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Press Release

Ozark Foothills Regional Planning Commission receives Regional Node Planning Grant Award from Missouri Technology Corporation

The grant program will strengthen a network of resource partners collaborating across southern Missouri to best support innovation and entrepreneurship.
Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) recently awarded the Ozark Foothills Regional Planning Commission (OFRPC) the Regional Node Planning Grant. The planning grants will be used to organize regional “nodes” which are intended to incentivize more of Missouri’s communities to successfully coalesce their assets to best support innovation and entrepreneurship through coordinated partnerships among entrepreneurial service organizations within the node.

“We are excited to collaborate with the teams at Innovate SOMO and other stakeholders across the region to eliminate silos, increase capacity, and continue growth within the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Ozark Foothills Region,” said Alan Lutes, Ozark Foothills Regional Planning Commission Executive Director.

In addition to the Ozark Foothills Regional Planning Commission, active node members in southeast Missouri include:
● codefi.
● Efactory.
● Greater Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce.
● Three Rivers College.

The regional nodes build on the successful regional network launched by efactory and codefi serving the southern 47 counties of Missouri: the Southern Missouri Innovation Network, or Innovate SOMO.

With improved plans and aligned resources, the support organizations in the node will continue partnering with Innovate SOMO to serve as a front door for the regional entrepreneurial community.

“By sharing expertise and resources across southern Missouri we are confident we will not only maximize the number of technology-based, high growth potential startups, but also encourage growth and scale across the region,” said Will Cooper, Three Rivers College Career Studies and Workforce Development Chair.

What to expect
Through the grant program, the group plans to:
● Conduct inventory of current comprehensive and strategic plans for entrepreneur support and economic development organizations.
● Host regional roundtable events to review assessments, identify gaps, and develop a plan that clearly articulates the role of each partner organization.
● Operationalize the plan and prepare to apply for MTC’s anticipated Implementation grant.
● Deliver programs and services that maximize outputs and economic impact.

“These activities will help better align our efforts to support and attract innovators and entrepreneurs,
and continue strengthening our regional competitiveness moving forward,” said Steve Halter, Poplar Bluff Chamber President.

The Ozark Foothills Regional Planning Commission (OFRPC) was created to facilitate the cooperative effort of its member counties of Butler, Carter, Reynolds, Ripley and Wayne, along with the 16 municipalities within in solving problems and planning the future development of human, natural, and economic resources of the Ozark Foothills region.
About MTC

The Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) is a public-private partnership created by the Missouri General Assembly to promote entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies.