Missouri Department of Economic Development Awards $82,000 in State Tax Credits to efactory

May 27, 2022News

Missouri Department of Economic Development Awards $82,000 in State Tax Credits to efactory

Individuals and businesses can earn a 50% tax credit on 2022 Missouri taxes when making a gift to the efactory. 

2022 Tax Credits

The Missouri Department of Economic Development has awarded Missouri State University and the efactory $82,689 in tax credits for donations received in the 2022 calendar year. 

Download the 2022 Small Business Incubator Tax Credit packet to learn more. 

State of Missouri Tax Credits

Any individual or business with Missouri tax liability is eligible to receive the 2022 tax credits by making a donation to Missouri State University. This is a direct 50% credit off the individual or corporation’s Missouri state taxes. 

For example, if a donor made a $10,000 donation to the efactory, the donor could receive a $5,000 direct credit against their state income tax after filing the appropriate paperwork. In addition to the state income tax credit, $5,000 may be taken as a charitable deduction against federal income tax, which would further reduce the actual cost of the donation. 

The tax credits may be carried forward up to 5 years and applied to future tax liability. 

Supporting Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Job Creators

Private donations play a critical role in our work to support dreamers, doers, innovators and job creators. The efactory’s 2022 Small Business Incubator Tax Credits allow individuals and businesses to show their support for entrepreneurship and innovation in southwest Missouri while also reducing tax liability. 

Previous gifts have paved the way for important building upgrades, outfitting of conference rooms and collaborative spaces, and more. 

Naming opportunities are also available. Please contact Allen Kunkel or Rachel Anderson to learn more. 

efactory Celebrates Banner Year & Announces Partnership with Codefi to Bring Nationally-Recognized Tech Training Programs to Southwest Missouri

May 19, 2022News

efactory Celebrates Banner Year and Announces Partnership with Codefi to Bring Nationally-Recognized Tech Training Programs to Southwest Missouri

Read the recap from our recent event that included a celebration of 2021’s biggest wins along with the announcement of new partnerships and programs.

Heads Up: There’s a lot of great info to take in here! Read the full story or jump to the section of your choosing using the menu below.

Celebrating Success & Economic Impact

Our programs, team, and the businesses we serve accomplished incredible things in 2021. Client companies secured more than $7 million in investment and created more than 300 new jobs throughout Southwest Missouri. Our programs engaged with nearly 1,800 training participants, connected to tomorrow’s workforce through course partnerships and hands-on learning opportunities, and expanded our coworking space to meet increased demand.

2021 also included the launch of exciting initiatives such as Supercharge SWMO and the successful transformation of 4,000+ square feet into a state-of-the-art training and collaboration space known as the Jay Wasson Idea Loft. This impact and energy from 2021 will be magnified in 2022, as our programs enter into new partnerships, announce new programs, and celebrate even more wins for our region and state.

“It’s incredible to take stock of everything our clients and team achieved in 2021,” said Chrystal Irons, Director of the Missouri SBDC at MSU. “From assisting childcare providers across the state to helping employers address real-time workforce challenges, our programs moved quickly to meet the needs of businesses. This important work will continue in 2022 with increased impact through several exciting new partnerships.”

New Partnerships and Programs

At the efactory we believe in dreaming big and setting ambitious goals. We believe in community and momentum. And we believe in the power of partnerships to advance our region and state. 

“I am incredibly proud of our team, our members, our partners and our community for being so entrepreneurial and innovative. Our region has a long-standing history of collaboration and partnerships. It’s something we take to heart at the efactory, which makes celebrating so special. I am more excited for the future and what’s next for our region than ever before,” said Rachel Anderson, Director of the efactory.

