Co-Working Space & Entrepreneur Funding Coming to St. Joseph

St. Joseph gained national recognition in 2016 for being a top metro for startup growth and soon local entrepreneurs will have a shared work place and funding to pursue their start-up business plans.

The St. Joseph Innovation Stockyard along with other local partners, the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, Buchanan County and Missouri Western’s Center for Entrepreneurship will team up with Digital Sandbox KC and the Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) to drive new business to St. Joseph area.

In partnership with MTC, Digital Sandbox KC has been very successful in assisting the development of early-stage, high-potential startups in Kansas City. Its growth into St. Joseph, partially funded by a $50,000 matching grant from MTC, will utilize Digital Sandbox’s proof-of-concept program to target early-stage entrepreneurs in St. Joseph with business concepts that can rapidly grow into a significant employer.  “This is an opportunity to start to stretch the program further across Missouri to help drive even more Missouri-based early-stage entrepreneurs towards success,” said Jeff Shackelford, Digital Sandbox KC, Executive Director.

Innovation Stockyard, located in the Christopher S. “Kit” Bond Incubator on the campus of Missouri Western State University, will offer proof-of-concept grant recipients co-working space in its new co-working center, set to open in July, as well as cash grants to help start-up new local businesses in the St. Joseph area.

“By using our new co-working space at the Christopher S. “Kit” Bond Incubator to support more early stage entrepreneurs, we will fill an existing gap in our business eco-system, maximizing our existing resources and driving an increase in the quantity and quality of start-up businesses in this area of Missouri,” said Ronan Molloy, President of Innovation Stockyard.  Molloy also went on to say that he appreciated the support of the Buchanan County Commissioners who provided some of the local matching funds for the MTC grant.

In September 2016, Forbes magazine named St. Joseph the fifth top U.S. metro for startup growth and has a long history of entrepreneurship in its business community.

“St. Joseph’s entrepreneurial spirit is well known, from the invention of the saltine cracker to the formation of revolutionary animal health vaccines that save pet and livestock lives daily,” said R. Patt Lilly, President and CEO of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce.  “We are excited to bring Digital Sandbox KC’s innovative programming and expertise to St. Joseph to continue our focus on growing business and jobs in our community.”

Additional information about the co-working space and the grant competition will be available at the public launch of the program at 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 28, at Jake’s Restaurant, 620 Edmond Street, in downtown St. Joseph. Here is the website for application.

About Digital Sandbox KC

Digital Sandbox KC is an unprecedented partnership among private companies, universities, entrepreneurial support organizations and government agencies across the Kansas City region designed to spur the creation of high growth companies. Digital Sandbox KC provides proof of concept resources including market validation, prototyping and beta testing support for development of digital technologies within new and existing businesses. More information and the Sandbox’s annual report can be found at

About Innovation Stockyard

Innovation Stockyard, located in the Christopher S. “Kit” Bond Incubator on the campus of Missouri Western State University, is a one-stop business incubator for those who want to start or grow any business, but specializing in the animal sciences field. It offers business and scientific consulting—and facilities—to help bring your idea to market. More information can be found at

About the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce

The St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce since its inception in 1862 as the Board of Trade of St. Joseph has been the catalyst for economic growth and development in Northwest Missouri.  The Chamber strives to be the unified voice of business that advocates, promotes and inspires the St. Joseph area.  The Chamber’s mission, supported by more than 1,200 members, is to create an environment that allows business to succeed and the community to proper.  More information can be found at