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Business Resources

Our business assistance resources have been broken down by stage. Please click one of the blue buttons below to view links related to that part of the process.

Business Startup Prototyping Research Funding and Support Incubators and Research Manufacturing

Business Startup

Evaluation of a Business Idea

  • Evaluating Your Business Idea is a simple questionnaire-formatted document that helps you think through the elemental considerations in starting a business.

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Business Plans and Planning

  • Guide to Writing a Business Plan provides a short, but thorough introduction to the process of writing a business plan and provides a simple outline of the contents of a standard plan.
  • Automated Business Plan Template - SBA's tool designed to help you build a business plan. At the end of the program you will be able to generate and save a formatted business plan which can later be further modified or presented as a final product.
  • BizPlanIt's Virtual Business Plan - Step-by-step walkthrough of business plan sections including basics and mistakes to avoid.
  • Business Owner's Toolkit - Downloadable business plan for manufacturer, service and retailer businesses.
  • Business Plan - Overview and suggested outline of the material that should be included in your business plan
  • The Business Plan - Second section of "Doing Business in Missouri." Provides information on how to put together the written expression of your business idea and market projections, the business plan.
  • Business Plan Archive - A collection of (primarily dot com) business plans archived by the University of Maryland.
  • Bplans.com - Find, view, download and edit sample business plans.
  • Business Planning Software - Includes a collection of resources for planning your business, documenting your plan and evaluating your strategy.
  • Guide to Writing a Business Plan - Helps new or existing business owners take an objective look at their business, identify areas of strength and weakness, pinpoint needs that otherwise might be overlooked, spot opportunities early, and begin planning how best to achieve their goals.
  • INVenture Business Planner - Free, online business planning tool with a self-assessment that asks key questions and produces a downloadable, personalized business plan. A tutorial provides a helpful walkthrough.
  • The Plan - A Step-By-Step Business Plan Workbook - MasterCard's Working for Small Business user-friendly workbook.

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Establishing a Business in Missouri

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Business Counseling and Assistance

  • Missouri SBTDC - Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC) are part of a statewide network of business experts uniquely qualified to help businesses develop and thrive. Every MO SBTDC location provides Missouri small businesses convenient access to this network.
  • Missouri Innovation Centers - The Missouri Innovation Center Network is a major statewide resource for commercializing Missouri innovations. The centers were created to “provide assistance to individuals and business organizations during the early stages of the development of new technology-based business ventures.”
  • Missouri Department of Economic Development – Listing of business assistance resources offered by DED.

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Other Business Resources (with lots of information and links!)

  • MissouriBusiness.net is a network of key business resource providers in Missouri. The Web site contains a vast array of helpful documents, links and information on starting and operating your small business as well as a calendar of upcoming training and educational events throughout Missouri. To find a business counselor near you, refer to www.missouribusiness.net/sbtdc/centers.asp
  • MOSourceLink The state of Missouri has a network of hundreds of government, nonprofit and educational organizations that support emerging and existing business owners with business growth. MOSourceLink connects this network together through one portal giving entrepreneurs and business owners easy access to the resources that they need to succeed
  • Missouri Department of Economic Development - Listing of business and economic development programs offered by DED.

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Prototyping

Prototyping

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Research Funding and Support

Research Funding

  • Inventions and Innovation Program - Part of the U.S. Department of Energy's web site. Provides information and steps required to obtain grants under the inventions and innovation grant program managed by the Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT).
  • SBIR/STTR Programs - Part of SBA's site relevant to funding for innovative, high-tech R&D projects through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs.
  • Missouri Life Sciences Research Board (MLSRB) and Trust Fund The mission of the Life Sciences Research Board and Trust Fund is to enhance research capacity in life sciences and to transform life sciences research into commercial opportunities.
  • Commercialization Assistance Program Loan The Commercialization Assistance Program Loan provides funding to Phase I SBIR/STTR awardees to acquire assistance from a list of qualified vendors to give feedback and improve the quality of their Phase II Commercialization Plan, hence increasing their chance of Phase II SBIR/STTR award. In addition, the program hopes to increase the chance of commercialization success of the developed product/technology by improving the Commercialization Plan of the business. A company will be awarded up to $15,000 to acquire the services of the qualified vendor. If awarded, MTC will pay the fee to the vendor directly on behalf of the CAP awardees.
  • Missouri Technology Incentive Program (MOTIP) The Missouri Technology Incentive Program (MOTIP) provides funding to support entrepreneurs who are pursuing federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer grant funding. MOTIP offers $5,000 Phase 0 grants to assist with the costs of preparing and submitting Phase I grant applications and bridge loans of up to $50,000 for Phase I grantees pursuing a Phase II grant.

