The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s E-Scholars program has partnered with a business incubator program to provide resources and capital to student entrepreneurs.
The program has partnered with Digital Sandbox KC to offer inroads to students to further develop their business projects with additional funding.
“The UMKC Entrepreneurship Scholars program has a very specific goal – to grow businesses and create jobs,” Jeff Hornsby, UMKC Regnier Institute director, said in a release. “Digital Sandbox’s goal is to help create new businesses and jobs in Kansas City. By partnering together, we can maximize our resources and results.”
The new joint program — made possible through a partnership with Digital Sandbox, a proof-of-concept program that expedites businesses’ projects, will allow both programs to maximize their resources and results, Hornsby said.
Specifically, E-Scholar participants will have the opportunity to be measured against only their E-Scholar peers to secure project funding up to $10,000. Additionally, if benchmarks are met, those participants will be able to apply to the current Digital Sandbox program to secure up to an additional $15,000 in project funding.
“This partnership really focuses on helping those entrepreneurs at the early, early stage of taking an idea and moving it to a proven concept,” Hornsby said. “It’s vital to our community to continue to help move as many early stage entrepreneurs down the path to commercialization so we continue to grow new businesses.”
Since launching in February 2014, Digital Sandbox has provided project development funding for 46 companies that have collectively raised more than $17 million and created more than 180 new jobs in the Kansas City area.
E-Scholars has helped to launch more than 160 ventures since its first graduating class in 2011, such as enterprise software, health care services and consumer products.