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Tech Commercialization at UMKC

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: 

Business Coaching

  • SBDC Business Counseling – 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.
  • APEX Accelerator – The Missouri APEX Accelerator helps businesses obtain federal, state, and local government contracts.
  • E-Scholars – UMKC’s E-Scholars program helps aspiring innovators build their companies from idea to launch.
  • Midwest Center for Non-Profit Leadership – The Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership enhances the performance and effectiveness in the nonprofit community through education, research and service.
  • 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.
  • Entrepreneur Quest – Entrepreneur Quest provides workshops, tools, networking, and a cash prize pool for any full-time Mizzou student to create a new venture.

Go-to-Market Advice

  • 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.

Legal Advice

Credit Courses

  • Henry W. Bloch School of Management – UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and executive credit-based coursework to build knowledge of innovation, management, and value creation.
  • UMKC School of Law – UMKC’s School of Law provides classes in Entrepreneurial Innovation Mining, New Venture Creation, and Social Entrepreneurship Ventures.

Non-Credit Courses

  • ElevationLab – ElevationLab courses allow innovators to learn what it takes to turn ideas into profitable businesses. Multiple classes are available to meet your needs at different stages of business.

Online Resources

  • KCSL Innovation Guide – KCSourceLink provides a 4-part series to help innovators think through critical steps to applying their ideas to the market.
  • KCSL Startup Guide – This 7-part series from KCSourceLink describes some of the key steps in starting a business.
  • UMKC LTL Law & Technology Curriculum – This online resource provides over 1,000 offerings, including courses, clinics, internships, labs, and more that seamlessly blend law and technology.
  • MOspace – MOspace is the digital institutional repository of the University of Missouri System.
  • Stanford University’s eCorner – A source of videos, podcasts, articles and events designed to provide entrepreneurs with inspiration.

Grant Resources

  • CAFE (Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence) – The Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFE) offers a variety of programs and resources to support faculty interested in the Art of Grantmanship.
  • dSAIC (Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center) – UMKC’s Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center (dSAIC) harnesses immense datasets to extract insights, patterns, and knowledge to drive technological advancements. Researchers can work with dSAIC to develop a mission-critical foundation for leading edge research.
  • NextGen Biomedical Informatics – NextGen Biomedical Informatics provides informatics expertise to accelerate innovations in precision health.
  • SOAR (Supporting Our Academic Researchers) – UMKC’s SOAR program provides grant writing lessons and mentorship through programs like the Faculty Writing Initiative, Grant Proposal Workshops, assigned Faculty Grant Mentors, and Proposal Review Panelists.
  • UMKC Biomedical Research & Statistical Consult Service (RSCS) – The Biomedical and Health Informatics Department consults on research design, size estimating, and ethical methods for data analysis and interpretation.
  • All About Grants Podcast by NIH – NIH’s Office of Extramural Reseach hosts this podcast to provide insights on grant topics from those who live and breathe the information.

Resource Guides

  • KCSL Capital Guide – A 10-part guide to understand how and when to find loans, grants, and equity funding for your innovation.
  • KCSL Market Research and Planning Guide – Resources to define your target market, understand their needs, and deliver the goods or services that meet those needs.

Community Events

  • KCSL Event Calendar – A guide to entrepreneurship and innovation events in the Greater KC Area.
  • StartLand News Events Calendar – Startland News has partnered with KCSourceLink to bring you a comprehensive calendar for innovation-led firms and startup enthusiasts.

Networking Groups

  • 1MillionCups – 1MC provides a supportive, inclusive space for entrepreneurs and their communities to gather and connect.
  • BioKansas – BioKansas supports the growth of Kansas’ bioscience research, commercialization, training, and business development.
  • BioNexusKC – BioNexusKC advances the region’s strengths in digital health, cancer research, health equity, informatics, and rare disease.
  • Digital Health KC – Digital Health KC is the catalyst for the digital transformation of healthcare, nurturing fledgling startups and empowering industry titans, all while enticing new digital health enterprises to make Kansas City their home.
  • InnovateHER KC – InnovateHER KC is a leadership community that supports, empowers, and unites women+ leaders to accomplish incredible things.
  • KC Digital Drive – KC Digital Drive focuses on technology infrastructure, data, equity and inclusion, and tech literacy challenges.
  • KC STEM Alliance – KC STEM Alliance is a collaborative network that inspires interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers.
  • KCSL Networking Groups – KCSourceLink provides resources to connect with networking groups throughout the greater Kansas City area.
  • Keystone Innovation District – The Keystone Innovation District catalyzes economic development in the Kansas City Region by building and supporting a community of innovators, creatives, and entrepreneurs.
  • UMKC LTL – UMKC’s Legal Technology Laboratory connects law school faculty, students, and innovators to foster collaboration in legal technology.

Research Groups

  • MIDE – The Missouri Institute for Defense & Energy (MIDE) improves the quality of life by bridging academia with industry to address wicked problems.
  • Computational Physics Group – The CPG serves student-researchers who use computer simulations to help discover, clarify, and disseminate fundamental knowledge about the physical laws that govern our universe.
  • Electronic Structure Group – The ESG studies the fundamental properties of materials (especially those with complex structures) by theoretical and computational means.
  • Galaxy Evolution Group – The UMKC Galaxy Evolution Group conducts observational extragalactic astronomy research focusing on the formation and evolution of structure on the largest scales.

