Southeast’s Missouri Innovation Corporation Announces LaunchU Pitch Competition Winners

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Southeast’s Missouri Innovation Corporation Announces LaunchU Pitch Competition Winners

The Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) at Southeast Missouri State University presented two $500 cash prizes, provided by course sponsor Isle Casino of Cape Girardeau, to Melia Neal and Jocelyn Anderson, both of Cape Girardeau, first and second place winners respectively in the pitch competition component of the LaunchU entrepreneurship training course.

“LaunchU has given me the opportunity to put my ideas and thoughts into an amazing feasibility plan so I can take my business concept to the next level,” said Neal, who plans to launch a non-profit organization. “The class has also allowed me to connect with some astonishing individuals in the community that I can reach out to as I continue my business journey.”

LaunchU is a six-week hands-on course that coaches aspiring entrepreneurs and startups through the business planning process to determine business feasibility, including the actual development of a professional, Small Business Administration-approved business plan, pitch and financial forecast. At the end of the recent cohort held at the main campus of the University, several of the class participants competed with their pitches in front of a judging panel comprised of local business professionals.

“The pitch competition is an opportunity for our participants to win some great prizes and practice displaying the confidence and business acumen they’ll need to impress potential investors, lenders, and partners,” said Gabrielle Penca, project coordinator for the MIC. “This practice, paired with data-backed business plans, earns our graduates credibility, thus increasing their chances of receiving additional funding.”

The competition’s first place prize was a package valued at $5,475 including $500 from the class sponsor Isle Casino of Cape Girardeau and pro bono services provided by BOLD Marketing and Osburn, Hine, Yates & Murphy, LLC. Additionally, second place was awarded $500 from the Isle Casino.

“At Isle Casino Cape Girardeau, we are excited to take an active role in seeing LaunchU become a reality,” said Lyle Randolph, general manager and vice president. “The program offers a wonderful opportunity for individuals looking to start their own business and provides the tools to help them succeed.”

Future LaunchU classes, dates and times are being developed for communities in the Bootheel region. Interested participants and sponsors are asked to contact Project Coordinator Gabrielle Penca at (573) 986-6085 or gpenca@semo.edu.

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Southeast’s IRIE Wins Second Straight Innovation Award

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Southeast’s IRIE Wins Second Straight Innovation Award

The Southeast Missouri State University Institute for Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IRIE) was honored with a 2016 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation for the InnovateU Training Program and Learning Management System (LMS).

The purpose of InnovateU is to provide affordable turnkey training solutions for organizations that support entrepreneurship, such as chambers of commerce, business development centers, local/regional economic development councils and non-profits. The courses are designed to empower those with entrepreneurial dreams to move forward confidently knowing they have the knowledge, tools, and networks needed to be successful in business.

“One goal of the IRIE is to advance and increase entrepreneurship throughout rural Missouri using best practices,” said Crystal Jones, director of the Institute for Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We are making significant strides toward that goal by offering InnovateU courses locally and through our nationwide affiliate network.”

One such course released earlier this year is the LaunchU six-week program. The hands-on course coaches aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs through the business planning process to determine business feasibility, including the actual development of a professional, Small Business Administration-approved business plan, pitch and financial forecast. In the first six months of offering LaunchU locally, the IRIE has already assisted 26 entrepreneurs in the region with 76 percent being women or minority-owned business owners.

“Southeast’s entrepreneurship training program provides a great opportunity for us to increase small business startup activity by offering high-quality education to local entrepreneurs,” said Jim Grebing, economic developer for the City of Kennett and InnovateU affiliate. “We had great participation when the program was offered in Kennett earlier this year and have seen the positive impact of entrepreneurs who finish the course with a solid business feasibility plan.”

InnovateU is the product of a multi-year partnership between the esteemed Kauffman Foundation and the Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC), a non-profit organization of the University. In 1997, the Kauffman Foundation developed and launched the First Step FastTrac entrepreneurial education program and in 2011, the Foundation joined with the MIC to continue the development and distribution of that program. In 2016, the Foundation completely transferred ownership of the program to the MIC, which allowed for the updating and rebranding of the entire program to serve a whole new generation of entrepreneurs.

With that intellectual property transfer, the IRIE had the freedom to apply the expertise and capacity in innovation and entrepreneurship development derived from the University to elevate the previous program and course. That transformation involved the integration of several technologies including Talent LMS for e-learning and LivePlan, the world’s leading cloud-based business planning software.

