Missouri University of Science and Technology
Missouri S&T's Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development (TTED) is well-positioned to help grow Missouri's economy by advancing technology commercialization, encouraging entrepreneurship and facilitating business opportunities. TTED hosts a Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), part of the Missouri SBTDC statewide network, to provide training and counseling to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Connor Wolk displays an iPhone case created by his company, Dual Cases LLC, which got off the ground with help from the Student Business Incubator at Missouri S&T.
One year after launching VentureLabTM — a co-working space within the Technology Development Center — it is now home to 13 startups, growing ventures and support organizations. VentureLab is designed to provide a professional work environment and access to business and technology support through the SBTDC office for early stage companies.
New this year was an innovative program giving students an opportunity to pursue entrepreneurial ventures full-time. Missouri S&T’s Entrepreneurial Internship and Cooperative Education Program (EICP) provides select students with awards of up to $15,000 each so they can work full-time on starting a business for up to four months.
“Missouri S&T has a rich history of experiential learning,” said Malcolm Townes, associate director for technology transfer and economic development. “Actually trying to start a real new business venture is the best way to learn about entrepreneurship. The EICP gives students that opportunity.”
“Participating in the program has helped me in so many ways. It allowed me to have the time and resources to focus on my business idea,” said Nick Rollins, one of the first EICP award recipients. “I have learned so much in the last three months. I truly believe that my time spent in the internship, along with the mentorship offered, have truly helped me establish a solid foundation to continue to build on.”
Fifteen students representing 10 proposed new business ventures applied to the EICP in response to a request for proposal posted by TTED. Students representing four ventures were selected.
“It gives students an opportunity to manage their company themselves, but also provides a skeleton to make sure that forward progress is made,” said Christopher Seto, cofounder of ProtoQ LLC.
The SBTDC provided nearly 1,400 hours of direct counseling to 129 distinct clients — of whom 67 are long-term clients — in the Central Missouri region. The program helped start 18 new businesses, create 68 jobs and secure investment of just over $5 million in new capital for the center’s clients.
TTED's Technology Transfer Office received 45 invention disclosures, filed 29 patent applications and executed 22 licenses and options. The current license and options generated nearly $368,000 in income for the university. The university was issued 15 new patents in the past year, including critical patents in bioactive glass and non-destructive screening portfolios. These patents will allow continued development of new products capable of healing massive and difficult wounds with greater ease and speed. TTED is also working to develop new tools to improve safety and security at large events and venues such as football games or marathons.