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-Scholar for credit at the undergraduate and graduate level. Undergraduates can earn credit for ENT 329 and graduate students can earn credit for ENT 5529. You can take it for 3 or 6 credit hours.

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 August and January. The program can be taken over one or two semesters. Classes are Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Over the course of each semester, there are four Saturday meetings, each lasting about six hours. Each E-Scholar is also expected to present and pitch their venture routinely throughout the program.

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?

The Regnier Institute underwrites a majority of the program costs (approximately $5,000) for each E-Scholar. The underwriting is made available 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:

  • Community members are responsible for the remaining fee of $1,000 per venture. Ventures can qualify for a 20% discount for paying the full amount up front or having at least one founder/co-founder who is a verifiable graduate (undergraduate, graduate or professional) of any School, College or Program of UMKC. 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 329 E-Scholar
    • Graduate students earn credit for ENT 5529: E-Scholars

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 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. We had over 14 cohorts and 300 ventures complete the program.

A short list of some of the companies that are alumni of the E-Scholars program include Insysiv, Lending Standard, RFP 360, Integrated Roadways, Patients Voices, Mobility Designed, WizeWebz, Strange Days Brewing, TicketRX and many, many more.