• St. Louis Press Pass

    Dec 18, 2015
    2015's Best Cities to Found a Startup Outside Silicon Valley and New York (and How They Did It)
    (DataFox, 12/14/15)
    Certain cities have a way of creating a thriving startup ecosystem with access to capital, affordability for pre-funded companies, and other founders who can motivate and mentor new entrepreneurs. A startup's location can have a major impact on its success, from getting face-to-face meetings with potential investors to affording rent long enough to get some traction.

    "St. Louis created an entrepreneurial community that thrives on teamwork," said Anisha Sekar, lead researcher on the study. "The strong network of incubators, investors and entrepreneurs provides the mentorship and access to funding that are so crucial for early-stage startups. In fact, the city ranked above the national average for early-stage companies in all four metrics we tracked: startup density, availability of funding, growth and affordability. The culture of nurturing startups, combined with a low cost of living, makes St. Louis an ideal place to found a company." - Anisha Sekar of datafox.co
    St. Louis Ranks High – Again – As a Start-Up City
    (KMOX, 12/15/15)
    In a ranking of the best cities to launch a start-up – outside of Silicon Valley or New York City – St. Louis comes in above several well-established technology hubs. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    St. Louis: The tech capital for cancer
    (St. Louis Business Journal, 12/11/15)

    St. Louis made a name for itself internationally in the fight against cancer in 2008 when Washington University scientists decoded the complete DNA of a cancer patient and traced the disease to its genetic roots. More innovations have followed from research labs at Washington University and Saint Louis University, which also have spun out dozens of cancer-focused startups. >> CLICK FOR MORE 

    Lu Alleruzzo with Immunophotonics’ proprietary drug for use in developing a cancer vaccine.

    Monsanto invests in agtech startup’s $17 million deal
    (St. Louis Business Journal, 12/16/15)
    Monsanto Growth Ventures was among a group of investors to help Blue River Technology, an agtech startup using computer vision and machine learning to help farmers with their crops, raise $17 million. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Making the Case for More Innovation Districts
    (Urban Land Magazine, 12/15/15)

    Over the past decade, innovation districts have been on the rise. These technology-centric developments are popping up around the globe, from Barcelona to Seattle. Although there is no “cookie cutter” formula to these districts, they do have some elements in common. One of the key traits is that they are anchored by a major institution such as a university, hospital, corporation, or research facility. There also is a shared goal of bringing together a mix of uses such as office and research-and-development space, housing, retail, and transit all within a dense urban setting. >> CLICK FOR MORE

    The Cortex district is a joint effort of Washington University in St. Louis, BJC Healthcare, the University of
    Missouri at St. Louis, St. Louis University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. (Kelly Annis/ULI)

    Charlotte-based DealCloud receives $5.3 million in growth financing, names new CEO

    (The Charlotte Observer, 12/17/15)
    Charlotte-based software company DealCloud has completed a round of growth financing totaling $5.3 million to help fuel its global expansion and product development. DealCloud, an online platform for steamlining mergers and acquisitions, has also named Rick Kushel its new chief executive officer, effective immediately. The financing deal was led by St. Louis-based Cultivation Capital with participation from Hamilton Lane; Holekamp Ventures; Holton Capital Group; Kushel, the former CEO of iLevel Solutions; and Joe Maxwell, former CEO of Shareholder Insite, DealCloud said in a statement this week. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    St. Charles among nation’s best counties for tech job growth
    (St. Louis Business Journal, 12/15/15)
    In what may come as a surprise to some, St. Charles County — and not the city of St. Louis or St. Louis County — is the best in the state when it comes to tech job growth. In fact, it’s one of the best in the nation.  >> CLICK FOR MORE
    St. Louis among top metros for ‘Main Street’ entrepreneurship
    (St. Louis Business Journal, 12/14/15)
    The Kauffman Foundation, an authoritative voice in entrepreneurship across the country, has released its annual index of entrepreneurship — with a twist. This year, the foundation put a focus on measuring “Main Street entrepreneurs” — those with businesses less than five years old and employ less than 50 people. Essentially, the report is looking at established small businesses. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Investing in art for St. Louis’ sake
    (The St. Louis American, 12/17/15)

    “Artists always think that they have to leave – to go to Chicago, New York, L.A., anywhere but St. Louis to have a career,” said Felicia Shaw, executive director of the Regional Arts Commission. “But what we are trying to do is keep some of that homegrown talent right here in St. Louis – so that the rest of the community can benefit from their creativity.” >> CLICK FOR MORE

    Photo by Lawrence Bryant / St. Louis American
    RAC Artist Fellows
    2015 RAC Artist Fellows were publicly presented at a special reception Friday, November 27 at The Regional
    Arts Commission Building.

