Local companies recognized for entrepreneurship and innovation at annual Missouri Entrepreneurs Celebration
KANSAS CITY, MO. — The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) hosted the 3rd Annual Missouri Entrepreneurs Celebration on Thursday, Oct. 13, in Pierson Hall on the UMKC Volker Campus. The event brought together a variety of business, community, city, state and university leaders to celebrate Kansas City’s entrepreneurial legacy and to highlight the achievements and successes of Missouri companies that are leading the way in entrepreneurship and innovation.
The highlight of the Celebration was the presentation of the annual Excellence in Innovation Awards to three Missouri businesses. The winners and the other 12 finalists represent three categories of entrepreneurship: Innovation in the Arts; Innovation in Business; and Innovation in Technology. Following are the 2011 Excellence in Innovation awardees:
Innovation in Art
What if what people really wanted was not a spectacle but an intimate human connection? That’s the motivation behind Jane Gotch’s art — and the question behind WE!, Gotch’s innovative, collaborative installation dance performance that was staged earlier this year in an abandoned downtown office space formerly occupied by AT&T. Gotch is currently in the beginning stages of a new project, PORCHES. Scheduled to open in the summer of 2013, PORCHES is a site-specific, community-touring performance, inspired by Kansas City’s front porches.
Innovation in Business
Vitamin water, bottled tea, energy drinks, fruit drinks: the bottles sit on the shelves as the premixed ingredients drift to the bottom of the bottle or lose their potency. And single-serve powdered mixes are messy and easily spilled. Flava Cap has figured out a way to keep these ingredients in the bottle and at their full strength. Its patent-pending technology is a bottle cap that releases powdered ingredients when twisted onto any bottle of water. The caps are sold independently and fit any standard, single-serve water bottle. With this concept, Flava Cap taps into an enormous global beverage market.
Innovation in Technology
There’s a serious gap in biological detection technologies between the size of real-world environmental and clinical sample volumes and the size of sample volumes that can actually be analyzed by biological detectors. InnovaPrep’s patented and patent-pending technologies fill that gap. InnovaPrep improves the way biological samples, especially those containing pathogenic organisms, are collected and prepared for analysis. InnovaPrep serves many fields — from bioterrorism defense to food and beverage safety and quality control — that all share a common need: find and identify pathogens as rapidly and accurately as possible.
“The fifteen businesses that we honored at the Missouri Entrepreneurs Celebration are shining and successful examples of companies that have combined entrepreneurship and innovation to make a positive impact on the community, workforce, Missouri economy, as well as their own bottom line,” said Carmen DeHart, director of the UMKC SBTDC. Click here for more information on the 15 companies nominated for this year’s Excellence in Innovation Awards.
A resource partner program of the UMKC Innovation Center, the UMKC-SBTDC was founded to provide small businesses and technology venture firms in the Kansas City region with the analysis, consultation and training support they need to successfully grow and develop. The Center is comprised of experienced professionals with expertise in the areas of consulting, management, finance, marketing, international trade, retail, accounting, strategic planning and more. An affiliate of the UMKC Office of Research and Economic Development and the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers, the UMKC-SBTDC is part of a nationwide network of SBTDC programs.
About the UMKC Innovation Center
From whiteboard to boardroom, the UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country. With a suite of high-impact programs, the center helps emerging and existing business owners hone their business basics, evaluate commercialization opportunities, and connect with the right resources at the right time. Innovation Center programs include the Small Business & Technology Development Center, U.S.SourceLink, KCSourceLink, KCArtistLink, KCVetLink and MOSourceLink.
About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit www.umkc.edu. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.