More than $2 million in grant funding to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem statewide through the Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity (MOBEC) grant program has been awarded for the fiscal year 2023 grant cycle.
MOBEC provides matching operations and project grants to nonprofit organizations that support Missouri entrepreneurs. Through the MOBEC grant program, MTC makes strategic investments that expand the entrepreneurship support system and enhance the capacity of Missouri to grow its innovation economy.
Following the release of the Catalyzing Innovation Report last year, MTC is prioritizing funding organizations and programs that are directly aligned with the strategies and action items included in the report.
The following grant proposals were approved:
- BioSTL works toward establishing and securing for St. Louis an innovation economy that is vibrant, wholly inclusive, and globally connected, ensuring the region’s significance and dynamism in the 21st century.
- With its MOBEC grant, BioSTL will be able to build capacity for BioGenerator labs, which build and support world-class St. Louis-based bioscience companies.
- 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 operations grant will provide seed investment to initially support additional staff and leverage to increase funding that is directly invested into early-stage, high-growth tech startups and the programs delivered by organizations in the regional communities across southern Missouri that support them.
- The MOBEC project grant funding will support the Tech Expertise Process, which provides founders across Southern Missouri within the startup pipeline access to software development technical assistance while also guiding newly trained tech talent to simultaneously solve the problem of supply and demand that has created opportunity gaps in our regions for decades.
- LaunchCode’s mission is to build a skilled workforce by creating pathways for driven people seeking careers in technology by providing tech education, career-readiness training, paid apprenticeships and job placement at no cost to jobseekers.
- The MOBEC grant will allow LaunchCode to enroll at least 2,000 people in Kansas City and St. Louis in tech training programs and launch at least 400 Missourians into tech careers by 2025.
- The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation (JACCF) furthers charitable, scientific, literacy, civic, athletic, patriotic, cultural, social and educational programs. Driving the entrepreneurial ecosystem is one of the key focuses of the JACCF.
- The MOBEC grant funding will support current and new programs that have enhanced Joplin’s regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, online business education platform and the launch of the area’s first regional innovation and technology summit.
- 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, managing mentor services including MentorUP, the cohort-based training & certification program, and providing ecosystem wayfinding services.
- The MOBEC grant will support the AMPLIFY MO Innovation: CAPITAL summit convening the investment community to foster collaboration, connect to founders and analytical talent, and educate new investors, as well as the expansion of MentorUP to more communities throughout the state.
- Missouri State University’s efactory is a technology-focused business incubator and entrepreneurial development center that has brought together many of the Southwest Missouri’s economic development and business resource entities to create a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs to facilitate their development from startup to maturity, from idea to job creation.
- The MOBEC grant will support efactory’s incubator, coworking, and regional business support services covering 47 counties throughout southern Missouri.
- From whiteboard to boardroom to marketplace and beyond, the University of Missouri – Kansas City Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to unlock the potential of the Kansas City region, helping people turn their ideas and innovations into ventures that create jobs and grow the economy, university, and community to spark entrepreneurial efforts.
- The MOBEC grant will provide capacity to manage the technology commercialization system initiative, add a needed technology counselor to assist with developing both faculty and community high-growth potential businesses, and support community outreach efforts.
- MOSourceLink, a program of the UMKC Innovation Center, connects a network of more than 700 organizations across the state of Missouri that provide support to startup and growth businesses.
- The MOBEC grant will support a central clearinghouse that brings together the Missouri entrepreneur ecosystem through a website, calendar, online search and connection tools and hotline that provides direct support 5,500 people, which results in 250 new businesses for Missouri annually.
- Founded in 2016, UMSL Accelerate is a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship for students, faculty, and the State of Missouri. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Accelerator directly advances their mission of driving inclusive economic prosperity by bridging the St. Louis region’s strong startup capital investment culture and diverse founders.
- The MOBEC Grant will support UMSL Accelerate, which provides $50,000 in non-dilutive capital; a best-in-class business development program; and leverages University resources to amplify startups.
To date, through MOBEC and other matching grant programs, MTC has partnered with more than 60 entrepreneurial support organizations in Missouri communities and awarded a total of more than $31 million in entrepreneurial-focused infrastructure grants that have served thousands of small businesses.