The efactory and Missouri Small Business Development Center at MSU Mentorship Program gives startup founders and small business owners access to experienced owners and business leaders. These experts understand the risks and rewards of starting a business. Mentors provide honest and practical feedback based on personal experience, not just business theory.
Mentorship meetings are free and open to everyone.
Allen Kunkel is Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Director of the Jordan Valley Innovation Center at Missouri State University. Allen is responsible for helping guide the Innovation Center in its mission of supporting businesses concentrating on advanced technology, biotechnology, life sciences and nanotechnology research and development. He promotes business and industrial growth by blending entrepreneurship with research, innovation, and commercialization. Allen is responsible for engaging the University in economic development activities, including the development of IDEA Commons, JVIC and the efactory. Allen also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Springfield Innovation, Inc., which is a non-profit organization affiliated with Missouri State University that operates the Missouri innovation center and serves an advisory role with JVIC and the efactory. Springfield Innovation, Inc. also manages a seed capital investment program to support an accelerator program. Allen also manages the intellectual property portfolio at Missouri State University.
Prior to joining Missouri State University, Allen served as Manager of Regional Development with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce for seven years. In this capacity he worked with members of the Ozarks Regional Economic Partnership (now Springfield Regional Economic Partnership) in creating an effective 10-county regional economic development program. Prior to joining the Chamber he worked for the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Allen has more than 26 years of economic development experience.
Allen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri. Allen is also recognized as a Certified Economic Developer by the International Economic Development Council and an Economic Development Finance Professional by The National Development Council.
Allen is a charter member of the Rotary Club of Springfield North and is a Past-President of the club. He is a member of the Missouri Economic Development Council and the International Economic Development Council. Allen currently serves on the Heartland Economic Development Course Board of the Directors as President, Missouri Biotechnology Association Board of Directors, International Economic Development Council Higher Education Committee, and the University of Missouri Business Small Business and Technology Development Centers Advisory Board. Locally, he currently serves on the Downtown Springfield Community Improvement District Board of Directors, Downtown Springfield Association Board of Directors as President, Workforce Investment Board for the Ozark Region, Foundation for Springfield Public Schools Directors Council as Past President, and the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments Board of Directors. Allen is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Missouri, recognized by the Springfield Business Journal as one of the 2014 Men of the Year, and recognized by BIZ417 Magazine as one of the BIZ100 in 2017 and 2018.