by Amanda Bertholf // Fall 2011
Henry Bloch
Henry Bloch –Photos by Mark McDonald

It’s the beginning of a new era for the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at UMKC. In a campus and community-wide event on Sept. 15, Henry W. Bloch, co-founder of H&R Block and Bloch School benefactor, announced the single largest gift in the history of UMKC and the school. The $32 million gift will create a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art building—no other business school in the world will have such a facility.

The Princeton Review’s latest rankings were also announced at the event. For the first time in the School’s history, undergraduate and graduate programs both made the national top 25 ranking of business schools. Out of about 2,500 entrepreneurship programs, the Bloch School is one of only 11 to have both the undergraduate and graduate programs nationally ranked.

In 2009, The Princeton Review ranked the Bloch School’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation among the top 25 graduate entrepreneurship programs nationally. With both programs making the list, UMKC and the Bloch School are celebrating a spot in the top tier of entrepreneurial colleges and business schools in the country, says Dean Teng-Kee Tan.

One of the influencing factors on this acceleration in status—and the undergraduate program ranking—is the School’s E Scholars program, which graduated its inaugural class in Spring 2011. This program prepares student entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge they will need to launch business ventures upon graduating from the program. “The goal is to accelerate the formation of globally scalable ventures that will have higher success rates—businesses that will make over $50,000 in revenue the first year and more than $1 million in revenue in five years,” says Institute Executive Director Michael Song.

Bloch announcement
Michael Song, Henry Bloch and Teng-Kee Tan

The program is open to UMKC students from any area of study who have an idea for a business or product. Students participate in an intensive program in which they learn to write a business plan, work closely with entrepreneurs and business people from the Kansas City community, and take classes with entrepreneurship faculty at the Bloch School.

As a member of the first class to graduate from the program, law student Kristin Kenny created a productivity tool that aids legal professionals in effective organization of research material. The tool decreases time legal professionals spend on legal research and writing and saves attorneys an average of 500 billable hours per year.

In addition to the E Scholars program, the Bloch School has debuted new degree programs to help it stay ahead of the competition, including a master’s degree in finance. The School has also created a master’s degree in global entrepreneurship and innovation, master’s of entrepreneurial real estate and an executive master’s in public administration.

According to a 2011 data report from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), there are 9,667 business degree programs available in the United States—more than any country in the world. And many of those programs compete with the Bloch School for the top spot in the rankings.

Finding the final frontier
Student patents success