Mizzou Tech Roadshow & Mixer

by Andrew Smith | Jul 26, 2017
St. Louis does not exist in isolation.  At the St. Louis Regional Chamber, we talk a lot about regionalism—the idea that the economic well-being of 2.8 million people in the greater metropolitan area is interconnected, that job growth in St. Charles County or across the river in St. Clair County is good for St. Louis as a whole. When one part of our region wins, we all win. This is the abundance mentality we all must adopt if we’re going to compete effectively in the global economy.

But we’re also part of an even bigger ecosystem—the state of Missouri. And while a little healthy competition between, say, Kansas City and St. Louis doesn’t hurt, it’s far too easy for us to lose sight of the common resources and infrastructure that all of us depend on to drive innovation and workforce development. Parochialism and scarcity are arguably our two greatest obstacles.

Just an hour and a half to the west sits University of Missouri-Columbia, home of some of the most cutting-edge research going on anywhere in the US. The work being done in Columbia has a tremendous impact on the innovation ecosystem in St. Louis and vice versa.

On Tuesday, August 8th from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., area innovators and entrepreneurs will have a chance to learn more about that cutting-edge research at the inaugural Mizzou Tech Roadshow & Mixer. The event will be hosted at Thompson Coburn’s downtown office.

The keynote speaker will be Elizabeth Loboa, dean of the MU College of Engineering, and Mark McIntosh, who VP of Research and Economic Development for the University of Missouri system.

I got the chance to meet Dean Loboa at a recent Roundtable discussion as part of Gov. Eric Greitens’ Innovation Task Force. She is a force of nature!  Brilliant, deeply knowledgeable, and passionate about the opportunities and challenges facing Missouri.  A biomedical engineer by training, she came to Mizzou by way of Stanford and the North Carolina research triangle. She has real-world innovation and commercialization experience, and she will tell you that Missouri can absolutely compete with and win against these innovation hotbeds in our areas of strength.  In other words, she is exactly the kind of leader and ally we need in order to drive the broader innovation agenda for our region and our state.

After the keynote presentation, MU and University of Missouri-St. Louis will share future trends in biotechnology and faculty inventors will do eight-minute presentations about their new medical devices, diagnostics, and therapeutics.  A networking reception will follow the program.

While the Chamber is not involved at all in the planning, I hope that the St. Louis innovation ecosystem turns out for this event.  If we want support from other parts of the state for the work we’re doing here, we have to return that support in kind. You can’t collaborate if you aren’t willing to show up.

For more information, please contact Laura Roloff at 573-884-0023 or RoloffL@missouri.edu. Register for this free event here.