Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development

Striped Bar

Your ideas come to life

The Robert W. Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development welcomes big thinkers and those with an entrepreneurial spirit. Being your own boss is the American dream, but making all the necessary plans, finding funding and making the leap to the entrepreneurial status can be difficult. The goal of this Center is to provide a one-stop shop for new small businesses by providing resources, giving guidance and assisting with start-up activities.

In 2009, the University purchased the former Willow Brook Facility, and in 2010 the University received a seven-figure gift from the Robert W. Plaster Foundation that led to the naming of the facility.

Due to the Center's proximity to innovative research and development in the other IDEA Commons facilities, you will find the assistance you need at your fingertips. This downtown environment, filled with innovators, researchers and creators like you, establishes a network and an atmosphere perfect for the growth of your business.

What you’ll find

EFactoryThe Robert W. Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development houses many resources for entrepreneurs in an area designated as The eFactory, which assists entrepreneurs in any stage of the business planning process and through the exhilarating start-up phase. The eFactory features 20,000 square feet of leasable space, including 150 square foot offices, 550 square foot office suites and 800-2,500 square foot labs and manufacturing space.

Beginning Fall 2013, the Plaster Center will also house the University’s cooperative engineering program with Missouri University of Science and Technology, offering programs in both Civil and Electrical Engineering.

Do you have a big idea? We can help!

  • Core business training in financial management, budget development, marketing, human resources and legal issues, and business planning
  • Assistance with Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) funding programs
  • Assistance with government contracting
  • Services related to intellectual property, research and development, financing and new markets
  • Access to conference rooms equipped with audio visual and presentation equipment
  • Use of business support equipment
  • Co-working space for virtual clients
  • Business incubator space
  • Collaboration with other IDEA Commons residents/tenants
  • Networking opportunities
  • Unlimited on-site business consulting
  • And many other resources

At IDEA Commons