“Now with a LMS in place, we can train affiliate organizations to offer courses in their communities cost-efficiently and conveniently through self-paced online certification courses,” said Gabrielle Penca, project coordinator at the IRIE. “This time and cost savings means we can devote more staff time towards facilitating trainings locally. Earlier this year, we were able to respond to the Noranda aluminum plant closure by offering LaunchU in Sikeston and Kennett, Missouri. These course offerings helped to combat the ripple effect of revenue leaving the local economy because it teaches participants the necessary knowledge, tools and networks to create their own jobs.”

This project also builds on the previous work done by the IRIE through their Regional Entrepreneurship Assessment & Strategy reports for which they also received a NADO Innovation Award. The IRIE will revisit the rural Missouri regions that received recommendations for developing a pipeline of educated and skilled entrepreneurs and provide them with technical assistance through InnovateU courses, specifically through the implementation of the six-week entrepreneurship training course, LaunchU.

NADO is a Washington, D.C.-based association that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery and comprehensive strategies.  The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and partnering organizations for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities. The 2016 class of award recipients consists of 96 projects spanning 28 states and will be honored during NADO’s 2016 Annual Training Conference, held Oct. 15-18 in San Antonio, Texas. The IRIE is the only award recipient from Missouri.

For more information about the award-winning project, contact Crystal Jones at the Institute for Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship at (573) 651-5956.

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LaunchU Entrepreneurship Training Course Starts July 26

The Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) and the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at Southeast Missouri State University have partnered with the Isle Casino of Cape Girardeau to provide scholarships for participants and cash stipends for pitch competition winners for the upcoming LaunchU class.

LaunchU is a six-week hands-on course that coaches aspiring entrepreneurs and startups through the business planning process to determine business feasibility, including the actual development of a professional, Small Business Administration-approved business plan, pitch and financial forecast.

LaunchU will meet in a computer lab (TBD) at Southeast Missouri State University every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. starting July 26 through Sept. 1. The course consists of instruction from a certified facilitator, small group activities, one-on-one business coaching including access to market research data from the SBTDC, local experts as guest speakers, the LaunchU Startup Handbook, and a three-month license for LivePlan. Known as the world’s leading business planning platform, LivePlan allows entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch, plan and track their business from anywhere in the world.

The Isle Casino of Cape Girardeau’s sponsorship provides 20 scholarships to reduce the cost of the course for interested entrepreneurs to $99 — a $175 value. At the end of the course, class participants compete with their pitch and plan to win one startup assistance package valued at more than $5,400. The package includes a cash stipend of $500 from the Isle Casino of Cape Girardeau, as well as a marketing package by BOLD Marketing and legal services from the attorneys of Osburn, Hine, Yates & Murphy, LLC. There will also be a second prize of another $500 cash stipend from the Isle Casino of Cape Girardeau for the runner-up in the pitch competition.

Scholarships and class seats are limited, so advance registration is required. To enroll, visitwww.innovationmic.org/training and fill out the Scholarship Application and pay online. For more information, contact Gabrielle Penca at (573) 651-5095 or gpenca@semo.edu.

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Christian named Southeast SBTDC Director

Mark Christian has been named director of the Southeast Missouri State University Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) in Cape Girardeau.

As director, Christian will be responsible for the day to day operations of the SBTDC program, including the development of professional business analysis, small business consultations, access to technology resources and educational training programs on a variety of small business topics.

Christian was previously communications manager for Noranda Aluminum, New Madrid, responsible for all internal and external communications. He has also been a public information coordinator for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services; and an editor, photographer and writer with the Sporting News, The Tennessean and the Associated Press, among other outlets.

“Mark is that very rare individual whose experience encompasses multiple media, multiple industries and multiple disciplines,” said Greg Tucker, interim director of the statewide MO SBTDC. “He has repeatedly shown the ability to transcend assignments and build bridges, and I am sure he will help fuel the already robust culture of entrepreneurship currently thriving in southeast Missouri.”

Christian also serves as president/chairman of the board of the Sikeston/Bootheel United Way, which provides assistance to non-profit organizations in Dunklin, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Scott, Stoddard and Bollinger counties

The MO SBTDC is a lead program of the University of Missouri Extension Business Development Program (BDP), a statewide network which helps businesses succeed in every stage from concept to startup, growth to renewal, maturity to succession through a variety of programs. MO SBTDC counselors are located statewide providing education and individualized assistance on a variety of issues.

