JVIC is a university-private sector research, development and commercialization model that focuses on product development, research and educational opportunities. The facility focuses on collaboration with affiliates on new technologies and accelerating them to viable markets. This helps accelerate new product development and integration of technologies.
University, public and private collaboration will continue to drive downtown development
Missouri State University will continue to be an integral part of downtown development. The university will leverage public and private funds to expand JVIC and the Plaster Center. JVIC expansion will allow for continued growth of the center’s research programs and affiliates. Plaster Center expansion will allow for an increase in start-up services offered in central Springfield. The growth of these two facilities will bring new businesses to the community and will allow many entrepreneurs to start their own new businesses.
These additions are part of a larger project that also includes a new office building, green space, gathering areas and a parking structure. Daylighting Jordan Creek will create a park-like area to tie all the projects together.
Student Entrepreneurial Grants will also allow students to work with coaches at the efactory to launch new businesses.
- Inclusive Excellence Scholarship includes funding to allow students to participate in internships or practical experiences during their sophomore, junior or senior year.
- Student Entrepreneurial Grant competition provides funding, support and mentorship to help them start a business.
efactory and IDEA Commons create inviting environment for young professionals
Britany grew up in Maryland Heights, Missouri, and went to a diverse high school in the St. Louis area. Before she visited Missouri State University, she wasn’t sure she’d fit in at Missouri State because of the relatively small number of Black students compared to some other colleges she considered.
Missouri State awarded her an Inclusive Excellence Scholarship. The scholarship provided money for tuition and an internship experience. When she met current students and some of the Black faculty and staff during a campus visit, she decided to attend the university.
Britany studied hospitality leadership. During her junior year, she took the Restaurants Management class, where students learned all aspects of running a restaurant.
During her senior year, Britany applied for and won a pitch competition for a three-year Student Entrepreneurial Grant. The grant provides a financial award, mentoring and professional support to help awardees successfully launch a business after graduation.
During the first year of the grant, Britany was a management trainee with a Minorities in Business restaurant owner.
In the second year, she had the use of a food truck in the IDEA Commons plaza. IDEA Commons is an urban innovation park in downtown Springfield. During that year, her mentor helped her develop a menu and coached her on running a business.
She also worked with legal, financial and human resources coaches at the efactory. They helped her develop a business plan to take her restaurant concept from a food truck to a permanent location. The efactory, located in IDEA Commons, is a Missouri State program that serves entrepreneurs and business owners in southwest Missouri.
The third year, Britany received a monthly stipend to help cover expenses as her new restaurant got off the ground. Her mentor and coaches from the efactory also continued to coach her.
Britany had originally planned to go back to St. Louis after she graduated. But she began to see Springfield as a place where she’d be happy living.
She ultimately decided to stay in Springfield. She opened a small restaurant downtown and later became a mentor for other underrepresented students who want to start their own businesses.
Focus area two
Community engagement is a core value
Community engagement is a core component of the university’s public affairs mission. From service-learning classes to internships and practicums to research and service projects, campus members partner with organizations, agencies and governments to improve communities.
Many of Missouri State’s academic programs are also linked to the community. Nursing students provide services at MSU Care - a primary care clinic for uninsured, low-income adults housed on the Missouri State campus. The sociology program focuses on community engagement. Students work with community organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Salvation Army, AIDS Project of the Ozarks and many others. These are just a few examples of how academic programs are integrated into the community.
Missouri State students are engaged with the community through service-learning classes and community engagement projects.