AltCap Partners with Innovate SOMO to Serve More Small Businesses in Southern Missouri

August 30, 2022News

AltCap Announces Expansion into Southern Missouri through partnership with Innovate SOMO

IDEA Commons in Springfield, MO

AltCap has announced that the Kansas City-based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) is expanding into southern Missouri through an exciting partnership with Innovate SOMO.

Responding to an increased demand for accessible capital by small businesses and communities throughout the region, AltCap is expanding its geographic service area to include southern Missouri. The expanded service area will enable AltCap to finance more small businesses, high-impact investments, and real estate development projects that create stronger, more economically inclusive communities.

Access to capital is a critical factor in small business growth and resiliency and the lack of accessible capital is cited as the number one reason for small business failure. In Missouri, 94% of businesses have less than 50 employees and 81% of those small businesses are located in low- to moderate-income communities, which creates additional barriers to affordable financing. AltCap is partnering with the Southern Missouri Innovation Network, efactory, Codefi, Missouri SBDC at MSU, and a network of banking partners to address this gap in southern Missouri and to help restore economic prosperity to the region.

“We are excited to partner with AltCap to bring their innovative financing products and business support services that promote economic growth and empowerment to southern Missouri as part of Innovate SOMO,” said Rachel Anderson, Director of the efactory.” This partnership brings a critical capital solution to our entrepreneurial and small business community.”

AltCap has 15 years of experience creating high-performing tax credit investment and loan portfolios, deploying nearly $250 million in New Markets Tax Credits and over $30 million in small business financing that supports job-creating small business investments and community-focused real estate development projects. Entrepreneurs and community-focused development projects throughout the State of Missouri will now have access to AltCap’s range of innovative financing products and business support services that promote economic growth and empowerment.

As an ally to underestimated entrepreneurs, AltCap helps ignite the potential that traditional lenders may overlook, to empower entrepreneurs throughout our communities and build a more inclusive, vibrant local economy.

New Innovate SOMO Fund Established through Partnership with Community Foundation of the Ozarks

August 29, 2022News

Innovate SOMO Fund established through partnership with Community Foundation of the Ozarks

The fund will catalyze grant, loan, and equity programs for businesses across 47 counties.

Teams at the efactory and Codefi are excited to announce the creation of the Innovate Southern Missouri (Innovate SOMO) Fund. The fund, which is made possible through an innovative partnership with Community Foundation of the Ozarks, will play a critical role in connecting businesses to the capital they need to start and grow in southern Missouri.  

“Southwest Missouri believes in partnerships, collaboration and finding creative solutions. We are excited to strengthen Innovate SOMO with this innovative partnership with CFO to be able to provide capital to and assist more entrepreneurs and business owners throughout southern Missouri. We will work alongside Codefi and CFO’s robust affiliate network on supporting the innovators and job creators in our region,” said Rachel Anderson, Director of the efactory. 

Capital raised within the Innovate SOMO Fund will be used to create new grant, loan, and equity-based programs to support businesses and entrepreneurial support organizations across 47 counties in southern Missouri. 

“We are so pleased to be a part of this innovative partnership,” said Brian Fogle, President and CEO at Community Foundation of the Ozarks. “Our mission is to improve the quality of life in our region, and economic opportunities are critical to those efforts. Providing skills and investment to our rural communities is the key in promoting economic vitality in the Ozarks. We applaud the leadership and commitment of our partners in creating this opportunity. 

Starting today, individuals and organizations interested in supporting entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic development across southern Missouri can make tax-deductible contributions to the Innovate SOMO Fund.

About Innovate SOMO

Innovate SOMO is a first-of-its-kind partnership launched in spring of 2022 to transform entrepreneurial support and talent development across southern Missouri. Grant awards from the Missouri Technology Corporation to both efactory and Codefi are empowering two of the state’s most 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. 

The network is 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, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, as well as support from workforce development, economic development, and Chambers of Commerce across the region. 

Welcome Week at MSU and efactory

August 26, 2022News

Welcome Week at MSU and efactory

Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. We work closely with a variety of initiatives to engage students and connect them to real-world learning experiences and our community. 

The beginning of a new school year presents new opportunities to connect with high school, undergraduate, and graduate students across the region.

Welcoming Incoming Freshmen to Missouri State University

Paige Oxendine, Assistant Director at the efactory, was this year’s speaker at the MSU New Student Convocation, the official campus welcome for new students. Paige is a 2013 Missouri State graduate where she earned degrees in Public Relations and Socio-Political Communication, was a Citizen Scholar and also served as Student Body President. 

Missouri State University’s incoming freshman class is made up of nearly 3,000 students who were encouraged to Make their Missouri Statement through active participation in campus life and the Public Affairs mission. 

Connecting High School Students to Careers in Business

For more than five years we have partnered with the Greater Ozarks Centers for Advanced Professional Studies (GO CAPS), hosting high school juniors and seniors from local school districts for the half-day career exploration program.

Centers for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) programs are nationally recognized, innovative high school programs. Students fast forward into their future and are fully immersed in a professional culture, solving real world problems, using industry standard tools, and are mentored by actual employers, all while receiving high school and college credit.

