co-founded by White in 1990, and H2O Africa, co-founded by actor Matt Damon.

White’s entrepreneurial vision has driven innovations in the way water and sanitation projects are delivered and financed. By the end of 2014, served more than three million people. White is a founding board member of the Millennium Water Alliance and WASH Advocates and a leading member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water.

A Student Entrepreneur of the Year will be announced at the EOY Awards. Selected by the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation leadership and Regnier Institute Advisory Council, the recipient will be an entrepreneurship student who has successfully developed and launched a business, product or venture. The winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship.

In honor of this milestone anniversary, the program will also include a retrospective look at the previous honorees with special attention given to their continued success. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Proceeds from the EOY Awards will benefit the Bloch School’s Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, one of Kansas City’s premiere resources for educating and creating the next generation of entrepreneurs. Money raised from previous dinners has supported the creation of innovative new programs such as Summer Scholars and Vets2Ventures.  For more information or to register for the event, please visit

The EOY Awards begin the 2nd Annual Henry Bloch Entrepreneurship week, a weeklong celebration held in conjunction with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. The following Bloch School hosted events are open to the public:

Coffee with Danny O’Neill, 2015 Regional Entrepreneur of the Year

Tuesday, November 17

9-10:30 a.m.

Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Room 330 and 331

5108 Cherry Street, Kansas City, MO 64110

Fearless Founders Reception, sponsored by Twenty30 CEO

Wednesday, November 18

6-8 p.m.

Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Room 331

5108 Cherry Street, Kansas City, MO 64110

Women in Entrepreneurship Panel

Thursday, November 19

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Room 218

5108 Cherry Street, Kansas City, MO 64110

Arts and Entrepreneurship Showcase

Friday, November 20

4-6 p.m.

Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

5108 Cherry Street, Kansas City, MO 64110

For more information on Henry Bloch Entrepreneurship Week or to register or any of the events, visit

Inspiration Becomes Reality

Photo by Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Photo by Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Kickoff event launches Free Enterprise Center

A major investment in Kansas City’s future has been launched at a kickoff celebration for the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The Free Enterprise Center, a prototyping and product development hub, will be available to entrepreneurs, local industry, and high school and college students as they pursue entrepreneurial ventures.

Dignitaries from the greater Kansas City community and the state of Missouri were on hand for the project launch at the corner of Brookside and Volker boulevards.

Matt Condon, representing the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, walked with his two young daughters, Audrey and Rachel, to a “piggy bank” fashioned from large interlocking gears, created by a 3D printer. The two generations dropped dollar coins into the bank, signifying a vital investment in the community’s future.

Along with several other speakers, Condon said the new center will help carry on the traditions established by many of the great entrepreneurial leaders of Kansas City’s history, such as Ewing Kauffman, Henry W. Bloch and many more.

“Those leaders dug wells that we have been drinking from for decades,” Condon said. “This facility is us digging a well.”

Those joining Condon to make the symbolic investments included UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton; Mike Nietzel, senior policy advisor to Gov. Jay Nixon; Donald L. Cupps, chairman of the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri System; UM System President Tim Wolfe; Wendy Guillies, president and chief executive officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Peter J. deSilva, trustee of the Robert W. Plaster Foundation; and UMKC student Daniel Galarza.

Morton described the array of community partnerships that will be involved in the center, designed to support entrepreneurship, science and technology activity from middle school to business start-ups.

“The Center will be an important new addition to our campus, of immense value to our students and our faculty, particularly in the Bloch School of Management, and the School of Computing and Engineering. But that’s just the beginning. Entrepreneurs from throughout our community will have access to the awesome technological capabilities of this center, and the extensive array of supports provided by the UMKC Innovation Center, including KCSourceLink,” Morton said. “Young people from high school and even down to middle school will come here for inspiration, coaching and guidance. Our goal is to ignite their interest in careers in the vital fields of science, technology and engineering; and put them on the path to realizing those dreams.”

He also said he was grateful for the unique public-private partnership that funded creation of the center. The $14.8 million building is being funded under a 50-50 matching program for public-private partnerships to fund capital projects at public colleges and universities in Missouri. Multi-million dollar grants from the Robert W. Plaster Foundation of Lebanon, Mo., and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation are providing the private half of the match. JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced last year that it would donate a $50,000 grant for tech equipment for the center, including 3D printers to help it develop new products.

“Generous private donors, and state government, have joined forces here to make a significant investment in the future of Kansas City,” Morton said. “Without the generous support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and the Robert W. Plaster Foundation, we would not be here today. I also want to again thank Gov. Jay Nixon, and the Missouri Legislature, for forging this innovative partnership with our donors to make this great day possible.”

Nietzel said Gov. Nixon “is very grateful to UMKC for its ongoing contributions to the success of its students and the overall strength and vitality of the Kansas City region.”
Condon serves as Champion of the effort to brand Kansas City as “America’s Most Entrepreneurial City” – one of the “Big Five” primary civic goals identified by the Chamber.

Condon said that goal “challenges us to lead by action.

“Building the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center is something the most entrepreneurial city would do, and I am proud that we are doing it,” he said.

The Free Enterprise Center will include laboratory space, rapid prototyping equipment and educational/collaborative space. The center also will support business and technology transfer advisors to serve UMKC students, faculty and researchers, as well as local industries, entrepreneurs, artists and K-12 students.

The center also will provide the KC STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Alliance space to work with high school students on projects that involve robotics, manufacturing, material science and engineering design. UMKC Enactus students, who compete in entrepreneurial challenges, will work with these students on the entrepreneurial and business aspects of technology and manufactured products and projects.

The facility also will be used as a laboratory, incubator and prototyping center for all students within the School of Computing and Engineering and all entrepreneurship students within the Bloch School of Management.