The News-Leader: The eFactory’s programs are “incubating our community’s future”

April 16, 2015News

The News-Leader’s Editorial Board published a recent article showcasing The eFactory’s programs as “incubating our community’s future.” They cited successful Springfield-based corporations such as O’Reilly Auto Parts and Bass Pro Shops as once being startups and mentioned that the new accelerator could help attract new potential business to our community.

You can read the full article here.

The eFactory Announces a New Accelerator Program and Seed Capital Fund – RMI to Make the Lead Investment

April 7, 2015News

RMI will be presenting The eFactory with a $150,000 check as the lead investment in the new seed capital fund. The check presentation will take place at The eFactory (405 N. Jefferson Ave. Springfield, MO 65806) on Thursday, April 16th at 4 pm. Missouri State University President Clif Smart and RMI CEO Ken Lueckenotte and will be giving remarks.

The eFactory, a Missouri State University program, is a technology-focused entrepreneurship center and business incubator. Clients of The eFactory are provided with access to office space with flexible leases, business services and equipment, technology support, mentoring and consulting.

RMI, a 504 Loan Program leader, is a financial resource for improving the economic well-being of individuals, businesses and communities. RMI helps people access capital to build businesses, create jobs and enhance community growth.

The investment from RMI will establish an accelerator and a seed capital fund. “Early stage funding is imperative for startup and emerging companies to achieve a level of preparation and proof of concept necessary to realistically pursue significant rounds of funding. Access to seed capital and complementary programs is critical the development of a nationally-renowned culture of entrepreneurship and innovation that can serve as a competitive advantage and sustainable asset for Springfield,” said Brian Kincaid, Director of The eFactory.

Companies applying for the accelerator at The eFactory will be selected through a competitive application process. Once selected, they will receive funding through the seed capital fund with the final investment decision made by an investment advisory board comprised of seed fund investors, business and community leaders. Companies who are selected for the accelerator will be provided $30,000 in seed funding, project-based mentorship, office space at The eFactory, networking opportunities and introductions to follow-on funding opportunities over the course of 12 weeks.

“We’re excited to be part of entrepreneurial culture in southwest Missouri and are pleased to help fill the need for startup and emerging companies to be able to develop their proof of concept business ideas, small-scale implementation and preparation for follow-on funding,” said Ken Lueckenotte, CEO of RMI.

“We’re thrilled to have RMI as a partner and lead investor in our new seed capital fund. The fund will help us to foster the growth of newly formed companies that will bolster the entrepreneurial culture of Springfield, create new, high-wage jobs and attract emerging companies to southwest Missouri,” said Allen Kunkel, Associate Vice President of Economic Development at MSU and Director of the Jordan Valley Innovation Center.

About The eFactory
The eFactory is a technology-focused entrepreneurship center and business incubator. Created to serve as a one-stop-shop for small business owners, The eFactory provides resources, guidance, and assistance to start-up businesses to help them succeed and grow. The eFactory is part of IDEA (Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship and the Arts) Commons, Missouri State University’s vision and commitment to create an urban innovation park that is blended with residential, retail, commercial, and entertainment facilities, and supported by multidisciplinary university programs.

About RMI
RMI is a financial resource for improving the economic well-being of individuals, businesses and communities. For more than 25 years, RMI has been recognized as a 504 Loan Program leader. RMI has built a reputation for excellence by meeting the high standards of the commercial lenders and borrowers served. As a result, satisfied customers form the basis for growth.

Press:
News-Leader: The eFactory announces accelerator program and seed capital fund

Dedication of the CoxHealth Innovation Room

March 17, 2015News

The eFactory and CoxHealth will be dedicating the CoxHealth Innovation Room on Wednesday, March 18th at 10 am at The eFactory (405 N. Jefferson Ave. Springfield, MO 65806). Missouri State University President Clif Smart and CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards will be giving remarks.

The eFactory, a Missouri State University program, is a technology-focused entrepreneurship center and business incubator. Clients of The eFactory are provided with access to office space with flexible leases, business services and equipment, technology support, mentoring and consulting.

CoxHealth is the only locally owned, not-for-profit health system in southwest Missouri and has a mission to improve the health of communities served through quality health care, education and research.

“The eFactory has grown tremendously in the past two years and serves as a great voice for entrepreneurship in the Springfield community. We’re proud to support their efforts,” said Steve Edwards, CEO of CoxHealth.”

