Responding to COVID-19: More Than a Sound Bite

May 6, 2020Featured, News

Responding to COVID-19: More Than a Sound Bite

“In these unprecedented times.”

“Now, more than ever.”

“We’re all in this together.”

With all the sound bites and corporate reassurances it may seem like you’re hearing the same phrase over and over.

We’ve been repeating a phrase of our own over the last few weeks. It’s that even when it feels like everything has changed, our mission remains the same. It has always been our mission to make Springfield, Missouri the best place in the country to start and grow a business.

We know that 80% of new jobs in Missouri are created by startups. Small businesses and entrepreneurs build communities. They make our cities special and propel our economy forward. We’re proud to be working hard to assist them in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Quick Pivot

As the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the world, our team reacted like many business owners and focused on pivoting quickly. While small businesses were innovating and finding new ways to connect with customers, we were doing much of the same.

Overnight consultations moved online, training events became virtual, and we leaned into the partnerships we’ve worked hard to cultivate. We even shared a few words with MOSourceLink about the adjustments we made.

As a result of these moves, our team has done some truly incredible work over the last few weeks. Business consultants with the Missouri Small Business Development Center at Missouri State University have been on the frontline assisting businesses in our region. They’ve helped business owners navigate disaster relief funding, control cash flow, and more. 

We know that innovation, small businesses, and startups will be what helps our economy recover from COVID-19. We are proud to do our part in a rapid response to offer assistance.

From March 15 through April 30, 2020, our programs:

  • Assisted more than 814 different businesses
  • Held more than 259 virtual 1:1 consultations with business owners
  • Spent more than 1,122 hours consulting directly with business owners
  • Developed, promoted and hosted more than 18 online training events
  • Reached more than 580 unique webinar attendees

Teamwork Makes It Possible

None of the work we’ve mentioned would be possible without our strategic partnerships and commitment to collaboration. We believe in the power of working together to serve more entrepreneurs and innovators. We’re proud to be part of IDEA Commons, Missouri State University’s vision for an urban innovation park in Springfield, Missouri.

Community is who we are. Forward is where we’re going.

MTC Minimizes Funding Impact to Innovation Centers

May 5, 2020News

MTC Minimizes Funding Impact to Innovation Centers

As we shared with you last month, our state’s leaders are having to make difficult decisions in order to balance the state’s budget and impacts felt by the Coronavirus pandemic. Many have reached out since then for updates, asking about ways to help, and to offer their support. We are so thankful for the many friends and partners we have in our community. 

The budget situation is changing quickly. Today we want to share updates received this morning from the Missouri Technology Corporation

Updates from the Missouri Technology Corporation

The MTC board recently met and approved the FY2020 withhold repayment to the State as well as approved an amended FY2020 budget. MTC is absorbing the loss to the FY2020 budget allocation and trying to limit the financial impact to the State’s entrepreneurs and small businesses. This allows innovation centers to keep funding received from Q1-Q3 of FY2020. As of now our financial impact will be the Q4 FY2020 withhold, approximately $40,000.

In communication to innovation centers, Jack Scatizzi, MTC’s Executive Director said, “MTC recognizes the tremendous value innovation centers bring statewide – and that demand for services often increases in crises like the one our State and country now face.” He went on to say, “We know Missouri entrepreneurs, small businesses, and innovation centers will be key to our state’s economic development strategy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. We plan to continue to work alongside MTC and other innovation centers to vigorously pursue efforts to obtain a FY2021 budget allocation to accommodate a steady level of funding.”

Thank You!

We know we aren’t alone in this and fully appreciate the hard decisions everyone is being forced to make during these times. We would like to thank the Missouri Technology Corporation and the Missouri Department of Economic Development for minimizing the financial impact to innovation centers.

Additionally, we would like to thank the Senate Appropriations Committee for recommending $3M for MTC’s FY2021 budget allocation. The Appropriations Committee is chaired by Senator Dan Hegeman, who also serves on the Missouri Technology Corporation’s Board of Directors. The committee’s Vice Chair is Springfield’s own Senator Lincoln Hough. These actions affirm our belief that entrepreneurship, innovation, and small businesses are critical to our state’s economy. 