Following the successful launch of Innovate SOMO, a Southern Missouri Innovation Network, that took place in Cape Girardeau in April, efactory and Codefi teams hosted a special event in Springfield on May 19th to publicly unveil additional details of our expanded partnership. Nearly 200 partners, members and community stakeholders were in attendance to hear from speakers including: 

Rachel Anderson – Director, efactory at Missouri State University

Dr. Jim Baker – Vice President of Community and Global Partnerships, Missouri State University and Board Member, Missouri Technology Corporation

Chris Carnell – Co-Founder, Codefi Foundation on Rural Innovation, Inc.

Steve Castaner – Economic Development Representative – Iowa & East/Central Missouri, U.S. Economic Development Administration

Chrystal Irons – Director, Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University

Allen Kunkel – Associate Vice President for Economic Development, Missouri State University and Director, Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC)

Stacy Lane – Director, Codefi Youth Coding League

Mary Rajek – Strategic Advisor – Federal Initiatives, Missouri Dept. of Economic Development

Dr. James Stapleton – Co-Founder, Codefi Foundation on Rural Innovation, Inc.

Zach Young – Senior Software Developer, Codefi Foundation on Rural Innovation, Inc.

The creation of the Southern Missouri Innovation Network (Innovate SOMO) positions our network to expand and accelerate access to the resources that companies and employees need to grow and thrive in the digital economy. 

As part of that partnership and thanks to a Missouri Technology Corporation MOBEC award, we’re excited to launch two nationally-recognized training programs in Southwest Missouri.

“As identified in the Catalyzing Innovation Report released by Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) in February, one of the organization’s strategic initiatives moving forward is to continue to foster regional efforts to provide quality entrepreneurial support services to high-potential, high-growth, traded-sector startups,” said Jack Scatizzi, Executive Director of Missouri Technology Corporation. “Subsequently, MTC awarded MOBEC grants to efactory and Codefi to fund the expansion of entrepreneurial support and workforce development programs across southern Missouri. Both organizations have an excellent track record of delivering regional entrepreneurial support services that help companies grow and create new high-paying jobs within the state, so MTC is excited to see what economic development benefits the formal partnerships can achieve.”

Code Labs: No-Cost Software Development Training Programs for Adults

Code Labs is a tech education and on-the-job training program provided by experienced software developers to adults in communities across Southern Missouri and West Kentucky. The program gives individuals access to the skills, practical experience, and job readiness needed to prepare for high-salary, high-quality software developer jobs.

Driven by the needs of regional employers, the Code Labs program provides employable entry-level skills and real-world experiences with pathways to employment, training, and education options. The program includes courses that cover front-end, back-end and database development, ensuring that graduates have a well-rounded skill-set and are prepared to enter the workforce. The program requires zero coding experience and is offered at no charge to participants. 

Code Labs’ front-end development course in Springfield will be held August 15 – December 16, 2022 on Monday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the efactory. 

Youth Coding League: Coding Education for Students

The Youth Coding League is an after-school program for middle school students (5th and 6th grades) and junior high school students (7th and 8th grades) using Google’s CS First curriculum and the Scratch programming language.

The Youth Coding League provides support to schools with stipends and training for teachers, dedicated Youth Coding League staff, and an innovative, competitive element and dedicated website at YouthCodingLeague.com. And while the software development industry tends to be 80/20 in terms of male/female professionals, Youth Coding League enjoys a 50/50 male/female split in participants.

We believe we can build better things together that will benefit our region and state,” said James Stapleton, Ph.D., Cofounder of Codefi. “We have seen first-hand the incredible impact of these programs and are excited to bring them to Springfield. By connecting and combining our collective talents and resources across the region and state, we can scale up the delivery of innovative workforce and business development programs and investments that will accelerate the growth of high-wage jobs and the businesses and organizations who create them.

