CoMo’s High-Tech Business Incubator Picks Up An International Following by kathy casteel photo by L.G. PATTERSON
The national origin of individuals working in the incubator include Bangladesh, China, India, Ireland, Israel, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.
he neighborhood around Monsanto Place has taken on a decidedly international air these days. The exotic roll call of home countries for the startups and entrepreneurs in the MU Life Science Business Incubator is growing, émigrés sprinkled in among the homegrown idea people and university spin-offs. The finished space in the incubator is filled, says president and CEO Jake Halliday. All that remains in Phase I of the 33,000-square-foot facility that opened in 2009 are two parcels of shell space measuring 4,500 and 2,400 square feet. When that space is outfitted, Halliday will turn his attention to Phase II, a 40,000-square-foot addition tentatively scheduled for construction in 2013, if financing can be secured. The University of Missouri owns the incubator property that is operated by the Missouri Innovation Center, offering state-of-the-art wet labs and engineering suites, meeting and office space, an event room and various support amenities. MIC acts as landlord, providing mentoring services, grant assistance and contacts with research, business and investment colleagues. Incubator revenue flows to MIC through rents, grants and fees for services. The incubator currently houses 14 resident clients with employees from 10 countries, plus administrative staff and the offices of Centennial Investors and patent attorney R. Scott Kimsey. “We’re in the business of creating very attractive companies,” Halliday says, “and keeping them here in a private, high-tech industry cluster in mid-Missouri. How do you do that? With new venture creation and attracting startup companies.” The resident clients all started with an idea — one with a feasible plan for business, Halliday points out — and now they direct their energies toward transforming that idea into a commercial spring 2011
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