What are the eligibility requirements for E-Scholars participation?

No specific eligibility in terms of degrees, GPA, etc. What is required: an idea for a business and a dedication to that idea to work hard on it for (at least) a year.

Can I take E-Scholars for academic credit? How much will it cost? What if I want to take E-Scholars for credit, but my venture partner(s) do not?

Absolutely! If you’re a UMKC student, you are able to take E-Scholars for credit at the undergraduate and graduate level. Undergraduates can earn credit for ENT 327 and ENT 332 and graduate students can earn credit for ENT 5527 and ENT 5532.

The admission fee to E-Scholars is waived for students and their venture partners. Students will, however, have to pay the UMKC tuition and fees for the courses they’re taking.

If you are talking E-Scholars for credit, but your venture partner(s) are not, that’s completely okay! As long as one partner is a UMKC student, the admission fee is waived.

What kinds of startups does Entrepreneurship Scholars support?

The E-Scholars program supports ventures from all industries and technology types. Over the years, the program has supported businesses developing mobile apps, enterprise software, medical devices, consulting businesses, retail and restaurants, fashion businesses, not-for-profit organizations, education and many more. The common thread is that E-Scholars ventures are all, to varying extents, early-stage ventures. Most of these tend to fall more in the idea stage, seeking to launch; others have already launched in some way, but are still very early-stage and looking to create a systematic growth plan.

How many people do you accept into each cohort?

We accept up to 35 ventures per cohort. A venture may be a single founder (at least, when beginning) or a venture may already have multiple people on the team.

Can my business partner attend the workshop sessions?

YES! In fact, the participant in the E-Scholars program is the venture, not the individual. Thus, if your venture is admitted to the E-Scholars program, all venture founders are welcome and encouraged to attend all E-Scholars events and programming. Additionally, the program fee is per venture, not per individual.

When is E-Scholars offered? What is the time commitment for me as a participant?

We admit new cohorts to the program each September and January. The program lasts for two semesters, so cohorts that begin in September finish in May, and cohorts that begin in January finish in December. Over the course of each semester, there are seven Saturday meetings, each lasting about six hours. Each E-Scholar is also expected to present at least once on a Thursday evening of their choice during the course of each semester.

In addition to this program time, we’ve found that the most successful ventures are dedicating at least 15 hours per week to working on their venture. However, you don’t have to quit your day job; almost all E-Scholars still have jobs as they work to get their ventures from idea to launch and then from launch to growth.

What is the price of the program?

All admitted E-Scholars participants automatically receive a $5,000 scholarship, which covers the majority of program costs. This financial assistance is thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Bloch Family Foundation, the Regnier Family Foundation, and other generous partners. The remaining program costs must be covered by the venture in one of the following ways:

  • Participate as a community member to earn a non-academic certificate. This option costs $1000 ($500/semester) for the program, per venture. Ventures who choose to pay the full amount up front receive a 20% discount. Additionally, for any venture with at least one founder/co-founder who is a verifiable graduate (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) of any School, College, or Program of UMKC, we offer a 20% discount. Only one discount may be applied to each venture’s total program fee.
  • Students seeking academic credit only pay the tuition of the courses related to E-Scholars. The program fee is waived.
    • Undergraduates earn credit for: ENT 327: Creating the New Venture and ENT 332: Managing the New Venture
    • Graduate students earn credit for: ENT 5527: Creating the New Venture and ENT 5532: Managing the New Venture

Do I have to be enrolled as a UMKC student?

No. The program is open to both UMKC students, as well as non-student community members, and students from other colleges and universities seeking to start a business. Typically, cohorts consist of 50 percent students and 50 percent community members.

Are there scholarships available? If so, how do I apply?

Yes. A limited number of needs-based scholarships are available to qualified E-Scholars. To be considered for a scholarship to cover part or all of the out-of-pocket cost of the program, prospective applicants must first apply and be admitted to the E-Scholars program. Prospective E-Scholars who have been admitted to the program and want to be considered for a partial or full scholarship should then contact program leadership.

Who leads the workshops?

The instructional coaches who lead the Saturday workshops are experts in their fields. Some of the instructional coaches are also mentors, others are UMKC faculty members, while others are expert practitioners in a specific field (for example, project management).

What topics are covered in the workshops?

The Saturday workshops cover critical aspects of creating and managing a new entrepreneurial venture. These include design thinking, marketing, operations, sales, finance as well as funding strategy, legal issues for startups, and more.

How long has E-Scholars existed? What are some successful businesses that have been E-Scholars?

The first cohort of E-Scholars graduated in Spring 2011. Beginning in Spring 2016, we began taking in two cohorts per academic year, which means our newest cohort that begins in Fall 2017 will be our tenth!

A short list of some companies that are alumni of the E-Scholars program include InsysivLending StandardRFP 365Integrated RoadwaysPatients VoicesRoyal LoyalMobility Designed, By Grace Designs and many, many more.