CenturyLink joins efactory Partner Program

May 8, 2020Featured, News

CenturyLink joins efactory Partner Program

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

CenturyLink

As one of the most interconnected companies in the world, CenturyLink provides secure and reliable fiber broadband and voice services to meet the growing demands of businesses and consumers over our robust and extensive global fiber network.

The company is excited to partner with City Utilities to bring CenturyLink fiber gigabit internet to every resident in Springfield.

“The internet connection is more important than ever. Powering homes, businesses, education, health care and entertainment, it is crucial to our lives right now,” said Chris Denzin, CenturyLink vice presidents of consumer sales. “CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit provides the capacity customers need, now and into the future, connecting people to video entertainment, smart home devices, gaming, telemedicine, security systems and more.  Springfield residents will have the fiber technology to efficiently support all these connections and be ready for what lies ahead. and CenturyLink is here to provide a fast, reliable connection.”

To learn more about CenturyLink in Springfield and to sign up for service availability notifications please visit  www.centurylink.com/springfield .

KY3 shares how high-speed internet can support startup activity

About CenturyLink

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is a technology leader delivering hybrid networking, cloud connectivity, and security solutions to customers around the world. Through its extensive global fiber network, CenturyLink provides secure and reliable services to meet the growing digital demands of businesses and consumers.

CenturyLink strives to be the trusted connection to the networked world and is focused on delivering technology that enhances the customer experience. Learn more about CenturyLink.

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.

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.

JVIC & CoxHealth Collaborate to Create Critical Supplies

March 20, 2020Featured, 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, 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.

stepnpull

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 Change.org 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 www.StepNpull.com or www.stepnpull.com/stepnpull-vs-coronavirus. For interviews, call Digital Marketing Manager Nick Simmonds at (618) 719-4472. Find products videos and more on YouTube.