As of today, you can download the StoryUP VR application from the Apple Store or Google Play Store (in addition to the Oculus GearVR store), a major step for the growth of the virtual reality start-up that began its journey at the Missouri Innovation Center. Sarah Hill, StoryUP’s founder and CEO, describes the company as a positive media platform that utilizes virtual reality technology to immerse users in stories and experiences that have a positive influence on the user and society. StoryUP, is currently focused on utilizing the platform to relieve baseline symptoms of anxiety in hospitals, Veterans homes, and chemotherapy clinics.

StoryUP’s most recent VR film, See Beyond Labels, commissioned by Facebook, premiered at the Oculus House during this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Are You Listening, supported by Empowered by Light and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, premiered a month earlier at the Dubai Film Festival. The company has also succeeded in securing clients including Google, Facebook, and Humana for their immersive media experiences. The StoryUP crew recently returned from Haiti, where they captured the impact of the Haitian Earthquakes on children who lost their music school and instruments. This spatial audio VR film, in association with London’s Aurelia Soundworks, will be released later this year on all VR platforms.

In November of 2016, one of StoryUP’s many philanthropic projects, Honor Everywhere, made national news. This virtual reality experience, supported by Jaunt and Central Missouri Honor Flight, aims to give veterans who are unable to travel an opportunity to experience memorials built in their honor. Since the CBS news story, the response has been overwhelming. In response, StoryUP is teaming up with National Honor Flight to ensure that the hundreds of requests pouring in from the family and friends of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam Veterans do not go unheard.

Whether it be through positive media stories, full-length VR films, virtual memorials, or immersive therapy, StoryUP is making an impact on the emerging virtual reality market – one that Missouri Innovation Center is proud to be a part of.

Download the StoryUp VR application from iTunes and Google Play.

Mediacom Business, a division of Mediacom Communications Corporation, today announced an agreement to provide a dedicated fiber connection with Gigabit internet speeds to the Missouri Innovation Center. The agreement with the MIC is due in part to a company-wide initiative called Project Open Road, a significant capital expenditure to proactively connect more businesses to their network and provide the level of broadband capacity that is critical for commercial and research facilities like the MIC. Mediacom Business’ Gigabit+ Fiber SolutionsTM will provide the 1-Gig internet speeds to power next-level technology like precision agriculture, live augmented reality and other cloud-based services.

You can view the press release here.

The Missouri Innovation Center has completed the second investment round of investments from the MIC Accelerator Fund. The investment committee approved funding of five additional companies. At this point, 10 investments have been approved since the MIC Accelerator Fund was formed in July 2016.

The most recently selected companies include:

    Lifeblood by Adam Weber and Philip Rawson – Lifeblood is a software development firm that builds a suite of business tools that apply well-known gaming principles to business processes.
    StaffedUp by Billy Giordano – StaffeUp is a web-based staffing solution for the hospitality industry, focusing on application tracking, management and networking.
    Ulytic by Billy Martin – Ulytic uses proprietary computer vision software to turn ordinary traffic cameras into sophisticated traffic sensors.
    Maply by Jeff Orr and other students from the Journalism School – Maply is a location-based platform for sharing and viewing nearby events. It makes it easy to create interactive maps for large events such as festivals and conferences.
    PlusOne by Josh Kaplan – PlusOne is an event based dating app with the goal of promoting actual dates.

All of the new companies focus in digital technologies, internet services, data analytics and software. All of them have their roots in Mid-Missouri.

More information on the MIC Accelerator Fund and the online application can be found here.


Clients of the Missouri Innovation Center are eligible for a valuable package of training and credits from Amazon Web Services. Amazon markets AWS as a service to provide large computing capacity quicker and cheaper than a client company building an actual physical server farm. Some of the world’s hottest startups, including Airbnb, Slack, and Robinhood, have leveraged the power of AWS to quickly scale.
MIC has become part of the AWS Activate program available to select accelerators, incubators, and VC funds. Clients who receive funding from the MIC Accelerator Fund can receive the AWS Activate Portfolio Plus Package. This package includes up to $15,000 in AWS Promotional Credit for 2 years or $100,000 for 1 year. All other clients can receive the AWS Activate Portfolio Package which includes up to $5,000 in AWS Promotional Credit for up to 1 year. Both packages also include AWS Business Support, web-based training, and self-paced labs.

MIC Hires David Frahm as EIR


The Missouri Innovation Center recently hired David Frahm as an Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR). Based on David’s experience as a lead developer at numerous startups, he has real-world experiences to share with entrepreneurs as they are developing their product or service. As an EIR, David’s role is to provide coaching to clients on tech development issues including product architecture, development tools and methodologies, and project staffing. He can also provide advice on market fit and new product introduction. David will also organize and attend ecosystem events that touch on development including networking events for developers in Mid-Missouri.

