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New 'Innovate SOMO Funds' partnership intends to jump-start Missouri tech startups

An overhead view of laptops around a table.
Marvin Meyer/Upsplash

The efactory and Codefi have partnered to launch a $2 million funding pool — a new way for young tech companies to access venture capital.

The Missouri State University efactory is expanding its partnership with rural tech incubator Codefi to help fund tech startups in southern Missouri. The co-creators of the Southern Missouri Innovation Network — also known as Innovate SOMO — have now launched Innovate SOMO Funds.

Codefi president and CEO Dr. James Stapleton says there are great tech ideas to be found outside of Silicon Valley. They just need a little extra help to get started.

The $2 million funding pool has the potential to unlock more entrepreneurship and innovation in Missouri's southernmost 47 counties. Innovate SOMO Funds' approach combines nonprofit charitable contributions with for-profit equity and revenue-based investments.

To qualify for funding, Stapleton says companies must be tech-based, be quality individuals within their field and have ideas with high growth potential.

To learn more about Innovate SOMO Funds, visit

Read the full transcript.

Emily Letterman has worked at Missouri State University since 2023 and is currently the public relations strategist in the Office of Strategic Communication. A longtime journalist with over a decade of reporting on southwest Missouri, she has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from MSU.