From 2013 through 2015, the BDP assisted thousands of Missouri firms create or retain 24,180 jobs, increase sales by $439 million, acquire new investments of $419.6 million and win government contracts of $1.4 billion. The BDP is a solid return on investment, creating $119 of economic impact for every $1 invested and creating one job for every $930 in total funding.

For more on the BDP, please visit www.missouribusiness.net or contact: Mark Christian, director, SEMO Small Business and Technology Development Center, at machristian@semo.edu  or (573) 651-2304 or visit www.innovationmic.org.

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Southeast’s Missouri Innovation Corporation Announces LaunchU Pitch Competition Winner

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Southeast’s Missouri Innovation Corporation Announces LaunchU Pitch Competition Winner

The Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) at Southeast Missouri State University and First State Bank and Trust Company, Inc. presented a $500 cash prize of a startup assistance package to Becky Brown of Cakes Reanimated for winning the pitch competition component of the LaunchU entrepreneurship training course recently held at Southeast’s Sikeston regional campus.

“The LaunchU class was a great experience to further my business,” said Brown, owner of Cakes Reanimated. “It has already opened the doors to numerous business opportunities in the area. I’m really excited to see what the future will bring.”

LaunchU is a six-week hands-on course that coaches aspiring entrepreneurs and startups through the business planning process to determine business feasibility, including the actual development of a professional, Small Business Administration approved, business plan, pitch and financial forecast. At the end of the cohort, seven of the class participants competed in front of a judging panel comprised of local business professionals.

“The pitch competition was the culmination of all the hard work LaunchU participants put in over the last six weeks they spent developing feasibility plans,” said Gabrielle Penca, project coordinator for the MIC. “It was amazing to watch the evolution of each business concept from the first night of class to the pitch competition where each entrepreneur displayed the confidence and acumen they’ll need to impress potential investors, lenders and partners. The Missouri Innovation Corporation is here to provide continued support for Becky and all participants as they begin to launch or expand their businesses.”

The prize was a package valued at $6,225, including $500 from the class sponsor First State Bank and Trust Company, Inc. and pro bono services provided by BOLD Marketing and Cory C. Fitzgerald, a certified public accountant.

“First State Bank and Trust is dedicated to helping our communities grow and succeed,” said Matt Drake, community bank president. “We understand the value of small businesses in rural Missouri and are a proud supporter of initiatives that help develop entrepreneurs.”

Future LaunchU classes, dates and times are being developed for the Cape Girardeau and Poplar Bluff communities. Interested participants and sponsors are asked to contact Gabrielle Penca at (573) 651-5095 or gpenca@semo.edu.

For more information about Brown and Cakes Reanimated, visit www.cakesreanimated.com.

About the Missouri Innovation Corporation

 The Missouri Innovation Corporation is one of 10 state-supported innovation centers across Missouri, and is located within Southeast’s Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The MIC is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering business and community development to create new, high-value jobs and positive economic benefits for the University and the region. For more information about the MIC and the entrepreneurial support services it offers, contact (573) 651-2929 or visit www.innovationmic.org.

About InnovateU

InnovateU is the national provider of LaunchU and other practical training courses that empower those with entrepreneurial dreams to move forward confidently with the knowledge, tools, and networks needed to be successful in business. Since 2006 when the program was known as Operation JumpStart, over 150 program affiliates nationwide have trained more than 8,000 participants through partnerships with the Kauffman Foundation, Delta Regional Authority, and Missouri Innovation Corporation at Southeast Missouri State University. For more information about InnovateU training courses, visitwww.innovateu.talentlms.com.

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Southeast’s Catapult Creative House Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

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Southeast’s Catapult Creative House Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

Catapult Creative House, Southeast Missouri State University’s groundbreaking creative arts and industries incubator, will celebrate its first year anniversary from 12:30-1:45 p.m. today, April 26, in Glenn Auditorium of Dempster Hall.

“Perspectives on Innovation and Entrepreneurship” will feature success stories from Southeast entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial experiences taking place at Catapult and an overview of the entrepreneurial resources available at Southeast.

The event is sponsored by Southeast’s Institute for Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Students, staff and faculty are invited to celebrate Catapult’s anniversary as well as the entrepreneurial endeavors of Southeast students across campus. Complimentary refreshments will be provided by “Fuel” of Catapult Creative House.