Here for What’s Next

It’s always been our mission to make Springfield, Missouri the best place in the country to start and grow a business. We will continue to be here to serve our region’s dreamers and doers. Innovation and community are who we are. Forward is where we’re going.

Governor’s Withholding Affects efactory & JVIC

April 16, 2020News

Governor’s Withholding Affects efactory & JVIC

It’s safe to say a lot has happened in response to COVID-19. The impacts have been felt in every community and industry.

On April 2, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced $180 million in spending restrictions to address the budget shortfall. Included in that withholding was $2.91 million from the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) – the ENTIRE FY20 MTC budget allocation.

In a completely unprecedented move, the state is calling for MTC to pay back FY20 funds already expended. This is concerning not only for our programs and our successful operations, but sets a very dangerous precedent for all publicly funded entities. Historically, budget withholds have been forward-looking only.

We know these are tough times. We were fully expecting a withhold of future funds. The situation we find ourselves in now exceeds the definition of a ‘withhold.’

These funds have been allocated to and already spent by innovation centers, entrepreneurship resource groups and startups across the state – innovation centers like the efactory and Jordan Valley Innovation Center.

What the Withholding Means for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Springfield

The Jordan Valley Innovation Center and efactory collectively receive an annual innovation center allocation from the Missouri Technology Corporation to help support both of our operations. Our FY2020 Innovation Center allocation was $161,539. We match this annual allocation dollar for dollar with money from our operational fund. Match funding means the state gets the best bang for their buck. An annual investment of less than $200,000 produces far-reaching economic impacts for our region.

This funding is in jeopardy not only for 2020, but for 2021 and beyond. To have a Q3 and Q4 withholding would be a blow, but we could sustain it. To have to pay back Q1 and Q2 funding that has already been spent on top of receiving no additional funding would be devastating to our programs.

The efactory is also in the second year of a three-year $350,000 MOBEC grant award ending at the end of 2021. This grant provides funding for operations and programming that are critical to assisting entrepreneurs and startups in our community.

The Missouri Technology Corporation is the state’s greatest advocate for startups and entrepreneurship. Defunding Missouri’s entrepreneurial and innovation support infrastructure is crippling. By forcing MTC to surrender their entire FY20 budget and an anticipated deep FY21 budget cut looming, MTC will be unable to adequately support our state’s innovation centers and startups.

In recent years, the MTC budget has been cut dramatically, from a high of $23 million for FY2017 to the current level of $1 million. These cuts send a clear message that Missouri is not open for business and is not ready to support startups and entrepreneurship.

The State of Missouri is attempting to pull the plug on the future of our state’s economy – entrepreneurship and innovation. To terminally defund entrepreneurship and innovation efforts is a fatal misstep on behalf of our state government. It’s a move that our community will likely not recover from.

We Need You, Springfield!

We’re proud of the work we do. We’re proud of the clients we serve. And we know the role of entrepreneurs, innovators and risk takers will be more important to our state’s economy than ever before as we move out of this crisis.

Our model is proven to be successful and produce strong returns on the state’s investment. IDEA Commons is a shining example of why public-private partnerships work. Investments like those from MTC are the best money our state can spend to spur economic development and generate a strong ROI.

What we ask of you is this. Contact stakeholders to let them know what the efactory and JVIC mean to you and our community. Let them know the importance of maintaining state funding for the Missouri Technology Corporation and innovation centers.

We also encourage you to join NEXT Missouri, a statewide coalition focused on advocating for pro-entrepreneurship policies and regulations. NEXT Missouri has also created an action center that makes it easy to draft and send letters to stakeholders.

We’ll be doing all of the above and more while we continue to help businesses respond to COVID-19.

Community is who we are. Forward is where we’re (still) going.

JVIC & CoxHealth Collaborate to Create Critical Supplies

March 20, 2020Featured, Members, News

JVIC & CoxHealth Collaborate to Create Critical Supplies

The global COVID-19 pandemic has hospitals around the world looking for new ways to keep patients and healthcare professionals safe.

While supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) run short around the world, Missouri State University’s Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC) has opened its doors to help. The innovation center has been working closely with CoxHealth to create PPE for healthcare workers using 3D-printing and laser-cutting technology.

From Prototype to Production

With the COVID-19 situation changing rapidly, it was important that the concept could be executed quickly. This impressive collaboration saw concepts move from initial idea to production in less than two days.

Scott Rogers, system director of Performance Integration and Innovation at CoxHealth wears a PPE prototype inside JVIC on March 18, 2020

“Challenges like COVID-19 cause organizations to look outside the box to find solutions, which is what we’re doing to help provide PPE for our local healthcare workers,” says Scott Rogers, system director of Performance Integration and Innovation at CoxHealth. “This is an exciting development that we hope will make a real difference for our staff and other health systems across the country and around the world.”

View the full video from CoxHealth on YouTube.

Prototyping Personal Protective Equipment

Using examples of existing PPE, JVIC Research Technician Jon Keeth identified a way to cut and provide the plastic face shields. CoxHealth leadership worked alongside Keeth to develop a design that would use existing and readily available PPE parts. After designing and printing nose pieces on 3D printers and laser cutting the plastic face shields, the pieces were assembled with the existing PPE parts for a finished and reusable face shield.

Each component of the shield can be taken apart and replaced separately, making them both efficient and easy to supply. In addition, each component can be cleaned thoroughly according the hospital’s stringent guidelines and used again.

“We are pleased to be able to answer the call and assist CoxHealth solve an immediate problem related to COVID-19,” said Allen Kunkel, Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Director of the Jordan Valley Innovation Center at Missouri State University. “I am proud that we were able to step up so quickly to design a solution with the CoxHealth team that will meet their needs, and can also be shared with other healthcare systems across the nation.”

Photos of the Jordan Valley Innovation Center and Research Technician Jon Keeth. Photos courtesy of Starboard & Port.

A Commitment to Innovation

Laying the groundwork for innovation and continuous improvement is no easy task. It’s one thing to be nimble and pivot quickly if you’re a startup. It’s another thing entirely if you’re an organization made up of more than 12,000 people in one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country.

The challenge doesn’t dissuade CoxHealth. Their leadership remains committed – in terms of time, money, and energy – to continuous improvement and rapid innovation. We witness it firsthand through our ongoing partnership on corporate innovation events and the Springfield Entrepreneurial & Innovation Network.

“We have been purposeful about innovation at CoxHealth. It’s very fulfilling that, thanks to this groundwork, we are at a place to help keep our employees – and many other healthcare professionals – safe,” says Rogers.

While it feels like a lifetime ago now, it was only a few months ago when they blew us away at the fifth annual CoxHealth Innovation Accelerator.

Improving Access for All

The foundation of the shields was created using supplies most hospitals already have on hand. Other pieces required partnering with the innovation center for materials, which was supported by JVIC affiliate Brewer Science.

While this work has been done right here in Springfield, Missouri, CoxHealth intends to share the designs with interested health systems around the world.

In times like these, it’s comforting to know you have a worldwide leader in healthcare in your backyard.

Kutak Rock joins efactory partner program

March 17, 2020Featured, News

Kutak Rock joins efactory partner program

We’re excited to announce Kutak Rock as the most recent addition to the efactory partner program.

About Kutak Rock

More than 50 years ago, Kutak Rock’s founders set out to create a different kind of law firm — where attorneys are empowered to practice law with an entrepreneurial spirit, are committed to doing what is right for clients and are dedicated to putting high-quality legal services within reach. 

Since being formed in 1965 Kutak Rock has grown into a national law firm of more than 500 attorneys with offices across the country. Founded in finance, the firm has evolved to become one the nation’s leading business law firms.

Kutak Rock in Springfield, MO

Kutak Rock’s Springfield office opened in July of 2018. Locally, their team has been engaged with the efactory and has a passion for assisting entrepreneurs.

The opening of the Springfield office added to Kutak Rock’s strong presence in the Midwest. Other Midwest offices include Kansas City; Wichita, Kansas; Omaha, Nebraska; and Fayetteville, Rogers and Little Rock, Arkansas. The firm also has offices across the country – spanning from California to the District of Columbia.

