Report shows Missouri lacks in innovation compared to nearby states

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COLUMBIA - According to a new report released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Missouri is falling behind other states when it comes to innovation.

The report gave scores to all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their willingness and ability to promote and encourage innovation.

Missouri is considered an "innovation adopter," which is the second-lowest ranking on the report.

Surrounding states, except to the south, are considered "innovation leaders."

Enterprise Development Corporation Executive Director Donna Delong Hamiliton, who helps small businesses just starting out, said any available assistance organizations, such as the EDC, can offer is important in getting new small businesses of the ground.

"Resources are critical in the beginning," Hamiliton said. "If you don't fund the new businesses they'll never have a chance to grow and mature."

Collin Bunch, who works as a small business counselor for the Small Business Development Center, said the help he can give businesses in the beginning can be vital for them to grow and succeed.

"We help connect the pieces together," Bunch said. "It's about making it go from an idea to something that's in the market that can grow."

Here's are Missouri's grades in the report:

Right to work: F

Welcomes new business models: N/A

Tax-friendliness: B

Entrepreneurial activity: C

Fast Internet: C-

Tech workforce: B-

Attracts investment: C

Grants STEM degrees: B

Innovation momentum: B+

Innovation-friendly sustainable policies: N/A