Students presenting at the event and their topics are Terry Davis of Jackson, Missouri, on fine arts printmaking; Nicole Fouché of Jonesboro, Illinois on the bridal shop business; Elizabeth Hill of Edwardsville, Illinois and Doug Peterson on an app platform for fashion recognition software; Clement Iradukunda of Kolding, Denmark on iPress mobile application; and Peter Lloyd of East Bethel, Minnesota, on clothing design.

“It is only through the stories of students’ entrepreneurial endeavors will we understand the power of our efforts,” said Dr. Judy Wiles, chair of the Department of Management and Marketing and director of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast. “Each story serves to inspire future student entrepreneurs.”

The event will also feature special guest Douglas C. Greene. Greene is a successful and visionary entrepreneur and a long-time supporter and advisor to the entrepreneurship program at Southeast. He has demonstrated his passion for entrepreneurship through scholarships and other resources for the University.

Launched in May 2015, Catapult is located at 612 Broadway in a 13,320-square-foot renovated building in Cape Girardeau’s downtown business district. Catapult is the newest of many resources available for student and community entrepreneurs including the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Institute for Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Small Business and Technology Development Center.

“Southeast has been fortunate to have a legacy of faculty and entrepreneurs who have championed the entrepreneurial spirit and encouraged students to bring their business ideas to fruition,” said Wiles.

Catapult’s one-of-a-kind program is designed to bring together students and faculty from a variety of disciplines (art, business, fashion, construction management, interior design and hospitality management) to immerse them in the entrepreneurial experience. Catapult launches students’ innovative product and service concepts in creative laboratories and tests their business models in a modern commercial marketplace.

This entrepreneurial space was derived from a group of faculty and staff working together and the generosity of donors including Charles Stamp Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia, and Cashiers, N.C., vice president of Public Affairs Worldwide at Deere & Company and a Southeast alumnus.

In addition to student studio and collaboration spaces, the facility provides a retail shop, coffee bar, gallery, letterpress area, 3-D printing area, photo and paint shops, all operated by students with faculty oversight.

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Southeast's Missouri Innovation Corporation Provides Local Entrepreneur Support and Capital

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Southeast's Missouri Innovation Corporation Provides Local Entrepreneur Support and Capital

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 25, 2016 – The Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) at Southeast Missouri State University announced the closing of a $10,000 Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program Loan to Modern Technology, LLC of Cape Girardeau.

Modern Technology, located at 1936 Broadway Suite B in Cape Girardeau, offers an array of services from technical support and consulting to repair services, data back up solutions and an inventory of high quality parts for those “do-it-yourselfers.” The business is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Owner Ryan Evans started the computer and mobile phone repair business in July of 2013.

“My business originally started out more as a hobby than anything,” said Evans. “After talking to several people, including phone companies, the need for a quality computer and mobile phone repair business was obvious.”

The MIC was able to provide the support and access to capital Evans needed to get his company off the ground.

“Finding financing was a frustrating process until we connected with the Missouri Innovation Corporation,” said Evans. “Once we found them, they helped us with every step of the process.”

Crystal Jones, interim director of Southeast’s Institute for Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship, expressed excitement about the institute’s positive impact in the area and potential to partner with small businesses in the upcoming year.

“Providing access to capital to business in southeast Missouri is just one way that the Missouri Innovation Corporation is supporting entrepreneurship,” she said. “Area businesses that are frustrated with the needed financing to start or expand their business should contact us and let us try to help.”

The MIC has loaned $130,200 of the total $1.4 million in loan funds available since the program began in 2014.

Revolving loan program funds will continue to be made available by the MIC in the following Missouri counties: Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Iron, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard and Wayne.

Interested entrepreneurs and bank partners should contact Johann Stuntebeck at (573) 651-5156.

For more information, visit www.innovationmic.org.

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Scholarships Available for New Entrepreneurship Training Program

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Scholarships Available for New Entrepreneurship Training Program

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 23, 2016 – The Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) at Southeast Missouri State University announces that scholarship opportunities are now available for upcoming LaunchU classes as a part of its new entrepreneurship training program InnovateU.

LaunchU is a six-week hands-on course that coaches aspiring entrepreneurs and startups through the business planning process to determine business feasibility, including the actual development of a professional, Small Business Administration-approved business plan, pitch and financial forecast.

