Rise Up, Get Started entrepreneurship competition

Kansas City's first entrepreneurship competition for formerly incarcerated people. Now accepting applications for the November, 2019 competition. Learn more and apply now.

The Rise Up, Get Started Entrepreneurship Competition is to help formerly incarcerated people in the Kansas City-area kick start their business endeavors by competing for grants and completing a simplified business plan, project plan, and a professional and entrepreneurial portfolio.

Applications are accepted in two categories:

  • This is a test: Every business starts with a little experiment to see how potential customers will react to your product or service. (For for-profit businesses currently in the idea phase)
  • Fuel: If you already have a small business up and running and need a boost. . . we can help. (For existing, for-profit businesses with regular customers. )

Competition schedule:

  • Applications open: July 9
  • Applications due: Monday, November 11
  • Judging session: Thursday, November 14
  • Rise Up, Get Started Entrepreneurship Competition award event: TBD, November 18-22 during Global Entrepreneurship Week

Questions? Contact Kyle J Smith, co-founder of Determination, Incorporated: kylejsmith@determinationincorporated.com or 816-607-1873.


The first Rise Up, Get Started Entrepreneurship Competition was hosted in May 2019. Click here to see the highlights and to learn more about the grant recipients and their business.


Are you moved by our mission and looking for a way to help our second chance entrepreneurs? Consider making a donation to the Rise Up, Get Started prize purse, here. Thank you.

Thank you to our Reentry partners: Journey to New Life, Connections to Success, Second Chance, Good Samaritan Project, AdHoc Group Against Crime, KC Nova, Metro Lutheran Ministries, and The Help KC.

Entrepreneurship partners: Project UK, KCSourceLink, Porter House KC, H&R Block Business and Career Center at the KC Public Library, 1 Million Cups KC, Square One Small Business Services at Mid Continent Public Library, SCORE, Educational Opportunity Center at Metropolitan Community College, Artist INC.