Office of Research Administration
Resources for Entrepreneurs
Index of Resources
Note: If you find a broken link or would like to suggest a new resource be added to the list, please contact Tamara Wilgers.
Starting a Company - General Guides
The University of Missouri Extension's business program helps Missouri's entrepreneurs succeed in private enterprise and promotes the economic development of the state of Missouri. It performs this vital service through a network of business counselors and key business resource providers located throughout the state.
Missouri Business Portal
A single point of entry for business registration, filings, licenses, and permits for doing business in the State of Missouri.
Missouri Department of Economic Development
Listing of business and economic development programs offered by DED.
As a nonprofit economic development organization, the Partnership works together with other economic development organizations at the state, regional and local levels to attract new companies and help advance Missouri's standing as an industrial leader. The site provides Missouri-based information on educational attainment, employment by industry, average wages, business climate comparison tool, county and metro area data, industry clusters, international business resources, upcoming events and latest business news.
Missouri Source Link
MOSourceLink helps small businesses across the state of Missouri providing free, easy access to the help you need - when you need it. MOSourceLink connects small business owners with a network of nonprofit resource organizations that provide business-building services. We facilitate the linking of these resource organizations to one another and to established, emerging and start-up small businesses throughout the region. Partners offer a wide range of services including marketing, financial planning, sales, funding, technical assistance, product development, operations, government contracts and more. MOSourceLink also offers an online research tool, the Resource Navigator,® which allows you to do your own customized online search for the network resources in your area.
Evaluating Your Business Idea
Business Plans and Planning
Automated Business Plan Template
SBA's tool designed to help you build a business plan. At the end of the program you will be able to generate and save a formatted business plan that can later be further modified or presented as a final product.
BizPlanIt's Virtual Business Plan
A step-by-step walkthrough of business plan sections including basics and mistakes to avoid.
Find, view, download and edit sample business plans.
An overview and suggested outline of the material that should be included in your business plan.
The Business Plan
Second section of “Doing Business in Missouri.” Provides information on how to put together the written expression of your business idea and market projections, the business plan.
Business Plan Archive
A collection of (primarily dot com) business plans archived by the University of Maryland.
Business Planning Software
Includes a collection of resources for planning your business, documenting your plan and evaluating your strategy.
Guide to Writing a Business Plan
A short but thorough introduction to the process of writing a business plan and provides a simple outline of the contents of a standard plan. Helps new or existing business owners take an objective look at their
business, identify areas of strength and weakness, pinpoint needs that
otherwise might be overlooked, spot opportunities early, and begin
planning how best to achieve their goals.
INVenture Business Planner
Free, online business planning tool with a self-assessment that asks key questions and produces a downloadable, personalized business plan. A tutorial provides a helpful walkthrough.
The Plan - A Step-By-Step Business Plan Workbook
MasterCard's Working for Small Business user-friendly workbook.
Business Counseling and Mentoring Services
Innovate Venture Mentoring Services (VMS)
Innovate VMS works
to build a community of successful entrepreneurs through networking and
team-based mentoring of innovative new ventures at no cost by experienced serial entrepreneurs and business persons within the metropolitan St. Louis area.
Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC)
are part of a statewide network of business experts uniquely qualified
to help businesses develop and thrive. Every MO SBTDC location provides
Missouri small businesses convenient access to this network.
Missouri Innovation Centers
The Missouri Innovation Center Network is a major statewide resource for
commercializing Missouri innovations. The centers were created to
“provide assistance to individuals and business organizations during the
early stages of the development of new technology-based business
- Missouri Department of Economic Development
Listing of business assistance resources offered by DED.
Establishing a Business in Missouri
Find a Technology to License from the University
AUTM Global Technology Portal (GTP)
Easily find the latest university technologies available for licensing worldwide.
The iBridgeSM Network provides the centralized online source for research and innovations.
Discover University of Missouri innovations that are looking for a home in an existing business, or as the basis for a new start-up. Technologies from all four campuses are listed on TechFinder.
