How a Center of Innovation Can Impact the University and Community: Allen Kunkel
Allen D. Kunkel is associate vice president for economic development and director of the Jordan Valley Innovation Center at Missouri State University, where he is responsible for guiding the center in its mission of supporting businesses concentrating on advanced technology, biotechnology, life sciences and nanotechnology research and development. He assists in coordinating the resources of the federal, state and local governments with the resources of Missouri State University to promote business and industrial growth by blending entrepreneurship with research, innovation and commercialization.
Kunkel is responsible for engaging the university in economic development activities, including the developing of IDEA Commons and operation of the university’s entrepreneurship center, the eFactory. He also serves as chief executive officer of Springfield Innovation, Inc., a nonprofit organization affiliated with MSU that operates the Missouri Innovation Center and serves an advisory role with JVIC and the eFactory. He also manages the intellectual property portfolio at Missouri State.
Prior to joining MSU, Kunkel served as manager of regional development with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce for seven years. In this capacity, he worked with members of the Ozarks Regional Economic Partnership (now Springfield Regional Economic Partnership) in creating an effective 10-county regional economic development program. He previously worked for the Missouri Department of Economic Development and has more than 26 years of economic development experience. He is a Certified Economic Developer by the International Economic Development Council and an Economic Development Finance Professional certified by the National Development Council. He holds a BS in community and regional planning from Iowa State University and is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Missouri. Kunkel was named one of Springfield Business Journal’s 2014 Men of the Year and recognized by BIZ417 magazine as one of the BIZ100 in 2017 and 2018.