Inside a former turkey processing plant in downtown Springfield, something special is happening. A business incubator, resource hub, support network and all-around great place to be.
We opened our doors in 2013 with one goal: to serve as a one-stop shop for small business owners and entrepreneurs in southwest Missouri. Today our suite of programs cover all the bases.
The efactory offers small business consulting and training through the Missouri State University Small Business Development Center along with leadership and professional development training through the Management Development Institute.
We’re proud of what we’ve all accomplished together over the last year. And we’ve got some great stuff in store for 2020!
We believe in hard work, determination, and good ideas.
Driving Economic Development
Our programs are laser-focused on driving economic development in southwest Missouri.
Whether that’s helping a startup land their first client or assisting an established business with an expansion, our team’s work produces results that propel our economy forward.
Together, the efactory and Missouri State Small Business Development Center team served nearly 600 businesses in 2019.
We’re strategic about working together in order to accomplish more. The end result? More jobs, more investment, and more wins for our community.
A Place to Call Home
Our private offices have been fully occupied since the fall of 2017. That’s two years now!
Clients are working hard from each and every space we have. Their 45 companies collectively employ 150+ people.
When businesses are ready to move up and out into the community, we get the chance to lease an office to someone new.
We consider it a privilege to have so many folks working hard to build their dreams right here with us.
A One-on-One Approach
Sometimes you just need to talk it out.
Our Small Business Development Center team provides one-on-one consulting to current and prospective business owners.
Business consultants spent more than 4,000 hours sitting down with business owners in 2019. They hashed out everything from financial projections to succession plans.
And it’s not just for businesses in Springfield. Our programs serve a 16-county region through our partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration and University of Missouri Extension. The MSU Small Business Development Center even has a satellite office in West Plains, MO.
That means founders and business owners across southwest Missouri have access to the services and expertise they need to grow – wherever they may be.
Connecting to Capital
Founders developed prototypes, landed major clients, and lined up new partnerships during the thirteen-week program.
2019 also brought with it a new group of investors in the seed capital fund that powers our accelerator program. BancorpSouth, Central Bank, Great Southern Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wood & Huston Bank each made investments in the seed capital fund in 2019.
We’re home to an annual Pitch Contest that gives local founders the chance to walk away with thousands of dollars in prize money and in-kind business services. More than a hundred community members gathered to watch four local founders make their pitch in 2019. The $5,000 cash prize was generously provided by long-time efactory supporter RMI, Inc.
And for 2020? We’ve got something even bigger planned. RMI has pledged a $10,000 cash prize for the winner of next year’s contest, which will be held during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Our clients create jobs, drive innovation, and bring solutions to life.
Something for Everyone
There’s always something happening around here.
Our programs regularly host five or more events a week. Training designed for business ownership and management covers everything from basic business planning to timely marketing tactics.
And the training events aren’t only for small businesses. The Management Development Institute offers professional development courses, certificate programs, and custom curriculum designed for today’s workplace needs. We regularly work with some of our region’s largest employers to provide the workforce training solutions they need in order to grow.
We know today’s business leaders are busy. If you only have an hour to spare you can swing by for a Speaker Series, Lunch & Learn, or a social gathering.
Research & Innovation
When entrepreneurs have a need for high-tech research and innovation space, we have the Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC) across the street. The former livestock feed plant is now a home for cutting edge technology and innovative products.
Startups, corporate affiliates, and Missouri State University research centers all collaborate in real-time to advance new technologies and bring solutions to market. Under JVIC’s model, companies own their intellectual property, control the technology, and avoid licensing expenses.
We also work closely with clients pursuing SBIR and STTR funding. Between JVIC facilities and our dedicated business consultants, business owners have the resources they need to bring high-tech, high-impact solutions to life.
- Rapid Prototyping & Fabrication
- Composites & Mechanical Testing
- Cell & Tissue Culture
- Microscopy, Microlithography & Characterization
- Molecular, Microbiological & Chemical Techniques
- Microelectronics, Nanotechnology & Biomedical Device Instrumentation
In & Out of the Classroom
Getting an education is about so much more than sitting in a classroom. We take any opportunity we can to engage with students and connect them to real-world learning experiences. Every day high school juniors and seniors from 25 regional districts come to class at the efactory. They’re part of GO CAPS, a career exploration program that exposes them to client projects and job shadowing focused on entrepreneurship and technology.
We work closely with college students, too. Each semester our team works with more than a dozen Missouri State University classes, pairing hundreds of students with real business clients for hands-on projects. Students have tackled everything from writing employee handbooks to research the feasibility of new business ideas.
The MSU College of Business recently began leasing almost 1,000 square feet of project and lab space for students who are ready to launch their own venture. They’re working from right here in the building alongside other client companies.
The Big Wins
The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded us a $1.25 million grant, paving the way for our expansion on the second and third floors of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center.
In October we launched a new mentorship program designed specifically for entrepreneurs. The pilot run included nine mentors and more than 30 one-on-one meetings.
Our partner program grew by seven in 2019. These companies are committed to supporting entrepreneurship and economic development.
We were honored to receive the Community Impact Award and to see several clients recognized as finalists in other categories.
It’s a win for us when clients outgrow the space we can provide. Several companies moved up and out into new locations in 2019.
Behind the Scenes
You’ve seen the important stats. And we’re proud of them! But we also wanted to give you a look behind the curtain – a glimpse at how we really get it done.
It takes a lot to offer one-on-one consulting, coordinate a busy calendar, maintain a fully occupied incubator, and help founders grow their businesses.
We rely heavily on coffee, Spotify playlists, and good turkey jokes.
We believe in hard work, determination, and good ideas. But we also believe in having fun.
And We're Just Getting Started
Our community has a rich history of entrepreneurship. We like remembering where we came from, but what really excites us is to think about where we’re going.
Construction is currently underway on an expansion project that will add eight private offices, additional conference rooms, and a large training and event space on the second and third floors of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center.
We don’t really believe in making small plans. Our expansion project is estimated to create 360 jobs and spur $27 million in private investment.
It’s all been made possible through a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and generous community supporters.
Our fingers are crossed for construction to be completed in fall of 2020.
Community is who we are. Forward is where we're going.
In It Together
Board of Directors
SPRINGFIELD INNOVATION, INC.
FUND 4, LLC
Dr. Jim Baker, Missouri State University
Greg Burris, United Way of the Ozarks
Scott Dalenberg, SRC Holdings
Tamara de Wild, O’Reilly Auto Parts
Jason Gage, City of Springfield
Matt Morrow, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
Barb Picarelli, Brewer Science
Dr. Kim Prater
Jeff Schrag, Mother’s Brewing Co. & The Daily Events
Clif Smart, Missouri State University
Stuart Stangeland, Mercy
Jack Thurman, BKD, LLP
Dr. Frank Romero, CoxHealth
Jim Anderson, CoxHealth
Brad Erwin, Paragon Architecture
Dwayne Fulk, City Utilities
Lisa Officer, Officer CPA Firm
John Chastain, CoxHealth
Jill Renner Mowris, H2R Market Research
Zach Swartz, BKD, LLP
Julie Turner Brown & Lisa Officer completed terms on the Springfield Innovation, Inc. Board of Directors during the 2019 calendar year.