• St. Louis Celebrates Startup Growth & Global Entrepreneurship Week

    Nov 10, 2016
    Nationally, the post-recession recovery has been described as weak and sluggish. This has affected new businesses attempting to grow in a slow-growth environment and facing a constrained supply of credit.[1],[2] The U.S. as a whole, and even metros such as New York, Boston, Chicago, and Silicon Valley, have seen persistent year-over-year declines in their regional share of new firms. However, the St. Louis region’s commitment to supporting and developing their entrepreneurs has allowed them to buck the trend and register significant growth in this area. In 2009, St. Louis start-ups accounted for only 6.6% of regional firms whereas by 2014, this number had risen to 9.7%.[3] The number of new firms grew from 3,582 in 2012 to 4,266 in 2013 and to 4,876 in 2014, registering growth rates of 19.1% and 14.3% respectively.[4]


    This success was recently noted in a piece in the FiveThirtyEight blog that declared St. Louis, “The New Startup Frontier.” [5] Citing St. Louis’ makerspaces, accelerators, co-working spaces, and regional commitment to expanding the startup ecosystem, Popular Mechanics named St. Louis the Number 1 startup city in America in 2015.[6] Accelerators and venture funds such as SixThirty, Prosper Women Entrepreneurs, Yield Lab, Stadia Ventures, and Arch Grants; incubators such as T-Rex and Helix Center; and a burgeoning innovation district (the Cortex Innovation Community) are all working to support the startup community. This entrepreneurial culture has yielded investments in regional startups totaling over $1 billion in the last three years.[7] St. Louis has expanded access to startup capital and extended significant resources in order to create an attractive environment for entrepreneurs.

    In the 2011-14 period, new establishments have contributed approximately 30% on average to net job creation which is fairly significant when also considering that new establishments accounted for only 9.9% of the total establishments operating in the St. Louis MSA. During this period, more than 25,000 establishments were formed which added more than 184,000 jobs to the region, with approximately 28,000 net jobs attributable to new establishments. [8] The charts below highlight growth in the number of new establishments and the consistently positive job creation stemming from these ventures. A large contribution to firm growth has come from the Health Care and Social Assistance industry, where St. Louis’s strong health infrastructure, innovation hubs, and anchor institutions have encouraged growth. In the 2012-13 period, nearly 30% of new firms were in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector, with approximately 2,048 establishments formed. [9] 



    Accelerate St. Louis, an initiative formed through the partnership of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, was created to strengthen innovation in St. Louis. The mission of Accelerate St. Louis is to accelerate the growth of regional entrepreneurship, connect and support entrepreneurs, and raise awareness of St. Louis’ innovation ecosystem. In addition to the daily entrepreneurship and innovation events happening in the region, St. Louis will be celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week with the rest of the world. During one week each November, people in 160 countries organize events and competitions to inspire entrepreneurship. While the official celebration spans one week, it’s no surprise that St. Louis’ entrepreneurial ecosystem has planned a full month of activities. From galas and hackathons to workshops and pitch events, there’s something for everyone. Accelerate St. Louis has assembled a list of the events planned. Pick one (or all 16) to attend and discover St. Louis’ entrepreneurial community and startup companies that are stimulating economic growth and reinvigorating St. Louis.

    [1] “Seven Years Later, Recovery Remains the Weakest of the Post-World War II Era” The Wall Street Journal, Jun. 29, 2016.
    [2] “Report to the Congress on the Availability of Credit to Small Businesses” The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, September 2012.
    Defined as firms of age 0, divided by total businesses in a given region.
    “Business Dynamics Statistics – Firm Age by MSA” U.S. Census Bureau, 2014.
    “St. Louis Is The New Startup Frontier” FiveThirtyEight, Sept. 12, 2016.
    [6] “The 14 Best Startup Cities in America” Popular Mechanics, Feb. 4, 2015.
    According to St. Louis Regional Chamber’s internal venture capital database.
    [8] “Business Dynamics Statistics – Establishment Characteristics by MSA” U.S. Census Bureau, 2014.
    "Establishment Births, Deaths, Expansions, Contractions, and Constants by State, County, and NAICS sector: 2012-2013" U.S. Census Bureau.
  • St. Louis’ Fortune 1,000 Headquarters

    Jul 14, 2016

    The Fortune 1,000 is an annual ranking of publicly-traded companies sorted by their revenues. Eighteen Fortune 1,000 companies are headquartered in St. Louis – nine of which are among the top 500. The regional group of Fortune 500 companies remains unchanged since the 2014 ranking, but there have been some remarkable shifts in their standing this year. Listed below are the 18 St. Louis headquarters, their Fortune ranking and their revenue.



    Revenue (Billions)

    Express Scripts Holding






    Emerson Electric






    Reinsurance Group of America



    Jones Financial



    Graybar Electric






    Peabody Energy



    Post Holdings






    Panera Bread






    Arch Coal



    Edgewell Personal Care



    Stifel Financial










    Centene was the biggest mover on the list, jumping 62 spots in the ranking from 186 in 2015 to 124 in 2016 partially due to their $6.3 billion acquisition of Health Net. Express Scripts retained its position at number 22 and remains the highest-ranking St. Louis headquarters on the list.

    Turmoil in the energy markets has negatively affected some regional headquarters, such as SunEdison, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy. Although SunEdison and Arch Coal no longer qualify for the Fortune list, Peabody remains in the top 500. Sigma-Aldrich is no longer on the list due to its acquisition by Merck. Energizer split into two companies: Energizer and Edgewell Personal Care. This brought a new headquarters to St. Louis, which ranks at 856; however, Energizer’s revenues ranked below the cutoff point. Spire, formerly the Laclede Group, rejoined the Fortune ranking after its acquisition of EnergySouth earlier this year.

    The Fortune 1,000 list alone does not encompass all the large headquarters in the region. Many businesses do not qualify for the list because they are privately owned, such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car and World Wide Technology, or are nonprofits like BJC HealthCare. These headquarters are major sources of economic activity in the region which bring in similar revenues compared to local companies ranked on the Fortune list.

    The Fortune 1,000 list fluctuates due to the ever-changing business landscape. Despite this, St. Louis headquarters consistently rank high and continue to grow. These standings document St. Louis’ long-term viability as a headquarters location for some of the nation’s largest and most innovative companies.