- University of Missouri (Columbia) 3-D Printing Lab
Contact Mike Klote
Business Plan Competitions
Arch Grants offers startups funding in the form of grants and supports the startups as they remain or transition to downtown St. Louis through the Arch Grants Business Plan Competition. Winners receive $50,000 in funding. After receiving an initial Arch Grant, startups have the opportunity to secure a second round of up to $100,000 in funding along with direct access to St. Louis-based angel investors. To provide winners with the best chance of success, Arch Grants partners with comparable economic development endeavors in St. Louis that currently support business growth in the city including Innovation Venture Mentoring Service, St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, Regional Business Council, Washington University, St. Louis University, University of Missouri at St. Louis, Webster University, and Harris Stowe University.
Olin Cup -- Washington University
InvestMidWest Venture Capital Forum
Missouri's own annual venture capital forum attracting investors from across the MidWest and beyond (location alternates annually between St. Louis and Kansas City).
Grants and Loans (includes SBIR assistance)
Missouri Technology Incentive Program (MoTIP)
The Missouri Technology Corporation instituted the Missouri Technology Incentive Program (MoTIP) to increase the number of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards granted to small businesses in the State of Missouri. Phase 0 competition grants are awarded, when funding is available, in amounts up to $5,000. Missouri provides special counselors through the MoFAST program to support businesses in finding potential opportunities and applying for these programs.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Trasfer (STTR) Grants
Funding for research and development efforts of a high risk nature that may have excellent commercial potential. Small U.S. businesses are eligible to participate in the SBIR/STTR program if they are for-profit and have 500 or fewer employees.
Enterprise Investment Program
University of Missouri System's Enterprise Investment Program was created to
help Missouri startup and early stage companies working to commercialize
intellectual property developed at the University. The intent of this program
is to assist in the commercialization effort of University developed
intellectual property in order to create jobs and generate lasting economic
benefits to the State of Missouri. The
maximum amount of investment to any single company is $500,000. Among
other things, the application will be reviewed to determine whether the
investment, if made, would 1) accomplish the goals set forth by the applicant
in the application, 2) create Missouri jobs, 3) move the university developed
intellectual property closer to market, and 4) provide the university with, at
a minimum, a return of and hopefully a return on the university's financial
- Missouri IDEA (Innovation, Development, and Entrepreneurship Advancement) Fund
Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) IDEA Fund promotes the formation and growth of businesses that engage
in the transfer of science and technology into job creation. Programs
- Missouri TechLaunch
This pre-seed funding will be awarded to entrepreneurial start-ups for
intellectual property development and evaluation, including in-depth
analysis of market potential, conducting competitive analysis,
establishing proof of concept of a scientific discovery, prototype
design and development, and related activities.
- Seed Capital Co-Investment Program
Through this program, MTC will award seed capital funds that match other
capital investments. The seed capital may be used by the start-up
company for advanced intellectual property development and evaluation,
including in-depth analysis of market potential, conducting competitive
analysis, advanced proof of concept work for a scientific discovery,
advanced prototype design and development, research and development
needed to attract venture capital financing, hiring key personnel, and
- Venture Capital Co-Investment Program
Through this program, MTC will award venture capital funds that match
other capital investments. The venture capital may be used by the
start-up company for advanced intellectual property development and
evaluation, including in-depth analysis of market potential, conducting
competitive analysis, advanced proof of concept work for a scientific
discovery, advanced prototype design and development, research and
development needed to attract additional venture capital or capital
markets financing, hiring key personnel, and related activities.
- High-Tech Industrial Expansion Program
Through the High-Tech Industrial Expansion (HTIE) program, MTC makes
investments that can be used to purchase equipment, facilitate
construction, and hire key personnel.
Missouri Technology Incentive Program (MOTIP)
The Missouri Technology Incentive Program (MOTIP) provides funding to support entrepreneurs who are pursuing federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer grant funding. MOTIP offers $5,000 Phase 0 grants to assist with the costs of preparing and submitting Phase I grant applications.
MoFAST is a partnership among the U.S. Small Business Administration, University of Missouri Extension, Missouri Department of Economic Development and its partners to bring government research and development awards to your small business.
Part of SBA's site relevant to funding for innovative, high-tech R&D projects through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs.
A comprehensive and easy-to-use SBIR information site.
