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Local businesses selected for startup funding

A few local businesses are getting a hand up in project funding thanks to a new partnership in the business community.

Posted: Oct 2, 2018 6:06 PM
Updated: Oct 2, 2018 6:20 PM

(St. Joseph, MO)A few local businesses are getting a hand up in project funding thanks to a new partnership in the business community.

The Innovation Stockyard has partnered with Digital Sandbox KC to give local companies the opportunity to apply for up to $15,000 to help expand their business.

"We got a MOBEC [Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity] grant from the Missouri Technology Corporation and that grant was matched by Buchanan County and the city. It was designed to give a proof of concept funding for early staged companies," Innovation Stockyard President Ronan Molloy said.

Molloy said the grant will help businesses expand and create new jobs in St. Joseph, but the team is highly selective.

"In the most recent round [of submissions], we've had about 23 applicants over the last year and a half, and we've awarded five [grants],"Molloy said.

Carroll’s Irish Bitters, a small-batch bitters manufacturer, and Grant Company, an communications and marketing firm are the most recent recipients of the grant.

Crystal Albers, Director of Content for Grant Company, said the company has been in St. Joseph for a year and the company’s time at the Innovation Stockyard (located inside the Kit Bond Science and Technology Incubator building on the campus of Missouri Western State University) has helped the business grow.

"We are excited to be a part of the incubator and a lot of the Ag[riculture] based businesses that are housed here.It's an exciting thing to be part of a community of businesses that are both Ag based, but growing in scope and continue to contribute to the Ag community,"Albers said.

The Grant Company plans to use the money to help expand their communications and develop a new internship program for college students.

"We are looking to further develop an internship program that we have in place so that we continue not only to service Ag clients in the area, but also grow student skills in the area of communications,"Albers said.

The Grant Company and Carroll’s Irish Bitters will also receive three to six months of free workspace and business mentoring at the Innovation Stockyard.

"We can help with accounting, we can help with a lot of strategic partners, basically we try to help mentor the companies as much as we can,"Molloy said.

The Innovation Stockyard currently hosts eight businesses in the Kit Bond Building, but since Boehringer Ingelheim moved to their second location earlier this year, Molloy said there is approximately 6,000 sq. feet of office space available to new business.
For more information on Sandbox or to submit your business ideas for future funding, log on to https://www.digitalsandboxkc.com/programs/stjoe/apply

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