Tech Commercialization at UMKC

We make ideas real.

Commercialization Path at UMKC

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is at the crossroads of critical research discoveries in areas like drug delivery, drug development, engineering and others. Through this work, UMKC’s research faculty and graduate students impact how our world works, leading to improved and equitable health outcomes, stronger infrastructure, and a more sustainable environment.  

The UMKC Innovation Center has developed our Commercialization Path to assist faculty researchers, graduate students, entrepreneurs, and industry partners to translate groundbreaking research results for the benefit of society.  

Today’s Innovation Environment

To make an impact, a discovery must find application outside of the lab in a real-world environment.  

How does research translate from the lab into a commercial environment? How can you determine if there’s a market for an idea? How do you build a business? 

These are all great questions, and UMKC has dedicated resources to help innovators chart their goals and understand what it would take to bring an idea to market.  

These resources include: 

ElevationLab helps innovators learn what it takes to turn ideas into profitable businesses. Multiple classes are available to meet diverse business needs, including: 

  • ElevationLab New Venture – A 5-week class to help founders start their business with a solid foundation. 
  • Formula 8: Customer-Centric Problem Solving – The top 8 essentials of the entrepreneurial mindset are presented to inspire and engage founders, with a focus on customer discovery and acquisition.  

Entrepreneurship Classes 

  • The Henry W. Bloch School of Management – UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management is recognized as a top choice for management education in the 21st century. The Bloch School offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and executive credit-based coursework to build knowledge of innovation, management, and value creation. 
  • UMKC School of Law – Classes in Entrepreneurial Innovation Mining, New Venture Creation, and Social Entrepreneurship Ventures are available from the UMKC School of Law. 

SBDC Business Coaching – Using experienced and knowledgeable business advisors, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UMKC provides coaching services to give practical, hands-on training and advice to for-profit small businesses.

SCORE Business Mentoring – SCORE Kansas City is a group of experienced business professionals who provide guidance to those desiring to start up a new small business or to assist existing small businesses in improving their profitability.

Commercialization Office Hours – Office hours provide an opportunity to ask questions and connect with experienced founders and business leaders that are now part of the UMKC Innovation Center.

Upcoming UMKC Innovation Center Events – UMKC’s Innovation Center works with community partners to hold events that connect knowledge, networking, and opportunities for growth.  

Digital Health KC – Digital Health KC is a community initiative that seeks to build organizations and companies to solve healthcare’s biggest challenges through the power of healthcare and information technology. 

Entrepreneurship Innovation Grant (EIG) – To expand entrepreneurship opportunities across UMKC, the “Entrepreneurship Innovation Grants” (EIG) program was launched in 2021 with support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation 

KCSourceLink – Resources to start, fund, and grow your business.  

eCorner from Stanford University – A source of videos, podcasts, articles and events designed to provide entrepreneurs with inspiration.  

All About Grants podcasts from NIH

Grant Proposal Recommendations from ORS – UMKC’s Office of Research Services website contains resources and guides to help you structure grant proposals. 

Additional Funding Resources from ORS – UMKC’s Office of Research Services provides links to some common funding resources, including federal and state sites.  

Time to Disclose

Protecting your innovation is a time-sensitive matter. The clock to protect your idea begins the moment you publicly disclose information about your innovation. Understanding public disclosure rules could be the difference between being able to protect a technology or losing that protection. 

When you’re ready to announce the results of your research, it’s important to ensure you’ve prepared thorough information about your innovation.  

The first step is to complete an Innovation Notification. This notifies the Commercialization Team about your solution and allows us to help you protect your intellectual property.  

Protecting Ideas

Once you’ve identified your innovation and submitted a Disclosure Form, UMKC’s Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) partners with the research team to determine the protection strategy for innovations.  

USPTO Search 

Google Patents – Search and read the full text of patents from worldwide sources.  

Google Scholar – Simple way to broadly search scholarly literature.  

Lens.org – Lens links patent documents to later patent applications and granted patents that reference them as prior art.  

Scopus – Source-neutral abstract and citation database. 

PubMed – A free resource from the US National Library of Medicine that allows users to search biomedical and life sciences literature.  

CAS SciFinder – Database of chemical and bibliographic information from the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS).  

Espacenet – A free database of patents from the European Patent Office (EPO).  

Ready to Launch

Now that your innovation is protected, it’s important to let the World know about it. Do you want to start your own business, or is it better to license the innovation to a new or existing company? 

Through programs like Digital Sandbox and Whiteboard2Boardroom, the UMKC Innovation Center’s Technology Venture Studio provides tools to create an effective “go-to-market” strategy for an invention.  

The strategy could take the form of an inventor-led startup, identification of an entrepreneur to license the invention, or the formation of a licensing agreement with an established company. The goal is to find potential qualified companies to commercialize the IP within 12-30 months from initiating the protection process, and the Commercialization Team can help you with this process. 

PIPELINE and PIPELINE Pathfinders – PIPELINE is a network of high-performing entrepreneurs based on a cohort-driven learning model and access to a renowned national network of experts.  

DFA CoLAB – DFA’s CoLAB Accelerator is an immersive program that accelerates and grows ag-tech startup businesses through mentoring and educational programming. 

IgniteX Accelerator – Black & Veatch’s IgniteX is a DOE EPIC Prize-recognized 12-week cohort program designed to empower start-ups offering scalable solutions for critical human infrastructure. 

SBDC Business Coaching – Using experienced and knowledgeable business advisors, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UMKC provides coaching services to give practical, hands-on training and advice to for-profit small businesses.  

SCORE Business Mentoring – SCORE Kansas City is a group of experienced business professionals who provide guidance to those desiring to start up a new small business or to assist existing small businesses in improving their profitability. 

Commercialization Office Hours – Office hours provide an opportunity to ask questions and connect with experienced founders and business leaders that are now part of the UMKC Innovation Center.  

ElevationLab helps innovators learn what it takes to turn ideas into profitable businesses. Multiple classes are available to meet diverse business needs, including: 

  • ElevationLab New Venture – A 5-week class to help founders start their business with a solid foundation. 
  • Formula 8: Customer-Centric Problem Solving – The top 8 essentials of the entrepreneurial mindset are presented to inspire and engage founders, with a focus on customer discovery and acquisition.  

Prototyping Funds from Digital Sandbox KC – Early-stage proof of concept and prototypes.  

Legal Services from UMKC’s Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic The UMKC School of Law’s Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic serves new and established entrepreneurs (Missouri or Kansas residents) who need assistance with legal services but who cannot afford the market rate for those services, including entity choice, drafting of initial articles of organization or incorporation, and contract review and drafting.  

KCSourceLink – Resources to start, fund, and grow your business.  

Engaging the Community

UMKC’s research capabilities are available to community partners too. Through programs like Whiteboard2Boardroom and industry-sponsored research projects, community partners can engage with UMKC’s knowledgeable research teams and access our advanced facilities for applied experimentation.

To learn more about sponsored research projects or licensing technologies from UMKC, contact the UMKC Innovation Center.

Engage UMKC in Sponsored Research

Sponsored research projects allow external partners to engage UMKC’s research resources to help advance innovative projects. In addition to UMKC’s faculty expertise, partners can request access to UMKC’s Research COREs, where we provide state-of-the-art instruments and services.  

UMKC’s Office of Research Services (ORS) assigns staff to each School to help facilitate the overall grant process. This includes defining budgets and funding, preparation of proposals, and stewardship of external funds provided for sponsored research.  

To learn more about engaging UMKC in a research project, complete this quick form and we’ll assemble the proper resources to answer your questions.

Available UMKC Technologies

Licenses for UMKC-created inventions are available for entrepreneur-led startups or existing companies that could benefit from the invention. Beyond the technology, UMKCIC provides resources to support licensee companies, including expertise, funding, and networking resources.  

Since each emerging technology has different market value, the cost for a license is negotiated with a licensing manager in UMKC’s Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC). UMKC uses industry standards for terms, e.g. royalties, stage of development.

UMKC COREs and Research Centers

UMKC’s CORE facilities allow community partners to share in the university’s personnel, knowledge, equipment, and technologies on a fee-for-service basis.  

These facilities cover capabilities including genomics testing, protein dynamics, and the development of physical prototypes for manufacturing.  

In addition to the equipment, community partners gain access to research experts from across the UM System, adding knowledge and helping projects reach a successful outcome.

Technology Showcases