This year nearly fifty high school juniors and seniors will spend half of their school day at the efactory, where they’ll have the opportunity to job shadow member companies, hear from guest speakers, and work on real-world business projects. 

Let us know if you’d be interested in hosting a tour of your workplace or speaking to GO CAPS students.

Undergraduate & Graduate Students Working Alongside Business Clients on Course Projects

We work closely with business clients and Missouri State University classes each semester on special course projects. Our programs worked with more than a dozen Missouri State University classes last year, pairing hundreds of students with local business clients for hands-on projects. These semester-long projects allow a group of students to take a deep dive into a particular area of need identified by the business client.

The beginning of the fall semester means new course projects are already in motion, pairing Accounting, Merchandising, and other Missouri State University classes with local business clients for tangible takeaways. Learn more about recent course projects that focused on developing strategic plans and go-to-market strategies for Missouri businesses.

Engineering Students Explore Civil, Electrical & Mechanical Engineering through Cooperative Program with Missouri S&T

Students in Springfield have the opportunity to be part of one of the best engineering programs in the country while staying close to home. Missouri State University’s Cooperative Engineering program with Missouri S&T means students can earn a Missouri S&T engineering degree on MSU’s Springfield campus.

The engineering program is housed alongside the efactory inside the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, meaning students can also easily connect with our network of entrepreneurs and member companies. Nearly 300 students are enrolled in the program, which includes strands focused on civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering.

efactory Announces New Partnership with Design Match

August 9, 2022News

efactory Announces New Partnership with Design Match

The company is offering exclusive savings to efactory members.

A New Partnership with Design Match

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

Design Match is on a mission to empower startups to build a better world. To do so, the company connects ambitious creators, innovators, and startups with freelance designers who understand each startup’s unique space and industry.  Design Match uses a scientific formula and a personal matcher to help startups find designers who are perfectly suited to bring a vision to life. The matchmaking involves no long term contracts, no placement fees, and includes dedicated support for the lifetime of the project.

As part of the partnership, Design Match is offering efactory members 10% off part-time work with a freelancer and 15% off any full-time work with a freelancer. Members can also unlock interactive and educational workshops at no cost. 

Additional Perks

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

Homeschool Hall Launches Paid Features, Grows User Base

August 1, 2022Members, News

Homeschool Hall Launches Paid Features, Grows User Base

Homeschool Hall is excited to announce the launch of exciting new features, including an eagerly awaited Activity Journal. The Activity Journal is the only software that helps users track important homeschool education data while also ensuring the user’s specific state requirements are met and maintained. 

The Activity Journal is loaded with helpful features, including custom progress tracking, subject recording, grade inputs, and more. Users can track activities across multiple students, and create custom goals, reminders, and subjects. And while many other education and homeschool platforms are made only for use on a desktop computer, the Activity Journal can be used on any device, any time, and will even remember which page, child, and school year the user was on last.

Homeschool Hall has received tremendous feedback since launching in the spring of 2022, including several endorsements from leaders in the homeschool community. Most recently, the platform was regarded as “the last homeschooling tracker you’ll ever need” by popular homeschooling blogger Sara Radginski

“It’s clear that the founders of Homeschool Hall have considered a lot of things that will make tracking each school day easy, and I really appreciate the thought that went into not only different state requirements, but needs of homeschool parents in general,” Radginski said.

Members can choose from affordable monthly, yearly, or lifetime Activity Journal plans to fit their budget and needs. 

“We’re so excited to get this powerful tool into the hands of homeschooling families across the United States. Initial feedback has been extremely positive, and it feels incredible knowing we’re improving the homeschool experience and alleviating stress for our users,” said Sam Nichols, Founder of Homeschool Hall.

About Homeschool Hall

Homeschool Hall is a space dedicated to connecting homeschoolers. The platform’s Activity Journal aims to be the simplest, most thorough homeschool tracking software on the market. The platform also has a growing homeschool directory that makes it easy for families to find local homeschool-related businesses and activities. Members can easily find and create listings for co-ops, sports teams, music programs, tutors, and more. 

Homeschool Hall is founded by Sam Nichols, a private office member at the efactory.

Edu-Safe Helps Missouri Schools Prepare for a Safe School Year with Specialized Training

July 28, 2022Members, News

Edu-Safe Helps Missouri Schools Prepare for a Safe School Year with Specialized Training

The company will provide critical training to strengthen safety and security at secondary schools across Missouri in advance of the 2022-2023 school year.

Edu-Safe is excited to announce a partnership with the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals (MOASSP) in advance of the 2022-2023 school year. The Springfield-based school safety training organization will work with MOASSP to host specialized training for Missouri High School and Middle Level administrators. The August 9, 2022 training is designed to strengthen preventative and response efforts to school violence.

“This workshop is perfectly timed for administrators to maximize skills and resources for a safe return and to create a more impactful climate. School safety has never been more on the minds of parents as we look to the new school year,” says Chris Hoehne, Director of Programming and Development for MOASSP.

