Michael Carmona has ‘led and lived’ the mission of KCSourceLink; now he’ll officially take the resource hub’s helm
A longtime advocate for businesses across Kansas City — including some of the metro’s most underserved — Michael S. Carmona understands how entrepreneurship can elevate communities, said Maria Meyers.
His new role as the senior director for KCSourceLink will help him further champion innovators and small business owners, she added, linking them to the right resources to start and grow — building collaborations to fill gaps in the Kansas City entrepreneurial ecosystem.
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, whether they are students, faculty or community members, hone their business basics, evaluate commercialization opportunities and connect with the right resources at the right time.
UMKC Innovation Center programs include the Missouri Small Business Development Center, Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Whiteboard 2 Boardroom, Digital Sandbox KC, ScaleUP! Kansas City, Growth360, SourceLink, MOSourceLink and KCSourceLink.
“He has led and lived that vision, working passionately with entrepreneurs to get them connected to capital and resources and with community leaders to advance economic prosperity,” said Meyers, executive director of the UMKC Innovation Center, which oversees KCSourceLink, and associate vice chancellor for economic development at UMKC. “We know that under his leadership, we can make Kansas City the most entrepreneurial and most inclusive city in America.”
Carmona, a community developer who’s spent more than a decade working with small businesses, comes to KCSourceLink from the Community Capital Fund, where he oversaw more than $2 million in funding to support underserved communities in the Kansas City area. Before that, he held multiple positions at the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation, where he led the development of the organization’s asset-wealth-building programs for underserved people in the KC metro and provided technical assistance to entrepreneurs.
Both the Community Capital Fund and Hispanic Economic Development Corporation are among the more than 230 business-building organizations in the KCSourceLink network that help aspiring entrepreneurs and established businesses in the Kansas City metro.
In his role as KCSourceLink’s director and network builder, Carmona will work beside such partners in the resource hub’s network to increase access and visibility of these resources to entrepreneurs and to improve the capacity and resiliency of Kansas City’s entrepreneurial support organizations.
“I’m so excited about the opportunity to work with an amazing group of individuals and organizations to dive deeper into our collective mission of building an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Carmona. “I am also thrilled to work with so many great entrepreneurs, coaches, mentors and supporters to create opportunities and jobs in the Kansas City metro.”
Carmona succeeds Jenny Miller, who departed KCSourceLink in January to take a role as startup community program lead for Husch Blackwell, a law firm with significant offices in Kansas City and an expanding presence within the startup ecosystem.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.