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Washburn University has partnered with the Kansas Department of Commerce to present entrepreneurs the opportunity to apply for an innovation grant to assist in the implementation of a new business or the expansion of an existing business with a focus on innovative products, services, or processes.  Businesses funded by this grant will benefit in the creation of new products, services, methods, or applications of a better solution.

JumpStart Kansas aims to provide support to entrepreneurs with business opportunities showing the potential to generate sales and create jobs in their respective region.  Grants will be awarded in amounts of up to $10,000 (a total $60,000 has been pledged for this program).  Applications will be reviewed by a panel of business experts including Washburn University personnel.  Recommendations for funding will be made to the Kansas Department of Commerce, which will have final approval on all distributed funds.  

Program Guidelines and Requirements

Applications are open to Kansas-based individuals and companies residing in the following counties: (Shawnee, Jackson, Brown, Nemaha, Wabaunsee, Pottawatomie, Geary, and Riley).  Grants will be awarded to applicants investing in areas including, but not limited to:

  • Entrepreneurial concepts or ideas
  • Proof of concept development
  • Company growth opportunities
  • Start-up companies

The application should address how the proceeds from the grant will generate economic growth for the individual or company in the area in which the company is located.  Grant proceeds may be used for business planning, marketing expenses, researching market potential, product development, or any other activities that will assist in the growth and development of the business.  Grants shall not be awarded to cover wages, bonuses, non-capital equipment (furniture, fixtures, and office equipment), real estate, building, or leasehold improvements or any business relocation expenses.

Individuals or companies awarded the grant must report to Washburn University Small Business Development Center for a period of at least 12 months regarding the use of the funds and the economic impact created in their business.  Grant funds must be used by the awardee before the end of the first quarter of 2018.  The reporting requirements may include:

  • Additional capital raised
  • Sales growth and projections
  • Economic impact on local community
  • Additional jobs created

Grant Awards

Grant awardees will be notified after all applications have been reviewed.  At that time, grant awardees may be asked to submit additional information, such as a detailed plan of disbursement for the funding, as well as a detailed timeline of the use of funding.  Funds will then be disbursed to awardees in a lump sum upon approval of grant by the Kansas Department of Commerce.  Awardees will be expected to provide documentation for use of funds as well as measurable outcomes of impact of funding.  Clients will have the opportunity to receive assistance with growing or starting their business through one-on-one mentoring, coaching, and advising from the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Washburn University.


Applications will open on September 7, 2017 and will close on October 15, 2017. Once applications are received finalists may be subject to subsequent interview.  Upon submission of the application, the review panel will make recommendations to the Department of Commerce for final approval.  Once approved the awardee will be notified by the Washburn University SBDC.  Online application

For any questions about the application or grant please contact Rick LeJuerrne, 785.670.1306 or Karl Klein, 785.234.3235.

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