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Business and the Economy
Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

Springfield Innovation Inc. Receives Major Grant to Promote Entrepreneurship

Scott Harvey
MSU's eFactory is among area services that assist local entrepreneurs/Photo Credit: Scott Harvey

A $350,000 grant will help provide a Springfield organization with resources for the region’s startup community.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced the funding Thursday for Springfield Innovation Inc. a program at the eFactory. Thousands will also go to a Cape Girardeau organization. Both grants come from the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC), a public-private partnership promoting entrepreneurship. Specifically, the dollars are intended to help these organizations provide mentorship, facilities and co-working spaces, and access to capital, among other services.

In a statement, Nixon cites Springfield’s ranking this year as the third Best City to Start a Business by WalletHub, and also earning the number one spot for access to resources.

“Springfield is poised for growth. This investment will allow us to move forward with investing in the future of Missouri entrepreneurs through our accelerator program,” said Allen Kunkel, CEO of Springfield Innovation, Inc. “By strengthening our ecosystem, local startups will be able to access the resources they need to grow right here in Springfield.”

Thursday’s announcement also follows news this summer that Missouri was ranked – for the first time – as a top ten state for startup funding by Forbes.

Nixon says the state budget he signed for FY2016 includes nearly $16 million for programs at MTC to promote entrepreneurship.

“Small businesses are the future of our economy,” Nixon said. “By working together to make smart, fiscally-responsible investments, we have helped make Missouri a center of high-tech job creation and a launching pad for innovative companies looking to grow their businesses. These grants will build on this momentum by helping more entrepreneurs turn cutting-edge ideas into good, high-paying jobs for Missourians.”