    Businesses can help sustain positive change started by Ferguson Commission
    (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12/15/15)
    Chancellor Mark Wrighton and Washington University should be commended for their commitment to the recommendations in the Ferguson Commission's report, Forward Through Ferguson.  >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Key in hand: Construction complete at Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh
    (Belleville News-Democrat, 12/16/15)
    With keys now in hand, it’s go-time for staff at Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh. The construction team of Holland Construction and Pepper Construction handed a large ceremonial key over to Ruth Holmes, hospital administrator, during a ceremony Wednesday morning.  >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Bunge gives $1 million for St. Louis ag exhibit
    (St. Louis Business Journal, 12/16/15)
    Bunge North America, the St. Louis-based division of agribusiness and food company Bunge Ltd., is giving $1 million over five years to the St. Louis Science Center for a new exhibit focusing on agriculture. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Congress's spending bill includes a dozen combat jets built in St. Louis
    (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12/16/15)
    The spending bill that Congress has compromised on includes money to build an additional combat jets built by Boeing in north St. Louis County, including five F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters and seven EA-18G Growler electronic attack planes, according to members of the Missouri delegation. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, called it a "big win for St. Louis, national security, and most importantly our war fighters." >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Corps of Engineers to get $1.3 billion funding boost in budget bill
    (Belleville New-Democrat, 12/17/15)
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will receive a 27 percent spending boost in a $1.1 trillion budget bill working its way through Congress this week that includes money for work on the Mississippi River. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    City reaches deal with McKee for land in NGA site
    (St. Louis Business Journal, 12/17/15)
    After months of negotiations, the city of St. Louis has reached a deal with developer Paul McKee over his property within the site the city is proposing for the new $1.6 billion western headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    ULI Says St. Louis Region Has a Good Story to Tell
    (Construction Forum STL, 12/14/15)
    The St. Louis area “is in the right position to be discovered,” Anita Kramer, senior vice president of capital markets for the Washington, DC-based Urban Land Institute (ULI) told an audience at the Palladium last week. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    New Girl Scouts Science & Engineering Program Center
    (Construction Forum STL, 12/11/15)
    McGrath & Associates has begun construction on a $340,000 expansion of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri headquarters at 2306 Ball Drive in Maryland Heights, Missouri. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    New St. Louis fund focused on social growth investment
    (St. Louis Public Radio, 12/15/15)
    For some investors it’s about more than making money. Sustainable, Responsible and Impact (SRI) financial investments are becoming more common among both public and private investors. Madaket Growth, LLC, a St. Louis-based investment company, is capitalizing on that trend. Founder Christopher Desloge said they’re now starting the first SRI investment fund for qualified investors in St. Louis. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    New Foundation to Support Bethalto Schools
    (WBGZ Radio 12/15/15)
    A highly anticipated education foundation took its first few steps in its creation at the Bethalto School Board Meeting last night. Also a Title I Grant School-wide Flexibility Model was presented. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Alton Middle School up to code: STEM-focused programs assist students’ computer coding
    (The Telegraph, 12/14/15)
    Alton Middle School has embraced a worldwide education focus on science and technology through participating in the “Hour of Code” initiative, as well as Project Lead the Way. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    The Bosnian Renaissance in Dutchtown, St. Louis
    (nextSTL, 12/16/15)
    I liked St. Louis a lot more than I expected to. It’s one of those cities where having a local friend makes the difference between two bored nights on the main tourist drag and a week of exploring its eccentricities like a local. In my five days I managed to entirely miss the tourist mainstays like The Delmar Loop and City Museum. Instead I spent most of my time delving into the cultural layers made up of the Bosnians and other immigrant populations in Dutchtown and the other formerly decaying southside neighborhoods they call home. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Gateway to Better Health Care program for uninsured Adults in St. Louis City/County gets 2016 approval
    (The St. Louis American, 12/15/15)
    The State of Missouri has received a one-year extension of its successful “Gateway to Better Health” (Gateway) Pilot Program from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Gateway provides primary, specialty and urgent care coverage to approximately 21,000 uninsured adults in St. Louis City and County, ages 19-64, through a network of community providers and is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Social Services in partnership with the St. Louis Regional Health Commission (RHC). >> CLICK FOR MORE
    New refugee center to open in St. Louis
    (Associated Press, 12/17/15)
    ST. LOUIS (AP) — A center to welcome refugees from Syria and elsewhere is set to open in St. Louis. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1lU0s2j ) reports that the refugee center is scheduled to open Thursday. >> CLICK FOR MORE
  • St. Louis Press Pass

