The Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) announced today it will award more than $1 million in grant funding to support startups and entrepreneurship statewide through the Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity (MOBEC) grant program.
“Entrepreneurship is vitally important to our state’s economy, and we’re proud to support up-and-coming businesses as they grow and create jobs,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Missouri is already home to world-class companies in technology and other sectors. For our continued economic success, it’s important to provide innovators with the tools they need to become the industry leaders of tomorrow.”
MOBEC provides matching grants to expand the capacity of nonprofit organizations that support entrepreneurs to create more home-grown, high-tech companies. Through the MOBEC grant program, MTC makes strategic investments that expand the support system for entrepreneurs that are commercializing new technologies or that enhance the capacity of Missouri to grow its innovation economy.
“Entrepreneurial support organizations are responsible for providing the resources entrepreneurs need to grow their businesses in Missouri, and MTC is proud to support them,” said Jack Scatizzi, MTC Executive Director. “Financial support for these organizations is integral to ensuring the state’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems are maximizing their economic development impact.”
To date, through MOBEC and other grant programs, MTC has partnered with more than 60 entrepreneurial support organizations in Missouri communities. MTC has also awarded a total of nearly $30 million in entrepreneurial-focused grants that have served thousands of small businesses.
“We’re grateful for MTC’s continued partnership and support for the future of Missouri’s economy,” said Department of Economic Development Acting Director Maggie Kost. “The MOBEC grant program deploys funds that promote the success of entrepreneurial businesses. By supporting innovation through these strategic investments, we’re encouraging economic growth statewide.”
“MTC’s MOBEC program has been vital in supporting Codefi’s capacity to eliminate skill and opportunity gaps for workers,” said James Stapleton, Ph.D., Cofounder of Codefi Rural Foundation, which received a MOBEC grant award. “Through MOBEC, we’re able to help ensure entrepreneurs in rural southeast Missouri have the opportunity to thrive in the digital economy. We’re excited to join forces with the efactory in Springfield to leverage our resources and expertise, along with community partners across the new Southern Missouri Innovation Network, to generate even more economic impact.”
In addition to providing grants to expand entrepreneurial capacity, MTC manages a state-sponsored venture capital fund that supports Missouri's early-stage entrepreneurs through direct investment. In the last decade, MTC has invested $45 million in more than 140 high-growth Missouri technology companies. These companies have also raised more than $1.1 billion in additional private capital.
About Missouri Technology Corporation
The Missouri Technology Corporation is a public-private partnership created to promote entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies. MTC’s vision is to transform Missouri through the power of entrepreneurship by serving as a catalyst for technology-based innovation. MTC helps achieve sustainable economic growth through leadership and strategic investments that help entrepreneurs create and grow technology businesses in Missouri.
To learn more about MTC, visit missouritechnology.com.
The following grant proposals were approved:
Arch Grants is a nonprofit organization that provides $75,000 equity-free grants and pro bono support services to entrepreneurs who locate their early-stage businesses in St. Louis. Through its competitive Global Startup Competition, Arch Grants attracts and retains the most innovative entrepreneurs to the St. Louis region. The MOBEC grant will be leveraged to increase Arch Grants’ capacity to further their mission of supporting entrepreneurs.
The Codefi Foundation on Rural Innovation is dedicated to improving the quality of life by accelerating economic development through access to education, mentoring, technology, and capital, and providing increased and efficient internet, network, and technology connectivity and access to citizens and businesses. The MOBEC grant will help expand their programming across southern Missouri by launching a new pre-accelerator and venture investor network, as well as expanding the Redhawks Startup Fellowship to provide more high-quality interns and talent to startups.
LaunchKC is a grants competition that creates new opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs, and the tech ecosystem of Kansas City. Its mission is to attract scalable companies to create more jobs and opportunities while growing the local economy. The MOBEC grant will be used to relaunch a grants competition that will award 10 innovative, scalable, and job-creating startups with $50,000 non-dilutive grants.
Lindenwood University’s Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneur Network (ITEN) supports both community-based and student entrepreneurs and innovators in the St. Louis region by delivering educational programs and events, curating corporate and community partnerships, offering experienced mentorship, and providing ecosystem wayfinding services. The MOBEC grant will allow ITEN to launch the Missouri Rural Entrepreneurship (MORE) Connection initiative. The goal of this initiative is to improve delivery and impact of support, capital, and other resources to Missouri’s rural entrepreneurs. The MORE Connection initiative provides more meaningful connection to peers and resources in Missouri’s metro regions.
efactory serves entrepreneurs and business owners throughout southwest Missouri. The MOBEC grant will expand the delivery of Code Labs, a proven immersion training program to meet the needs of local employers and startups in southwest Missouri seeking to hire software developers. MOBEC will also expand delivery of the Youth Coding League, the only extracurricular coding program designed for middle school and junior high students. Youth Coding League uses innovative, project-based learning combined with a competitive youth sports model to introduce students to computer science in a fun, engaging way.
Digital Sandbox KC brings ideas to life by providing expert feedback and project funding of up to $20K to help accelerate innovations toward commercialization. This includes, but is not limited to, access to technology, business and market experts for market validation, and prototyping and beta testing services. The MOBEC grant will provide funding for additional proof of concept projects to be completed over the next two years, generating additional investment and jobs for Missouri.
MOSourceLink’s mission is to help entrepreneurs and small businesses across the state of Missouri grow and succeed by providing free, easy access to support and resources. MOSourceLink connects entrepreneurs and small business owners with a network of nonprofit resource organizations that provide business-building services. The MOBEC grant will support maintaining MOSourceLink-related programs accessed by more than 6,000 entrepreneurs each year.