Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City Healthcare Innovation Prize supports patient-focused advancements in the healthcare industry

For more information contact:
Kelly Cannon

Kansas City, MO. (March 26, 2018) — One of the region’s richest entrepreneurship competitions, the Regnier Venture Creation Challenge hosted by the University of Missouri-Kansas City, returns in May—and for the second year in a row, the pot of prize money has grown significantly.

The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management will host the 7th annual Regnier Venture Creation Challenge Competition May 3-4, 2018. Eligible teams will compete for $75,000 in total awards and seed scholarships, made possible by generous support from the Regnier Family Foundations and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City. Students will compete in the Challenge by creating a business plan and pitching new student ventures. Applications are open to university students in Missouri and Kansas and current Bloch School Entrepreneurship Scholars.

Last year, the prize for the overall first-place team doubled from $10,000 to $20,000. This year, the Challenge is adding a totally new category with $25,000 in additional awards. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) is sponsoring The Blue KC Healthcare Innovation Prize.

The inaugural Blue KC Healthcare Innovation Prize will award first and second place prizes to an individual or team that submits a healthcare-related venture which inspires change in the healthcare space and meets the needs of the people who matter most: patients. The first place winner(s) will receive a $15,000 prize and the second place winner(s) will receive a $10,000 prize.

“Providing affordable access to health care and improving the health of patients is at the heart of the Blue KC mission and why we are passionate about supporting next generation innovators and entrepreneurs who are committed to finding solutions that improve patient outcomes, said Jason Spacek, Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Blue KC. “The Regnier Institute’s Venture Creation Challenge is our region’s foremost forum for fostering the entrepreneurial spirit of our community and we value the inspiring ideas students will put forth that could lead to actionable, beneficial healthcare industry advancements.” During the first day of the two-day event, teams will deliver a two-minute sales presentation to judges. Immediately following, the Challenge Expo opens, with each team hosting a booth where they will describe their venture, business model and strategy to judges and community members.

Following the Expo, a judges’ panel, made up of local entrepreneurs and venture professionals, will narrow the pool to 16 semifinalist ventures, based on the submitted business plan and performance in the presentations and Venture Expo.

“The Regnier Venture Creation Challenge has become one of the signature events not just for the Bloch School, but for Kansas City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Tony Mendes, associate director of the Institute. “The Challenge is a great opportunity for students and fledgling entrepreneurs to gain experience, develop mentoring relationships and earn some vital seed capital.”

In addition to the Blue KC Healthcare Innovation Prizes, the Challenge will also award these prizes for the four overall finalists:

First place $20,000 team award
Second place $7,500 team award
Third place $5,000 team award Fourth place $2,500 team award

The deadline for submitting business plans is Friday, April 20. Contestants will be announced on Friday, April 27. A full list of entry details and requirements can be found at

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to use our role as the area’s leading health insurer to provide affordable access to health care and to improve the health of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at