    Dec 11, 2015
    Ferguson Commission Co-Chairs Presented With 2015 St. Louis Award
    (KTRS, 12/11/15)

    The co-chairs of the Ferguson Commission are being recognized. During a ceremony Thursday night at the Forest Park Visitor Center, Rich McClure and Reverend Starsky Wilson were presented with the prestigious 2015 St. Louis Award for their leadership roles with the Ferguson Commission. >> CLICK FOR MORE

    David Kemper, Commerce Bank, with the 2015 St. Louis Awards Recipients Richard McClure and Rev.
    Starsky Wilson.

    Positive change through Ferguson: We all have a role to play
    (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12/10/15)
    The Ferguson Commission presented its Forward Through Ferguson report to Gov. Jay Nixon in September and met for the last time this week. The work of the commission is done. Ours as a region is just beginning. We now are challenged to consider how, as individuals and organizations, we can be part of moving St. Louis forward.  >> CLICK FOR MORE
    NAACP president delivers a message of hope and change in St. Louis
    (Fox2Now, 12/6/15)
    Saturday the NAACP national president made a stop in St. Louis for a big celebration. He also wanted to talk about the aftermath in Ferguson. It was a special service and Sunday at the Washington Metropolitan AME Zion in St. Louis. NAACP National President Cornell William Brooks stopped by to help celebrate the church's 150th anniversary, and recognize its contribution to the fight for civil rights throughout the years. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    HSSU, KCU partner on degree program
    (The St. Louis American, 12/9/15)

    Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) recently announced a new program partnership with the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU), which is the largest medical school in Missouri and one of the oldest osteopathic medical schools in the country. The new pathway of opportunity creates a dual undergraduate and graduate degree and offers HSSU students guaranteed acceptance into medical school pending completion of a specialized four-year program and fulfillment of admission requirements.   >> CLICK FOR MORE

    HSSU photo
    Dr. Marc Hahn and Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack
    Dr. Marc Hahn, president and chief executive officer of KCU shaking hands with Dr. Dwaun J. 
    Warmack, president, Harris-Stowe State University.

    St. Louis committee OKs football stadium financing
    (USA Today, 12/10/15)
    The effort to keep the NFL in St. Louis cleared a major hurdle Thursday, when a committee of city aldermen approved a financing plan for a new $1 billion stadium. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Promise Zone funding will be channeled through local government, Erica Henderson will direct initiative
    (The St. Louis American, 12/4/15)
    U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay hosted a summit on federal funding opportunities opened up by the St. Louis Promise Zone designation on Friday, December 4 at Harris-Stowe State University. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Sports accelerator Stadia Ventures holds first demo day
    (St. Louis Public Radio, 12/10/15)

    They weren’t fastballs, but there was a lot of pitching at Busch Stadium on Thursday. The founders of four sports startups threw their best stuff at investors gathered inside the ballpark. It was Stadia Ventures first demo day. >> CLICK FOR MORE

    FISHIDY founder Brian Jensen pitches to investors at Busch Stadium on Thursday. The 
    map-based fishing social network was one of four startups that took part in the Stadia 
    Ventures accelerator.
    Credit (Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

    Nicklaus: Sports startups find warm welcome in St. Louis
    (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12/11/15)
    Joe Shuchat founded his company in Toronto and participated in a business incubator in Orlando, Fla., but he says two dozen days in St. Louis have been his most productive time as an entrepreneur. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Maryville University to invest in Stadia Ventures, launch sports entrepreneurship program
    (St. Louis Business Journal, 12/10/15)
    Maryville University officials said Thursday they plan to invest an undisclosed sum into Stadia Ventures, the St. Louis-based sports business accelerator, and use that relationship to help spur a new academic concentration in sports entrepreneurship at the university beginning next year. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    The Right Way To Build A Tech City
    (Forbes, 12/8/15)

    Startups should know what differentiates their product from others. Building around an unique strength, a facet that’s difficult to emulate, offers small companies a chance to gain critical mass. New companies should focus on a strength and own one particular piece of their market. Startups that fail to do this can quickly become commodities. >> CLICK FOR MORE

    St. Louis’ Biogenerator Labs and accelerator. Courtesy: Biogenerator.