Small Business Growth Corporation
SBA 504 Loan Program: The Small Business Growth Corporation helps small businesses in Northeastern
Missouri finance their expansion goals by securing SBA 504 loans for land, new
construction, machinery, building purchase or improvements.
U.S. Small Business Administration
University of Missouri Enterprise Investment Fund
of Missouri System's Enterprise Investment Program was created to
help Missouri startup and early stage companies working to commercialize
intellectual property developed at the University. The intent of this
is to assist in the commercialization effort of University developed
intellectual property in order to create jobs and generate lasting
benefits to the State of Missouri. The maximum amount of investment to
any single company is $500,000. Among other things, the application will
be reviewed to determine
whether the investment, if made, would 1) accomplish the goals set forth
applicant in the application, 2) create Missouri jobs, 3) move the
developed intellectual property closer to market, and 4) provide the
with, at a minimum, a return of and hopefully a return on the
Pre-Seed & Seed Capital
BioGenerator is a privately funded, non-profit
501(c)(3) organization created to facilitate the formation of
successful, sustainable bioscience companies in the St. Louis region. BioGenerator's mission is to support economic development and job
growth in the St. Louis region. To accomplish this, BioGenerator
identifies promising technologies and services, and works with the
researcher or entrepreneur to build a successful and sustainable
company. BioGenerator provides assistance, possibly with pre-seed or
seed funding and access to lab space with specialized equipment, at the
early stages of new company formation, with continued support to
milestones of follow-on funding or sustainable revenue.
Capital Innovators provides tech startups with the funding, resources, and connections they need to reach the next level.
Fund St. Louis (crowdfunding)
Fund St. Louis is a new way to fund a dynamic St. Louis region (crowdfunding). It is a place to not only highlight the entrepreneurial spirit that currently exists in the region, but a way to bolster that activity and to give an additional funding resource to those who have a great idea and want to turn that idea into a business. In doing so, we help create a vibrant small and startup business environment in St. Louis. And that, in turn, creates jobs and a healthy St. Louis economy.
global platform for startup funding and early stage investments. Entrepreneurs,
angel investors, and venture capital firms use Gust to manage investor
relations. The site notes 750+ angel groups; 41,000+ individual investors; and 180,000+ startup companies are signed up with Gust.
- FinServe Tech Angels
FinServe Tech Angels is a group of financial services executives and entrepreneurs who invest in early stage financial services technology companies. FinServe Tech Angels is based in St. Louis where several of the nation’s largest financial services firms are located including Edward Jones, Scottrade, Stifel Nicolaus, MasterCard, and Wells Fargo Advisors. These industry executives invest in financial sector related technology start-ups that offer superior returns.
St. Louis Arch Angels
Arch Angel members, business leaders from the St. Louis
region, provide seed and early-stage capital in the range of
$250K-$1M, an investment range not generally served by venture
capitalists. Members mentor and coach, serve on boards, provide contacts, and
assist with team building, strategic planning and fundraising. The
St. Louis Arch Angels is organized as a 501c(6) corporation. It is
governed by a board of directors that includes a chairman, president,
treasurer, and secretary. Members do not invest in a pooled fund, but
rather commit to invest a minimum of $50,000 a year directly in a
startup in partnership with other members of the network. Members
generally invest under the same terms and conditions. The Network’s
activities are guided by its bylaws and rules of membership.
Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs)
- Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs)
SBICs are venture capital firms that use their own capital plus funds borrowed with a Small Business Administration (SBA) guarantee to make equity and debt investments in qualifying small businesses. Venture capital firms do not have to be regulated, but must submit to regulation if they want to be an SBIC. The SBA does not invest directly into small business through the SBIC Program.
Venture Capital Firms
Venture capital firms tend to be specialized in specific industries and tend to only invest in those industries. VCs want to invest money in companies that can realistically expect high rates of growth, 20% or more, for at least several years. They take partial ownership in the business, and therefore expect to have a say in how the business is operated. The following are some of the VCs located in the St. Louis region:
Offers extensive expertise, hands-on assistance and a wealth of resources
in the areas of research and development, marketing, manufacturing, and
facilities management. Assists in streamlining processes, improving
profitability, expanding production or moving product.
