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MTC accepting applications for entrepreneurial support grants

by Cameron Gerber | October 1, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

After outlining its plans to bolster innovation within the state, the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) is offering funding opportunities to groups helping entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground.

The group opened the application period for its Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity (MOBEC) program, with submissions to be accepted through Oct. 20. The program will offer a boost to nonprofit groups that provide entrepreneurial efforts, including public and private groups and research institutions. The grant is meant to increase support for efforts to commercialize new technology and high-growth businesses that, in turn, create high-paying job opportunities for the state in new and emerging businesses.

Eligible proposals include requests for capital, training and education, mentoring and networking, commercialization assistance and infrastructure projects. Operations grants can be used for the day-to-day operational needs of the company or its programs and projects. Project support grants will be used to support a single project or program included in an applicant's proposal.

Proposals can be submitted by groups that already have an active MOBEC grant, while a company can request one grant in each category.

Grant proposals can be submitted by groups with one or two-year implementation plans, according to MTC's website. Awards will not exceed $150,000 for one-year grants or $300,000 for two-year grants.

Proposals are also required to start prior to May 1, 2023.

"Entrepreneurial support organizations are responsible for providing the resources entrepreneurs need to grow their businesses in Missouri," MTC Executive Director Jack Scatizzi said in a statement. "Financial support for these organizations is integral to ensuring the state's innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems are maximizing their economic development impact."

The program has allowed the group to partner with 60 support organizations throughout Missouri as of the last fiscal year's awards, according to MTC. The group has awarded nearly $30 million in entrepreneurial grants to support organizations so far.

MTC hosted a virtual MOBEC info session Thursday, outlining the goals and new parameters for the grant program. This year's iteration sees the addition of the one or two-year distinction as well as splitting into two grant programs.

Applications will be presented to the MTC Investment Committee in mid-December and be approved by the Board of Directors in late January 2023.

MTC is also seeking input on its forthcoming Advanced Manufacturing Resiliency Grant program. The FY2023 state budget included a $15 million appropriation for the infrastructure-focused grant program, which will award funding to Missouri-based companies fundamental to national security and industries where the U.S. has become reliant on other countries for production.

The group's request for information (RFI) seeks to gather information on those interested in taking part in the program and gauge the projects that may be eligible. The request was released Thursday, and MTC is accepting responses through Oct. 19 with more information on the program to follow.

MTC, a public-private partnership with the state created to promote entrepreneurship and the growth of high-tech businesses in Missouri, released a plan earlier this month to grow the state's technological and business footprint. The plans hinge on funding, growth, cultivation, inspiration and connection. That plan included the use of MOBEC grants to bolster support for entrepreneurs.

The steps detailed in the plan would further goals outlined in a report commissioned by MTC and published earlier this year. "Catalyzing Innovation: Strategies for Missouri to Drive Innovation and Entrepreneurship," the report produced for MTC by TEConomy Partners, LLC, compiled data from entrepreneurs and start-up firms from 2010-20 and input from 500 stakeholders across the state.

The report proposed several measures, including funding and educational opportunities, that MTC adapted into its implementation plan for the next few years.

More information is available at missouritechnology.com/grants.

Print Headline: MTC accepting applications for entrepreneurial support grants

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