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UMKC wins $1 million federal i6 Challenge grant for IT startups

Summary: UMKC’s Innovation Center is awarded a federal grant that will fund a collaborative ‘Proof of Concept” center for the KC region.

A Digital Sandbox will be coming to your neighborhood soon, courtesy of a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. A regional collaboration led by the Innovation Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City has been awarded $1 million to create a proof of concept center that will be known as “Digital Sandbox” to spur development of information technology-related startup businesses in the Kansas City region.

The UMKC-led consortium claimed a winning spot in the third round of the federal i6 Challenge. The i6 Challenge is a multi-agency federal grant that encourages and rewards innovative, groundbreaking ideas that accelerate technology commercialization, new venture formation, job creation, and economic growth across the United States.  The awards are highly competitive and only one award is made in each of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Agency’s multi-state regions.  

Area entrepreneurs will get a chance to play in the Sandbox alongside players from academia, large corporate research & development centers and business development organizations. These connections will encourage the commercialization of new ideas and promote job growth in the region. The project is expected to generate at least 10 new high-growth companies within two years.

Details on eligibility and the application process for the Digital Sandbox will be announced soon.

For more information, go to Digital Sandbox.