Robert J. Trulaske Sr., College of Business, University of Missouri

MU Life Science Business Incubator Receives International Honor

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The National Business Incubation Association has awarded the NBIA Soft Landings International Incubator designation to the University of Missouri Life Science Business Incubator at Monsanto Place, a business incubator operated and sponsored by the Missouri Innovation Center.

Through its Soft Landings program, NBIA recognizes business incubation programs that are especially capable of helping nondomestic companies enter the incubator's domestic market. The MU Life Science Business Incubator was selected for the program because of its slate of business services for nondomestic firms and its demonstrated success at helping these firms enter the U.S. market, said Randy Morris, NBIA director of member services.

Business incubation programs like the Life Science Business Incubator catalyze the process of starting and growing companies by providing entrepreneurs with the expertise, networks and tools they need to make their ventures successful. Incubating nondomestic firms takes more than the standard set of incubation services, however. "The Soft Landings designation recognizes an incubator's focus on welcoming nondomestic firms into its domestic market with translation services, help cutting through governmental red tape, access to capital, domestic market research and other programs," Morris said.

The Life Science Business Incubator accentuates its standard incubation services with assistance tailored specifically to nondomestic firms, including help in writing a business plan, introductions to Missouri angel investor groups, and an orientation to the resources and nuances of the American business culture.

A panel of experienced incubator managers evaluated the Soft Landings applications. According to Morris, the judges were impressed with the Life Science Business Incubator’s unique support for nondomestic firms.

NBIA’s Soft Landings designations are effective for two years; programs must reapply biennially for continuing designation. There is no cap on the number of designations available in a given year or over time. The MU Life Science Business Incubator joins just 18 other business incubation programs from around the world that have earned the designation since NBIA began the program in 2005.

The National Business Incubation Association is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship support. For more information about the NBIA Soft Landings program, visit www.nbia.org/member_services/soft_landings/.