BDP turns 50

MU Extension Business Development Program celebrates 50 years50 years of the MU Extension Business Development Program. We’re celebrating 50 years of transforming Missouri businesses!

Celebrate with us!

2016 marks 50 years since the Business Development Program’s inception at the University of Missouri. And how it has changed over the years!

Share your story | History | Impact | Timeline | Small business testimonials

photos of Missouri small businesses

Share your story

  • As part of the University of Missouri Extension's Business Development Program's anniversary, we'd like to share your story with others. Whether it is how you started your business, found new ways to grow or who helped with your success, your story can inspire others.

    Tell us:

    - Why you started your business and what it means to you
    - What your business means for economic development and impact in your area
    - How the Business Development Program(s) helped you

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  • Stories may be shared on our website and social media. All submissions will be moderated. By submitting your story, you grant permission to the MU Extension Business Development Program to use your information for educational purposes.

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1914 Smith-Lever Act establishes a system of cooperative extension services connected to land-grant universities nationwide — the birth of extension programs

1957 Sputnik launched, setting off nationwide panic

1965 State Technical Services Act links science and technology in higher education to business and industry

1966 University of Missouri Extension Business, Industry and Labor Extension Program founded, Dr. John Sutherland director

1976 Small Business Administration enhances State Technical Services Act of 1965 with University Business Development Center (UBDC) program

1977 UMSL selected as one of five UBDC centers nationwide, under B&I administration

1978 U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) establishes funding for centers at colleges and universities to stimulate industrial and commercial growth; EDA center established under B&I umbrella

1982 Dr. Tom Henderson named B&I director

1985 Congress authorizes Procurement Technical Assistance Program

1988 “A Bill to Enhance the Competitiveness of American Industry and for Other Purposes,” is passed, and is the genesis of the Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (TAAC)

1989 Career Options Program for Missouri Farm Families established to help Missouri farmers impacted by farm crisis

1991 Household Hazardous Waste and Market Development Program established under B&I

1992 Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers established under B&I

1999 Dr. John Sheffield named B&I director

2001 Steve Wyatt named B&I director

2005 Missouri Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) becomes Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (SBTDC)

2006 Household Hazardous Waste and Market Development Program refocused as Pollution Prevention Intern Program

2010 Max Summers named interim BDP director

2013 Steve Devlin named BDP director

2014 BDP Workforce Program created, a continuation of Career Options Program for Missouri Farm Families

2016 TAAC expands service territory from three to four states

Read the full Business Development Program history

Your stories are our history

“We have worked with Kevin (Wilson) and his staff for all of the six years we have been in business. Kevin and his staff are extremely helpful, responsive and there for us when we need them most. I don’t believe we would be here without them (the SBTDC).”Marjorie Melton, CEO and co-founder of the M3 Engineering Group– Marjorie Melton, M3 Engineering Group PC, St. Louis

“I knew I couldn’t figure all this out on my own. It was Chris (Thompson) who helped me face the big questions about starting a business, but he also helped me understand many of the little issues too, that can make or break a new business. Now I can see exactly where I am in terms of costs, sales, things I never could before. It [the BDP] is a lovely program.”smiling man and woman– Brandon Kelley, BK Bakery, Jefferson City

“We had the business plan down cold, we thought! Then we met with the MO SBTDC. They helped us edit the business plan and add pieces the people on the money side would need to read, then took our finances and grilled us line by line to make sure we had thought everything through. They helped us sell the company and get people behind it. They have been a huge part of building our confidence and getting us to where we are now.”man working with shiny steel tank– Tyson Hunt, Logboat Brewing Co. LLC, Columbia

“Willis (Mushrush) has helped us from day one. We wouldn’t be in business today without him! He helped us find contracts and helped us get into the system so we could bid. Every time we have a problem, we run to Willis. I can’t say enough about Willis and his group.” Floyd Henson shows silver machine part to Willis Mushrush– Floyd Henson, Henson Enterprises Inc., West Plains

“We had no real federal government contracting knowledge or even know how to approach that market. She (Millie Miller-Hoover) and PTAC sent us in some very good directions. Lately it’s working out real well and sales have been increasing, too.”Charlie McCarty– Charlie McCarty, Innovet, St. Louis

“Carolyn (Jones) has just been a phenomenal resource from the time I started my business. Carolyn is always the one I call when I am not sure what organization to talk to, or if I need assistance with some aspect of a contract. I am grateful for her wisdom, her insight, how she so expertly handles the issues I have to deal with.”woman seated at her desk with diplomas and awards behind her– Michelle Sherod, ALL Solutions Inc., St. Louis

“Our sales have tripled as a result of MO PTAC services.”man talking on the phone with an electronic part in his hand– Dale Hensley, Hensley Technologies, Inc., Kansas City

“I am stunned, just blown away, by how willing everyone is to help us. Lynnette and the MO SBTDC were incredibly supportive, and we’re very grateful for their belief in us and our product.”Babyation display at trade show– Samantha Rudolph, Babyation, St. Louis

“The first thing anyone who wants to start a high-tech business in Missouri should do is talk to the SBTDC.”lab equipment– Dave Alburty, Innovaprep LLC, Drexel

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the assistance, guidance, patience and tutelage you’ve all [Mid-America TAAC) provided me in the last year. Because of your help we are currently profitable and have hired five new employees this year. Thank you again for all your help!”seated man in suit looking at red device with woman in brown– Rich Goellner, Habitata Building Products, St. Louis

“My TAAC project manager has gone above and beyond so many times. I wish all of my consultants were as helpful. I really sincerely feel my project manager was a true partner. We all work with people and everyone is overworked and underpaid, so it’s nice when someone is on your side, a partner in your success like my project manager.”
– Margaret Fitzgerald, Milbank Manufacturing Company, Kansas City