The Ennovation Center, a nonprofit business incubator located in Independence, Missouri, has a compelling community story. Previously known as the Independence Regional Ennovation Center, the building was formerly the site of the Independence Regional Hospital, serving the region for over a century. Situated in the heart of Independence, merely six blocks from the historic downtown square, the facility played a significant role in the community.
When the hospital's closure was announced in 2007, the Independence Economic Development Council, the Independence School District, the City of Independence, and community leaders came together to envision a new purpose for the building. After extensive renovation, the Ennovation Center opened its doors in October 2010, becoming a hub for startup and small businesses.
Since its inception, the Ennovation Center has incubated over 250 businesses, which have generated over 250 jobs and $3 million in payroll for the community. The Ennovation Center serves the KC Region, and its graduates have gone on to create their own spaces, contributing to not only Independence's economy, but the regional economy.
Starting and growing a business is challenging, and often involves a significant amount of risk and hard work. At the Ennovation Center, their aim is to provide a conducive environment for entrepreneurs and their ideas to thrive. They are committed to offering every possible opportunity for businesses to succeed, enabling entrepreneurs to develop their businesses to the best of their abilities.
STAFF and RESOURCES
Meet Danielle DuPree, the Executive Director of the Ennovation Center. Danielle's passion for helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses comes from her deep roots in the Independence community, where she was born and raised. She is a proud graduate of William Chrisman High School, Penn Valley College, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), where she was also a scholar athlete.
With over ten years of experience as a technology business consultant, Danielle specializes in digital transformation, business start-ups, and business retention and expansion. Danielle's expertise includes developing IT strategies, implementing virtual reality and XR solutions, leveraging artificial intelligence, enhancing workflows, improving security, and utilizing ECM solutions. Additionally, she has experience in commercial printing and packaging, social media and marketing, and developing business partnerships.
When she's not helping clients improve and build their businesses, Danielle enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and three children. She loves hiking, community volunteerism, playing sports and coaching or watching her children's sports teams, and cheering on the Kansas City Royals, Mavericks, and Chiefs.
With Danielle's knowledge and experience, the Ennovation Center can provide entrepreneurs with the support and resources they need to succeed in their business ventures. Contact the Ennovation Center today to learn how Danielle and the team can help you achieve your business goals.
Office Manager / Facilities Coordinator
Meet Cathy, the Office Manager at the Ennovation Center. Cathy brings with her a wealth of experience, having previously worked as a paralegal for the Jackson County Circuit Court and city clerk.
A lifelong resident of Independence, Missouri, Cathy is a graduate of William Chrisman High School and Penn Valley College. She lives with her husband and three sons, all of whom attend or have attended her grade school alma mater, Blackburn Elementary. Cathy's oldest son is also a William Chrisman High School graduate.
In her free time, Cathy enjoys baking, reading, and traveling. She is also keeps busy with her two younger sons' scouting, sports, and school activities. When she needs to relax, she can be found curled up with her dog, Saddie.
As the wife of an entrepreneur, Cathy understands firsthand the hard work and dedication required to start and run a successful business. She is excited to work with all of the clients at the Ennovation Center and help them achieve their dreams. With Cathy's friendly demeanor and expertise in office management, clients can be sure they are in good hands.
City of Independence, MO - Co-founder of the Ennovation Center
Independence Economic Development Council – Co-founder of the Ennovation Center
Independence School District – Co-founder of the Ennovation Center
KC Sourelink - One stop entrepreneur and business informational shop
Startland News- Learn about the KC area's start-up community ecosystem
Digital Sandbox - Early-stage tech idea funding
Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) – Business development, specialty services
MidContinent Library – Business classes and research support
City of Independence - Business friendly environment in which to place new start up and grow business
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation - Exploring education and entrepreneurship
Independence Chamber of Commerce - Represents a partnership of more than 717 member businesses and professionals committed to making a difference in the Independence community.
Englewood Arts - Assists the community through development of residential and commercial incentives, public art, art events, art programs, philanthropy and community outreach solutions, which result in a thriving community with engagement and pride.
201 N Forest Avenue
Independence, Missouri 64050