MTC Awards MOBEC Grant to MOSourceLink, Resource Partners to Further Missouri Entrepreneurship
The Missouri Technology Corporation is helping advance Missouri entrepreneurship with critical ecosystem support that will:
increase in pre-market funding and support for innovation-led startups
transform entrepreneurial support and workforce development across rural southern Missouri
expand connections between Missouri's rural entrepreneurs and their peers and resources in Missouri's metro regions
create a technology pre-accelerator program that will provide founders with specialized training and opportunities for follow-on funding
develop an investor network program to help increase private investment in startup companies throughout southern Missouri
MTC collectively awarded MOSourceLink and six nonprofit organizations in the MOSourceLink Resource Partner network more than $1 million in grant funding to support startups and entrepreneurship statewide through the Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity grant program.
“The MOBEC grant program demonstrates that MTC understands the critical importance of building up the organizations that serve and support small and early-stage businesses as a pathway to economic and community growth,” says Alexces Bartley, network builder at MOSourceLink.
For MOSourceLink, the grant allows our team to continue our work to make Missouri the state for innovation between the coasts by connecting and strengthening the support system for entrepreneurs in Missouri and ensuring that entrepreneurs can easily access the support they need, when they need it, wherever they might be located.
That’s why MOSourceLink works with a network of over 600 resources – the organizations, programs and people that provide business building support– across the state to listen and collaboratively respond to meet the needs of existing and aspiring business owners.
“Connection is key to every entrepreneur’s success,” says Bartley. “When resources are available to help aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners write a business plan, find funding, network, find a business coach, tackle finances and more, that elevates them so they can fuel their communities and create opportunities for others. This generous grant funding from MTC will help us continue to support those who create nearly 80% net new jobs in the state.”
Current business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can contact MOSourceLink at 866-870-6500 or tell us what they need here, and we’ll craft their custom set of next steps with the organizations and experts in Missouri that can help. Those who want a bird’s eye view of the resources in Missouri can explore the MOSourceLink Resource Rail Map, where they can pick a business type and traverse a color-coded line of all the entrepreneurial resources in the state that can help a business from inception to exit.
In addition to its support of MOSourceLink, MTC has also provided MOBEC matching grants to expand the capacity of six other business-building organizations in the MOSourceLink Resource Partner Network:
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 $20,000 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.
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.
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.
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