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Roundtable event highlights opportunities to enhance southwest Missouri’s innovation and entrepreneurial capacity


MTC Regional Node Planning Grant provided assessment of the region’s technology-based entrepreneurial ecosystem.

SPRINGFIELD – To see growth in the economy, a community must invest in supporting innovators and technology-based entrepreneurs. Working collaboratively is key to improving the network of available services.

The Missouri Technology Corporation awarded the Regional Node Planning grant in November 2023 to the Springfield Business Development Corporation and Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce to work with the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments and regional partners to assess the region’s technology-based entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a Regional Node Planning Roundtable from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. on April 19th to share the regional node planning activities since the award and opportunities to close the gaps that were identified.

The event, led by key representatives from the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, efactory at Missouri State University, Codefi and the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments, provided a forum to:

  • Assess the current state of southwest Missouri’s technology-based entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Provide an overview of the state’s entrepreneurship and innovation landscape.
  • Develop a plan to enhance the region’s innovation and entrepreneurial capacity.

"This Roundtable marks the beginning of an exciting next chapter for southwest Missouri as we unite to leverage the opportunities presented by the Regional Node Planning grant," said Chamber President, Matt Morrow. "We are thrilled to bring together key stakeholders who share our vision of driving innovation and prosperity in our region."

The Regional Node Planning grant supports initiatives aimed at enhancing the technological infrastructure, fostering entrepreneurship and promoting economic development throughout southwest Missouri and the Southern Missouri Innovation Network.

"These intentional, strategic collaborative efforts represent a significant investment in the future of our region," said Rachel Anderson, efactory Executive Director. "By collaborating with regional partners and leveraging each other’s strengths and expertise, we aim to maximize resources and create a thriving ecosystem for innovation and tech-based entrepreneurship throughout southern Missouri."

Attendees at the Roundtable discussed key considerations for developing a robust ecosystem that aids businesses but also individuals who seek greater opportunities.

“By providing more focused tech startup programs, training opportunities, and capital in the region, we catalyze the pipeline of job-creating companies in southern Missouri. These companies will create new high-tech occupations that provide excellent pay, benefits, and advancement opportunities in the area, too,” said James Stapleton, President and CEO of Codefi. "It's a win-win-win for the individuals, community and region."


About Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce serves as the principal advocate for business in partnership with the community; supports and assists existing businesses; acts as the primary catalyst in promoting the economic health of the Springfield area, stimulating jobs and improving the quality of life.

About Southwest Missouri Council of Governments
The Southwest Missouri Council of Governments (SMCOG) is an association of local governments and stakeholders and is the federally designated Economic Development District for the ten-county area of Southwest Missouri. SMCOG oversees the growth and development of the region and provides professional services and information to assist cities and counties with development issues.

About Innovate SOMO
The Southern Missouri Innovation Network (or Innovate SOMO), developed by Codefi and efactory, is a collaborative network of businesses and organizations who work together for greater impact. We connect workers to training, entrepreneurs to resources, and employers to talent—all to drive regional growth and prosperity. The network transforms communities in the southernmost 47 counties in Missouri by unlocking the full potential of entrepreneurship and innovation.

About efactory
Missouri State University’s efactory is the front door to the university for businesses and employers. As a business and economic development hub, efactory offers a network of programs designed to support both large and small businesses throughout southern Missouri as they start, scale and succeed. In addition, efactory provides talent development and training to boost skills and job opportunities for Missourians.

About Codefi
Codefi is a nationally recognized tech-based development non-profit organization that specializes in deploying an innovation ecosystem by building and attracting software-focused companies, educating and training tech talent and founders, and expanding the tech economy to improve the quality of lives, companies, and communities.

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