For the fourth year in a row the Missouri Tech Expo, attracting new technology entries from around the state, brought investors to a showcase of innovations and inventions. They were developed in university research departments such as plant and animal sciences, family and community medicine, comparative medicine, nuclear science and radiochemistry. The Expo, held on the University of Missouri’s Columbia campus, is the brainchild of the MU Office of Technology Management and Industry Relations (OTMIR).
They must be doing something right, since MU is in the top quarter of universities in revenue earnings from intellectual property. This year’s Expo attendance was double last year’s, both in technologies represented and investor attendees, and was featured on the local TV news.
R2FACT has been a sponsor of the Expo since 2011. We ran a booth at which we explained how we can assist with product development and the licensing or manufacturing of new products. I really like supporting my business’ home state and appreciate seeing universities across Missouri collaborating. It is good for the universities and helps grow our economy and employment. One of the start-ups featured last year successfully licensed their product and has created jobs.
Other companies that found funding at the Expo are now also producing products. Organovo, which offers 3-D bioprinting, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Beyond Meat, which makes a soy-based chicken substitute, licensed it to a manufacturer who makes it in a Columbia plant and sells it in grocery stores nationwide.
The September 19th program featured talks by the head of a commercial technology incubation firm that has spun out three successful portfolio companies and entrepreneurs who are bringing eyeprint verification security to the mobile market and streamlined diagnostic support services to clinicians.
At the heart of the conference were three segments dedicated to giving each of the new technologies 10 minutes for a spokesperson to explain the importance of their innovations and why they deserve commercialization. It’s a kind of speed-dating match making, and it generates results, as we at R2FACT have seen firsthand.