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

  • MissouriBusiness.net
    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.

  • Missouri Partnership
    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.

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Evaluating Your Business Idea

  • Evaluating Your Business Idea
    A simple questionnaire-formatted document that helps you think through the elemental considerations in starting a business.

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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.

  • Bplans.com
    Find, view, download and edit sample business plans.

  • Business Plan
    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.

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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 SBTDC
    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 ventures.”

  • Missouri Department of Economic Development
    Listing of business assistance resources offered by DED.

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Establishing a Business in Missouri

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Intellectual Property

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Find a Technology to License from the University

  • AUTM Global Technology Portal (GTP)
    Easily find the latest university technologies available for licensing worldwide.

  • iBridge Network
    The iBridgeSM Network provides the centralized online source for research and innovations.

  • TechFinder
    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.

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Prototyping

  • University of Missouri (Columbia) 3-D Printing Lab
    Contact Mike Klote

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Funding Sources

Business Plan Competitions
  • Arch Grants
    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).

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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
    The 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 investment.

  • Missouri IDEA (Innovation, Development, and Entrepreneurship Advancement) Fund
    The 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 include:
     
    • 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 related activities.
    • 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 Program
    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.

  • SBIR/STTR Programs
    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.

  • SBIR Gateway
    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
    The 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 investment.

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Pre-Seed & Seed Capital

  • BioGenerator
    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
    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.

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Angel Investors

  • Gust.com
    The 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.

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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.

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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:

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Manufacturing

  • Missouri Enterprise
    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. 

  • Missouri Industrial Assessment Center
    University of Missouri program offering energy audit and productivity assessment to qualified small to medium sized manufacturers.

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UM Incubators & Research Parks

  • CORTEX
    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.

  • Discovery Ridge
    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.

  • Innovative 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 research facilities. 

  • Missouri S&T Innovation Park
    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.

  • University 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.

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Other Resources

These organizations and initiatives provide advocacy, networking and funding for technology initiatives.

  • Research 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®
    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.

  • IT 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 success.

  • Missouri Biotechnology Organization (MoBIO)
    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.

  • Missouri 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.

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