New program helps fund mid-Missouri tech startups

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COLUMBIA – Four mid-Missouri startup companies have a new opportunity for success thanks to the Mid-MO Tech Accelerator.

The Missouri Innovation Center launched the program Wednesday night. The goal is to support new local technology companies with a financial investment, space at the MU Life Science Business Incubator at Monsanto Place and coaching and counseling from the Missouri Innovation Center.

One of those businesses, called Recordly, does speech and text transcription for journalists. John Gillis, a software developer with the company, said the support is a big opportunity.

“We’re very happy to be a part of the Mid-MO Tech Accelerator here to help us take our product to the next level,” he said.

The three other companies are a precision agriculture company, an e-sports company and an advertising company.

MU interim chancellor Hank Foley attented the kickoff event, and said it is important to support new businesses to provide more people with opportunities and to put people back to work.

The Missouri Innovation Center’s president, Bill Turpin, said Foley’s leadership played an important role in implementing the accelerator fund.

According to Turpin, many startups in the area have not had resources like this in the past, so they either moved away or just quit. He said the accelerator gives mid-Missouri startups a “next step” in finding success.

“They can come join the Mid-MO Tech Accelerator, get help, get money and make those companies successful,” Turpin said.

The Mid-MO Tech Accelerator program has enough money to support 30 companies, and Turpin said it won't take long to find them.

“I’m pretty confident we’re going to find 30 great companies without really leaving mid-Missouri.”