With funding shored up from private and public donors, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is planning to move ahead with its plan to build the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center to support students and entrepreneurs.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Tuesday that the state is allocating $7.4 million to the center, which represents half of the funding for the new $14.8 million building that will be built at 215 Volker Boulevard. The Robert W. Plaster Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation offered the initial private funds.
“The Free Enterprise Center at UMKC will provide greater opportunities for creativity and collaboration among students, faculty and businesses, and strengthen the Kansas City region’s position as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship,” Gov. Nixon said in a release.
The prototyping and product development center will serve students, entrepreneurs and the larger business community with a variety of resources, including a lab, rapid prototyping equipment, 3D printers and a business incubator.
“This facility will support education and economic development across the board,” UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton said in a release. “It will help entrepreneurs, inventors and small business be more successful in their ventures. And students from middle school to graduate school will get a first-hand taste of entrepreneurship and become grounded in the discipline of innovation.”