Through a special partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield, Youth Coding Leagues will launch at eight BGC sites when school kicks off in the fall of 2022. Designated Boys and Girls Club sites include:

Fremont Unit at Fremont Elementary School

Henderson Unit at Grant Beach Park

McGregor Unit at McGregor Elementary School

Musgrave Unit at Zagonyi Park

O’Reilly Unit at Williams Elementary School

Sertoma Unit at Sherwood Elementary School

Stalnaker Unit at Smith Park

Teen Program Team

“We are beyond excited for this partnership. It gives our Club members the opportunity to engage in a meaningful, innovative program. Youth Coding League’s mission aligns with the mission of the Club and we can’t wait to work together to provide equitable access to opportunity for the kids who need us most.”
Brandy Harris
Chief Executive Officer, Boys and Girls Club of Springfield

Other regional schools that will host YCL programs in the fall include Buchanan Intermediate School in Branson, MO; Cedar Ridge Intermediate School in Branson, MO; Hickory Hills Middle School in Springfield, MO and Pershing Middle School in Springfield, MO.

Codefi Programs Continue Southwest Missouri Expansion in Partnership with Crowder College

Codefi’s expansion into Springfield is only one piece of Innovate SOMO’s important work to catalyze workforce and economic development across Southern Missouri. Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri was chosen as one of sixteen nation-wide recipients of the Catalyze Challenge Grant among over 300 applicants. The $450,000 grant will allow for expansion of both Code Labs and Youth Coding League programs through a proposal titled, “Creating Digital Pathways in the Rural Heartland.”   

Crowder College will coordinate the pilot project through two high school career and technical education centers while working with Codefi partners. The grant will also fund the creation of competitive youth coding leagues in multiple middle schools and junior high schools also in partnership with Codefi.

“We appreciate the Catalyze Challenge group, Walton Family Foundation, Charter School Growth Fund, and American Student Assistance for this opportunity to develop digital talent for the rapidly growing digital economy,” stated Dr. Chett Daniel, Director of Research and Innovations, Crowder College.

About Innovate SOMO

Recent grant awards from the Missouri Technology Corporation to both efactory and Codefi are empowering the successful innovation hubs to accelerate digital workforce development and job creation and to support the growth of the next generation of industry-leading, high-growth companies in 47 counties across Southern Missouri through a first-of-its-kind partnership known as Innovate SOMO.

The network is being supported by over 100 leading companies and stakeholders in the region and includes strategic partnerships with the Missouri Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, Jordan Valley Innovation Center, Crowder College, Missouri State University, Missouri State University-West Plains, Three Rivers College, Southeast Missouri State University, Mineral Area College, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, as well as support from workforce development, economic development, and Chambers of Commerce across the region.

Following the May 19th announcement, Innovate SOMO Roundtable events will be scheduled with entrepreneurial support organizations, economic development organizations and workforce development partners throughout Southern Missouri. Contact Rachel Anderson or James Stapleton to schedule an event in your community.

RoundTable Legal Announces New Partnership with efactory

May 12, 2022News

efactory Announces New Partnership with RoundTable Legal

The law practice is is offering exclusive discounts to efactory members.

A New Partnership with RoundTable Legal

The efactory’s member perks program has grown again! We’re excited to welcome to RoundTable Legal the list of providers who are offering exclusive discounts to efactory members.

RoundTable Legal is a full service intellectual property and business boutique law practice that focuses on helping businesses, creatives, artists, and innovators pursue and protect their passions and brands. Legal has experience helping clients understand the complex world of intellectual property. The firm regularly helps entrepreneurs register, protect, defend, license, and enforce their personal or business intellectual property rights. 

As part of the partnership, efactory members can take advantage of a free trademark and brand protection legal strategy session ($200 value) in addition to receiving $150 off their first Trademark filing package.

Additional Perks

The RoundTable Legal offer is one of several offers available to efactory members. Members are also eligible for savings from Oracle, HubSpot, and more.

The App Pros Launch New Remanufacturing Solution

May 4, 2022Members, News

The App Pros Launch New Remanufacturing Solution

The App Pros is excited to launch a remanufacturing solution that helps enterprises save time and money while improving analytics and insights. “I want to know my cost every step of the way.” That was the first requirement The App Pros heard from their client when discussing the solution, known today as Transmission Automated Solutions. From there, the team went to work building what is now the only complete software solution for the Transmission Remanufacturing and Retail industry.

