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UMKC Innovation Center
MOSourceLink Top 10 of 2019
By Donette Lowe
January 24, 2020

Your Top 10 Most Read Entrepreneur Stories of 2019

There’s nothing better than hearing about entrepreneurs who have dug deep to find the connections and courage to actually start and grow a business, especially right here in Missouri. MOSourceLink has been working to connect entrepreneurs to the business-building resources they need at the right time. And naturally, as you’re working to make Missouri the state of innovation between the coasts, you hear some good stories along the way. 

And in 2019? There were some epic stories, from animals collars with cloud cellular network to a lifestyle brand that just completed a $17M investment round!

These 10 most-read stories of 2019 span across industries, years and journeys showcasing entrepreneurs that are doing everything in their power to follow their dreams and take their businesses to new heights. Bonus, the resources they used to get there are also included.

From agriculture science, tech, food, lifestyle and more, there is something to learn in each story and inspiration to be found in each triumph. Check out our list of the 10 most read stories in 2019 to learn, get inspired and share forward.

10. St. Genevieve Entrepreneur John Kreilich Introduces Naked Bacon

“I wanted to make bacon the way it’s meant to be—without nitrates, phosphates and other chemicals,” explains John, daylighting as a scientist for the federal government. Using his great-grandfather’s original recipe, he formulated a recipe using the purest ingredients and processing methods. Naked Bacon is the result. Read more, but don’t get too hungry.

9. Columbia Artist Turned Entrepreneur Connects Community through Art

Artists lead an isolated life. The public on the other hand, enjoys making art but often believes they don’t know how or they lack talent. Stacy Self, known as Wildy, recognized the need to connect art-inspired communities with interactive art making.

See how she navigated freelancing, motherhood and building her business.

8. How the Founders of Summersalt Went from Independent Entrepreneurs to a High-Growth Startup

“Twenty-six months since launch, and things are great,” says Reshma. “We're rocking and rolling and are really excited to change the conversation around swimwear, and make sure all women feel represented, feel sexy on our own terms, and are empowered to dive into life with joy and embrace adventure.”

What makes Lori and Reshma such a dynamic duo is that they mastered the power of partnership: identifying strengths and bringing them together to solve a problem.

Read the partners’ story here.

7. Kimberly Moos of Cotton Cuts: From Fabric Enthusiast to a Subscription-Based Entrepreneur

Kimberly Moos of Chesterfield, Missouri, was in need of new designs, patterns and fabric for her quilting hobby. She was intrigued by personal clothing subscription-based services; however, she found there was nothing like it for quilters.

“It’s frightening to launch a website and wait for feedback,” explained Kim, “but it happened so fast. I’ve learned to accept there are things like feedback and reviews that are beyond my control.” The results have been positive including connections with fabric designers as far away as New Zealand.

See how Kim overcame her challenges with help from Missouri resources.

6. This Woman Founder Started a Tech Business in Rural Missouri

Meet Anna Haney of Noviqu, a manufacturing software company based out of Moberly, Missouri − population 13,974. Anna and Noviqu are proof that a startup can thrive regardless of where one lives if you have an entrepreneurial mindset and are always looking for new opportunities to grow.

We connected with Anna to find out what gave her the idea to start her own innovation-led startup and how she pushes forward while living in a rural Missouri town.

Read Anna’s story and see the list of resources she used to pull this off

5. The Next Kale You Say? It's Definitely the Next Kirksville Startup

A dietary staple in Africa, China, Thailand and South America, amaranth is a plant super rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber (and naturally gluten-free) that typically grows as a small weed here in the United States. Max Mungyeko found it difficult, if not impossible, to get the leaves here after immigrating to Kirksville by way of Illinois around five years ago. And so, like any true entrepreneur, he sought out to solve the problem.

“If you have an idea, you need to have a counselor. [Anyone] can have an idea: the right business counselor can connect you with the right resources and help you put your ideas to work. That advice, in my experience, is the key.”

Read more about Max’s journey here.

4. Calving Technologies Is Saving Lives One Collar at a Time

At 23 years old, most college students are getting to know themselves all over again through classwork, social events and all around fun.

Libby Martin, a second-year student at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is certainly living her best college life. She grabs coffee at the Grind every day, heads to the gym to lift and spends about six to seven hours or more in class each day. But Libby has also added “entrepreneur” to her already bursting day planner.

You see, Libby is the founder of Calving Technologies—and she won the University of Missouri System's first Entrepreneur Quest Student Accelerator competition and with it, over $40,000 to continue her work on modernizing and revolutionizing how birthing cows are tracked and cared for.

And yes, Libby Martin is 23 years old.

3. How a Missouri Community Stimulates Rural Entrepreneurship

Ok, technically Patty Cantrell is not an entrepreneur. However, you loved her story and the work that she does to stimulate rural entrepreneurship, making it our third most popular read last year!

New Growth and Patty Cantrell are creating a huge difference in the West Central region of Missouri by not only making rural entrepreneurship visible and accessible, but by also dedicating themselves to help business owners and entrepreneurs grow their businesses by providing easy access to resources, marketing and outreach.

A true community, indeed.

Read more about Patty and find out what programs the West Central region are working on.

2. A Springfield, Missouri, Aerospace Engineer Starts a Music Tech App

“It's basically a social media feed like Facebook where if I'm a guitarist and I don't have anyone to play with, I post my guitar riff on a social media feed. Then everyone within 50 miles of me can see that post and then add their bass track, their other guitar riff or some vocals or lyrics or whatever on top of it,” says Seth. 

Taking a spot in efactory’s accelerator program puts Collaboarator at the front of Seth’s plate, fresh out of his college career at Missouri University of Science & Technology (Missouri S&T) . His passion runs deep as an industry disruptor in the music space: He even turned down a full-time job offer with Boeing as an engineer to pursue the development of Collaboarator.

See what Collaboarator is all about here.



1. A Cape Girardeau Area Farmer Created an App for His Farm and Turned It into a Business

Nathan Holmes, was frustrated with managing irrigation for his Cape Girardeau farm. He found himself checking and double-checking his team’s work, and knew there had to be a better, easier and more efficient way to manage water on his farm. Pumptrakr is a platform that manages irrigation well pump locations, activity, fuel levels, maintenance concerns, and more, all in one convenient app.

Nathan is also a proud client of MOSourceLink: “It was easy. I called, gave a phone number and email address and then the nice lady said, ‘By tomorrow we'll get your Personal Action Plan.That same afternoon, Nathan received an email with the plan and he was ready to go.

Read the number one story of 2019 right here.


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