2022 was an exciting year for the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) as we worked to establish a strong foundation for the organization to build upon over the next decade. Our year-long strategic initiative culminated with the publishing of the Catalyzing Innovation Report in collaboration with TEConomy Partners last February and set us on a path to prioritize and begin implementation of the strategies and actions items included in the report.
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Catalyzing Innovation Report, MTC is starting a quarterly newsletter to better connect the stakeholders within the state’s innovation and entrepreneurial communities and to help inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
MTC realized that for Missouri to continue to maximize the economic development gains from the State’s entrepreneurs, we would need to lead the State in a strategic initiative to determine how to promote entrepreneurship and support the advancement of innovation and technology to continue to drive economic growth through the next decade.
To ensure an independent data-driven approach to the effort, MTC engaged TEConomy Partners, a leading consulting firm with extensive experience researching and evaluating innovation-driven economies. MTC and TEConomy partners undertook three critical assessments to better understand the current state of Missouri’s innovation and entrepreneurial communities and to identify the challenges and gaps that needed to be addressed to advance the state’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems.
- A quantitative assessment of key activities and metrics associated with healthy and growing entrepreneurship of Missouri and eight peer states.
- Direct engagement of approximately 500 individuals through a digital survey, individual and small group interviews, 6 regional focus groups, and 2 statewide focus groups.
- An economic development impact analysis of MTC’s historical investments across the state.
In the Catalyzing Innovation Report, TEConomy recommended 5 strategies (infographic below) and 16 actions within the strategies to address the challenges and gaps identified through the assessments. This report will help set the direction for policies, programs, and initiatives that foster and support the further growth of entrepreneurs and the advancement of innovation and technology across the State of Missouri.
Additionally, in late August at the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development, MTC publicly released its Fiscal Year 2023 Implementation Plan identifying the prioritized strategies and action items from the Catalyzing Innovation Report.The Implementation Plan is informed by the resources currently available to MTC, its capacity, and the alignment of action items to the organization’s mission. The Implementation Plan will be updated annually for transparency and accountability.
Moving forward MTC’s actions and programs will be focused on how to ‘catalyze’ innovation within the state.
The completion of MTC’s Strategic Initiative and the publication of the Catalyzing Innovation Report demonstrated to the Governor’s Office and the General Assembly that MTC was in a strong position to accelerate the organization’s growth. The continued support from the State’s elected officials for MTC and the state’s innovation and entrepreneurial communities was evidenced by a significant increase in our annual appropriation – $16M of which $8.5M could be expended in FY23 for program and operations expenses.
As detailed in the newsletter, in January our MTC’s Board of Directors reviewed and approved awarding over $2M in MOBEC Grants and over $2M in direct investment allocations through our state-sponsored venture capital program (IDEA Fund). The FY23 awards amount to more funding than MTC has awarded for each of the past five fiscal years. Additionally, MTC plans to launch additional grant programs this fiscal year and will continue to award direct investments through the IDEA Fund on a quarterly basis.
|MOBEC Grant & IDEA Fund Program Funding by Fiscal Year|
|MOBEC Grants Awarded||$2,000,000||$901,022||$1,018,049||$1,113,334||$2,017,927|
|IDEA Fund Allocations Awarded||$1,300,000||$1,100,000||$1,550,000||$1,500,000||$2,175,000|
|* to date|
I want to take a moment to thank our dedicated staff, extremely engaged Board Members, and the members of the strategic initiative steering committee. The success and growth of the organization over the past 18 months have been a team effort and are directly related to their hard work and support.
I also want to note that February was my 3rd year anniversary of being the Executive Director of MTC. It’s been a bit of a wild ride – especially having to unexpectedly navigate a global pandemic that first year (2020) . But I look forward to what the MTC Staff (we are hiring!) and our highly engaged Board of Directors can accomplish over the next decade.
Executive Director of MTC