“We’re excited to have CoxHealth as a partner. Their support is the latest example of their commitment to community engagement and will assist The eFactory in growing local businesses,” said Brian Kincaid, Director of The eFactory.

The CoxHealth Innovation Room dedication will take place after 1 Million Cups, a Kauffman Foundation program that takes place at The eFactory every Wednesday at 9 am. Two local entrepreneurs present their startups to a diverse audience of mentors, advisors and entrepreneurs. The program is organized and run by local entrepreneurs.

About The eFactory
The eFactory is a technology-focused entrepreneurship center and business incubator. Created to serve as a one-stop-shop for small business owners, The eFactory provides resources, guidance, and assistance to start-up businesses to help them succeed and grow. The eFactory is part of IDEA (Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship and the Arts) Commons, Missouri State University’s vision and commitment to create an urban innovation park that is blended with residential, retail, commercial, and entertainment facilities, and supported by multidisciplinary university programs.

About CoxHealth
A community-based, not-for-profit health system, CoxHealth is headquartered in Springfield, Mo. It is recognized as a U.S. News & World Report Best Regional Hospital, and committed to caring for people throughout the Ozarks.

Established in 1906, the organization serves more than 900,000 people in a 24-county service area in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas, offering a comprehensive array of primary and specialty care including five hospitals and more than 80 clinics in 25 communities. The health system includes Cox Medical Center South, Cox Medical Center Branson, Cox North Hospital, Meyer Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital, Cox Monett Hospital, Oxford HealthCare (the nation’s second largest hospital-based home health agency), Home Parenteral Services (home infusion therapy), CoxHealth Foundation, Cox College, Cox HealthPlans and more.

JVIC, The eFactory build relationship with new SRC venture, Ceramex

July 9, 2014News

Entrepreneurship, innovation draw remanufacturing company to IDEA Commons

Business experts are known to say that you have to break down silos to gain innovation. But in Springfield, one can look to the silos to find the most high-tech research – the Jordan Valley Innovation Center – a former MFA milling facility with towering grain silos recognizable for miles. Ceramex North America LLC (a new company formed from SRC Holdings Corporation and Hexadex Limited) recently engaged with JVIC to explore research and development of new procedures for their remanufactured vehicle emission systems.

At JVIC, the focus of research projects generally falls under the heading of environmentally-friendly projects with an applied research emphasis on biomaterials, nanotechnology, carbon-based electronics, biomedical instrument development and energy. The research collaboration with Ceramex will seek to develop improved procedures that will support the need for clean environmental initiatives.

“We look forward to the opportunity to assist Ceramex. The capabilities within the Center for Applied Science and Engineering fit well with testing and developing additional technology processes that will assist in remanufacturing emission systems,” said Allen Kunkel, associate vice president for economic development and director of JVIC.

Ceramex North America (CNA) will be housed within The eFactory at Missouri State University in part due to the opportunity to work with scientistsacross the street at JVIC. They are the 13th tenant in the business incubator.

CNA came about as an idea to remanufacture diesel particulate filters, diesel oxidation catalysts and catalytic converters for vehicles. Remanufacturing the used emission systems will physically take place in Monett, Missouri.

About SRC Holdings Corporation
Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation (SRC) has been at the forefront of the remanufacturing industry since the early 1980s when founder and CEO, Jack Stack spearheaded an employee buyout of International Harvester’s remanufacturing facilities. In addition to being a leading remanufacturer to OEMs, SRC is known internationally as the “birthplace of open-book management.” The company gained notoriety when Stack authored the bestselling business book, The Great Game of Business, which discussed how SRC used the concepts of transparency to educate, engage and empower employees to understand and make business decisions. Today, SRC is a thriving company of over 1,600 engaged employees in more than 17 business units across a variety of industries.

About Hexadex Limited
Hexadex Limited – is a privately owned Group holding company based in Lincolnshire, England. Its role is to nurture the growth of each subsidiary, and acquire new businesses which are either complementary to its existing activities, or where it can use its core expertise to add value.

About the Jordan Valley Innovation Center
JVIC is made up of five separate buildings, and covers around 75,000 square feet. The capabilities of the center include applied research in nanotechnology, bio-materials, advanced technologies, genomics/proteomics, bio-systems, software engineering and medical material device and instrument technologies.

About Missouri State University
Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive metropolitan system with a statewide mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. The university’s identity is distinguished by its public affairs mission, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster expertise and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement.