Transmission Automated Solutions, or TAS for short, was born after two years of development and testing followed by two years of running in a live environment to prove all the processes. The real time analytics feature creates major cost savings for clients and boosts profit on every job performed.  With the pilot program completed, TAS is currently in the process of a soft launch with a select group of clients from across the country. The solution will make its public debut at September’s ATRA Powertrain Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

About The App Pros

The App Pros started building custom web and mobile applications for individuals and businesses in 2011. The software company has worked with local clients creating Cox Health System’s Virtual Visit solution, Loren Cook’s CookTools Utility, Penmac’s Slate Absence Management Solution, and KMT Waterjet’s global marketing mobile application. The App Pros focuses on building software solutions that help businesses remove redundant tasks that cost time and money, creating more time for people to do what they do best. Contact the team today for a free consultation to discuss your next big idea.

Patent Hacks Announces New Partnership with efactory

April 28, 2022Uncategorized

efactory Announces New Partnership with Patent Hacks

The patent education company is offering exclusive discounts to efactory members.

A New Partnership with Patent Hacks

The efactory’s member perks program has grown again! We’re excited to welcome Patent Hacks to the list of providers who are offering exclusive discounts to efactory members.

Patent Hacks is a patent education company that teaches entrepreneurs how to validate, prepare, & file their own patent applications with Patent Hacks’ Learning Center platform. The Patent Hacks team is made up of executives who have worked in the patent industry as USPTO patent examiners, and they bring a unique skill set and understanding of the patenting process. The founders have experienced the patent industry from both ends of the spectrum, as inventors as well as patent professionals. These unique experiences led to the creation of Patent Hacks, born out of a desire to create a cost-effective, simplified, and comprehensive platform to make it possible for anyone to pursue a patent without breaking the bank.

As part of the partnership, efactory members gain free lifetime access to Patent Hacks’ Learning Center Searching content. This content is developed by patent experts and covers important topics like Understanding a Patent Examiner’s Approach, Search Strategies, Databases, and more. 

Additional Perks

The Patent Hacks offer is one of several offers available to efactory members. Members are also eligible for savings from Oracle, HubSpot, and more.

Salad Raises $17 Million Series A Funding Round to Pioneer Affordable Decentralized Cloud Computing Services

April 20, 2022Members, News

Salad.com Announces $17 Million Series A Funding Round

The startup will continue to pioneer affordable decentralized cloud computing services.

Salad, a compute-sharing network where gamers and everyday people exchange idle compute resources for rewards, today announced a $17 million Series A funding round to scale its cloud infrastructure and develop a new enterprise vertical for Web3 innovators. The round was led by Left Lane Capital and Origin Ventures with participation from Kickstart Seed Fund, Royal Street Ventures and Carthona Capital.

With one million downloads, 30,000 daily active nodes, and 100 PetaFLOPS peak processing power across its distributed network, Salad is disrupting the conventional cloud services marketplace with a decentralized alternative powered by the world’s idle gaming PCs. Exponential demand is radically outpacing the existing supply of commercially-available compute resources, the world is at peak centralization and the future web will be powered by millions of individuals around the globe. Salad has spent the past four years onboarding latent consumer-grade supply by incentivizing gamers to share computing resources, create a more equitable Internet, and power Salad’s workload-agnostic cloud services platform.

With 2.8 billion gamers worldwide, Salad has made substantial inroads in addressing an untapped supply of powerful consumer resources. The open-source Salad desktop application invites gamers to share storage, bandwidth and compute-cycles from their idle PCs securely and voluntarily. To encourage user contributions that power various high-performance computing tasks, Salad offers network participants meaningful rewards based on the amount of resources shared. To date, Salad’s dedicated community of “Salad Chefs” has contributed over 8,000 years of processing uptime to support the Ethereum network and other blockchain ecosystems.

