Columbia is hosting its first ever Mid-Missouri Innovation Week to support local entrepreneurs, inventors and students in their small business endeavors.
The purpose of the event is to make it easier for mid-Missouri entrepreneurs and small business owners to connect. This began with the creation of an “Entrepreneurial Ecosystem map” and a regional “Entrepreneurial Calendar” to see what activities are going on in the area.
The final step was the creation of the Bringing Up Business week. The week includes a variety of events and activities to attend like small business pitch competitions, an entrepreneurial boot camp and technology expos.
“People are starting to notice that ‘Hey, central Missouri has got a lot going on, and a lot available in the way of entrepreneurship and new businesses,’” Senior Program Coordinator Sherri Helm said.
Entrepreneurs and business owners around mid-Missouri were invited to attend through community partners like The University of Missouri, Regional Economic Development Inc. and the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.
Nestor Santos owns a sulfur development company in Columbia and uses workshops like this to connect with other local business owners.
“I would say all entrepreneurs should want to take advantage of these events because that’s the only way you get to connect and you get to know the needs and wants of the community,” Santos said.
Bringing Up Business Week ends Friday, Oct. 14, with a celebration at Rose Music Hall, which is open to the public.