Kutak Rock’s Springfield offices occupy the former JQH Hotels & Resorts headquarters, spanning 12,000 square feet on the top two floors of the Hammons Building.

Let’s be partners

Our partner program is designed for organizations that want to support entrepreneurship and innovation in southwest Missouri. Partners receive valuable annual benefits in exchange for their support of the efactory.

Interested in learning more about what it means to be a partner? Contact us today to learn more. There’s always room at our table.

Missouri-Made Product on the Front Line in the Fight Against Coronavirus

March 16, 2020Featured, Members, News

Missouri-Made Product on the Front Line in the Fight Against Coronavirus

As global Coronavirus cases surge, nations lockdown, and travel decreases, StepNpull global sales explode.


Springfield-Based StepNpull Leads the Fight Against Coronavirus

A Springfield-based company that aims to reduce the spread of germs and increase accessibly has seen interest and sales surge exponentially in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

StepNpull, a foot-operated door opener that mounts to the bottom of bathroom and interior doors, has seen steady growth since it was invented by founders Mike Sewell, Ron Ely, and Kelly Coddington in 2007.

We’re proud to call the StepNpull team members of the efactory family. The team moved into an office here in the building shortly after we first opened our doors. Since growing up and out into the community we’ve been cheering them on with both hands in the air, since their genius product leaves both hands free.

Responding to COVID-19

However, nothing could have prepared them for the spike in demand as the COVID-19 virus has traveled beyond Wuhan, China to the rest of Asia, Europe, Africa, The Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Pacific nations.

Before the global pandemic, the product had already made it into offices of big names like Boeing, Coca-Cola, Ford, Facebook, Google, Walmart, St. Jude Research Hospital, NASA, and six branches of the U.S. Military.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, government agencies, healthcare facilities, tech giants, and universities have scrambled to create more sanitary facilities. Organizations that have flocked to the StepNpull innovation include The University of Iowa, Central Florida, California Santa Barbara, Syracuse, and Clemson University. Major companies include The Spaceship Company, Bayer, Nissan, Wawa, and Walgreens.

StepNpull door openers have also recently been installed in the Missouri Capitol building in Jefferson City, Missouri

Meeting Increased Demand with a Missouri-Made Product

“We have been hit with an overwhelming amount of demand for the product. It’s everything you dream of as a small business owner, but we need to make sure we are responding accordingly. We have looked at every part of our supply chain and we’re ramping up manufacturing to thousands of units a day in coordination with Missouri-based manufacturer.” says co-owner Mike Sewell.

The Missouri and American-made product is viewed as a cost-effective and simple solution that can be quickly implemented to prevent the spread of germs and increase accessibility in public facilities.

StepNpull is made from 70% recycled aluminum and can be installed onto any commercial door in five minutes.

“The social media response to our product has been the most interesting. People are tweeting to companies, to Piers Morgan, and even to the President, demanding the installation of StepNpull in all public facilities. Someone even started a petition to install our product in every McDonald’s location.” says Digital Marketing Manager Nick Simmonds.

Luckily for StepNpull, the team was thinking ahead. Before the outbreak, owners had established relationships with distribution partners in The United Kingdom, Slovenia, Australia, Hong Kong, and South Africa.

All distributors are also seeing increased interest and sales due to the global implications of the COVID-19 virus.

Contact StepNpull

If you’re still opening your doors with your hands, place an order for a StepNpull today.

For more information visit or For interviews, call Digital Marketing Manager Nick Simmonds at (618) 719-4472. Find products videos and more on YouTube.

Meet Cody Cox

February 24, 2020News

Meet Cody Cox, Regional Small Business Consultant

Meet Cody Cox

There’s a new face around here! Through our partnership with the Missouri Small Business Development Center and MU Extension, we’ve grown our business consulting team.

Cody Cox has joined the team as a Regional Small Business Consultant focused on helping business owners start and grow their businesses.

Cody previously worked as a consultant in the veterinary industry. As the former owner of a veterinary practice appraisal and brokerage business, he’s familiar with the concerns of small business owners and knows how to help them find solutions.