The eFactory gains funding from Missouri Technology Corporation

July 7, 2014News

Money will support new entrepreneurial specialist

The eFactory in the Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development at Missouri State University was recently awarded $140,000 from the Missouri Technology Corporation. This two-year grant – provided through the Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity (MOBEC)program – will fund an entrepreneurial specialist staff position at The eFactory.

“The entrepreneurial specialist position will assist in the development and coordination of new programs that focus on early-stage capital investment and business mentorship in addition to supporting cooperative partner programs, such as 1 Million Cups,” said Brian Kincaid, director of the business incubator program at The eFactory.

Through the MOBEC program, MTC makes strategic investments that expand the support system for entrepreneurs that are commercializing new technologies or that enhance the capacity of Missouri to grow its innovation economy. Building on momentum that started when The eFactory opened in March 2013, support through the MOBEC program is a critical step in the further development of entrepreneurial activity in the Springfield region.

“The eFactory continues to foster a community of entrepreneurs that encourages interaction, cooperation and creativity. The funding received from the Missouri Technology Corporation will allow for the delivery of resources and programs that are critical to the ongoing development of a culture of innovation,” added Kincaid.

The position will be sustained through revenues after the second year.

For more information, contact Kincaid at (417) 836-2600.

About the Robert W. Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development
This center is the foundation of the entrepreneurship element in IDEA Commons, acting as a one-stop shop for new small businesses, providing resources, giving guidance and assisting with start-up activities. Inside, you’ll find The eFactory (managed by Springfield Innovation, Inc.), the University’scooperative engineering program with Missouri University of Science and Technology, the Small Business and Technology Development Center, the Management Development Institute, Springfield Angel Network, Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Missouri Enterprise, SCORE and other community and university resources.

About IDEA Commons
This unique project brings together the elements of Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship and Arts (IDEA) and is an example of how the University continues to be engaged in promoting the community’s livability and economic success. The major facilities currently in IDEA Commons include the Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center, the Robert W. Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development, and Brick City.

Springfield’s entrepreneurial ecosystem garners national attention

April 2, 2014News

As a community, Springfield has taken deliberate steps to build its entrepreneurial ecosystem. Already known for startups that have become national brands—Bass Pro Shops, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation (SRC), Jack Henry & Associates—the Springfield region has long been supportive of entrepreneurs, but a renewed focus is helping the effort gain steam and garnering national attention.

Recently, Springfield was named a “Best City to Start a Business” by small business financial resource, WalletHub. In the ranking, Springfield placed 24th out of the 150 largest metros and was included in the top 5 in three of the 14 metrics used in the study: most small business lending, lowest cost of living, and cheapest office space. This ranking showcases Springfield’s competitive advantage for the success of startups.

The eFactory at Missouri State University has also recently received national attention. The business incubator has become the front door for our region’s entrepreneurial community, bringing a multitude of small business support services under one roof. Earlier this month,Trade & Industry Development magazine announced that The eFactory will receive the 2014 Community Impact Award. The eFactory is one of fifteen projects in the country to be recognized, and one of three in the state of Missouri. Each of the projects has one thing in common: their investments are causing a chain reaction in their areas. When Missouri State University looked to create The eFactory, they turned to downtown Springfield, redeveloping the former Willow Brook Foods plant into usable office and lab space now projected to create 650 jobs and facilitate $30M in small business investment over the next five years.

The eFactory is more than a business incubator though—it’s a microcosm of entrepreneurial activity. When a group of entrepreneurs and business leaders brought Kauffman Foundation’s1 Million Cups program to Springfield, they looked no further than The eFactory as a venue to connect entrepreneurs. The 1 Million Cups program launched in Springfield with a record crowd of 150 people, with steady attendance of more than 100 each week to hear presentations from entrepreneurs. By providing a way for presenters to engage with the larger community, 1 Million Cups is fostering Springfield’s culture of entrepreneurship.

According to the Kauffman Foundation, Springfield’s 1 Million Cups launch was among the best in the country since the program began. Kauffman, a Kansas City-based organization with entrepreneurship at its core, identified Springfield as a leading mid-sized metro for startup activity in a study published in November 2013. Jared Konczal, a senior analyst at Kauffman, featured Springfield in his study on cities with high post-recession start-up rates. During his evaluation Konczal wrote, “we note that of the three MSAs that are above the year-to-year changes the most, Springfield, MO experiences the strongest recovery of any MSA in this cohort.”

The WalletHub ranking, the Trade & Industry Development award, and the Kauffman study all validate what we already know, and others are beginning to recognize: Springfield is truly an entrepreneurial community!