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Missouri Technology Corp to Administer New Grants, Gets $5M Boost for Core Programs

June 12, 2014

With nearly $10 million in additional funding for the upcoming year, the public-private Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) will receive a boost in support for core programs and new resources to administer early stage business grants. MTC invests in emerging high-tech companies with a focus on bioscience industries.

Building on the success of the Arch Grants program, MTC will administer a pool of funds ($4.5 million total) to support similar initiatives across the state. Lawmakers included the funding for early stage business grants under HB 2007. A bill introduced earlier in the session would have earmarked up to $9 million per year over the next four years to MTC for investment in up to six Early Stage Business Development Corporations. These are described as nonprofit corporations that provide grants to winners of competitions for early stage business development – similar to Arch Grants. That bill failed to pass in the legislature, however.

Established two years ago to encourage innovation and fuel business development, Arch Grants operates somewhat like an accelerator, offering support services and encouraging promising startups to compete for grants of $50,000 to launch new businesses.

After receiving an initial grant, startups can secure a second round of funding of up to $100,000 and direct access to St. Louis-based angel investors. The nonprofit corporation has garnered enthusiasm and attracted attention for its partnerships and private sector buy-in. Partners include MTC, local universities, private industry, investors, and mentoring organizations. Since 2012, Arch Grants has awarded more than $1.9 million in grant funding to 35 companies, 32 of which are still operating.

Lawmakers also boosted by $5 million funding for MTC core programs, which include commercialization programs under the IDEA Fund, Missouri Innovation Centers, Missouri Enterprise, and the Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity program. Missouri budget bills await action by Gov. Jay Nixon. 

Missouristate budget, state tbed