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Quinten Messbarger knows a kindred spirit when he sees one.
When Amos Angelovici started as MU’s entrepreneur-in-residence in January 2016, he quickly made the value of his hire clear to Messbarger.
“Amos has gone above and beyond,” says Messbarger, vice president of the Missouri Innovation Center. “He cares about this entrepreneurial community. He’s putting his money, his time where his mouth is. He’s doing those extra things. That means the world to me, because that’s how I live. You do it because you love it.”
Messbarger points to the GrassRoots Entrepreneurs program as evidence of Angelovici’s commitment. GrassRoots Entrepreneurs gives companies the chance to come to the MIC and present specific problems they’re facing to a group of entrepreneurs. After hearing a problem out, the audience breaks into smaller groups based on their area of expertise and brainstorms possible solutions to present back to the companies seeking help. (You can find more information about GrassRoots Entrepreneurs on their Facebook page.)
Bill Turpin, president and CEO of the MIC, said the center has held a handful of GrassRoots Entrepreneurs meetings over the past year and received overwhelmingly positive feedback.
“It’s a really good way to introduce problem solving and get people connected up with these companies in a helpful, useful way,” Turpin says. “There’s been a lot of energy around the meetings.”
It’s all part of an effort to grow Columbia’s entrepreneurial community by providing the resources and support startups need.
“Success breeds success,” Messbarger says. “When the snowball starts rolling down the hill, that’s when things get good.”