The first of the upcoming LaunchU classes will be held at Southeast Missouri State University-Sikeston starting March 8. The class will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. through April 14 and is being sponsored by First State Bank and Trust Company, Inc.

The course consists of instruction from a certified facilitator, small group activities, one-on-one business coaching, local experts as guest speakers, an Entrepreneur’s Workbook, and a three-month license for LivePlan. Known as the world’s leading business planning platform, LivePlan is built for entrepreneurs. The platform allows entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch, plan and track their business from anywhere in the world.

LaunchU incorporates the curriculum formerly known as Operation JumpStart: First Step created by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation with the cloud-based business planning software LivePlan to educate aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs on the must-knows and ins-and-outs of business planning, pitching and tracking.

“Entrepreneurship training and research is the cornerstone of the work that is done by the Missouri Innovation Corporation,” said Dr. Gerald McDougall, dean of Southeast’s Harrison College of Business and chief executive officer of the Missouri Innovation Corporation. “Recognizing that our former Operation JumpStart program needed to evolve to fit the needs of today’s entrepreneur, we redeveloped our training model and now have a fresh, user-friendly program.”

Crystal Jones, interim director of Southeast’s Institute for Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship, added, “Offering LaunchU in the Missouri Bootheel is an important goal of ours. The economic challenges faced by the region with the recent announcement of the Noranda Aluminum plant closure are great, and we are dedicated to helping in recovery efforts. Knowing that small businesses are the primary job creators, offering the LaunchU course will help offset some of those employment challenges in the future.”

First State Bank and Trust Company, Inc.’s sponsorship provides 20 scholarships to cover the entire cost of the course for interested entrepreneurs — a $95 value. Due to the limited class size and limited number of scholarships available, participants must submit an application by March 3. Scholarships are awarded as applications are received.

“First State Bank and Trust is dedicated to helping our communities grow and succeed,” said Matt Drake, community bank president. “We understand the value of small businesses in rural Missouri and are a proud supporter of initiatives that help develop entrepreneurs.”

At the end of the course, class participants will compete to win one startup assistance package of $500 as well as pro bono marketing, accounting and legal consulting services provided by BOLD Marketing and Cory C. Fitzgerald, a Certified Public Accountant.

“We are pleased to partner with the Missouri Innovation Corporation to offer LaunchU in Sikeston, and we look forward to seeing the positive outcomes in our rural community,” said Zachary Fayette, community bank vice president.

Applications for the Sikeston class may be submitted at the Missouri Innovation Corporation, located in the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 920 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or online at www.innovationmic.org/launchu.

LaunchU classes, dates and times are still being developed for the Kennett and Poplar Bluff communities. Interested entrepreneurs are asked to contact Training Program Coordinator Gabrielle Penca at (573) 651-5095 or gpenca@semo.edu.

About the Missouri Innovation Corporation

The Missouri Innovation Corporation is one of 10 state-supported innovation centers across Missouri, and is located within Southeast’s Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The MIC is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering business and community development to create new, high-value jobs and positive economic benefits for the University and the region. For more information about the MIC and the entrepreneurial support services it offers, contact (573) 651-2929 or visit www.innovationmic.org.

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Southeast Launches Services to Assist Displaced Noranda Employees

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 1, 2016 – Southeast Missouri State University will launch several initiatives and extended services to aid those affected by the layoff of employees from Noranda Aluminum Inc.’s New Madrid plant.

“Our thoughts are with the families who have been and will be impacted by the layoffs of one of the region’s largest employers,” said Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast. “The University is concerned about the severe impact on the regional economy and is moving forward with efforts to help these displaced workers and communities recover.”

The first of these initiatives includes University participation at the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Community Resource and Job Fair on Friday, Feb. 5. The fair is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Sikeston campus of Three Rivers College.

Southeast’s Office of Admissions, Extended and Continuing Education, Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) and Office of Military and Veterans Services will have staff on hand to provide information about available services and resources for the displaced Noranda workers.

“When there is a layoff of this size in a smaller rural community, unfortunately additional jobs will be lost as a result of that money leaving the local economy,” said Dr. Gerald McDougall, chief executive officer of the Missouri Innovation Corporation and interim Southeast provost. “One way to combat that ripple effect is to give people the necessary knowledge, tools and networks to create their own jobs.”