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.  

Online Resources


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.  

Online Resources


General Searches

  • MOspace – MOspace is the digital institutional repository of the University of Missouri System.
  • USPTO Search – Patent and Trademark search resources from the US Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Google Patents – Provides a user-friendly platform to search for patents globally, with advanced search features and access to full-text patents.
  • Google Scholar – A valuable tool for locating scholarly literature across various disciplines, including patents, journal articles, theses, and conference papers.
  • JSTOR – A digital library providing access to a wide range of academic content, including journals, books, and primary sources, suitable for multidisciplinary research.
  • Lens.org – Offers a comprehensive collection of patent and scholarly literature data, facilitating in-depth analysis and exploration of prior art.
  • Scopus – A large abstract and citation database covering a wide range of disciplines, including science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities, facilitating comprehensive literature searches.
  • Web of Science – Another comprehensive citation database offering access to scholarly literature across various disciplines, including patents, journal articles, conference proceedings, and more.
  • PatBase – A global patent database offering advanced search capabilities, including semantic search, legal status information, and patent analytics tools.
  • LexisNexis Intellectual Property – Provides access to a vast collection of patent documents, legal cases, and regulatory information, offering comprehensive coverage of intellectual property-related content.
  • PatentSight – Offers advanced patent analytics and visualization tools, allowing users to analyze patent portfolios, identify key patents and technology trends, and assess patent quality.
  • InnovationQ Plus – Combines patent and non-patent literature databases with powerful search and analytics tools, enabling comprehensive prior art searches and technology landscape analysis.

Healthcare/Biosciences Searches

  • PubMed – Primarily focused on biomedical and life sciences literature, PubMed provides access to a vast array of research articles, clinical studies, and patents.

Industrial Searches

  • CAS SciFinder – Ideal for exploring chemical and related scientific literature, including patents, journal articles, conference proceedings, and more.
  • IEEE DataPort – Offers access to datasets in the fields of engineering, technology, and related disciplines, which can supplement patent research and analysis.
  • IEEE Xplore – Ideal for accessing scientific and technical content published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), including journals, conference proceedings, and standards.
  • SciTech Connect – Operated by the U.S. Department of Energy, SciTech Connect offers access to scientific and technical research information across various energy-related disciplines.

International Searches

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. 

Pitch Preparation

  • KCInvestEd – KCInvestED assists investors in the Kansas City area by providing access to resources, events, and tools for gaining knowledge about early-stage company investment.
  • KCSL Pitch Prep Workshop – KCSL’s Pitch Prep Workshop provides the basic concepts included in a pitch, pitch deck structure, and how to personalize your pitch.

Pitch Opportunities

  • KCSL Listing of Business Competitions and Awards – KCSourceLink maintains a listing of regional business competitions and awards.
  • Aaron L Levitt Social Entrepreneurship Challenge – The Aaron L. Levitt Social Entrepreneurship Challenge is a collaborative effort for community, agencies and students to connect to make a difference in Kansas City.
  • Dolphin Tank – Springboard’s Dolphin Tank showcase events bring the power of our collective community to women entrepreneurs innovating in Life Sciences, Healthcare, Technology, and more.
  • Encountering Innovation – Encountering Innovation (EI) is a program connecting innovators, government tech scouts and manufacturing & technology companies.
  • InvestMidwest – InvestMidwest highlights startups that are seeking to commercialize innovations that will help grow a healthy, secure, and sustainable future for all.
  • Mid X Midwest – Mid X Midwest (MXMW) is focused on creating the most productive interactions between the region’s early-stage tech founders and capital providers.
  • Mid-America Angels/Women’s Capital Connection – MAA funds deals from $250,000 to $1.5 million, typically in Seed, Series A, or Series B rounds.
  • Pure Pitch Rally – Pure Pitch Rally is an invitation-only event, providing entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch and compete for funding cash and resources.
  • Regnier Venture Creation Challenge – RVCC is a business plan and pitch competition for new student & community ventures.
  • Whiteboard2Boardroom – Whiteboard2Boardroom facilitates the connection between entrepreneurs and established businesses with available technologies for licensing.

Accelerator Programs

  • 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.
  • NSIN Emerge Accelerator – NSIN’s Emerge Accelerator is a 12-week program offering participants funding, advisors, and partners from DoD to accelerate venture creation.
  • NSIN Foundry Program – NSIN’s Foundry is a 5-month cohort program to increase the transfer of US Government inventions to startup companies.
  • NSIN Vector Accelerator – NSIN’s Vector program supports early-stage ventures interested in dual-use solutions for advanced sensing, command and control, and other areas.

Advice and Coaching

  • 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.
  • UMKC Regnier Mentors – UMKC Regnier Entrepreneurship Mentor Program offers the opportunity to work with experienced mentors in starting and running businesses.
  • 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.

Funding Support


  • Digital Sandbox – Digital Sandbox KC is a program that provides proof-of-concept support to early-stage technology projects.
  • UMKC Innovation Studio – UMKC’s hub for innovation in AR/VR, 3D Printing, and Metal/Wood Fabrication.

Upcoming Events

July 2024

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