With a degree in Business from Drury University, Cody is a self-proclaimed “numbers guy.” He likes to help people understand profitability, and feels strongly that everyone should have the opportunity to open a business. His main goal is to teach business owners to work smart and reduce their stress levels.

Cody Cox, Regional Small Business Consultant

Learn More About Cody

We love some Q&A! Learn more about Cody below.

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I love to ride bicycles. I have a lot of different kinds. I have a new e-bike (with battery-powered assist) that is super fun. I ride them all—gravel, road, mountain bikes, all of them. I’ve been riding since I was about 14.”

What is your favorite or dream vacation?

“I think I took it! I went to Alaska for two weeks, and would love to go back for an entire summer. I want to drive up through the Canadian Rockies in a van, and live day-to-day—really immerse myself fully in the experience. Alaska is amazing.”

What type of business are you most excited to be working with?

“I’m not sure there’s a type—I worked exclusively with veterinarians for a long time, so I’m excited to be exposed to a variety of businesses through this opportunity. I’ve been looking for new stimulation and I’m excited to add diversity where I’m not doing the same thing every day.”

We’re Ready to Help You Grow

Cody is only one of the dedicated business consultants at the Missouri Small Business Development Center at the efactory. Meet the full team and view the training calendar, too!

CoxHealth Innovation Accelerator

February 5, 2020News

CoxHealth Partners with efactory for Fifth Annual Innovation Accelerator

Fifty CoxHealth employees from across the organization came together to reduce costs, improve care, and foster innovation from the inside.

Innovation From the Inside

Do you think minimally viable products, quick pivots, and a nimble attitude are only for startups? Think again.

Right here in our region, some of our largest employers are working hard to foster a culture of innovation and change. They’re sourcing ideas from the ground up and including every department and function. And they’re letting us be part of the action.

We love working alongside companies as they create a culture of continuous improvement. It’s been our privilege to partner with CoxHealth on five(!) Innovation Accelerators. We just wrapped up the 2020 event and had more fun than ever.

"It takes a special place to combine senior leadership, frontline staff, providers, clerical staff and members of nearly every department to get together, admit our faults and ask how we do better."
2020 Innovation Accelerator Participant

A Customized Approach

“This event has really grown into something we look forward to every year. It’s amazing to see what innovative ideas our employees bring forward, and then have the chance to develop. We’ve seen great success for the accelerator, as it allows employees’ ideas to grow into game-changers.”
Scott Rogers
CoxHealth’s system director for Performance Integration and Innovation

We’re proud to have worked with CoxHealth over the last five years to help tailor the event to meet their goals.

Each year employees throughout CoxHealth are encouraged to apply to be part of the event. 50 are chosen to participate, with a concerted effort to represent as many different departments and roles as possible.

Employees then come to the efactory to pitch their idea to their fellow employees. Participants form teams around the top ideas and have less than 24 hours to prepare a presentation to CoxHealth executives and board members. The projects are evaluated based on validity, alignment with CoxHealth’s mission, and impact.

The teams are assisted by a CoxHealth Resource Team to make sure all their bases are covered when it comes to legal and regulatory issues, technology integrations, finance, human resources, and more. They’re also assigned a business coach who helps them prepare for their final presentation.

From Ideation to Implementation

It’s not enough to host an event and hear employees’ ideas. CoxHealth is committed to evaluating and implementing as many ideas as possible from the annual innovation accelerator. Their actions speak for themselves.

To date, the CoxHealth Innovation Accelerator events have produced over 250 ideas. Over 40 project ideas have been pursued with a short-term implementation goal. Additionally, a number of ideas presented were deemed fit for immediate implementation and handed off to operations or made it to a ‘watch list’ for likely implementation in the short term.

Collectively, CoxHealth has invested more than $2 million in ideas born at the events. We’re proud to play a part in this huge economic impact for our region.

"It is unbelievable to be part of an organization that proactively works to improve, grow and invest in the ideas of its' employees."
- 2020 Innovation Accelerator Participant

Innovations in the News

Events like the annual Innovation Accelerator help define CoxHealth as a leader, not only in our community, but on a global level. The organization has been recognized at industry events, invited to present at conferences, and hosted visitors from other hospital systems who are interested in seeing the accelerator in action.