University of Missouri program offering energy audit and productivity
assessment to qualified small to medium sized manufacturers.
UM Incubators & Research Parks
The Center of Research, Technology and Entrepreneurial Exchange (CORTEX)
is an office and research district in mid-town St. Louis created by a
nonprofit consortium formed by the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint
Louis University, Washington University, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and the
Missouri Botanical Garden.
In 2005, the University of Missouri Board of Curators approved the
development of a section of Columbia’s South Farm for a new research park.
The belief was, and continues to be, that the research occurring in the
living fields and laboratories at South Farm, and at the University of
Missouri, will attract tenants who desire close proximity to innovative
intellectual resources. It is the mission of the University of Missouri
System Office of Research and Economic Development to link research and
commercialization from the system’s four campuses with emerging and
existing firms across the state — Discovery Ridge does just that.
Technology Enterprises at UMSL (ITE)
ITE is a business incubator that supports innovation in a
wide-variety of fields including IT and the life sciences, providing the physical,
mentoring, business development and computational resources required for
startup companies to grow. Featuring both wet and dry-lab facilities and a
high-performace computing center (HPCC) staffed by on-site Ph.D. scientists,
ITE provides the expertise to help startups, in a wide variety of technical
fields, solve fundamental R&D and business development issues, including
those that require sophisticated computational resources. UMSL
founded and administers the ITE small business incubator.
Missouri Research Park
Owned and managed by the University of Missouri System and located in St.
Charles, MO, the Missouri Research Park officially opened in 1985. Today,
more than 180 acres of land in the park are developed for high-tech and
The Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Innovation Park in
Rolla, MO, will encompass approximately 60 acres of University-owned
property adjacent to the current Missouri S&T campus and will include
a business incubator. This site will be developed to create a mixed
academic and private research park to enhance economic activity in the
South Central Missouri region.
MU Life Science Business
Incubator at Monsanto Place
The facility and incubation program in Columbia, MO, are operated by the
Missouri Innovation Center, a public non-profit organization specializing
in assistance to entrepreneurial technology firms.
UMSL Research Park - UMSL Campus
To supplement the space offered at the
Missouri Research Park, UMSL has a 100-acre business, technology and research
park located on the University's north campus next to Highway 70. The research
park, which has attracted substantial interest from both small and large
ventures, is now home to the headquarters of Express Scripts Inc., one of the
nation's larges pharmacy benefit managers. ESI is the largest Fortune 500
company with corporate headquarters on a university campus.
of Missouri Technology Park at Fort Leonard Wood
The objective of the University of Missouri Technology Park at Fort
Leonard Wood is to provide a strategic location, on post, for businesses
and professional organizations that conduct business with, and support the
mission and goals of, the United States Army.
These organizations and initiatives
provide advocacy, networking and funding for technology initiatives.
Alliance of Missouri (RAM)
The Mission of RAM is to improve the wellbeing of Missourians through
increased research productivity and technology innovation within Missouri
universities; to promote economic development through increased
collaborative efforts between the academic and business sectors; and to
provide greater access of Missouri businesses to university-derived technologies.
IdeaBounce® is a website hosted by the Skandalaris Center for
Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Since
2005, the IdeaBounce® site and events have helped early-stage
entrepreneurs connect with each other and with the resources they need to
help move their ideas forward.
Entrepreneur Network (ITEN)
A catalyst of the IT ecosystem in St. Louis, ITEN provides unique
programs, events and access to resources that accelerate tech venture
The Missouri Biotechnology Association (MOBIO) is a nonprofit trade
association that serves all Missouri organizations interested in the life
sciences. MOBIO is composed of a broad cross-section of companies,
institutions of higher education, research organizations and related firms
involved in research, development and commercialization of the life
sciences. MOBIO members promote economic development in Missouri by
supporting life science research and practical applications that benefit
the general population.
Technology Corporation (MTC)
The Missouri Technology Corporation ("MTC") is a public-private
partnership created by the Missouri General Assembly to promote
entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech
companies. MTC focuses on 21st Century bioscience industries
that build on Missouri's rich history in agriculture.