Proud to have Dan Cobb serving as a leader at MTC and Springfield Innovation, Inc.
From a degree in computer information systems from Missouri State University, to a long career in the software industry, Dan Cobb brings more than 40 years of experience to his new role as the board chair for Missouri Technology Corporation.
Cobb’s leadership style stems from growing a startup business and being part of other startups’ grassroots beginnings.
“Having the experience of starting, growing and exiting companies gives me the perspective to help evaluate which new companies are worthy of investment,” Cobb said. “In addition, my experience also gives opportunities to help advise the new companies toward their own success.”
Through his role as the MTC chair, he gets to have a hand in shaping the landscape of technology startup growth in Missouri. This is an opportunity he doesn’t take lightly, as he also serves as the chair of Springfield Innovation Inc., which oversees efactory and the Jordan Valley Innovation Center.
“I think wearing both hats help bring a statewide perspective to this region,” he said, “but it also allows me to represent southwest Missouri to the state.”
Being the first entrepreneur to chair MTC, Cobb is excited to see where he can take the organization.
“Primarily, I want to raise statewide awareness of MTC as a major resource for innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said.
In addition to funding startup companies through the Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurial Advancement (IDEA) fund, they also support entrepreneurial support organizations, like efactory and JVIC, through the Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity (MOBEC) program.
“Over the past decade, we have invested nearly $47 million in over 145 early-stage Missouri-based high-growth technology companies, several of which are right here in SWMO,” he added.
Connection to MSU
While Cobb has stretched and grown his skillset over time, he continues to say yes to opportunities, like serving as a trustee on the Missouri State University Foundation Board and serving on the MSU College of Business Executive Advisory Council as well as the MSU IT and Cybersecurity Advisory Committee. It’s how he stays connected to the university that he credits with his start.
One person who made a significant impact on him and his desire to work with small businesses is Dr. Jim Atteberry. Cobb was a student of Atteberry’s at Missouri State, where Atteberry taught in the computer information systems department in addition to his role as the first-ever director of the Missouri Small Business Development Center at MSU.
When Atteberry and Dr. Reed Doke, another MSU faculty, started a software company in 1983, they asked Cobb to come along for the ride. This was before he even completed his degree.
“Dr. Atteberry served as a mentor throughout my professional career and I’m grateful that he asked me to Management Software back in 1983,” Cobb said.
He went on to co-found HealthMedX in 1999 alongside Atteberry and another MSU alum Charlie Daniels. This was a healthcare software company that grew into a national presence. The innovation they instituted at HealthMedX is a throughline for Cobb’s story, and it continues to drive his decision-making today.