Both national and local publications have highlighted innovations born at the event.

Learn how Dr. Karissa Merritt has been working to fight food insecurity and chronic diseases through food prescriptions. Merritt was the team leader for the second-place team at this year’s Innovation Accelerator. The project proposes a mobile food pantry that will serve as a medical intervention for select patients. Currently, selected patients receive a voucher to receive food from various community resources, but redemption rates are often less than 20 percent.

Sandra Smart

December 19, 2019News

Meet Sandra Smart, our Technology & Commercialization Business Consultant

Sandra Smart
Sandra Smart, Technology & Commercialization Business Consultant

Expanding Our Staff Team

Our staff team has seen some exciting changes lately! We’ve welcomed a new Accounting Specialist and created an entirely new business consultant role.

A grant from the Missouri Technology Corporation has allowed the efactory and Small Business Development Center to create a brand new staff position – a business consultant who will work closely with entrepreneurs who are exploring technology and product commercialization.

Meet Sandra Smart

We didn’t have to look far to find the right person for the job. Sandra Smart has been a full-time Regional Business Consultant with the Small Business Development Center since 2017, so she knows what it takes to help businesses grow.

She has now transitioned into the Technology & Commercialization role, where she’ll work closely with early-stage, technology-based entrepreneurs. She’ll help entrepreneurs assess the feasibility of business ideas, access early funding sources such as federal SBIR/STTR programs, and explore angel or venture capital investment. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to travel, golf, go to concerts and sporting events, and spend time with family.

What excites you the most about this position?

I’m super excited to be able to focus on providing assistance to tech companies in our area, connecting faculty and companies with innovative technology to federal grants and contracts through the SBIR/STTR program, and being a part of the continued entrepreneurial growth in Springfield.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

There are lots of destinations, but I’ll go with a relaxing one – Bora Bora – I love white sand beaches, clear blue waters, and the sound of the waves.

Meet Kim Dixon

December 13, 2019News

Meet Kim Dixon, our Accounting Specialist

Kim Dixon, Accounting Specialist
Kim Dixon, Accounting Specialist at the efactory

Meet Kim Dixon

Internet, meet the newest member of the efactory staff team!

Kim recently join our team as an Accounting Specialist. That means she’ll be busy keeping all the finances and accounting in order here at the efactory.

Kim may be new to the efactory but she’s definitely not new to Missouri State. She previously worked in the Office of Student Engagement and knows all the ins and outs of university life.

We tackled the easier stuff in the official interview and saved the really hard questions for the blog post. Read on to learn more about Kim.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Free time….What’s that?? 🙂 In the rare event this actually happens, my first and foremost passion is hunting. Outside of that, you could find me catching up on one of the many books awaiting on Kindle, or if the weather is great I could be outside working on some landscaping project, or kayaking, or biking. Or trying out new eateries.

If you could have any one super power, what would it be?

I would like to have Samantha Stephens’s magical powers (Bewitched), specifically, I would use it to zap people who are rude! 😄

What are 3 things on your bucket list?

I’m a pretty simple gal, so my bucket list is simple too. My first desire would be to own a plot of land to hunt on…100 acres would be nice…with a log cabin or a pole barn home,  2) to harvest an elk and a bear,  3) to learn how to be a taxidermist.

Which fictional character would you most like to meet in real life?

The Cookie Monster….I can relate to him.  

Work With Us

Want to be part of the efactory team? We’re currently looking for an Operations Assistant to help us with everything from events to maintaining critical coffee supply levels. It’s the perfect gig for Missouri State students!

Great Southern Bank makes naming commitment to support the efactory

November 20, 2019News

Great Southern Bank makes naming commitment to support the efactory

The local bank makes a naming-level gift to support entrepreneurship and economic development.

Great Southern Bank

A Commitment to Entrepreneurship

The efactory is excited to announce that Great Southern Bank has made a naming commitment in support of the efactory and our expansion project. This generous gift will support the efactory’s ongoing efforts to foster innovation, support entrepreneurship, and grow businesses in southwest Missouri.

