Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) is a public-private partnership created by the Missouri General Assembly to promote entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies. The nature of being a public-private partnership has unique advantages that allow MTC to serve our mission of growing technology-based businesses in Missouri.
Specifically, in many cases, MTC is more flexible and can work faster than our state agency counterparts. Additionally, our structure and close ties to the state allow us to work more seamlessly with state and federal agencies, and MTC is well suited for deploying state and federal funding compared to other non-profits and private companies.
Recently the organization has been leveraging our unique structure to ‘pilot’ several new programs designed to catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship within the state using different partnership and funding models. I wanted to take a moment to highlight three of those programs.
NGA Accelerator Powered by Capital Innovators
In 2019, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and MTC entered into a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA), the first PIA ever executed by the NGA. The initial project under the PIA was the formation of an NGA-sponsored accelerator, the first of its kind sponsored by a U.S. intelligence agency, allowing the NGA to engage with the greater St. Louis region and beyond to develop innovations in geospatial technology through collaboration and a transfer of technology.
Three cohorts consisting of 24 total companies participated in the 13-week accelerator program operated by Capital Innovators which was responsible for recruiting participants developing technology aligned with the NGA’s Technology Focus Areas. Companies selected to participate in the program had access to incentives including a $100,000 non-dilutive grant, office accommodations in St. Louis during the term of the program, mentoring and coaching from subject matter experts from the NGA and Capital Innovators, investor connections, and participation in a Demo Day.
In late March I was invited to join the NGA at the national Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer conference where the NGA & MTC partnership was being awarded an FLC Star of 2023 for State and Local Economic Development.
MTC’s successful launch and management of the NGA Accelerator have already led to the
NGA engaging with at least one other organization within the growing St. Louis geospatial ecosystem through a PIA. Additionally, it demonstrated that a St. Louis-based geospatial accelerator with strong ties to the subject matter expertise within the NGA that can significantly ‘accelerate’ promising early-stage geospatial companies and have a positive economic development impact on the region.
- After Two Years of Operation NGA Accelerator Graduates 24 Startups
- NGA Recognized as Federal Leader in Technology Transfer
Advanced Manufacturing Resiliency Grant Program
The FY2023 Missouri state budget included a $15 million appropriation for MTC to establish a grant program dedicated to creating infrastructure for industries that are fundamental to the national security of the United States specifically where the manufacturing of essential products has become reliant on the production outside of the United States.
Ensuring the state is not only competitive but is a leader in Advanced Manufacturing has been a priority for many of the State’s elected officials and MTC was excited and honored to be selected to develop and deploy a new grant program to support the growth and innovation within the industry.
In March MTC awarded nearly $15M in grant funding to the API Innovation Center and the Jordan Valley Innovation Center to support their work developing active pharmaceutical ingredients and flexible semi-conductors. Two advanced manufacturing sectors that the state is hoping to become a leader in and leverage for a significant economic development impact.
Based on the success of the grant program, the FY2024 state budget may include additional appropriations allowing MTC to continue funding innovation and infrastructure within the state’s Advanced Manufacturing sectors.
- Missouri Technology Corporation awards total of $14.85 million through the Advanced Manufacturing Resiliency Grant Program
- Grant funds high-tech manufacturing initiative at JVIC
- The API Innovation Center Receives $9.45 Million ‘Advanced Manufacturing Resiliency Grant’ from Missouri Technology Corporation
Physical Infrastructure Grant Program
In April, MTC launched a new grant program that seeks to ensure entrepreneurs throughout the state have access to the physical infrastructure and resources required to launch and grow their businesses.
The Physical Infrastructure Grant Program was developed following recommendations from the Catalyzing Innovation Report and is designed to replace and expand MTC’s previous programmatic support of physical infrastructures in the state in a fair, equitable, and competitive manner.
The submission deadline is Wednesday, May, 31 and additional information on the program is available on MTC’s website.
This grant cycle will serve as a pilot for MTC, and the organization looks forward to expanding the grant program in future fiscal years.
The MTC organization enjoys and looks forward to taking on unique and challenging projects that if executed properly can be developed into foundational elements to catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the state. We look forward to leveraging the success of the NGA Accelerator Program, Advanced Manufacturing Grant Program, and the Physical Infrastructure Grant Program to launch additional pilot programs to address the challenges identified in the Catalyzing Innovation Report.
Executive Director of MTC