Specialty glass producer on technological cutting edge
Rolla-based MO-SCI combines R&D and manufacturing capabilities to make extraordinary glass products for specialized applications.
Many long-term diabetes patients face the prospect of dealing with chronic ulcerated wounds of the lower extremities. These venous stasis wounds, as they are labeled in the medical world, can linger for several years. For a diabetic these chronic wounds can start with something as innocuous as bruising a shin on the edge of a coffee table. Unhealed they can lead to declining health, amputation and ultimately death.
A specialty-glass manufacturer in Rolla, MO — MO-SCI Corporation — believes it has developed a product that can offer a simple treatment leading to rapid healing of such wounds. This cotton candy-like glass fiber material is called DermaFuse.
With the development of products, such as DermaFuse Ted Day and his company have consistently worked with the MS&T economic development office. Keith Strassner, director of the Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development and director of the SBTDC at MS&T, has worked with MO-SCI to move many MS&T technologies into commercialization.
"Keith and MO-SCI worked on how to maximize the technology by breaking it up into different applications. Baltimore-based RediHeal was issued the veterinary license application, which was commercialized within four months," says Ted. more ...
Currently DermaFuse is in a pre-clinical trial at the Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla and in animal testing at the University of Illinois in Chicago. While it awaits an extensive barrage of testing before it can receive FDA approval for treating humans, the boron-based bioactive glass has been licensed by a Baltimore firm for marketing to the veterinary medicine field. MO-SCI retains the licensing for the human-wound application of the product.
Invented by Missouri University of Science & Technology (MS&T) ceramic researchers Steve Jung and Delbert Day, DermaFuse is one of the latest developments in a long line of products from the 27-year-old MO-SCI Corporation. MO-SCI has been a client of the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at MS&T since 2004. The company is a world leader in the research, development and manufacture of specialty application glass.
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The Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC), with the assistance of the Edward Lowe Foundation and the City of Littleton, CO, director of business and industry affairs Chris Gibbons, announces the Business Growth Services program (BGS), a new statewide service that offers companies the information they need to expand markets, increase revenue and grow strategically.
- Karen Nichols, Executive Vice President and COO, Midwest Gloves and Gear, Chillicothe, MO
The BGS team is composed of MO SBTDC counselors who have been uniquely trained in providing Fortune 500-level research to businesses positioned to grow.
"We are now offering something unique in Missouri, although it is a process that is being used in many other states with great success," says Paul Bateson, team leader for the BGS group, and MO SBTDC counselor with the University of Missouri in Columbia. "This is the kind of research that most companies would never be able to conduct by themselves due to the prohibitive cost of the databases and other research resources we use.
"The beauty of this program is its customization to the specific needs of each company," Bateson adds. "And it's delivered virtually through phone conferences, email and the web, which cuts down on the company's time investment. We know that's crucial for growing companies."
PACE offers energy efficiency and renewable energy financing opportunities for Missouri property owners
John Harris, vice president of Kansas City Country Club Bank's Public Finance Division, may not look like an energy efficiency crusader, but he has become just that as a result of his efforts to promote Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.
PACE, which was passed by the Missouri Legislature in 2010, offers a unique opportunity for commercial, agricultural and industrial property owners to finance energy improvements through liens on property that can be transferred upon sale.
"I see PACE as a game changer for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits," says Harris. Not only does PACE provide 100 percent up-front financing, it also addresses a key barrier, which is that no one wants to make a capital investment when they do not think they will stay with a property long enough to see the full benefit. PACE removes this obstacle because essentially it attaches the obligation to the property.
PACE enables interested cities or counties to establish or join a Clean Energy Development Board, which has the authority to issue low-interest bonds. The bond money is used to provide funding for the program. In other words, the PACE Act provides a method of financing energy projects with private capital under the oversight of a governmental body.
It's the idyllic American dream. Build a successful family-owned and operated business, and hand it off to the future generations so they, too, can live the dream. We all want to leave a legacy. What better way to pass on the lessons of commitment and hard work to your loved ones than to leave them a business with secure employment and the opportunity to generate wealth for themselves and their children?
Where does one end and the other begin? How do you sort out what you want to do as a family member versus what you should do as a business owner? How do you keep the two most important entities in your life intact? What is more important — family or business? What if the next generation is not interested in following in their parents' footsteps? What if they want to but are not up to the task?
These issues truly come to a head at the time of company transition. When older members of the family business decide to retire or at the least limit their involvement in the business, underlying personal issues can rise to the surface, creating unwillingness in the founder to relinquish control and maneuvering by the heirs to acquire it. Senior members of the leadership team may start to question the commitment and capability of the succeeding members. Differing viewpoints about the future direction of the company cause friction. Long-held grudges about differences in compensation, position and authority can make communication impossible. Family jealousies end up being played out on the shop floor or in the showroom.
The Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers and Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers offer a variety of outstanding educational opportunities throughout the year. Here are some highlights coming up in the near future:
MO STEP=UP Export Training is an innovative and interactive program designed to develop Missouri's future exporters. This three-month training program is divided into four phases. Each participant is assigned a coach during the training process to assist in developing a customized export plan. The series will begin in Cape Girardeau with Phase One on Tuesday, May 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce, 1267 North Mt. Auburn Road.
Phase One includes an overview of best practices and a discussion of the mindset of successful exporters. Phase Two incorporates a site visit to the company followed by customized market research. Phase Three includes sessions on growing international business, building an overseas infrastructure, international logistics, international legal considerations and export relations. Phase Four provides participants with one-to-one coaching, information and resources, as well as critical analysis and evaluation of the export development plan.
The MO STEP=UP training is intended for retail, manufacturing and wholesale businesses; local government officials; non-profit organizations; community leaders and organizations; economic developers and chambers of commerce. It is sponsored by a coalition including the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers, Missouri Enterprise, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Commercial Service.
Cost of the training is $750 per business for up to two attendees. Additional attendees from the same business may attend for an additional $100. Eligible firms may apply for MO STEP=UP funding for up to 50 percent reimbursement of export training expenses.
The 2012 Procurement Conference will be held at the University of Central Missouri, University Union Building from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Warrensburg. Presented by Senator Claire McCaskill, the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers and the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, this annual conference is the "go-to" event in Missouri for learning about doing business with the government.
This year's sessions include discussions of finding business opportunities for veteran-owned businesses, subcontracting opportunities, contracting with state agencies, SBA contracting programs, contracting with military bases, pricing and evaluating, greening the government supply chain, SBA financing, social media marketing and doing business with the Missouri Department of Transportation. Other topics include SBTDC, energy efficiency, SBIR and SBA financing. A wide range of exhibitors will also be on hand to answer questions and discuss specific contracting opportunities.
"Winning Government Contracts: The First Steps" will help you gain the knowledge and skills necessary to propel your business into government contracting. You will learn about required registrations, the different agencies and their buying practices and how to effectively market your business to get the winning edge in contract bidding.
The session will be held on June 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Buchanan County MU Extension Office at 4125 Mitchell Ave. in St. Joseph. Please register in advance by calling 816-279-1691, or send an email to Clinton Dougherty at email@example.com. Cost for the session is $50.
The annual Women's Leadership Conference will be held on Tuesday, June 19, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Cornell Auditorium, Plaster Hall, Room 201, at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. Presented in partnership with the MSSU Small Business & Technology Development Center, the Southwest Missouri Bank Insight Women's Program and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council, this popular event offers educational sessions and networking opportunities. Cost to attend is $10.
For more information, or to register, contact the MSSU SBTDC at 417-625-9520 or email Bradshawfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Live town hall meetings and forums available during Small Business Week
Small business owners looking for ways to grow and develop their businesses are invited to take part in National Small Business Week's free networking and educational forums and dialogue with leading business experts during National Small Business Week, May 20-26 in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Small Business Administration and its private sector partners are holding key business forums and are encouraging small business owners and entrepreneurs to sign up, register and spread the word to other small businesses interested in attending.
The free forums include a town hall with SBA Administrator Karen Mills on how small businesses are good for the long-term health of any economy; a social media forum on best practices for putting new media tools to work for small businesses; and an exporting forum on how SBA can help businesses find customers abroad. The schedule also includes sessions on federal contracting, selling to large companies and business matchmaking with major corporations and government agencies.
The town hall and forum events will be webcast live to allow business owners across the country to participate if they cannot attend in person. While registration is required to attend forums and sessions in person (onsite registration will be provided), the live online webcast will be available free at www.NationalSmallBusinessWeek.com. To register to attend, find more information on the live webcast, or for a detailed schedule of events and speakers, visit the National Small Business Week website.
The scheduled forums include:
- Town hall meeting - Small Businesses Creating an Economy Built to Last
- Exporting forum - Taking Your Business Global
- Social media forum - Join the Conversation (hosts will take your questions in person and on Twitter using the hashtag #SBW2012)
- Federal contracting educational sessions - Small businesses will learn how to market themselves to the federal government and go after government contracting opportunities
- How small businesses can win big with large companies - Small businesses will learn how to work with large companies to sell their products.
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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
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