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University of Missouri

Missouri Calling

Silicon Valley star returns to Mizzou to run the life science business incubator.

Bill Turpin

Bill Turpin takes over leadership of the Missouri Innovation Center, which runs the MU Life Science Incubator. Photo by Rob Hill.

Bill Turpin was killing it in California. In the late 1980s, his startup company developed the graphical database application that would go into the first Windows operating system. As an engineer for Netscape in the late 1990s, he and his team developed JavaScript and RSS. As a venture capitalist, he invested in MySpace. Silicon Valley was his playground.

But Missouri was calling.

Both town and gown are committed to entrepreneurial growth in Columbia, and Turpin, BS EE ’78, likes what he sees. “There’s a lot going on in CoMo right now, and we wanted to be a part of it.”

That’s why Turpin, who grew up in Bowling Green, Missouri, and has family in St. Charles, moved back in 2014 to be director of the Missouri Innovation Center, which runs the MU Life Science Business Incubator.

Turpin brings a vision for the incubator that includes more space for software startup companies, a small venture capital fund to help companies make prototypes and continued work on a $15 million expansion.