“Schools are unique both in design and function and pose challenges to any school administrator when security needs are identified and solutions sought,” says Dennis Lewis, President of Edu-Safe. “In many cases, the human element is critical to any security strategy and thus, training becomes the key to the success of the strategy in preventing a tragedy or in keeping kids safe when preventative measures haven’t succeeded.”

MOASSP represents secondary school principals by working closely with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Missouri State High School Activities Association, the Missouri Legislature, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Missouri Education Round Table. MOASSP provides professional development opportunities for building level leaders through annual conferences and workshops. 

Learn More About Edu-Safe

Edu-Safe, LLC provides a variety of services utilizing strategies consistent with the research and data on school violence and safety. The Edu-Safe team has more than 20 years of experience providing school safety services to schools and educational organizations across the United States.

If you would like more information, please contact Dennis Lewis at 417.880.5895, or visit

AgButler Launches Pilot Program with SRC Holdings

July 25, 2022Members, News

AgButler Launches Pilot Program with SRC Holdings

The agtech startup is helping the local manufacturer address workforce challenges.

AgButler is excited to announce the launch of a pilot program with local manufacturing giant SRC Holdings. The partnership opens up an exciting new market for the startup, which launched in 2018 to helps agribusinesses connect with available laborers.

Employers across all industries face challenges when it comes to finding reliable and qualified employees. After learning how Missouri-based AgButler was helping agribusinesses address these challenges, human resource professionals at NewStream Enterprises, a division of Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation (SRC), wondered if the same platform could connect available laborers to opportunities in their Industrial division.

The pilot program will focus on NewStream’s Industrial division, which includes areas such as Packaging, Warehousing, and Manufacturing. These high-quality jobs will now be live inside the AgButler app, allowing NewStream direct access to a previously untapped workforce. The app will source people who are interested in NewStream’s opportunities and can connect them directly to the HR department for final hiring steps.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity for us, because it allows us to work directly with a major employer in the region to connect community members to available jobs,” says Kevin Johansen, Founder and CEO of AgButler. “Our platform is designed to bring employers and employees together, and this expansion into the manufacturing space opens up an entirely new category of employers we can help serve.”

Kevin Johansen, AgButler Founder and CEO

About AgButler

AgButler is a mobile application that addresses agricultural workforce shortages by creating a network of experienced ag laborers made accessible in real-time. Similar to “ride-sharing” technology, AgButler connects farmers, ranchers and/or agribusinesses with available laborers filtered by location, ratings, work experience, and availability, all within a secure payment structure organized in the mobile app.

AgButler is an efactory portfolio company and participated in Cohort 5 of the efactory accelerator.

Springfield-Based Startup Partners with The Manor at Elfindale to Equip Staff for Emergencies and Reduce Response Time

July 25, 2022Members, News

Springfield-Based Startup Partners with The Manor at Elfindale to Equip Staff for Emergencies and Reduce Response Time

Quick Access will provide staff with 24/7 access to emergency response information and alerts in a mobile app.

State-of-the-art technology developed by a local startup will soon be deployed at The Manor at Elfindale in Springfield, Missouri. Quick Access is a mobile application that provides users with immediate access to a wide range of emergency response documents and information via their mobile phone.

Quick Access knows that every second counts in an emergency. That’s why their mobile application is designed to provide users with the exact information they need to properly respond to a variety of emergencies – fire, natural disaster, active shooters, and more – with the touch of a button and without the need for cellular or internet connectivity.

“Facilities such as retirement homes where there is ongoing care for residents is a perfect fit for Quick Access. This type of facility has complex security, safety and communication needs and can benefit from the simplicity and accessibility of critical information from mobile devices,” says Dennis Lewis, President of Quick Access. “It is estimated that 97% of the population now have a mobile device within arm’s reach 24/7.  With mass shootings increasing at an alarming rate, organizations are looking for ways to better protect their staff and those they serve.”

Quick Access is currently used in a variety of applications and business segments across the country. The Manor at Elfindale represents the first local use of the app in a healthcare retirement setting. The Manor at Elfindale is believed to be the first facility of its kind in the area to deploy this type of advanced safety and security technology for staff and residents.

“We are excited to utilize Quick Access to respond faster and more efficiently to protect our residents, team members and guests,” says Matt Gould, Administrator of The Manor at Elfindale. “This will help move us from slow paper emergency preparedness to instantly accessing critical procedures right at our fingertips; reducing response time which can make a difference.”

The Manor at Elfindale is one of 27 facilities operated by Vetter Senior Living Inc. of Elkhorn, Nebraska. The licensed skilled nursing facility in Springfield has 100 beds and offers a wide range of services, short-term rehabilitation stays, skilled level professional nursing care, and Alzheimer care known as the Memory Support Unit.

Quick Access is a Springfield, MO-based technology company that provides a mobile platform for organizing, indexing, and accessing critical information during emergency events. Launched in 2015, Quick Access has nearly 8,000 users across the U.S. in a variety of organizations including schools, churches, industrial plants, hotels, outdoor entertainment, and sporting facilities. The company is a private office member at the efactory.

 If you would like more information, please contact Dennis Lewis at 417.880.5895, or visit