SSTI Digest

Geography: Missouri

Missouri Blueprint Offers Model for Tech-based Economic Growth

A Blueprint for Prosperity and Jobs, a comprehensive strategic plan to foster and sustain job growth, business success and community vitality in Missouri, has been released by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The product of two years of research, the plan addresses Missouri's need to focus its resources on building a knowledge-based economy, with emphasis on businesses that generate key technologies and have tremendous growth potential.


Bill Duncan is the first president of the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, which held its inaugural event at the end of March.

Regional Organization Focusing St. Louis on Future

The St. Louis region lags behind a number of metropolitan areas including Austin, Portland, Atlanta, and Indianapolis in attracting 20- to 34-year olds to live and work in the region, according to a report released this month by the regional, nonprofit organization, FOCUS St. Louis.

Resources Available for Displaced Workers Interested in Entrepreneurship

In an effort to help combat the present economic downturn, the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is looking to partner with groups across the U.S. to provide training to displaced workers interested in starting new businesses. 

The Kauffman Center is offering its proven FastTrac NewVentureTM program materials at no cost to organizations that want to provide the course to downsized workers in their states or communities. Partner organizations locate attendees, handle logistics, and pay trainer expenses. Displaced workers participate in the program at no charge. The Center has 10 years of experience with the FastTrac program and is ready to work with partners to implement the program rapidly and effectively in their communities. 

In FastTrac NewVentureTM, participants explore the feasibility of their business concept, develop mentor relationships, discover whether life as an entrepreneur is right for them, and lay the groundwork for their future business ventures. The program is currently being implemented for displaced workers from Sprint in Kansas City and the aviation industry in Wichita, Kansas. 

Those interested in partnering with the Kauffman Center to provide entrepreneurship training to displaced workers should contact Kathy Nadlman at 913-681-5525 or


Marianne Hudson is leaving her position as Vice President - Marketing & Communications with the Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center to become a program manager at the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Missouri Targets $21.5 Million for Life Science Research

At the end of June, Governor Bob Holden signed an executive order committing $21.5 million of the state’s tobacco settlement funds for biotech research during fiscal year 2002. Governor Holden made his announcement prior to signing Senate Bill 500, which expands the state’s job training program to prepare Missouri’s work force for new careers in life sciences. Although the General Assembly this year appropriated $21.5 million in tobacco settlement funds for life sciences research and development, no legislation was enacted to govern the expenditure of the money.

The executive order will direct the State Office of Administration to administer the funds through the Life Sciences Research Committee, composed of the commissioner of administration, and seven other members appointed by the governor. The committee will solicit and review biotechnology research proposals, and funds will be disbursed through research contracts for proposals that have the potential to provide the greatest health and economic benefits to Missourians.

Funds earmarked for the life sciences can support development and clinical research including aging, endocrine, cardiovascular and neurological work, nerve regeneration, pulmonary, diagnostic disease and infectious disease, and nutrition and food safety.

For more information, see the Governor’s press release


Bill Borgmeyer has retired from his position as Coordinator of Technology Development for the Missouri Technology Corporation.

Missouri Targets Life Sciences Industry to Boost Economic Development

In a recently issued Executive Order, Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan officially named the life sciences industry as one of the state’s lead industries for promoting economic development. The order requires all executive branch departments to review their programs and evaluate each program’s impact on the life sciences industry for purposes of economic growth. The Department of Economic Development must prepare a report based upon these reviews that is due to the Governor by May 1, 2000.

Best Practices for Biotech Assistance to be Explored

Cincinnati and St. Louis are partnering to hold a three-day symposium to examine best practices in biotechnology-based economic development. Growing the Life Science Industry will be held March 1-3 at the Kingsgate Conference Center on the University of Cincinnati Medical Campus. Speakers from a dozen states will share their regions' approaches for life science economic development.

Missouri Launches $20 Million State Seed Capital Program

This year’s second attempt to pass legislation establishing a state-funded seed capital program in Missouri was successful during the waning hours of the 1999 session of the Missouri General Assembly. SB 518, the Missouri New Enterprise Creation Act, authorizes the creation of up to four seed capital funds at the state’s innovation centers to support new technology-based companies in the state. Funding for the program will be generated through $20 million in tax credits, with a maximum limit of $5 million in credits each year.


Investment capital to develop and commercialize new technologies may soon be easier to find in Missouri. The Commerce Committee of the Missouri House of Representatives last week endorsed House Bill 753, a proposal to create a $40 million seed capital fund supported by Governor Mel Carnahan. The fund would be capitalized at $10 million each year for four years. Additionally, private investors would get a 100-percent tax credit for all money they contributed to the new seed capital fund. Investments would be limited to Missouri businesses.