Missouri Innovation Center (MIC) is branching out from life science startups to create the Mid-MO Tech Accelerator. The associated $2+ Million “MIC Accelerator Fund” will support new companies with an initial investment of $25,000 – $50,000 focusing on innovations in digital technologies, internet services, and software.

The first generation of startups to receive an investment was announced at a media event at MIC on Oct. 12, 2016. The initial four startups have Missouri roots and have been developing innovative tech products for widespread commercial use. These companies include:

  • NVision Ag by Peter Scharf – This software is a precision agriculture product that helps farmers make data-driven decisions about fertilizer applications.
  • Recordly by a team of MU journalism and engineering students − This iOS app provides annotated transcripts of interviews for journalists.
  • EloScout by Connor Hall – This collegiate eSports recruiting service helps build varsity competitive gaming programs at universities.
  • AdSwapper by Amos Angelovici − This personalized advertisement firewall enables users to control their ad viewing experience and earn money by doing so.

MIC has a proven track record of incubating successful life science startups. Bill Turpin, CEO of MIC, is using his background as a serial entrepreneur and angel investor in Silicon Valley, to continue this success in Missouri.

More information and a link to the on-line application is at: Mid-MO Tech Accelerator.

university of missouri columns

Entrepreneur.com recently included Columbia, Missouri on their list of “15 Best U.S. Cities for Entrepreneurs to Live and Launch”. The entry for Columbia notes that Columbia is “one of the best college towns” and is “great for entrepreneurs, with an ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs and investors.” The listing links to the MIC website which has a new “ecosystem map” for Mid Missouri. Other cities in the list included Austin, Boulder, and Orlando.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development has awarded $95,000 of tax credits to the Missouri Innovation Center. These tax credits are part of the Small Business Incubator Tax Credit Program which helps fund 10 Innovation Centers across the state of Missouri. The funds leveraged by these credits can be used for capital and other non-operating expenditures to support new business creation throughout the state. The credits can be applied to contributions received by MIC between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016.

According to the U.S Census Bureau, Missouri ranks No. 1 nationally in new business creation. Missouri’s new business creation recently surged by an impressive 16 percent while most states saw a decrease. Additionally, in Fiscal Year 2015 Missouri ranked—for the first time ever—as a Top 10 state for startup funding, according to Forbes.

StoryUPyellow

Sarah Hill created StoryUp in 2015 to create immersive 360 video stories. StoryUP’s first experience, Honor Everywhere, was released in November of 2015 with Jaunt VR, Google, Ghost Machine VR and VU Foundation. Since that time, they have created experiences for Zenith Aircraft company, Kilgore’s Medical Pharmacy, Pate-Jones, and Welcome Home, Inc. In early 2016, they will release stories for the American Heart Association and a documentary shot in Zambia named “Gift of Mobility”.

The concept for Sarah’s company is based on her experience telling stories in various media formats. An alum of the Missouri School of Journalism, Sarah is a National Edward R. Murrow and 12 time Mid-America Emmy award-winning Storyteller. A former interactive news anchor, her team at KOMU-TV pioneered the use of multi-way video chat during a newscast. Through that experience, Sarah learned the value of Human Media and the ability to simulate in-person communication. As Chief Storyteller at Veterans United Foundation, she told stories about Veterans and military families and used Human Media to give a voice to military charities.

StoryUp’s 360-degree experiences envelop the viewer and trick our brains into thinking the experience is happening all around us. You used to have to travel to an amusement park or an Omni-max theater to view Virtual Reality in a dome or cave. Now with new goggles, a VR renaissance is underway. Even without goggles, these spherical stories can be viewed in the web browser on Youtube, Vrideo or Littlestar – but the videos are best experienced inside viewers like Google Cardboard, Zeiss VR One or Samsung Gear VR. Most of these viewers work with newer model smartphones. Because of immersive video’s unique ability to create empathy, the medium is tailor made for storytelling. Sarah believes story is a verb that can lift the world.

eternogen logoEternoGen Aesthetics, LLC developer and manufacturer of advanced collagen scaffolds, announces the successful completion of its financial round. It has secured $5MM to prepare for the 2016 European commercialization of Rapid Polymerizing Collagen (RPC Pure-Collagen), the first of a rich pipeline of products delivering natural results through Bio-Dermal Restoration in facial aesthetics.

This financing enables RPC Pure-Collagen to complete the European regulatory process. It also provides EternoGen Aesthetics with a strong foundation from which to expand RPC Pure-Collagen production and build a premium brand to create transformative change in the $3B (CAGR12%) global facial injectable market.

The parent Company EternoGen, LLC was founded in 2009 by an award winning academic research group from the University of Missouri, led by Professor Sheila Grant, a world authority in biomaterials.  EternoGen has been a resident client at the MU Life Science Business Incubator since 2012.