Regnier Institute Receives Model Program Award

Award recognizes comprehensiveness, impact on students and community

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation won a top national award in entrepreneurship education, recognizing the program as a model for comprehensive, bold, high-quality education.

The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship gave the Regnier Institute the Model Program Award at the group's annual conference in January. To win, a program must submit a proposal and presentation about its university's entrepreneurship programs. The Regnier Institute is a program of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management and one of Kansas City's leaders in entrepreneurial education.

“Over the past five years we have built a tremendous team of faculty and Regnier Institute staff. Our programs are impacting students and community members” - Jeff Hornsby, Director

For the competition, the Regnier Institute submitted verifiable materials regarding curricular and co-curricular programs and their impact, which also had to support sustainability of the programs, said Laura Moore, MPA. Moore is senior program and project coordinator for the institute and a member of the UMKC team that gave a 20-minute presentation at the conference. More than 55 universities submitted materials for the USASBE award.

“This is an overall program award for the comprehensiveness of what you do and the impact on students and the community,” said Andy Heise, MBA, assistant director and a member of the presentation team. “I believe it was the quality of our Regnier and Bloch team and the programs each of them oversees that resulted in the award. We have degree programs and courses that reach across the UMKC campus and into the community. We have co-curricular programs, especially Entrepreneurship Scholars and mentoring that received a lot of compliments.”

The impact:

  • The Entrepreneurship Scholars (E-Scholars) early-stage accelerator program for student and community entrepreneurs accepts 70 ventures per year. Over E-Scholars’ eight years, more than 300 entrepreneurs have received support, resulting in more than 100 ventures launched; more than 70 have received external funding from competitions, grants, loans and investors; and more than 50 hired employees or used outside contractors.
  • The UMKC Bloch Venture Hub is a community resource for Kansas City area entrepreneurs developing their ventures from concept to launch and scale. It currently houses 12 ventures. 
  • More than 150 community mentors who volunteer more than 1,000 total hours per year for UMKC program and students.

“Over the past five years we have built a tremendous team of faculty and Regnier Institute staff,” said Regnier Director and Henry W. Bloch/Missouri Endowed Chair Jeff Hornsby. “Our programs are impacting students and community members by creating an entrepreneurial mindset and teaching and coaching people through the entrepreneurial process. Our niche is to focus on very early stage entrepreneurs and nurture them to launch. We welcome all good ideas from individuals with passion and a willingness to learn and experiment.”

This award reflects the tremendous support of the UMKC and Bloch School administration; and funders and donors including the Regnier Family Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, attendees and sponsors of the Entrepreneur of the Year banquet and donors to the Henry Bloch Birthday Fund, Hornsby said.

“The administrative and financial support is what provided the foundation for our team to build great programs,” Hornsby said. “The award is a symbol of the quality of the Regnier team and the programs we have built. However, the external validation provided by this award is always important when you are working across the UMKC campus, the UM System and in Kansas City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Published: Feb 20, 2019

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