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efactory receives $1.25 million EDA grant award

The Economic Development Administration grant award paves the way for expansion at the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center.

The efactory is excited to share that the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will award a $1.25 million grant to the efactory. This award will pave the way for an expansion at the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, adding additional incubator offices along with new conference and training rooms. The grant will be matched with $1.25 million in local investment and is expected to create 360 jobs and spur $27 million in private investment.

This project was made possible by Missouri State University’s commitment to bringing together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.

The efactory is an entrepreneurship and business resource center with programs and offerings that assist both large and small businesses. From office space for startups to corporate innovation for major employers, efactory programs facilitate business growth and economic development throughout southwest Missouri.

Services include: office space, coworking, an accelerator program, mentorship programs, business consulting, corporate innovation, and leadership and professional development trainings. The efactory offers small business consulting and training through the Missouri Small Business Development Center at MSU and leadership and professional development trainings through the Management Development Institute.

Companies from Cohort 4 of the efactory accelerator present at Demo Day on August 12, 2019.

Eight new private offices will be built on the second floor of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center. Offices will range in size from 450 – 600 square feet.

A large training and flexible use space will be constructed on the building’s mezzanine level. The space will include flexible seating configurations, projectors, and more.

A new conference room will be constructed on the building’s second floor. This new conference room will accompany the five existing conference rooms on the first floor.

Separate from the EDA award and corresponding expansion, the efactory is exploring options to add a rooftop terrace to the building as part of the larger IDEA Commons expansion project.

The efactory serves entrepreneurs through office space, coworking, trainings, and more.

We opened our doors in March 2013 with one goal in mind – to serve as a one-stop shop for small business owners and entrepreneurs throughout southwest Missouri. To date, our programs have:

  • Assisted over 900 companies
  • Created over 1,500 jobs
  • Helped clients secure more than $65 million in capital and equity
  • Helped clients secure more than $18 million in research and grant support
  • Graduated 17 companies from the accelerator program
  • Maintained a full lease occupancy rate with 45+ clients and 140+ employees since 2017

The efactory is located in downtown Springfield inside the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center. We are proud to be part of the IDEA Commons district, Missouri State University’s vision to create an urban innovation park. The efactory is located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone.

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