St. Louis Press Pass

by Gary Broome | Apr 03, 2015
Press Pass is the weekly round-up of St. Louis business news

InvestMidwest’s Kansas City event showcases companies for investors
(The Kansas City Star, 4/2/15)

InvestMidwest held its 16th annual venture capital conference Thursday in Kansas City, opening the microphone to dozens of companies to pitch their stories. The presentations stretched throughout the morning, followed by networking time and lunch at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel. Organizers said the event drew presenters from 12 states and an address by Boulevard Brewery founder John McDonald. >> CLICK FOR MORE

A new vision for the Gateway Arch comes into focus
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/3/15)

To get Vern Remiger talking, mention the Gateway Arch. Ask a question, and Remiger paints a word picture of the monument and grounds as they’ll look when all the work is done in 2017. His firm, St. Louis-based Remiger Design, is coordinating the designers and architects involved in renovating the Arch grounds, rebuilding the museum and putting the broad “lid” over the interstate highway between the Arch and downtown. >> CLICK FOR MORE

Spectrum Brands investing $1 million, adding 45 jobs for new division headquarters in Earth City
(St. Louis Business Journal, 4/1/15)

Consumer products company Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. will invest more than $1 million and create 45 new jobs as it makes St. Louis the home of its newly created Pet, Home & Garden division. Spectrum, based in Middleton, Wisconsin, is establishing the division by merging its Pet Division, formerly known as United Pet Group and with headquarters in Cincinnati, with its Home & Garden Division, previously known as United Industries Corp. and with headquarters in St. Louis, to make them more efficient. The division makes weed and bug killer brands, including Black Flag and Hot Shot, and a host of pet foods and product brands, including FURminator, Dingo and Nature’s miracle. >> CLICK FOR MORE

World Wide Technology signs letter of intent to build $60 million headquarters at Westport
(St. Louis Business Journal, 4/2/15)

Officials with World Wide Technology have signed a non-binding letter of intent to build a new $60 million headquarters in Westport Plaza, said Bob O’Loughlin of Lodging Hospitality Management. The project, which would call for a new 200,000-square-foot facility in Westport, is still subject to the company finding incentives from the city of Maryland Heights, St. Louis County and the state of Missouri, as well as other financing for the project, but it’s another step in the process for World Wide Technology, which according to CEO Jim Kavanaugh is bursting at the seems at its current headquarters at 701 Fee Fee Road in Maryland Heights. >> CLICK FOR MORE

4 STL companies make Forbes 'best employers' list
(KSDK, 3/31/15)

Forbes has released its 2015 report of 500 employers in the U.S. where workers love their jobs. To determine which companies are the best places to work, they polled more than 20,000 workers a simple question: On a scale of 0-10, how likely would you be to recommend your employer to someone else? Four St. Louis-based companies made the cut.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Code RED Education and Education Technology Partners Announces Partnership Promoting STEM Education
(Techli, 3/30/15)

St. Louis startup and Arch Grant Recipient Code RED Education, the leading provider of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum for K-12 classrooms, announced today an exclusive global partnership with Education Technology Partners. Under this agreement, Education Technology Partners will serve as worldwide distribution partner for all Code RED products and services. Code RED Education’s unique STEM curriculum provides K-12 educators with ready-to-use lessons, instructional materials, professional development and additional support needed to effectively introduce and teach computer science, coding concepts and skills.>> CLICK FOR MORE

LaunchCode to start national expansion with Kansas City location
(KSDK, 3/31/15)

LaunchCode's plan to expand nationally is becoming clearer. Kansas City Mayor Sly James will on Tuesday announce his intentions of luring LaunchCode to Kansas City during his State of the City address, according to LaunchCode officials. Kansas City would be LaunchCode's third market — it already operates out of its headquarters in St. Louis with another office in Miami.>> CLICK FOR MORE

BioSTL wins $500,000 federal grant to create accelerator programs
(St. Louis Business Journal, 3/31/15)

BioSTL, the St. Louis organization cultivating medical and plant bioscience companies, has received a $500,000 i6 Challenge federal grant to create the St. Louis Regional Bioscience Proof of Concept Center. The center will accelerate and incubate bioscience ideas, especially from the region’s research institutions, and help nudge them toward commercialization.>> CLICK FOR MORE

12 tech companies among St. Louis’ top 150 privately owned businesses
(St. Louis Business Journal, 3/30/15)

More tech companies are on the St. Louis Business Journal’s annual top 150 privately owned companies list this year. The 12 tech companies, which range from IT services to hardware suppliers to cable providers, together employ more than 35,000 people and generated $18 billion in total revenue. Here’s a look at which the tech companies that made the cut.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Digital Farming- The Future of Agriculture With Solapa4
(Techli, 3/27/15)