“Computesharing is the catalyst for everything Web3 should be. At Salad, we’re building a future where millions of individuals can collaborate to achieve new technological milestones, and use the power of personal devices to compete directly with centralized cloud providers,” said Bob Miles, Founder and CEO of Salad Technologies. “With the help of thousands of Salad Chefs from across the world, our distributed network has already surpassed some of the world’s top data centers. This raise validates our mission to decentralize the cloud, and will make the world’s largest computing resource accessible to thousands more cloud customers and businesses.”

Having accomplished 10X network growth in 2021, Salad will use this latest funding round to expand its engineering team and accelerate the development of the SaladCloud platform. A new marketplace vertical will allow third-party enterprises to access and scale using Salad’s affordable, computesharing-powered cloud services.

“The Salad network is an incredibly unique asset. Proof of work mining has supplied the network a passive income generation stream and Salad is now targeting more specialized, discrete workloads with its powerful computing network. Salad’s core offering should appeal to any enterprise clients seeking affordable, elastic cloud solutions. We’re looking forward to supporting the Salad team as they and their volunteer community come together to build the world’s largest distributed data center,” said Derek Urben at Left Lane Capital.

“The future of cloud computing includes individually-owned resources networked together. We’re excited to support a team of innovators, engineers, and futurists dedicated to delivering a first-of-its-kind cloud solution,” added Brent Hill, Managing Partner at Origin Ventures.

Salad will scale its team from 20 to 70 within the year, focusing primarily on expanding its engineering department, but also seeking to enlist business development experts to help research, identify and onboard more enterprise customers for the SaladCloud distributed cloud services platform. Benjy Boxer, CEO & Co-Founder of Parsec, will also join Salad’s board of directors to provide growth strategy counsel.

About Salad Technologies

Salad Technologies is building a multi-purpose and entirely people-powered cloud computing platform. In a world where 400M powerful gaming PCs sit inactive for most of the day, Salad’s open-source desktop application empowers individuals to earn meaningful rewards from their privately owned hardware. Salad users contribute latent compute resources—like processing cycles and bandwidth—to support third-party workloads on a distributed network, where they redeem millions of games, gift cards, subscriptions, and other digital rewards every year. Salad is the easiest and most trusted way to computeshare.

With thousands of everyday webizens using Salad in 188 countries, the Salad computesharing network has fast become the world’s most distributed supercomputer. Salad now aims to disrupt the centralized cloud market by offering comparable, decentralized compute solutions at a fraction of the cost. The SaladCloud platform will soon power cryptomining pools, P2P gaming, VPN services, data synth deep learning, AI modeling, and anything else that takes hard crunching.

Salad Business Operations Manager Nathan Cole is a private office member at the efactory. 

ARPA Applications Open for Small Businesses in Greene County, Missouri

April 19, 2022News

ARPA Applications Open for Small Businesses in Greene County

Learn how small businesses can apply for and make use of the relief funding.

Small businesses in Greene County will be able to apply for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding starting on April 20, 2022. The County will receive a total of $56.9 million in federal ARPA funds to support local economic recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Greene County Commission has allocated approximately $8 million for small business ARPA applications. The Commission is planning four rounds of funding over the next two years with approximately $2 million available each cycle. The first round of funding will be open to small businesses in the County for six weeks, lasting until May 31.

Small businesses that are awarded funds from the County will be required to provide a report demonstrating how they’ve utilized the grant funding to support their business’ operations. The eligibility criteria for ARPA funding is as follows:

– The business must be located in Greene County, Missouri.
– The business must be a for-profit or family-owned business that employs 50 or fewer full-time employees, including the owner(s).
– The business must not employ undocumented immigrant workers and must be enrolled in E-Verify.
– The business must have existed in Greene County, Missouri as of March 1st, 2020.
– The business must demonstrate the existence of negative impacts incurred as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency since March 1st, 2020.
– The business is not suspended or debarred from the use of federal funds.

