Missouri Technology Corporation achieves $50 million investment milestone through state-sponsored venture capital program

April 30, 2024

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC)’s Innovation, Development, and Entrepreneurial Advancement (IDEA) Fund has reached the significant milestone of surpassing $50 million in equity-based investments into nearly 160 Missouri-based technology startups. This achievement highlights MTC’s commitment to driving economic development and supporting technology-driven entrepreneurial endeavors in Missouri.

“The impact of MTC’s $50 million of equity investments cannot be overstated,” said Jack Scatizzi, Executive Director of MTC. “MTC’s funding for early-stage startups is not only aiding in their growth but also attracting more risk capital, boosting Missouri’s venture capital capacity. These strategic investments have played a pivotal role in catalyzing innovation, bridging key gaps within the state’s ecosystem, and fueling the growth and scalability of early-stage businesses.”

The IDEA Fund program is a state-sponsored venture capital initiative that utilizes public funding (both state and federal) to drive economic development within the state. The primary focus of this program is to foster innovation and support technology-driven entrepreneurial endeavors that contribute to the state’s overall economic development growth.

Darcy Howe, KCRise Fund Founding Managing Director, expresses her gratitude towards MTC for their support since the inception of KCRise Fund in 2016. “As we continue to focus on empowering Missouri founders, MTC has proven to be the best ally in our mission to foster innovation and drive economic growth in our state. The partnership between state-sponsored funds and private venture capital firms creates a unique synergy that accelerates the growth of innovative startups. This collaboration not only attracts more capital but also brings together diverse expertise and networks, ultimately enhancing the chances of success for these early-stage ventures.”

Over the past decade, the IDEA Fund has had a significant impact on the state’s economy. MTC portfolio companies have generated more than 8,000 jobs in Missouri, raised an additional $2.1 billion in private capital, and achieved 22 successful exits. Currently, nearly 60 percent of the companies that received an investment from MTC are still in operation and providing a positive economic development impact on the state. This rate far surpasses the national success rate for venture capital-backed companies, which is about 25 percent.

Martha Schlicher, CEO of Impetus Agriculture, Inc., Board Chair of Plastomics, Inc., and Board Chair and Co-Founder of Solis Agrosciences, Inc., stated, “We are witnessing the significant positive impact of state-sponsored venture capital on Missouri’s agricultural innovation ecosystem. Thanks to this support, the state is now in a distinctive position to advance agricultural innovation in the Midwest. State-sponsored venture capital has not only provided the ecosystem with the financial resources to hire life sciences talent, but also fostered collaboration and entrepreneurship, attracting national and international investors. We commend Missouri for supporting local entrepreneurs and driving economic growth in the region.”

MTC’s investments have played a crucial role in the success of companies like Geneoscopy, PayIt, Healium, and Benson Hill, enabling them to secure additional funding, develop innovative technologies, drive revenue growth, and create a significant number of job opportunities.

MTC was an early investor in Geneoscopy, a St. Louis-based life sciences company that uses its patented RNA biomarker technology to create innovative diagnostic tests for gastrointestinal health. Since MTC’s investment, Geneoscopy has completed a pivotal clinical trial for a colorectal cancer screening test and secured a more than $100 million Series B funding round. Another notable investment is PayIt, a Kansas City-based company that provides a digital customer experience and payments platform for governments across North America, which currently provides more than 100 local jobs and has raised more than $200 million in additional private capital to date.

MTC has also been instrumental in supporting companies like Healium, a Columbia-based health, wellness, and fitness company with patented technology that visualizes fitness tracker data inside video. Healium’s recent collaborations with industry leaders such as the Mayo Clinic and Samsung demonstrate the significant influence of MTC’s investments in advancing technology development and boosting sales and marketing efforts for Healium’s stress management and sleep solutions.

One of MTC’s most strategic and successful investments was being an initial investor in Benson Hill, which at its peak created more than 200 local jobs, went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2022, and raised more than $300 million in additional private capital prior to going public.

In 2022, MTC’s IDEA Fund was approved by the Department of the Treasury to deploy a portion of Missouri’s $95 million allocation of federal SSBCI 2.0 funding. Notably, half of the $50 million funding invested to date was sourced from the SSBCI 1.0 Program. Since January 2023, MTC has awarded nearly $12 million in investment allocations to more than 40 early-stage companies and has closed more than $3 million in new investments. MTC will continue to deploy the SSBCI 2.0 funding through its IDEA Fund on a quarterly cycle over the next six to eight years.

Scatizzi acknowledges that “MTC’s achievement was not possible without the collaboration of Missouri’s entrepreneurial support organizations that empower promising entrepreneurs to establish and expand their businesses in the state and directs high growth companies to engage with the early-stage venture capital sector.”

With continued public funding support, MTC is situated to leverage its grant-based expansion of the state’s entrepreneurial capacity and its state-sponsored venture capital activities to position Missouri to become a leader in technology-based economic development (TBED), fueling economic growth across the state.

For more information about the IDEA Fund and its programs, visit missouritechnology.com/venture-capital-investments/.


About Missouri Technology Corporation

The Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) is a public-private partnership created to foster innovation and entrepreneurship within the state of Missouri. By providing strategic investments and support to Missouri-based high-tech companies, MTC aims to drive economic growth and create a thriving ecosystem for technology-based businesses.

For more information, visit missouritechnology.com.