A series of state budget cuts by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens will directly impact Kansas City entrepreneurship.
The sweeping $146.4 million rollback of the Show Me State’s budget will cut funds from both the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Free Enterprise Center and Missouri Technology Corporation. Greitens’ plan will cut about $3.3 million from the enterprise center and $4.5 million from the MTC.
Greitens said that the cuts were a result of lower-than-expected state revenues, an unbalanced budget and a move for the state to become more efficient.
“We must come together, tighten our belts, be smart and wise with our tax dollars, and work our way out of this hole by bringing more jobs with higher pay to the people of Missouri,” Greitens said in a statement. “Government must become more efficient, and we must build a thriving economy with more jobs and higher pay.”
Announced in 2015, the $14.8-million Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center at UMKC is intended to be a state-of-the-art facility for both entrepreneurial students and community members. The facility — which will be located at a new building at 215 Volker Boulevard — will feature a lab, rapid prototyping equipment, 3D printers and a business incubator. Former Missouri Gov. Nixon said in May of 2015 that the state would provide about $7.4 million to the enterprise center.
Greitens’ cuts also hit the MTC, which has invested more than $1.8 million in Kansas City-area organizations, including startups — like PopBookings and SquareOffs — and startup-support organizations like Digital Sandbox KC. The MTC is a public-private partnership organization created by the Missouri General Assembly to promote entrepreneurship and foster tech firms’ growth. Since 2011, the MTC’s Idea Funds have supported more than 90 Missouri startups and has invested more than $30 million around the state.
The MTC and UMKC have not yet responded for comment.