The physical space to be dedicated is located on the first floor of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center. The room houses the efactory accelerator for thirteen weeks each summer and two strands of the GO CAPS program during the school year.

Joe Turner, Great Southern Bank

“The efactory is a vital resource for the growth and development of entrepreneurs and business owners in Southwest Missouri,” said Great Southern Bank President and CEO, Joe Turner. “We are proud to support their continued efforts in driving entrepreneurship and workforce development in our region.”

Great Southern Bank has a rich history of supporting the Springfield community and Missouri State University. The bank has been a member of the efactory’s partner program since 2015 and has assisted dozens of client companies through programs and services.

A Home for Growth & Innovation

The efactory accelerator program was launched in 2016. The program is designed to provide early-stage companies with capital, specialized programming, and introductions to follow-on funding. The program has invested in 17 portfolio companies, with applications for Cohort 5 opening December 1. Great Southern Bank has also made recent investments in the seed capital fund that invests in efactory accelerator portfolio companies.

The efactory also serves as the host location for two strands of the GO CAPS program. Students in the Business & Entrepreneurship and IT & Software Solutions strands work on real-world projects and job shadow with professionals at the efactory.

Rachel Anderson

“Great Southern Bank is a great example of a Springfield success story. They have been amazing partners to work with and we truly value everything they do to assist startup companies. Our community is better because of Great Southern Bank. We are honored by their commitment to entrepreneurship and workforce development.” Rachel Anderson, efactory Director

About Great Southern Bank

Great Southern Bank was started in 1923 with a $5,000 investment. Today the bank has more than $4.9 billion in total assets and serves more than 150,000 households.

Headquartered here in Springfield, Missouri, Great Southern Bank has more than 1,200 dedicated associates and operates 100+ offices in eleven states across the country.

Great Southern is committed to helping make the communities they serve better places to live, work, and do business. The bank takes seriously their privilege and responsibility to provide services and capital to help communities grow.

About the efactory

It’s our mission to make Springfield, Missouri the best place in the country to start and grow a business. We serve entrepreneurs through office space, coworking, training events, business consulting, and more.

We believe in hard work, determination, and good ideas. Since opening our doors, efactory programs have:

  • Assisted over 970 companies
  • Created over 1,700 jobs
  • Helped clients secure more than $78 million in capital and equity
  • Helped clients secure more than $20 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 proud to be part of IDEA Commons, Missouri State University’s vision to create an urban innovation park that includes residential, retail, commercial, and entertainment facilities supported by multidisciplinary university programs.

Local banks invest in seed capital fund

November 18, 2019News

Local banks invest in seed capital fund

Five local banks will collectively invest nearly $100,000 to support startups and economic development.

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

Investing in entrepreneurship

We know supporting startups takes a team. It’s why we’re proud to have a well-rounded partner program, a great group of resource organizations, and supportive investors. And we love when we get to welcome new supporters to our program!

Today we’re pleased to share that five local banks are investing in the seed capital fund that makes investments in the efactory’s accelerator program. BancorpSouth, Central Bank, Great Southern Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wood & Huston Bank have each made recent investments in the seed capital fund, totaling nearly $100,000.

Seed capital fund

The seed capital fund was established in 2015 to provide early stage companies with access to capital. The fund’s creation served as the launch pad for the efactory’s accelerator program, which invests in cohorts of fast-growth, emerging companies.

Money from the fund is disbursed to companies selected to be part of the efactory accelerator. Participating companies each receive $30,000 in exchange for eight percent equity.

“Early stage funding is critical for startups. Access to seed capital is vital to developing a culture of entrepreneurship that founders and top talent want to be part of. We’re proud of the work that our community is doing and are excited about the investment BancorpSouth, Central Bank, Great Southern Bank, U.S. Bank and Wood & Huston are making in economic development and the future of Springfield.”

Rachel Anderson, efactory Director

What’s next

The seed capital fund has invested in a total of 17 companies since 2015. We’re proud of our portfolio companies and all the great work they’ve done (including acquisitions!).

Applications will open for Cohort 5 of the accelerator program on December 1, 2019. Cohort 5 will be in session from May 10 – August 11, 2020.