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The Moniteau County Regional Economic Development Council met March 10 to discuss this year's batch of Startup Moniteau participants and progress with MRED's ongoing EDA project.

Ultimately, Startup Moniteau ended up with four entrepreneurs finishing the LaunchU program out of the seven that initially signed up. MRED president Mike Kelley said this year's edition was a success again, with the pitch contest being a highlight as usual.

This year, MRED awarded $6,000 in startup funds between the four participants based on their performance in the pitch contest. Jenine Baker, who owns a business making craft-type items and wants to open up a storefront in California, took first place and earned $2,250. Following Baker was Rose Grotjan in second, earning $1,750 after highlighting her ideas for her massage therapy school. In third, Atonia Stover walked away with $1,250. Finally, Pbp Designs LLC earned a fourth place finish, winning $750 in startup funds for the pillow and embroidery business.

Kelley said he may consider a mid-year Startup Moniteau program, along with the usual edition held each year starting in January.

Kelley also briefed the group regarding the progress of MRED's EDA project, which seeks to work with area high school marketing programs to come up with a campaign encouraging patronizing local businesses. Kelley said each of California, Jamestown and Tipton's marketing classes have started working on developing ideas, which will likely be combined to form an overall campaign as work continues; Kelley said he hopes to form a committee within MRED to help with that.

The group also briefly discussed its annual meeting. With no discussion about board officer nominations among members present at the March meeting last week, Kelley said the plan for now will be to push back the annual meeting for the time being until the group can decide on new nominees to vote on for any open board officer positions.

The Moniteau County Regional Economic Development Council's next regular meeting is set for noon April 14 in California.

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