University Economic Development Association

Awards Session: Innovation

efactory – Missouri State University – Supercharge Southwest Missouri (Supercharge SWMO)

Speakers: Rachel Anderson – Director, efactory

Supercharge Southwest Missouri is a collaborative, regional initiative designed to address the significant challenges facing entrepreneurs, business owners and innovators as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and directly support the needs of building and sustaining an entrepreneurial ecosystem. The program leverages a broad network of partners to provide unmatched resources to innovators and job creators who are starting, scaling, or innovating throughout southwest Missouri.
Through the grant funded program, participants unlock access to no-cost resources including business consulting, executive level mentorship networks, on-demand training and office hours with professional service providers, and custom online portals for regional communities, making it easy for entrepreneurs to find the information needed to successfully start a business in any community in southwest Missouri.

Supercharge Southwest Missouri leverages innovation and entrepreneurship assets across 16+ counties to create and amplify new technologies, businesses, resources, capital investment strategies, and more. The program is designed to help the region respond to and thrive in today’s ever-changing business environment due to COVID-19. The program accelerates high quality job growth, creates economic opportunities, and supports the next generation of industry-leading companies in southwest Missouri.

Over a two year period the initiative is expected to: Serve more than 500 unique businesses, Result in 40 new businesses started, Result in 360 jobs created, Result in $20M in capital and equity secured by client companies.


Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering- Joint School’s Institute for Research Technologies

Speakers: Sherine Obare – Dean and Professor

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), is a unique academic collaboration between North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). It builds on the strengths of both institutions to offer a unique site that services the Piedmont Triad Region of North Carolina through its Institute for Research Technologies. This 105,000-square-foot, LEED Gold Certified research facility holds more than 100 state- of-the-art pieces of equipment for use in micro and nanofabrication, imaging, analytical characterization, synthetic biology, advanced materials design, and computational research and is the main location for universities, companies and government agencies to access for science, technology and engineering research, resources and equipment. In addition to the equipment, users have access to highly skilled staff and world-class specialized training. The investment made by the State of North Carolina as well as federal agencies, to acquire the resources required for the labs exceeds $30M. For biotechnology, science and engineering companies, this has become the one-stop location where all tools from fabrication to simulation, materials analysis, and process completion, can take place. In addition, JSNN has talented faculty who are called upon by the companies to help in problem solving and in knowledge transfer. Beyond being a state-of-the-art facility with highly skilled staff to support both internal and external researchers, JSNN offers cross-disciplinary graduate programs in research areas where nanoscience and nanoengineering play a key role, including synthetic biology, materials science, computational nanotechnology, and environmental science and sustainability.


Tech Parks Arizona, University of Arizona Center for Innovation – Global Advantage Soft-Landings Program

Speakers: Eric Smith, Executive Director, University of Arizona Center for Innovation

The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is the go-to organization to host international businesses interested in expansion. Located in Tucson, Arizona, UACI serves as the ideal entry point into the U.S. because of its vantage point with access to major markets – California; the Sun Corridor including Phoenix; and Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Denver to the north; Texas to the east; and Mexico to the south. The Arizona-Sonora region is located in a major trade corridor that reaches sixty-eight million customers in the United States and Mexico within a 1,000-mile radius.

UACI’s Global Advantage program provides a “soft landing” experience to businesses across the globe. UACI has received the “Soft Landing” designation from the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) and offers a value proposition to companies that are established in their home country to explore real market entrance into the US. This Soft Landing designation was awarded to UACI because of its long-established reputation as a proven entrepreneurship center that has clearly demonstrated the capabilities necessary to provide resources and programming to international companies seeking new market entry in the United States. UACI’s Soft Landings Program has served 19 international startups. We currently have 6 startups in the program who participate from other countries (7 as of next month). In total 9 companies have physically moved here or setup a US subsidiary since 2019. Connections span across the globe with businesses coming from the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Mexico, Saudi, Costa Rica, Columbia, Belarus, and Ukraine.


September 19 @ 17:30
17:30 — 18:45 (1h 15′)

Zapata