Reflecting on 50 years: Nov. 2016

The Business Development Program (BDP) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Its rich history of technical collaboration began with engineers from MU providing technical assistance to companies gearing up for the space race, a heritage which continues today with such programs as the Tech Entrepreneurship event series, or TECH-SERIES. This series identifies and validates promising technologies and assists technology entrepreneurs in early stage development by facilitating education, technical assistance and capital for commercialization. The series has now served more than 90 companies and garnered more than $14 million in funding.

TECH-SERIES director Sandra Marin discusses an upcoming project with students Cameron Webber and Eduardo Passos.

TECH-SERIES director Sandra Marin, left, discusses an upcoming project with students Cameron Webber, middle, and Eduardo Passos, right.

The program provides additional benefits and synergies, too. MU College of Engineering students work closely with these entrepreneurs, allowing them to gain invaluable hands-on consulting and business development experience with technology-based companies and entrepreneurs. The program also brings in select investors to meet these entrepreneurs.

The program, directed by the BDP’s Sandra Marin, is a collaboration between the BDP, MU College of Engineering, Regional Economic Development, Inc. of Columbia and supported by the Missouri Technology Corporation.

The program has three upcoming workshops this spring:

  • The two-week Innovator Track, which allows tech entrepreneurs to identify their market
  • The four-week I-Corps Track, to help tech entrepreneurs commercialize their product
  • The six-week Entrepreneur Track, to help entrepreneurs focus on strengthening their pitches.

TECH-SERIES is also reaching out to graduate and undergraduate students with a recently opened office in the MU College of Engineering in  Lafferre Hall on the MU campus.

For more information contact Sandra Marin at, or see

Originally published as “In MU’s TECH-SERIES program, students help entrepreneurs,” story by Kelsi Anderson, photo by Ryan Owens, University of Missouri College of Engineering Communications. Used with permission.


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