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The eFactory wins Governor’s Redevelopment Project of the Year

Award recognizes commitment to revitalizing area, creating jobs
Friday, September 6, 2013

kunkel receives awardThe eFactory within the Robert W. Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development at Missouri State University was announced as the 2013 Governor’s Community/Redevelopment Project of the Year. The eFactory was recognized during the annual Governor’s Economic Development Conference in Kansas City Sept. 6.

Situated in IDEA Commons – an urban innovation park in downtown Springfield bringing together innovation, design, entrepreneurship and the arts – the Robert W. Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development has been transformed from the Springfield Tablet Manufacturing Co., a U.S. mail handling facility and a turkey processing plant into a hub for entrepreneurship.

“We are very honored to be recognized by the State of Missouri for our efforts to repurpose this facility as an integral part of IDEA Commons,” said Allen Kunkel, associate vice president for research and economic development. “This facility will support the creation of new businesses and new jobs, as well as create an environment that blends education with entrepreneurship.”

Plaster Center renovationHousing both The eFactory, a technology-focused business incubator and business development center, and the cooperative engineering program between Missouri State University and Missouri University of Science and Technology, the redevelopment of the Plaster Center has created a mixed-use development that provides opportunity for economic impact through new job creation as well as the advancement of educated persons who are equipped to contribute in an evolving economy.

In 2009, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) provided $2.75 million to help establish The eFactory within the Plaster Center. The funding was made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and helped to renovate approximately 40,000 square feet in the Plaster Center for the business incubator, which includes over 20,000 square feet of leasable client space. Additional funding for the project was provided through a private gift from the Robert W. Plaster Foundation, with the remaining investment made by Missouri State University.

For more information, contact Kunkel at (417) 836-3020 or allenkunkel@missouristate.edu.

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About the Robert W. Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development
This center is the foundation of the entrepreneurship element in IDEA Commons, acting as a one-stop shop for new small businesses, providing resources, giving guidance and assisting with start-up activities. Inside, you’ll find The eFactory (managed by Springfield Innovation, Inc.), the University’s cooperative engineering program with Missouri University of Science and Technology, the Small Business and Technology Development Center, the Management Development Institute, Springfield Angel Network, Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Missouri Enterprise, SCORE and other community and university resources.

About Missouri State University
Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive metropolitan system with a statewide mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. The university’s identity is distinguished by its public affairs mission, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster expertise and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement.

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