    SixThirty cybersecurity startup raises $1.2 million
    (St. Louis Business Journal, 12/7/15)
    Rippleshot, a financial technology startup that is a SixThirty portfolio company, has raised another $1.2 million that includes its initial investments from SixThirty. The round was led by KGC Capital, a Chicago-based venture capital firm specializing in early-stage investments. UMB Bank and Wintrust were also included in the round. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Saving Grace Beauty wins first round of InnovateHER contest
    (Illinois Business Journal, 12/15)
    Metro East resident and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville graduate Erica Harriss has captured first prize in the local InnovateHER Business Challenge and hopes to vie for a spot in the national competition in early 2016. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Big raises, new funds highlight year for venture capital in St. Louis
    (St. Louis Business Journal, 12/7/15)
    A handful of startup companies raised serious capital from venture capital firms this year, but 2015 might better be remembered for laying the groundwork for strong investment activity for years to come.  >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Express Scripts plans $25 million investment in venture fund
    (KTRS, 12/8/15)
    Express Scripts unveiled a plan they think can help tiny startups develop the next big idea in health care. The Post-Dispatch reports that the St. Louis-based company will set aside $25 million as part of a multiyear deal with a local venture capital firm. This is unique for the company, the paper says they have never invested more than a $1 million in a venture fund before this. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Nitrogenics raises seed capital from BioGenerator, Missouri Technology Corp.
    (St. Louis Business Journal, 12/7/15)
    Nitrogenics, a St. Louis biotech startup incorporating enzymes into the genome of tobacco, has raised $175,000 from the BioGenerator and Missouri Technology Corporation. Nitrogenics, led by Alexander Krichevsky, allows tobacco plants to absorb nitrogen directly from the atmosphere instead of from fertilized soil, which could decrease the cost and environmental impact of chemically fertilized farmland. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Two St. Louis companies make list of top 50 places to work
    (Fox2Now, 12/9/15)
    No employer is perfect. But some companies come much closer than others, at least in the eyes of the staff. Using anonymous feedback provided by those who completed reviews of their employers, jobs site Glassdoor compiled a list of the top 50 best places to work. Two St. Louis companies made the list. Nestle-Purina comes in at #9 and World Wide Technologies ranks #12. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Study finds Main Street businesses relatively healthy in St. Louis
    (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12/10/15)
    Amid all the attention that St. Louis pays to software and biotechnology entrepreneurs, it's easy to forget that folks also take risks in opening a new store, restaurant or dry cleaners. St. Louis produces quite a few of those Main Street entrepreneurs, according to a new study by the Kauffman Foundation. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    IBEW/NECA Upgrading St. Louis County Library Branches
    (Construction Forum STL, 12/8/15)
    A visit to the newly renovated Jamestown Bluffs Library branch that opened on Nov. 12, 2015 reveals some of IBEW/NECA’s best work. Brightly lit, state-of-the-art technology — even a quiet room for group discussions — all make the library an anchor of the community it serves. It is just one of 19 library branches being upgraded by the St. Louis County Library District. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Along for the Ride: Transit's role in increasing social and racial equity
    (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12/5/15)
    Nearly a quarter of black households in the St. Louis region lack access to a car, which 95 percent of white households have. The disparity is especially glaring in light of the region’s reliance on driving — the average St. Louisan is behind the wheel 25.4 miles per day, according to a recent long-range regional transportation report. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Lindenwood receives $2 million grant
    (St. Louis Business Journal, 12/7/15)
    Lindenwood University has received a $2 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation — the largest such gift in the university's history. The funds will support the John W. Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise in Lindenwood's Robert W. Plaster School of Business & Entrepreneurship. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    Express Scripts commits $2.5 million to UMSL
    (Belleville News-Democrat, 12/10/15)
    The pharmacy benefit management company Express Scripts has committed $2.5 million toward scholarships and programs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, with much of the money aiding needy students from north St. Louis County. >> CLICK FOR MORE
    WWT Sponsors STEM Student Forum for St. Louis-area High Schools
    (Business Wire, 12/10/15)
    World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT), a market leading technology integrator, today announced that it has launched an initiative to raise awareness and foster interest by high school students in the academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (collectively known as STEM subjects). >> CLICK FOR MORE
    New Agriculture Exhibit Planned for St. Louis Science Center
    (Associated Press, 12/7/15)
    A new $7.3 million permanent exhibit meant to teach how food is produced is coming next summer to the St. Louis Science Center, featuring a flock of chickens and a do-it-yourself farming area. >> CLICK FOR MORE