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UM System earns grant to boost its Entrepreneurial Scholars and Interns Program

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John Fougere

October 19, 2015

Missouri Technology Corporation provides $145,000 to grow number of student entrepreneurs in the state

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri System has been awarded $145,000 from the Missouri Technology Corporation’s (MTC) Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity (MOBEC) program effective January 1, 2016. These funds, with a partial match from the UM System Office of Academic Affairs, will allow the Entrepreneurial Scholars and Interns Program (ESIP), established in 2014, to grow the number of students from 12 per year on average to 16 per year.

“Providing more students with an opportunity to participate in such a worthwhile experience is a win-win for the state,” UM System President Tim Wolfe said. “The entrepreneurial culture on our campuses has already opened doors for students and we look forward to the additional growth this grant will bring to the program.”

The first cohort of the ESIP, comprised of students from all four UM System campuses, enrolled in courses to build their entrepreneurial academic foundation and participated in summer internships where they worked alongside business owners while also developing and growing their own startup companies. Of the 14 students, seven have launched startups, five are learning more about corporate innovation in Missouri companies, and two are still exploring entrepreneurial options.

“This program was designed to increase the number of students who will become entrepreneurs upon graduation,” UM System Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Research and Economic Development Hank Foley said. “With generous support from MTC and UM System strategic funding, we’re creating a new wave of well-educated entrepreneurs that will benefit the entire state.”

Under the leadership of President Wolfe, the UM System is engaged in a five-year strategic plan to meet the university’s mission and achieve excellence. One of those strategic goals is to collaborate with internal and external constituents to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Missouri; the goal of the ESIP is to graduate 48 students through the program by Fiscal Year 2018.

For more information about the program, visit www.umsystem.edu/esip.

About the Missouri Technology Corporation
The Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) is a public-private partnership created by the Missouri General Assembly to promote entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies. MTC focuses on 21st Century bioscience industries that build on Missouri's rich history in agriculture and technology.

MTC is governed by a 15-member board of directors, which is appointed by Missouri's Governor, Speaker of the Missouri House, and President Pro Tem of the Missouri Senate. The President of the University of Missouri System and the Director of the Department of Economic Development are ex officio members of the board.