Grietens seeks entrepreneurs’ input on how to make Missouri more innovative

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is seeking input from the Show Me State’s entrepreneurs, investors on how the state can foster more innovation.

In June, Greitens launched a task force to spur startup activity and innovation in the State of Missouri. Over the past month, the Innovation Task Force hosted a handful of workshops throughout the state.

During a workshop in Springfield this month, Greitens shared his vision for Missouri.

“Our mission is to make Missouri the leader in innovation and entrepreneurship between the east and west coasts,” Greitens said in a statement.

The task force is asking Missourians to offer feedback on the state’s innovation efforts by participating in an online focus group and survey, which they can access by clicking here. The state is also turning to social media to engage constituents with the hashtag #MOInnovationTF.

“This is not a theoretical exercise just to bring people together to talk. We need to have action,” Missouri chief operating officer Drew Erdmann said in a release. “We know (the governor announced) an ambitious goal. But when you look at our assets across the state, though, we really do have the potential to achieve it.”

Some of those assets include industries such as agriculture, health and biology technology, according to the online focus group.

With support from the nonpartisan Hawthorn Foundation, the task force is currently preparing policy recommendations that aim to prop up Missouri as a prime destination for tech startups. It will also give an overall assessment of innovation in the Show Me State and analyze other states to glean best practices.

Rob Dixon, the director for the Missouri Department of Economic Development, said the effort is a piece of the broader economic development strategy in the Show Me State.

“Missouri is home to many large and successful global corporations that started small, right here by innovators and entrepreneurs,” Dixon said in a release. “We want to systematically encourage and help the next generations of these businesses grow.”

The final workshop in the series will be held in Cape Girardeau July 31. The task force will complete its work by the end of August.

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