Strategic Initiatives

Keep up to date on upcoming opportunities for Business & Industry collaboration and training by signing up for the Strategic Initiatives newsletter:

Strategic Initiatives Newsletter

See our list of current event and training opportunities below:



Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program

Febraury 22nd | 1pm-4:30pm

Do you want to learn more about becoming a successful entrepreneur, small business owner, or inventor? Do you want to hear from experts on how to protect your intellectual property (IP)? If so, join us for the 2024 Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship program, Innovate, elevate, empower: Connecting the entrepreneur to the innovation ecosystem, on Thursday, February 22, from 1-4:30 p.m. CT. The free program will be offered virtually and in person at the T-REX Building in St. Louis, Missouri. 


Special guests and expert panelists will discuss resources and services that can help you access capital, protect your IP, find mentors, and network with fellow innovators and entrepreneurs. A networking session with subject matter experts from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will be held after the program. The 2024 agenda and speaker list will be posted soon. 


Lunch and Learn - Intro to Copyright

Febraury 23rd | 12pm-1pm

Learn basic copyright concepts such as: types of creative work protection, registering copyright works, and best practices for using others' copyrighted work.



Intro to Smart Manufacturing Technology Workshop

March 12th | 8am-3pm

Registration is now open for the March 12 Intro to Smart Manufacturing workshop geared to provide an introduction for small and medium businesses in Wichita and Kansas. The workshop will include information and tours of Additive Manufacturing, Metrology Inspection, Advanced Machining, Automated Fiber Placement and Robotics. It is free to attend.


Market Research for Startups

March 22nd | 12pm-1pm

Successful business ideas require reliable data - learn what information you need and where to find it. Learn resources and strategies for market research - discover industry trends, identify competitors at home and abroad, determine your target market and find where your best customers are located.


NSF Startup Funding

March 27th | 10-11am

Learn about best practices and strategies to help you craft a compelling National Science Foundation (NSF) Project Pitch. This workshop will include tips to help you meet requirements of the Project Pitch’s four key elements: Technology Innovation, Technical Objectives and Challenges, Market Opportunity, and The Company and Team.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to connect with NSF Program Director and ask direct questions about the NSF SBIR program. There will be 10 minute One-on-One sessions after the presentation for additional questions and answers to anyone interested.


Lunch and Learn - Trademarking your Business

March 29th | 12pm-1pm

Discover all types of trademark protection affiliated with businesses. Learn search strategies for existing marks and logos with discussion of what the application process looks like.  



Patent Pro Bono Program: Pathways to Inclusive Innovation

April 12th | 9am

The Patent Pro Bono Program is a collaboration between the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and 20 independently-operated academic and nonprofit regional programs. The regional programs match financially underresourced inventors with patent practitioners in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. You can find out more about the Patent Pro Bono Program, the regional program in your area, and how to access pro bono resources at our Patent Pro Bono Program page. For questions, contact


Lunch and Learn - Patent Searching Techniques

April 12th | 12pm-1pm

Take the mystery out of patent searching by developing tools to make understanding prior art easier to locate. This hands-on workshop will dive into exploring the various databases and decoding classification codes.