One of Kansas City startups’ biggest boosters is still in business, despite its imperiled state funding amid ongoing COVID-era budget decision-making.
The Missouri Technology Corporation announced this week it’s accepting applications for two IDEA Fund co-investment programs — TechLaunch and Seed Capital — that have historic impacts on local founders.
“MTC’s co-investment programs were developed to support Missouri’s early-stage entrepreneurs in developing technologies and create jobs across Missouri while positioning companies for future venture capital investment,” Jack Scatizzi, executive director of MTC. “The IDEA Fund programs support technology startups through matching equity or convertible debt investments for the purpose of technology and business development.”
The fund offers investments up to $500,000.
Applicants for funding must be based in Missouri; have a proprietary or protectable intellectual property; be in the pre-seed or seed financing stage; have, at the time of closing, an actual third party dollar-for-dollar matching investment for MTC funds; and fit into at least one of MTC’s five focus areas: animal health, plant science, biomedical science, applied engineering (software), and defense and homeland security.
To date, MTC has made direct investments of more than $43 million into more than 130 of the state’s most promising early-stage technology-focused companies and those companies have raised more than $800 million in follow-on private funding, Scatizzi said.
“Support from MTC was key for us in raising our pre-seed round in 2017. They were the first fund to make a commitment in that round and that really helped drive interest from early stage funds and angel groups that ultimately co-invested with the state.”
— Jordan Warzecha, co-founder of backstitch
Among the Kansas City startups to take advantage of MTC’s co-investment funding: backstitch, Little Hoots, Moblico, Mycroft, Pathfinder Health Innovations, PayIt, Popbookings, Proviera Biotech, SCD Probiotics, Sickweather, SoftVu, StoryUp, Transportant, Venture360, and VideoFizz. (Today, many of these startups are now listed among Kansas City’s Top VC-Backed Companies.)
Click here to see MTC’s full portfolio.
Support for startups also includes funding efforts linked to local programs like LaunchKC and Digital Sandbox KC, as well as providing funds to nine innovation centers — such as those at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and Columbia, and Innovation Stockyard in St. Joseph.
MTC also largely supports the Missouri Building Entrepreneurial Capacity (MOBEC) Program, which has provided more than $29 million in funding to nonprofits, universities and other organizations that offer entrepreneurial support programs.
A budget plan released in late January by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson includes a $1 million FY 2022 budget allocation for MTC, which saw its investment efforts defunded last year because of COVID-19-related shortfalls.
Click here to read more about the 2022 budget recommendation.
MTC’s state budget expenditure was nearly $2.2 million in FY 2020 — down significantly from $17 million as recently as 2016.
Officials previously told Startland News that the popular public-private initiative largely relies on a mix of state funding and cash reserves to operate.
MTC is now accepting applications for our IDEA Fund Co-Investment Programs. To date, MTC has made direct investments of over $43M into more than 130 of the state’s most promising early-stage technology-focused companies. Find it here: https://t.co/5FdI2k8zIC
— MTC (@MoTechCorp) February 25, 2021