The following are allowable uses for ARPA funding outlined by the U.S. Treasury department:

Revenue Loss Mitigation – Funds may be used to mitigate financial hardship such as declines in revenues or impacts of periods of business closure, for example by supporting payroll and benefits costs, costs to retain employees, mortgage, rent, or utilities costs, and other operating costs.

Facilities – Funds may be used to implement COVID-19 prevention or mitigation tactics, such as physical plant changes to enable social distancing, enhanced cleaning efforts, barriers or partitions, or COVID-19 vaccination, testing, or contact tracing programs.

Small businesses cannot use ARPA funds for the following expenditures:

– Paying non-business debt, such as personal credit cards for purchases not associated with the business.
– Personal expenses such as buying a new family car or making repairs to a home.
– Direct financing to political activities or paying off taxes and fines.
– Purchase of personal items.
– The purchase of drugs, tobacco, and/or alcohol.
– Food and entertainment.
– Bonuses.
– Travel not associated with direct business operations.

Apply for Greene County ARPA Funds

To apply for Greene County ARPA funds, click on the orange “American Rescue Plan Act” tab on the www.greenecountymo.gov homepage. Then click on the “ARPA small business application” sub-link to begin the registration process.

The Greene County ARPA team will host a small business application workshop on Wednesday, April 27 at 2 p.m. to help owners with registering and answer any questions. To join the virtual meeting, use this link: https://www.gotomeet.me/GCCommissionOffice. No account creation is necessary.

ASCEND Grant Applications Open for BIPOC Entrepreneurs in Springfield, MO

April 16, 2022News

ASCEND Grant Applications Open for BIPOC Entrepreneurs

Advancing Springfield’s Commitment to Entrepreneurship, Networking and Diversity

The Downtown Springfield Association (DSA), Multicultural Business Association (MBA), Missouri SBDC at MSU and efactory are excited to partner with U.S. Bank to provide support for BIPOC small business development through a new initiative called ASCEND – Advancing Springfield’s Commitment to Entrepreneurship, Networking & Diversity. The program provides grant awards to support small business creation and growth among BIPOC business owners in downtown Springfield, Missouri. 

Through a new $25,000 grant made possible by US Bank, up to five BIPOC business owners will receive a grant to start their business in Center City Springfield. Grants will be awarded by working with the identified needs of the new business and in conjunction with existing resources from the Springfield Finance & Development CorporationCity of Springfield, efactory, Missouri SBDC at MSU and other community organizations. This grant program is designed for new and expanding businesses with storefront locations in Center City Springfield.

Grant recipients chosen to receive the $5,000 award must commit to the following milestones for engagement:

– Meet with representatives from US Bank and City of Springfield Loan Officer to explore financing options.
– Complete one training program through the Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at MSU and efactory to strengthen
the owner’s professional development (offered at no-charge to the award recipient).
– Engage in one-on-one assistance provided at no-charge with the Missouri SBDC at MSU.
– Attend one Multicultural Business Association meeting to interact with minority business owners and advocates.
– Meet with DSA Communications Manager to learn about leveraging Downtown communications.
– Attend one DSA Mixer to connect with fellow Downtown business owners and stakeholders.

Additional support for grant recipients provided by the efactory and Missouri SBDC at MSU:

– Dedicated business consultant to assist with business guidance (e.g. business planning, financial projections, strategic planning).
– Access to Office Hours program for no-cost meetings with professional service providers including
accountants, attorneys, and lenders. 
– Access to Mentorship Program for no-cost meetings with business mentors who provide honest advice and practical feedback based on personal experience.
– 50% discount on further Missouri SBDC at MSU and efactory training programs.
– Three 10-Day coworking passes at the efactory.
– 50% off conference room and meeting space reservations.
– One year Downtown Springfield Association (DSA) membership.
– One year Multicultural Business Association (MBA) membership.

Apply for ASCEND Grant Program

The deadline to apply for the ASCEND grant program is April 29, 2022. Learn more from the Downtown Springfield Association.