Meet Dean Klaas

While he’s only been on the Bloch School scene a short time, Brian Klaas, Ph.D., is ready to make his mark on UMKC and Kansas City. Klaas comes to Bloch from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, a school with a number of nationally ranked programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

In addition to his duties as dean of the Bloch School, Klaas is also a professor of management. Bloch faculty and staff are excited to have Klaas’ leadership in driving the Bloch School to the next level of success. And when he’s not on campus, you can be sure to catch him around Kansas City — embracing all the community has to offer.

First impression of Kansas City?

It’s a gem flying under the radar. Outstanding community spirit, positive public and private sector engagement, entrepreneurial energy — all combine with an extremely high quality of life. KC also has easy access to world-class museums, farmer’s markets, performing arts venues and professional sports.

Favorite Kansas City barbecue restaurant? Thus far at least?

To this point, I have been to Gates, Joe’s Kansas City, Jack Stack and Q39. There is no way to identify a favorite among that group — all were amazing. I loved the ribs at Gates and Joe’s, the Crown Rib and beans at Jack Stack and the brisket and burnt ends at Q39. Recently, Henry Bloch suggested a few that were on his list of favorites. I can’t wait to make my way through the rest of the list.

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Entrepreneurship Scholars Deadline Approaching

In just nine months, you can learn how to take your big idea from concept to launch! By applying today, you can join the ranks of 60+ plus alumni ventures who have successful launched and are generating revenue. As part of the E-Scholars program, you’ll be in and out of the classroom, learning from exceptional faculty and accomplished entrepreneurs how to develop a scalable and sustainable venture.

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KCSourceLink Sheds New Light on Startup Job Creation

Kansas City’s entrepreneurs  are a job-creating powerhouse

By Maria Meyers

As a community, we celebrate when an existing large enterprise moves to our area, bringing the promise of several hundred jobs. And well we should. But Kansas City’s entrepreneurs, working outside the spotlight, are a job-creating powerhouse, bringing an average of 16,376 new jobs to Kansas City every single year.

Our team at KCSourceLink, a program of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Innovation Center, has developed an important new statistical analysis that sheds unprecedented light on the importance of Kansas City startups by providing precise statistics on job creation. It reveals that entrepreneurial venture creation is an extremely powerful economic development engine.

First-time employers who employed fewer than 20 employees created 16,325 new jobs in 2016. Looking at cumulative job creation year to year, startups launched between 2012 and 2016 generated 84,011 jobs in 2016. This accounts for 65 percent of jobs added, and 7.7 percent of all jobs, in Kansas City in 2016.  (For this report, the Kansas City region includes Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas; and Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri.)

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Bloch Executive Education Announces Fall Leadership Seminars

Every day, the halls of the Bloch School are filled with leaders from across Kansas City who are going above and beyond by taking the next step in their career to further strengthen their leadership skills. The Bloch Executive Education recognizes the opportunities in developing leadership talent and has designed seminars for individual and teams who are ready to take themselves, their companies and KC to the next level.

“These seminars are a great way for groups or individuals to develop their leadership skills in a format designed for busy leaders,” says Ann Hackett, Chief Learning and Engagement Officer. “We offer a variety of topics to meet the most common needs of leaders in today’s business environment.”

The seminars are one-day programs focused on current business concepts and future trends with emphasis on applied learning and practical techniques. Participants are given the opportunity to build skills to improve decision-making in a safe practice environment where they can test assumptions and realize outcomes with peers.

Participants can choose to take an individual class or complete the Leadership Track by participating in any four seminars. Companies can invest in employee leadership development by purchasing one seat, four seats, or 12 seats in our Leadership Seminar Series.

The following Leadership Seminars will be offered this fall:

  • September 27 – Leading Change: How to Generate Support, Traction, and Results
  • October 5 – Business Strategy and Innovations
  • October 18 – Financial Statements and Financial Statement Analysis for Non-Financial Managers and Executives
  • October 25 – Empathy and Compassion: The Courageous Leadership Choice
  • November 9 – Strategic Leadership: How Leaders Inspire, Engage and Execute for Results
  • November 29 – Managing Diverse Teams

Click here for more information or to register for an upcoming seminar, or contact Bloch Executive Education at 816-235-6071.

Riddhiman Das: Childhood passion becomes career

Bachelor of Science with emphasis in Computer Science, 2012 | Entrepreneurship Scholars
Title: Product Architect, EyeVerify
Hometown: Guwahati, India

Riddhiman Das, alumnus of the School of Computing and Engineering

Why did you choose UMKC?

I think UMKC has one of the most underrated computer science programs. You cover the same material – if not more – from really knowledgeable professors as you would at any top-five university in computer science. But the class sizes are a lot smaller, so you have more chances to interact with faculty.

The Kansas City community was just blossoming at that point. We weren’t where we are today, but we had just enough to make things interesting.

Being in Kansas City and being at an urban university allowed me to play a part, not just in academic circles, but also in the startup and business world. It helped me develop a network that, upon graduation, served me very well.

How does your UMKC education help you in your day-to-day work?

At UMKC, I studied computer science, mathematics, entrepreneurship and innovation. So that gave me broad exposure to not just the technical work, but also questions like “How do we identify market need? How do we build a product customers love? How do we understand customer needs?”

“I came to school very introverted and very reserved. It was the UMKC experience that helped me get out of that shell.”


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