photo of Jay Sparks

Jay Sparks

Entrepreneurship Coordinator, Regional Economic Development, Inc.



Jay Sparks has taken a fairly non-traditional approach to becoming a Mentor in the Mid-Missouri ecosystem. He was a bartender for 20 years after earning his degree in Philosophy from Columbia College. During that time Sparks worked in several different media and entrepreneurial ventures. He founded a tabletop board game design company, and can still be found gaming in many forms with both family and friends, and is always designing in his head.

Jay also worked in film and sports radio, earning acting and producing credits on IMDB. com and co-hosting a drive-time sports radio show (“The Closers”) for three years, while calling High School Football in the region for seven seasons, rain or shine, every Friday night. Jay is currently working daily with entrepreneurs of all stripes at REDI downtown and loves helping those “back of the cocktail napkin” ideas come to fruition.

Mentor Statement: “I didn’t have a space, and I didn’t have any money, but at least no one wanted to work with me.” --David Chang, “Lucky Peach”