Maria is passionate about working collaboratively to build entrepreneurial communities. She heads the University of Missouri – Kansas City Innovation Center that supports thousands of community members every year in starting and growing businesses.
In Kansas City, Maria has led a number of community-wide initiatives to develop new resources for entrepreneurs including: founding KCSourceLink, a network of 240+ resources in the Kansas City region that can help small businesses start and grow; coordinating efforts to create Whiteboard2Boardroom, a program that connects research innovations to entrepreneurs; establishing Digital Sandbox KC as a proof-of-concept center in Kansas City; and working to support the efforts to make Kansas City America’s most entrepreneurial city.
As founder of SourceLink, Maria has supported hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs across the country helping communities from Seattle to San Juan build vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences.