Missouri Technology Corporation Board Emphasizes Economic Development
Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (July 9, 2010) – The Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) Board of Directors stressed the importance of economic development to Missouri’s fiscal recovery and growth when it recently met at the University of Central Missouri.
“Entrepreneurs are the key to driving Missouri’s economy,” said Jason Hall, MTC’s executive director. “We need to give them the tools they need to succeed, and entrepreneurship has to be part of Missouri’s overall balanced strategy of economic development.”
According to Hall, the corporation relies heavily on Missouri’s network of Innovation Centers as an outreach to small business owners and entrepreneurs. MTC oversees the Innovation Centers, one of which, the Entrepreneur Zone (E-Zone), is located in the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and Development (IESD) in UCM’s Harmon College of Business Administration. Hall said the decision to meet in Warrensburg was in recognition of the entrepreneurial activity in Johnson County.
Mark Manley, director of UCM’s IESD, explained that the E-Zone and other Innovation Centers across the state are critical to future entrepreneurs. He added that since July 2007, the E-Zone has assisted in the creation of 75 new jobs and $50 million in sales in the area, generating $2.94 million in client equity investments, $1.4 million in client debt investments, and $4.3 million in client grant investments.
“That’s a return of 184 times the state’s annual investment in the E-Zone at UCM,” Manley added.
State Senator David Pearce (District 31) and State Representative Denny Hoskins (District 121) addressed the MTC board, welcoming the group toUCM. Pearce, who chairs the Senate Education Committee and serves on the Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government Committee, noted the value of the group’s mission to Missouri’s economic development efforts.
“Since it was founded, MTC has taken a leadership role in the development of statewide, technology-based economic development strategy,” Pearce told the MTC board. “The Innovation Center at UCM has done an excellent job in providing assistance to entrepreneurs in this area, and I’m confident it will continue to grow. Economic development continues to be a major effort that is a daily task, and we are challenged to grow the economy with the resources at hand. I applaud what you do.”
Hoskins also lauded MTC’s service to Missouri.
"It’s great to host business, science and technology leaders from across the state at the MTC board meeting at UCM,” Hoskins said.“MTC, through the university’s Innovation Center, provides a valuable service, linking Missouri businesses with the rich talent poolof faculty, staff and students at UCM.Creating jobs and helping small businesses is MTC's primary focus and continues to be my number-one priority."
The Missouri Technology Corporation was created by the Missouri General Assembly in 1994 and is charged by law with leading Missouri’s technology-based economic development programs. It is governed by a board of directors appointed by Missouri’s governor, president pro tem of the Senate, and speaker of the House of Representatives, and includes the president of the University of Missouri System and the director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
MTC promotes entrepreneurship, fosters the growth of new high-tech companies, and leads efforts to expand Missouri’s high-tech clusters in areas such as plant science, animal health, information technology, applied engineering, and materials science. These clusters often are linked to Missouri’s historic strength, and current leading position, in agriculture.
The Missouri Innovation Center Network is a statewide resource for commercializing Missouri innovations. The mission of UCM’s Entrepreneur Zone is to promote, advocate and provide leadership and support of technology access for Missouri companies and citizens so they can enhance research, development, and technology commercialization, creating economic growth, sustainable jobs and wealth.