It all began with two of the most passionate, innovative engineers in Argentina who were tired of repeating the same process day after day. Cesar Belloso and Santiago González Venzano believed that their original farming methods could be made more efficient by digitization—and they were right. In 2010, out of their technological innovation and creativity, Solapa4, or S4, was born. Solapa4 is an agricultural company specializing in georeference technology. By integrating information from three different levels—satellites, drones and on the ground itself—S4 is able to obtain all necessary data regarding field and soil samples.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Downtown St. Louis Rooftop Farm Begins Greenhouse Construction
(KMOX, 3/30/15)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – An urban farm will soon grace the rooftop of a three-story building on 14th and Convention Plaza in downtown St. Louis. The 10,000-square-foot farm is a first for the area. The cold weather has delayed the project a bit, but this week, construction on the greenhouse begins.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Hoffman pledges to help workers laid off at Granite City steel mill
(Illinois Business Journal, 3/31/15)

BELLEVILLE – State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, said he and other legislators are working to lessen the devastation of the planned layoff for up to 2,080 impacted workers at the U.S. Steel Granite City Steel Works. Hoffman said Tuesday he is working to make sure the resources are available, such as job search and placement assistance, support programs and other transitional services. "The Granite City plant is a vital part of the Metro East economy, its closure will be devastating to the community and thousands of families that rely on the plant for good-paying jobs," Hoffman said.>> CLICK FOR MORE

BJC, SSM, St. E’s Progress Reported
(Construction Forum STL, 4/1/15)

Progress was reported on three pending St. Louis area hospital projects – two in Missouri and one in Metro East. Bids are due Friday for an expansion of SSM St. Joseph Hospital in Lake St. Louis. Construction teams are assembling for a proposed $90 million replacement hospital project at BJC West in Creve Coeur. And, the design/assist construction team on St. Elizabeth’s $253 million replacement hospital in O’Fallon, IL is proceeding full steam ahead.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Enterprise Holdings acquires U.K.-based City Car Club
(St. Louis Business Journal, 4/1/15)

Enterprise Holdings of St. Louis is diving deeper into the car-sharing business with its acquisition of U.K.-based City Car Club, announced Wednesday. The acquisition of Britain’s largest car-sharing provider includes all of the company’s assets: more than 800 vehicles, 45 employees and 30,000 members. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.>>CLIcK FOR MORE

Sweet on St. Louis: A peek inside Bissinger’s new chocolate factory on the riverfront
(St. Louis Public Radio, 3/30/15)

The door swings open to the production floor of Bissinger’s new candy factory on the St. Louis riverfront, and . . . oh, my . . CHOCOLATE. “You can feel the smell when you walk through the door, right? It surrounds you?” That’s chief chocolatier Dave Owens, who pauses to let his suddenly-distracted visitors breathe deep and savor the moment.>> CLICK FOR MORE

New outdoor market at Lemp Brewery brings small business shopping to Sundays
(St. Louis Public Radio, 3/27/15)

Furniture made from pallets. Barbecue. Caramel apples. Toy makers. Poster makers. Cat adoptions and avant-garde pottery. Those are just some of the items that will be for sale at a new outdoor marketplace for local vendors. It's called the St. Louis Swap Meet and it's slated to open May 17. The outdoor market will be located at the Lemp Brewery, near Cherokee Street in the Marine Villa neighborhood. The St. Louis Swap Meet involves no item-for-item trading, as the name may suggest. Instead, it’s an outdoor market much like the 30-plus others that operate in the city throughout the year.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Belleville City Council Advances TIF Plan for Shrine Developers
(Construction Forum STL, 3/30/15)

From Belleville News-Democrat: The Belleville City Council on Wednesday took another step in the process of getting tax incentives for developers of a proposed upscale hotel, conference center and Hofbrauhaus restaurant across Illinois 15 from the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Aldermen established a joint review board for area tax districts to review the site’s Tax Increment Financing redevelopment plan at 1 p.m. April 10 and they set a public hearing for 6 p.m. May 11 for the TIF plan.>> CLICK FOR MORE

(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/31/15)

St. Louis – The Arts and Education Council – in collaboration with Maritz - announced that it has awarded $25,000 in grants to eight arts education projects in the St. Louis bi-state area through the award-winning Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers. Maritz and the Arts and Education Council partner to offer this unique funding opportunity to individual schools and nonprofit organizations to support projects and opportunities that encourage creativity in the classroom; the grants are administered by the Arts and Education Council and supported with a leadership gift from Maritz. The distinctive funding program enables teachers to apply directly for a grant. Awards are granted at the beginning of the school year.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Loop diner’s neon sign voted best sign in the world
(KTVI, 3/30/15)

UNIVERSITY CITY, MO (KTVI)- The neon sign for the Peacock Diner has won first place in the International Signs Of The Times competition. The diner in the Delmar Loop is known for its neon decor and good milkshakes and food. The 11-ft wide, 1800 lb sign has over 680 feet of neon tubing. The peacock on the sign fans out its colorful neon feathers in sequence over 200 times per hour.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Highest-rated U.S. Chess Championship is starting in St. Louis; here are the basics
(St. Louis Public Radio, 3/31/15)

Today the highest-rated U.S. Chess Championship opens here in St. Louis. The event is held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis until the closing ceremony on April 13. Facts to know: 1. Prize Money - $175,000 for U.S. Chess Championship, $75,000 for U.S. Women’s Championship, 2. Highest Ranked U.S. Chess Championship tournament ever. 3. No. of Games – 11 (plus one playoff game if necessary). 4. Start time – all games begin at 1 p.m.. 5. All games will be live-streamed online. 6. it’s the 7th US Chess Championship held in St. Louis.>> CLICK FOR MORE

St. Louis housing group get accolades for advocacy work
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/27/15)

The National Community Reinvestment Coaliton is honoring the St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance for its advocacy work with banks to increase lending and other services to minority and low income customers. The St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance (SLEHCRA) is the recipient of the coalition's National Community Reinvestment Award for its community reinvestment and economic justice efforts, according to a statement issued Friday.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Shuttle Tours Return in ’15
(Alton Daily News, 3/30/15)

The shuttle tours offered by the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau remain a popular attraction, with more Underground Railroad tours coming this spring and summer. In addition, the shuttles have been used to take visitors to see birds, barbecue restaurants, and some residential stops in Alton. CVB President Brett Stawar tells The Big Z they are constantly experimenting with different tours, but not all are as popular as the Underground Railroad offerings.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Governor to meet today with business leaders in O’Fallon
(Belleville News-Democrat, 3/30/15)

O’FALLON — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and other state department heads will be in O’Fallon this afternoon for a business summit with local business leaders. Key representatives of Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois will meet with the governor and the heads of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; the Illinois Department of Employment Security, and the Illinois Department of Labor. The summit is not open to the public. The visit will also include a briefing by the Leadership Council’s Scott Air Force Base Task Force.>> CLICK FOR MORE

More than 200 expected for Bizwomen Mentoring Monday
(St. Louis Business Journal, 3/30/15)

The St. Louis Business Journal's Bizwomen Mentoring Monday event will gather more that 200 people at the Living World at the Saint Louis Zoo to discuss career guidance and leadership. In fact, the sold-out event today is part of a second annual, national Mentoring Monday event that will be held in 43 Business Journal markets around the country.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Monsanto donates $4M to effort to save monarch butterflies
(KSDK, 3/31/15)

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. says it will commit $4 million to help stem the decline of monarch butterflies. The St. Louis-based company says a $3.6 million donation will be made to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund. One-third of the money matches what a federal wildlife agency is contributing, with the remaining funds set aside to mirror what other federal agencies offer over the next three years. Monsanto also is offering $400,000 to aid experts and groups working on the butterfly's behalf.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Wells Fargo Advisors 2014 Community Giving Exceeds $8.4 Million
(St. Louis American, 3/30/15)

Wells Fargo Advisors reported today that it contributed $8.4 million to more than 250 nonprofit organizations in 2014. In addition, one-third of the firm’s Missouri employees volunteered nearly 50,000 hours to 1,353 nonprofits across the state. The year-end totals follow a record-breaking turnout for Wells Fargo’s fall Community Support and United Way Campaign, during which employees raised more than $4 million for nonprofit organizations and contributed 14,166 volunteer hours – a 121-percent jump in hours from the 2013 campaign.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Editorial: Erase Arbitrary Boundaries to Build a Greater St. Louis
(Construction Forum STL, 3/30/15)

Unity is hard. Those three words appeared in the first of a series of editorials that ran on this page starting a little more than a year ago under the banner of building “A Greater St. Louis.” In that series we called for a new unity movement in this, one of the most divided metropolitan regions in the country, if not the world. That movement has begun to move.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Black Engineers Work With Ferguson Youth
(Construction Forum STL, 3/30/15)

From The St. Louis American: Prompted by the deadly shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr., six engineers met recently to brainstorm about how they can help Ferguson’s youth thrive. The National Society of Black Engineers, St. Louis Chapter, had a lively conversation about the complexities of the shooting incident. They asked youth about the role that hiring parity in municipal government, lack of economic development, current educational structure and absence of political support for youth science programs may have played in the unrest.>> CLICK FOR MORE

St. Louis County's plan to help businesses in Ferguson, Dellwood
(KMOV, 3/30/15)

FERGUSON, Mo. ( - St. Louis County said it will be investing $500,000 in Ferguson and Dellwood in an effort to help businesses that were affected by the unrest in August and November. County government is promising that the areas of Dellwood and Ferguson that were adversely affected by the unrest will be cleaned up. The plan not only calls for loans to businesses, but also calls for the demolishing of two structures and helping business owners rebuild.>> CLICK FOR MORE

Stay tuned: science and technology
(Nine Network of Public Media, 4/2/15)

Forty-five years ago when Neil Armstrong took a small step for man and a giant leap for mankind St. Louis played a major role in the space race. Stay Tuned on Nine PBS explores whether we are still at the forefront of science and technology now and discusses science innovation with Sam Fiorello from the Danforth Plant Science Center, Dennis Lower from Cortex and Cheryl Schrader, Chancellor of Missouri University of Science and Technology. >> CLICK FOR MORE