Governor’s Innovation Task Force seeks public input to achieve ambitious goal for Missouri’s innovation economy

July 25, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Governor’s Innovation Task Force is reaching out across the state to hear from innovators and entrepreneurs and charting a course to make Missouri the prime destination for tech startups and next-generation job creation. Following several workshops throughout the state, the Task Force is preparing policy recommendations on how to accomplish that goal about Missouri becoming a top state for innovation.

Gov. Eric Greitens joined last week’s workshop in Springfield to lay out his vision for Missouri: “Our mission is to make Missouri the leader in innovation and entrepreneurship between the east and west coasts.”

“We know this is an ambitious goal,” said Drew Erdmann, Missouri’s Chief Operating Officer. "But when you look at our assets across the state, though, we really do have the potential to achieve it. This is not a theoretical exercise just to bring people together to talk. We need to have action.”

Innovators and entrepreneurs are critical to the state’s overall economic wellbeing and job creation, and the Task Force’s process is designed to identify smart, efficient ways to support this dynamic community. The committee is fact finding around a number of issues including talent, Missouri’s business climate, branding Missouri, and private sector investment, among others. 

“This is a part of a broad based strategy for economic development in Missouri,” said Rob Dixon, Acting Director for the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “Missouri is home to many large and successful global corporations that started small, right here by innovators and entrepreneurs. We want to systematically encourage and help the next generations of these businesses grow.”

Workshops were held in Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia and Springfield with a final workshop scheduled to take place in Cape Girardeau on July 31. The Task Force will complete its work by the end of August. 

The Governor’s Innovation Task Force encourages public feedback and comment on how Missouri can best support innovation and entrepreneurship. Visit to participate in an online focus group and survey and use #MOInnovationTF to engage in the conversation through social media.

More about the Task Force:

Governor Eric Greitens announced the launch of the Governor’s Innovation Task Force on June 19, charging the members with assessing the current state of innovation in Missouri, analyzing best practices from other states, and developing specific recommendations for what the state can do to promote innovation and new technology startups. The task force is bringing together private, nonprofit, and public sector leaders from across the State to help improve Missouri’s competitiveness. As part of its work, the task force is engaging innovators, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, scholars, and others in workshops in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia, and Cape Girardeau.

This Task Force is the first under the auspices of the Hawthorn Foundation to help the State of Missouri tap into the breadth and depth of expertise from across the state to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of state government. The Hawthorn Foundation is a nonpartisan nonprofit that creates a forum for leaders from business, labor academia, and government make an impact addressing some of the most important issues facing Missouri.