Dr. Robert Jones spearheads the new initiative designed to develop and market educational products
The University of Missouri’s College of Education announces the creation of the Missouri Education Business Incubator (MEBI), a new initiative designed to develop and market educational products created by MU staff and faculty.
As a unit of the College of Education, MEBI will increase the impact and sustainability of our research through development of educational products and services. It will serve schools and other community organizations by offering research-based innovations and simultaneously generate revenue to support the goals of MizzouEd and the university, while contributing to the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Columbia community.
The idea for the MEBI was created by Dr. Christi Bergin, Associate Dean of Research and Innovation at the College of Education. Dr. Bergin saw that staff and faculty within and around MizzouEd had created innovative products based on their research, but lacked the support needed to get those products into schools.
The MEBI model was developed under the direction of Dr. Bergin and Tad Brinkerhoff (MBA, eMINTs director), with funding support from the Assessment Resource Center (ARC) and the eMINTS National Center – both outreach units under the direction of Dr. Joi Moore, Associate Dean of Outreach and Engagement.
Dr. Robert Jones (MU ‘20) will be the MEBI’s founding Director. He holds a BFA in Communications from Truman State University, where he served as the Bulldog Sports Anchor. He was a middle school English teacher in Las Vegas, where he also earned an M.Ed. from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and built a reading curriculum for middle school students. Dr. Jones earned a Ph.D. in Strategic Communications from MU’s School of Journalism, where his award-winning research focused on digital brand strategy for multicultural audiences. He has led product and brand strategy for several organizations, including The Associated Press and Alfred Friendly Press Partners. Dr. Jones is passionate about providing equitable educational opportunities to all students. When not leading product go-to-market strategy, he enjoys traveling, reading, and attending concerts.
Dr. Jones will be supported by the MEBI Advisory Board that consists of prominent business and education leaders: Dr. Gary J. Coles (Columbia, MO), Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight (Kansas City, MO), Dr. Kathaleen Shaffer Banks (Fountain Hills, AZ), Rusty Martin (Denver, CO), Kim Nentwig (St. Louis, MO), Jerry Bernard (Kansas City, MO) and Scott Christianson, Dr. Betsy Baker and Dr. Lisa Lorenzen of the University of Missouri.