Astronomical Growth


A Year in Review

Member Companies
Training Events
Jobs Created
Clients Served
Capital & Equity Generated by Clients
$ 0 + Million
Counseling Hours
Research, Grants & Operations Capital Obtained
$ 0 + Million
Students Impacted

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Talent development - that's core to what we've done since we opened. In January 2023, Missouri State reorganized our division and our team exploded with new opportunities to provide professional development. With additional noncredit training and the Public Safety Training Center and the office of student employment joining us, we now reach more individuals in scaling up their skills.
In recognition of the impact Innovate SOMO could have, the Missouri Department of Economic Development awarded more than $7 million in Workforce and a Community Revitalization ARPA grants to fund it. Included in the grant was financial support to: - Host early-stage business bootcamps. - Create digital skills training. - Build coaching and mentoring networks. - Assist business incubators. - And more.
At our 10th Anniversary Celebration, we celebrated huge milestones in clients served. We finally had a very belated 40th party for the Missouri SBDC at MSU. And we announced our expanding footprint into Brick City 3, to meet the needs of our coworking members. Our Codefi partners from Cape Girardeau announced a big move - they would have a physical satellite office in our new space to give us even more opportunities to collaborate!
Developing great talent during college is important, so we created a collaborative space called Launchpad with the Career Center to showcase employer opportunities.
The U.S. Economic Development Association recognizes institutions as powerhouses for economic development, brimming with brainpower and resources. That's why there are currently 72 EDA University Centers across 47 states and territories, strategically placed to fuel regional economic growth with the awesome firepower of universities. And in October, we became one of them.
Confetti and community: That's how we celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at Brick City 3.

Innovate SOMO

Accelerating opportunities across southern Missouri

The Southern Missouri Innovation Network

What is Innovate SOMO?

Developed by Codefi and efactory, it is a collaborative network of businesses and organizations who work together for greater impact. We connect workers to training, entrepreneurs to resources, and employers to talent—all to drive regional growth and prosperity. The Southern Missouri Innovation Network transforms communities in the southernmost 47 counties in Missouri by unlocking the full potential of entrepreneurship and innovation.

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It all comes down to providing Missourians access to the skills they need for the jobs they want without having to give up the pace of life that they love in southern Missouri. We're providing a full spectrum of opportunities - from children to older adults to learn how to dabble in code or dream of a career in software development - to entrepreneurs and tech savvy creators who are looking test viability, fast-track ideas or gain seed funding - to the business owner who just has questions - we're making it all easy and possible.

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Missouri State University Center

Showcasing confidence in our strong record of success in supporting the region’s innovators and job creators, Missouri State has been recognized as a Designated University Center by the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Through this support, we’re able to expand economic development across the area – an area in which many counties are economically distressed, 70% are rural and many exhibit persistent poverty.
This funding is projected to make a large economic impact, including:

  •  Serving 3,000 businesses.
  • Creating 1,225 jobs.
  • Generating $48 million in research, operational capital and grant support.

Public Safety Training Center

ALERRT and Other Incredible Training

When Cody Brewington and the Public Safety Training Center became part of efactory, we were excited to see the huge impact they make. The courses they offer provide critical preparation for first responders. In 2023, the Missouri State University Public Safety Training Center School of Criminology and Criminal Justice provided ALERRT active shooter training to 200 officers from 63 agencies across Missouri. They continue to receive awards from the Missouri Department of Public Safety and other agencies to expand their services.

“We are providing the national standard of active shooter training and response,” said Dr. Bill Sandel, assistant professor of MSU’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. “The most common feedback we hear is how beneficial the skills are and how the training is a great balance between instruction and practical exercises.”

Growing Pains? Not on your life.


Who We Are

Connecting the University & the Community

We propel the community forward by developing businesses and improving the economic vitality of the city and region. We invest in entrepreneurs and business leaders (and everyone in between) to make sure the region is primed with a knowledgeable and talented employee base prepared for the future.

Since opening in 2013, we have been a sought-after resource, connecting you to what you need. And we celebrate the community we live in and all the people that make it extraordinary. 

Today our services cover all the bases – everything from office space for growing companies to expert business consulting and training through the Missouri SBDC at MSU.

