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(West Plains) – The Ozarks Small Business Incubator celebrated the grand opening of the new Idea Center on Wednesday with a ribbon cutting, an “elevator pitch” competition, and seminars with dignitaries.

Toney Aid, the director of OzSBI, says that the idea for the Idea Center came from “coworking spaces” in Europe, where entrepreneurs get together to share information:

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Also speaking at the event was West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann, who says the city has been behind the Incubator and its projects:

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Aid later told the crowd that the city of West Plains helped the Incubator with the initial $90,000 down payment for the building.

MSU-West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett also spoke at the meeting, talking about how the college and the Incubator work together:

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Ozark Radio Network President and CEO Tom Marhefka is also the president of the West Plains Industrial Development Corporation. He talked about the importance of jobs in the area, and how the Incubator and Idea Center helps foster job creation:

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Representatives with the Delta Regional Authority, who helped facilitate $500,000 of the over $2 million project, were at the ceremony. Chris Masingill is the Federal co-chair of the Delta Regional Authority:

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Photos can be found here.

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