Innovation Is Redefining Missouri’s Economy

For most of the 21st century Silicon Valley in California has been the hotspot for startups. However a sky-high cost of living and growing business costs has entrepreneurs looking elsewhere for cities to “live and launch.” Enter Missouri.

Missouri offers startups and entrepreneurs some of the lowest business costs in the country, and the strategic choice of companies to locate at the center of North America ensures products get to customers faster than ever—anywhere in the world.

In fact, Inc.com recently highlighted these strengths and more when it credited Missouri’s St. Louis region for “building one of the country’s fastest growing startup scenes.” And it’s not just St. Louis…

Earlier this year, CNN highlighted the Missouri cities of Kansas City and St. Louis for their innovation and growth, and that innovative spirit continues across the rest of the state from Columbia to Springfield, St. Joseph to Cape Girardeau. Missouri ranks in the top ten states in the U.S. for starting a business, while many of its cities have been recognized for startup growth.

Innovation Hub and the Missouri Innovation Center & Life Science Business Incubator are two of the resources available to those looking to start a business in Columbia, Missouri. And its low cost of living and abundance of available talent led to Columbia being named among the “15 Best Cities in the U.S. for Entrepreneurs” in 2016.

The UMKC Innovation Center in Kansas City, Missouri Innovation Center in Columbia, and the Cortex Innovation Community in St. Louis are just some of the nearly two-dozen innovation communities spread across the state that are developing the latest innovations within our core industries. And it’s not just startups. Major corporations have significant presence within these districts as they collaborate with the best and the brightest to take our state into the future.

Companies like Square, founded by St. Louis natives Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, Microsoft, and Boeing have all opened offices in Missouri’s innovation communities, and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) singled out the Cortex Innovation Community in St. Louis as a key reason they chose the city as the site for their new NGA West headquarters.

Meanwhile, Missouri’s new agtech innovation community 39 North is taking root.

The district covers nearly 600 acres and includes many of the states top agtech companies and organizations including Monsanto, the Danforth Plant Science Center, Bio-Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park and the Helix Center Biotech Incubator. 39 North is geared toward providing the lifestyle often sought by today’s highly skilled scientific workers, with a mix of retail, residential and office space connected by walking and biking trails.

And its not just businesses that are taking notice of Missouri’s growing entrepreneurial strength; Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently made Missouri the first stop on his nationwide tour focused on reaching out to entrepreneurs and small business owners.

In Missouri we understand that an educated and trained workforce is essential to innovation. As a result, Missouri offers traditional and non-traditional training options for workers and companies that allow employers to recruit a workforce that is customized to fit their needs.

Companies such as LaunchCode, a non-profit organization based in Missouri, that works with businesses to set up apprenticeships in technology for talented people who lack the traditional IT credentials, and Claim Academy, which offers 12-week crash courses in programming with a focus on hands-on learning rather than lectures, and real world application rather than memorization, work to bridge the gap between IT talent and Missouri companies, by offering new ways and opportunities for hardworking, intelligent people to get the skills needed to quickly enter the workforce.

And Missouri offers more than just talent to IT companies.

With more than 3 million educated workers Missouri’s talent pool is deep, specialized and experienced in our state’s key growth areas including advanced manufacturing, agtech, logistics and more.

It is home to top-flight universities such as the University of Missouri – Columbia, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla and many more.

This combination of customizable talent, top-flight universities and world-class innovation communities gives Missouri a vast, high tech workforce that is ready to work.

All of these factors are helping to redefine Missouri’s economy, with a growing reputation as an innovation powerhouse between the coasts.

For more information on why Missouri could be a prime location to launch or grow your business, contact Steve Johnson, CEO of Missouri Partnership, at 314.725.2688 or via our contact form, with any questions you might have, and learn how Missouri Partnership can help with your business expansion and investment needs.

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