SSTI Digest

Geography: Missouri

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

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.

St Louis Targets Entrepreneurs, Foreign-Born Residents for Economic Growth

The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, a group created when the St. Louis County Economic Council and the city’s St. Louis Development Corp. merged last year, has released an ambitious economic strategy for the region. Planners are calling for collaboration between the region’s economic development organizations and startup initiatives, such as Accelerate St. Louis, VentureWorks and the ongoing $100M early stage investment initiative. The plan provides tactics and metrics in six categories, designed to leverage the significant growth the region has experienced since 2010. Plan stakeholders have set the goal of becoming a top 10 region for entrepreneurs and the fastest growing major metro region for foreign born residents by 2020. Download the plan…

Award Winning TBED Groups Garner Praise, Support to Expand Reach

SSTI Excellence in TBED award winners produce real results that are changing the landscape of their communities, expanding infrastructure to grow high-tech sectors and improving the competitiveness of their regions. Their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed in the broader innovation community. Over the past couple of months, award winners have grabbed headlines – and funding – for their impressive work. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker stopped by Clemson University’s Center for Automotive Research to tout its success in workforce development. In St. Louis, Monsanto recently awarded $2.5 million to BioSTL to support bioscience startups and, in Arizona, a $1 million grant will help fund ASU accelerator programs.

2014 Bills Tackle Crowdfunding, Tax Credits, Startup Capital and More

Several bills aimed at supporting startups, advancing research and improving the workforce have been introduced with the start of the 2014 sessions. Some of the proposed legislation offers a glimpse into the investment priorities of governors and lawmakers in the wake of economic recovery. Providing innovative companies with access to startup funds is a continued theme from previous years. Some states are seeking to expand tax credits for angel investors or offer new tax credits to encourage emerging industries. Other bills focus on generating more skilled workers quickly and positioning universities to enhance regional economic competitiveness.

Tech Talkin’ Govs: Part III

Tech Talkin’ Govs: Part III

More Funding for Higher Ed, STEM in State Budget Plans

As the outlook for general revenue funds improves in many states, governors are looking to boost investment in higher education and STEM as a means for growing the economy and enhancing the workforce. Universities' economic return to states can be quite impactful. A recent study commissioned by the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, found the state's 15 public universities have a $23.9 billion economic footprint — collectively supporting more than $12 billion in earnings in 2012. Governors in Alaska, Missouri, Utah, Virginia, and Washington recently unveiled budget recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year or biennium calling for additional funds to support university-based initiatives including research, infrastructure, tuition freezes, and funding to graduate more students in STEM fields.

Voters Reject Research Tax in MO, Approve Higher Ed Bonds in ME

A measure to increase the sales tax in Jackson County, MO, to fund medical research across Kansas City and St. Louis was rejected by greater than a 5-to-1 ratio, reports the Kansas City Star. Unofficial returns found that 84 percent of voters rejected the proposal that would raise up to $40 million annually through a sales tax increase of one-half of 1 percent to support an institute of hospitals, universities and research institutes working to recruit scientists and turn research into commercial products and treatments. Voters in Maine approved $15.5 million in bonds to renovate and upgrade labs and other STEM facilities at all seven campuses within the University of Maine System and $4.5 million toward a public-private effort to build a science facility at Maine Maritime Academy.

Ballots 2013: Medical Research Tax in MO, Bond Funding for STEM Facilities in ME

Only six states have statewide measures on the ballot in 2013, which is 28 percent fewer than the average number of measures on the ballot in an odd-numbered year, as noted by Ballotpedia's executive editor. Tech-based economic development measures will be decided in at least two states — Missouri and Maine. Although not a statewide measure, Jackson County, MO, voters will be asked to approve a sales tax of one-half of 1 percent for 20 years to fund medical research and discovery across Kansas City. Maine voters will be asked to approve a $15.5 million bond to upgrade classrooms and labs within the University of Maine System.

Universities Turn Focus on Entrepreneurship to Boost Regional Economies

Recognizing startup businesses as a powerful force in building stronger local economies, a number of universities across the country have announced significant expansions in their entrepreneurship offerings over the last few weeks. Universities in Missouri and Virginia have announced new and expanded entrepreneurship programs for students, while a nationwide network of top business schools, including Babson College, Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, plans to launch an online entrepreneurship program that can be licensed to other schools. The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded $2.5 million in grants through its 2013 University Center Economic Development Program that will be used to support regional entrepreneurship and innovation.

St. Louis Launches $100M Initiative to Strengthen Innovation Ecosystem

Business, civic, and political leaders in St. Louis are coming together to raise $100 million in private funds over the next five years to support the Regional Entrepreneurial Initiative, a new effort aimed at helping emerging regional businesses grow and thrive. The project was launched with funding from the federal government and will draw on several ongoing fundraising initiatives in the community. About 80 percent of the funds will be used to provide capital support for startup businesses, with the remaining 20 percent directed toward entrepreneurial support and mentoring, according to the St. Louis Beacon.

TBED People and Orgs

Yuka Nagashima, executive director of the High Technology Development Corp. and center director for the Innovate Hawaii program, has resigned from both posts and will leave the state agency in August. Nagashima will be leaving for Denmark to support her husband's research career. Len Higashi, current senior economic development manager, was selected to become the acting executive director.

Communities Reshape Unused Sites, Buildings to Spur Tech Growth

London's Mayor Boris Johnson has announced an initiative to transform Olympic Park into a creative and digital business hub for the city. According to an article from, the proposed redevelopment promises to boost the United Kingdom's (UK) GDP by $450 million ($692.5 million US) and create more than 6,500 new jobs. In partnership with the London Legacy Development Corporation, the city will make major investments in the areas surrounding the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, including the construction of three feature buildings: