Missouri has not one, but many, outstanding research institutions— Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Missouri, Saint Louis University, and Stowers Institute for Medical Research among them. As the Executive Director of the Missouri Cures Education Foundation, I cultivate and maintain relationships with key policymakers, business leaders, researchers, and patient advocates in the medical research field, on both the state and national levels, to promote and protect all medical research in Missouri.
In my role, I cross over into the innovation and entrepreneur space. Missouri Cures hosts the Women in Science, Entrepreneurship & Research events in five cities around the state. What I learned from the speakers and participants at these events is there is a tremendous effort from both organizations and individuals to promote and support the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. These individuals and organizations offer effective training and mentoring opportunities and are encouraging to those interested in starting a business.
If there is a shortfall, however, it’s the need for even more job training, in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). LaunchCode, St. Louis Community College, Harris-Stowe, and others are contributing to educating people in the STEM fields. Missouri, as with most states, needs an organization or business to bring all of these groups together to move the state forward.
Missouri has seen tremendous growth in startups and entrepreneurial activity over the past decade. This growth in economic activity has been nurtured and supported in a bipartisan way by our elected leaders, community leaders, and others who care about the economic development in our state. If we can bring together more thought leaders on our current state of healthcare, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship, it would make a tremendous impact. It is an exciting time for Missourians.