Further initiatives and resources include:

Missouri Innovation Corporation

The Missouri Innovation Corporation is one of 10 state-supported innovation centers across Missouri and is located within Southeast’s Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The MIC is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering business and community development to create new, high-value jobs and positive economic benefits for the University and the region.

Following the resource fair, the MIC will collaborate with several affected communities to offer entrepreneurship training and programs over the next few months to help increase microenterprise creation and success rates.

One of these partnerships is with the Greater Poplar Bluff Area Chamber of Commerce to bring the training program LaunchU to the Poplar Bluff community.

LaunchU incorporates the curriculum formerly known as Operation JumpStart with the cloud-based business planning software LivePlan to educate aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs on the must-knows and ins-and-outs of business planning, pitching and tracking.

Class details, dates and times are still being developed for Sikeston, Kennett and Poplar Bluff, but will be announced in the coming weeks.

The MIC has been able to offer similar trainings through sponsorships with local organizations and businesses at no cost to participants and hopes to do this again for these displaced workers.

For information about sponsorship or mentorship/coaching opportunities, email team@innovationmic.org, or call (573) 651-2929.

For more information about the Missouri Innovation Corporation, visit http://semo.edu/irie/mic.

Small Business and Technology Development Center

The Small Business and Technology Development Center, also located within Southeast’s Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is dedicated to individually working with businesses to meet a wide variety of needs.

By the end of February, the center will expand its hours meeting with clients at satellite locations from one day to two days per week. The expanded hours will take place in communities affected by the layoffs on a rotating basis including Sikeston, Kennett, Dexter and Poplar Bluff.

This initiative will allow business development associates to spend more time helping small business owners in the affected areas with business development, business analytics and technical assistance.

Small business owners interested in scheduling a meeting should call (573) 651-2929.

For more information about the Small Business and Technology Development Center, visit http://www.semo.edu/irie/business-development-and-finance/sbtdc.html.

 

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Southeast’s Institute for Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship receives Delta Entrepreneurship Network Fellowship

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Southeast’s Institute for Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship receives Delta Entrepreneurship Network Fellowship

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Dec. 14, 2015 – Southeast Missouri State University’s Institute for Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IRIE) recently received a Delta Entrepreneurship Network (DEN) fellowship and will participate in a series of intensive technical assistance trainings and New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

The Institute joins 35 other entrepreneurs and support organizations from the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions as 2016 Delta Entrepreneurship Network Fellows.

“As we move into our second year of building and growing the Delta Entrepreneurship Network, I am excited to work with this new class of fellows to strengthen our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. These fellows represent some of the brightest entrepreneurial minds in our region, whether using their knowledge to advance their own business idea or helping others pursue their entrepreneurial dreams,” said Chris Masingill, federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority (DRA).

The 22 winning entrepreneurs were selected through a series of six pitch competitions throughout the DRA footprint. Fourteen entrepreneurship support organizations, including the IRIE, were identified through a competitive application process. These regional experts and practitioners represent organizations providing a variety of technical assistance services to entrepreneurs.

Southeast has partnered with the Delta Regional Authority in a number of ways in the past to advance and grow entrepreneurship, and the Institute is looking forward to continuing the relationship, said Crystal Jones, interim director at the IRIE.

“Being named a Delta Entrepreneurship Network fellow is another great opportunity for us to participate with the DRA and help entrepreneurs across the Delta start or grow their business,” said Jones. “We are always excited to network with other entrepreneur support organizations and are looking forward to potential collaborations with them through this program.”

Fellows will participate in a series of technical assistance trainings on business development and facilitated discussions around the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Delta region. They will then take part in a special segment of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week — hosted by The Idea Village — March 11-18 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Fellows will showcase their ideas to investors, participate in programmatic workshops, and connect with fellow entrepreneurs, industry experts and mentors.

“Our hope and expectation is that with the skills, training and network that fellows will gain from the next year of engagement, the DEN fellows will be better poised to go back to their communities and create even more opportunities for themselves and other entrepreneurs in the Delta,” Masingill continued.

The Delta Entrepreneurship Network is a program of the Delta Regional Authority created to identify, connect and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystems that drive the Delta’s local and regional economies. The DEN is addressing regional deficiencies in access to affordable capital, training and best practices for entrepreneurship through a connected infrastructure of support organizations, investors and educators.

For more information about Southeast’s Institute for Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship, visit http://www.semo.edu/irie/.

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