When provided access to opportunities, support resources, and skilled talent, entrepreneurs and small business owners produce a chain reaction of job creation, revenue growth and community improvements.

Since 2014, the founders of Innovate SOMO have produced outstanding direct, indirect and induced outcomes, which contribute measurable, equitable economic impact year over year.

The Problem

Regional Challenges & Opportunities

Persistent Poverty

The mostly rural 47-county service region of the Southern Missouri Innovation Network includes 15 counties exhibiting persistent poverty of more than 20% for three decades. Despite high school and 2-year college completion rates being near state averages, annual earnings are nearly 20% below. Impacts from COVID-19 have only increased historic economic challenges in the region.


= Innovate SOMO Region

Education & Jobs

= Innovate SOMO Region


= Innovate SOMO Region

The Solution

The Innovate SOMO network expands access to nationally recognized programs, services, and resources that work together as direct drivers accelerating business creation, innovation, and growth. It’s all for the mission of developing talent and accelerating quality employment in high-growth, high-quality occupations.

Supporting Scalable Startups

  • A full set of programs to catalyze a growing pipeline of tech companies
  • Unique no-cost software development and professional services

Supporting Small Business Innovation

  • Early-stage and second-stage programs focused on small business growth
  • Pro bono professional services, consulting, and peer mentoring networks

supporting Technical Talent Development

  • Affordable skill-based training for software developer and cyber occupations

Increasing Access to Tech Jobs

  • Apprenticeships, paid work experiences, and a community of practice

Increasing Access to Startup Capital

  • Co-investment model combining charitable contributions in our ever-green nonprofit fund with investment from limited partners and other accredited investors outside our region.