Missouri Governor Eric Greitens To Axe MTC Budget
The Missouri Technology Corporation is a public/private partnership in the state that’s helping to bolster the economy through a myriad of programs for startups. Since it’s launch in 2015 the MTC has been attributed with assisting nearly 100 startups in the state.
Kansas City, Columbia and of course St. Louis have been major hubs of startups and innovation, not just in Missouri but across the middle part of the country. With that, Missouri ranked 24th in the Kauffman Startup Index in 2016, that’s down 5 sports from ranking 19th in 2015. With major cuts to startup programs, that could cause a major blow in this next year.
St. Louis Today reports that Greitens’ mission for economic development focuses on job growth, presumably trying to attract more companies to the state. “We’re going to build a Missouri with more jobs and higher pay,” Greitens said in a video explaining his $27.6 billion dollar budget proposal.
Rep. T.J. Berry, R-Kearney, who is on the MTC’s board of directors has vowed to get some of the money back. “I’ll work to get some of that money back,” Berry said Friday. “It is critically important.”
This year’s MTC budget was $22.9 million dollars. Under the new governor’s proposed plan, that money shrinks by 80% to just $5 million.
While the cuts won’t shut the MTC down it will shudder important programming for startups. What’s worse is that the MTC has been making money for the state. They’ve invested $30 million dollars since opening in 2005. The startups they’ve invested in have gone on to raise more than 10x that amount at over $350 million in private investment. Creating hundreds jobs along the way.
Not only that but MTC takes an equity position in some of the companies they’ve invested in. For example in 2012 they invested $200,000 in St. Louis startup Lockerdome, for an undisclosed amount of equity. MTC later sold it’s stake in the social networking startup for double the money, bringing $400,000 back into the state.
The state legislature is working on their own plan, and has until May 5th to vote on the current budget. After that Greitens can pass the budget or veto some, or all of it.