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SBIR/STTR Assistance

  • MoFast Program MoFAST is a partnership among the U.S. Small Business Administration, University of Missouri Extension, Missouri Department of Economic Development and its partners to bring government research and development awards to your small business.
  • Defense Contractors SBIR/STTR Partnering Manual - DOD's tool for strengthening internal SBIR/STTR efforts and identifies best practices strategy for building effective SBIR/STTR partnerships between small and large businesses.
  • Missouri Technology Incentive Program (MOTIP) The Missouri Technology Incentive Program (MOTIP) provides funding to support entrepreneurs who are pursuing federal Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer grant funding. MOTIP offers $5,000 Phase 0 grants to assist with the costs of preparing and submitting Phase I grant applications and bridge loans of up to $50,000 for Phase I grantees pursuing a Phase II grant.

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Other Support

  • Research Alliance of Missouri (RAM) The Mission of RAM is to improve the well-being of Missourians through increased research productivity and technology innovation within Missouri universities; to promote economic development through increased collaborative efforts between the academic and business sectors; and to provide greater access of Missouri businesses to university-derived technologies.

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Venture Funding, Grants, and Loans

Venture Groups

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Grants and Loans

  • Ag-Biotech Recruitment Fund The Ag Biotech Recruitment Fund is a vehicle to recruit and retain agriculture biotechnology companies through grants, low-interest loans. convertible debt and direct equity investments in companies moving to Missouri.
  • Intellectual Property Management Fund The Intellectual Property Management Fund provides low interest loans of up to $15,000 for companies to assist with the costs of securing patent protection for their intellectual property.

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Incubators and Research Parks

Incubators

  • Center for Emerging Technologies - A St. Louis organization that functions as a non-profit, public-private-academic partnership designed to develop specialized services and provide facility infrastructure to promote the growth of advanced technology companies in the St. Louis region.
  • Economic Development Center of St. Charles County Business Incubator - A not-for-profit organization that focuses on technology-driven companies and provides office and light manufacturing space; conference rooms; shared services and office equipment; business management consultation services; administrative and technical assistance; access to management/financial analyses and access to financial programs.
  • Helix Center
  • Mid-Missouri Technology Business Incubator - Mid-Missouri technology incubator creating a cluster of local technology businesses that can provide economic growth and more jobs for Missourians on a sustainable basis.
  • Ozark Foothills Business Incubator - Provides new and expanding businesses with economical space and services during the critical period of product/process development and establishment of markets.
  • St. Louis County Economic Council - Supports the launching of new businesses and expansion of existing ones through its business incubators located in South County, Midtown and West County. Provides affordable office, warehouse/production and retail space; mentoring by community business leaders; networking opportunities and links to resources; a supportive, professional environment and low-cost loans for qualifying clients.
  • MU Life Science Business Incubator – Columbia, MO
  • UMSL IT Enterprises – St. Louis, MO
  • Missouri Plant Science Center - Mexico, MO.  The nearly 25,000 square-foot facility in Mexico, MO will house traditional offices, wet and dry laboratories, and manufacturing equipment that will process soybeans and other plant-based material into value-added products.  Website in development.

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Research Parks

  • Missouri Research Park – St. Charles, MO - Owned and managed by the University of Missouri System, the Missouri Research Park officially opened in 1985. Today, more than 180 acres of land in the park are developed for high-tech and research facilities. 
  • University of Missouri Technology Park at Fort Leonard Wood - The objective of the University of Missouri Technology Park at Fort Leonard Wood is to provide a strategic location, on post, for businesses and professional organizations that conduct business with, and support the mission and goals of, the United States Army. 
  • Missouri S&T Innovation Park - Rolla, MO - The Missouri University of Science and Technology’s INNOVATION PARK will encompass approximately 60 acres of University-owned property adjacent to the current Missouri S&T campus. This site will be developed to create a mixed academic and private research park to enhance economic activity in the South Central Missouri region.
  • Discovery Ridge - Columbia, MO - Discovery Ridge is central Missouri’s newest premier research park. Approved by the University of Missouri Board of Curators in 2006, the park is a joint project between the University of Missouri System’s Office of Research and Economic Development and the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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Manufacturing

Manufacturing

  • Missouri Enterprise - Offers extensive expertise, hands-on assistance and a wealth of resources in the areas of research and development, marketing, manufacturing, and facilities management. Assists in streamlining processes, improving profitability, expanding production or moving product.
  • Missouri Industrial Assessment Center - University of Missouri program offering energy audit and productivity assessment to qualified small to medium sized manufacturers.

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Reviewed 2012-03-05.