We’re proud to be part of the IDEA Commons district, Missouri State University’s vision for an urban innovation park.


What We Do for Small Businesses

Assisting Budding & Growing Businesses

When you’re ready to start or grow your business, there are so many unknowns. That’s why the Missouri Small Business Development Center at Missouri State University opened its doors 40 years ago.

The consultants and mentors are here to help current and prospective business owners answer questions, squash doubts and overcome challenges every day.

Less local? No problem! Our staff cover 15 counties in southwest Missouri and are available for virtual  consultations. With this no-cost, confidential, one-on-one consulting, entrepreneurs can gain clarity and confidence in the startup and growth phases.

Our business consultants and mentors regularly meet with clients and share expertise on topics like: 

Three women sit around round table.


How We Contribute to a Stronger Economy

Offering Thorough & Thoughtful Assistance

Successful businesses start with a plan and goals. We meet with entrepreneurs to guide them through this process.

We believe in being methodical, thoughtful, analytical and innovative. That’s how we move the needle on economic development, too.

For us, it starts by identifying needs, creating solutions and building networks to improve the economic landscape for those who do business in southwest Missouri. This year, our clients saw great successes, reminding us of the critical need for our services.

Investment Secured by Client Companies
$ 0 M+
New Jobs Created by Client Companies
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Counseling Hours Provided by Our Team
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New Business Starts Assisted by Our Team
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For Dreamers & Doers

Incubator Offices Remain Fully Occupied

Nearly 40 private offices remained full, leased to early-stage companies working in health sciences, logistics and supply chain management, manufacturing and technology.

Springfield Loves the Flexibility of Coworking Space

As the remote workforce continues to thrive, our coworking space is filled with solopreneurs, nonprofit leaders, creatives and more.

Meeting Spaces Provide Practical (& Beautiful) Solutions

We hosted strategic offsite sessions, board meetings, staff retreats and more.

Square Feet of Leasable Workspace Fully Occupied
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Unique Coworking Members on
Monthly Plans or Day Passes
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Community Groups Served by
Meeting & Event Space Options
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Building Leaders at Every Level

No matter where you are in the lifecycle of your business, we offer training programs you can use to start, scale and succeed in the ever-evolving business environment.

Training Programs Held
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Hours of Training Facilitated
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Training Participants
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How We Prepare the Next Generation

Learning Valuable Skills

Students today desire autonomy more than ever before. They seek out opportunities to learn skills on their own and design their own paths.

We have a variety of programs to engage students in nearly every grade level. Through these initiatives, we connect them to real-world learning experiences to keep them excited about learning and – someday – leading.

Students Gained Real-World Experience
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What's So Special

Reflecting on a Spectacular Year

In 2022, we built additional networks and resource partnerships that benefit small business owners. But we also met with major players in the community to develop customized training programs designed to meet their needs.

We continued to innovate and dream big, ultimately designing new pathways for people in Missouri to take charge of their career paths.

Along with our partner Codefi, we launched the
Southern Missouri Innovation Network (Innovate SOMO). It is one of the largest regional workforce and economic development initiatives in Missouri’s history. This network provides digital skills training, bootcamps for startups, and greater access to capital, among so many other resources.




International Business Innovation Association


How Awesome Our Members Are

Making Big Moves in Business

We’re constantly blown away by our clients and members. They’re thinking innovatively, changing the landscape of industry and building some pretty amazing organizations that call Missouri home.


How Much We Appreciate Our Partners & Board of Directors

We Couldn't Do It Without You

Brad Bodenhausen – Missouri State University
Dan Brewer – Brewer Science
Dan Cobb – Entrepreneur
Tamara Conn – O’Reilly Auto Parts
Erin Danastasio – Hatch Foundation
Jason Gage – City of Springfield
Gary Gibson – City Utilities
Amanda Hedgpeth – CoxHealth

Sarah Hough – Bass Pro Shops
Sandy Howard – Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
Kim Prater
Gary Schafer – FORVIS
Krisi Schell – SRC Holdings Corporation 
Clif Smart – Missouri State University 
Brad Wyrsch – Mercy

Innovation Champion

Executive Partners

Supporting Partners

Affiliate Partners