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Activate growth

Two objectives brought Luis Jimenez, MBA ’11, to the United States from his native Honduras. “First, I wanted to learn how to be able to make anything from raw materials. Second, I wanted to learn how to start my own business. That way I could create things from scratch, activating economic growth no matter where I was.”

So, after earning a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Arkansas, Jimenez enrolled in the Crosby MBA program at MU. “The program provided an excellent opportunity to learn about businesses, entrepreneurship and strategic thinking,” Jimenez says.

During graduate school, he helped create Collaboration, Leadership and Innovation for Missouri (CLIMB), which links entrepreneurial thinkers with people who have the experience and resources to make those ideas a reality.

Two founders of EternoGen, a medical device company, were volunteering in the development of CLIMB when they met Jimenez and asked him to join them. He is now CEO of EternoGen, which operates out of the Monsanto Life Science Business Incubator. The company incorporates nanotechnology and protein engineering to make materials that stimulate tissue regeneration and create biological implants that last longer than the current products on the market.

In February 2012, UM System President Tim Wolfe announced that EternoGen was one of two startup companies run by MU researchers chosen to receive nearly $1 million in investments from the university, the state and private investors. EternoGen received up to $200,000 from the university Enterprise Investment Program (EIP), along with $100,000 from the Missouri Technology Corporation IDEA funds and $200,000 from Centennial Investors.

The investment will help EternoGen develop a research facility in Columbia. “EternoGen is poised to change the regenerative industry,” says Jimenez. “We envision EternoGen will provide incentives for bright minds to stay in Columbia and continue to contribute to the economic development of the region.”