• 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
  • The New St. Louis Minority Business Council Will Measure Success on Helping MBEs Grow and Create Jobs

    Dec 10, 2015

    Connection, collaboration and accountability were the theme of a celebration reception yesterday evening at the St. Louis Regional Chamber. Recently the Chamber and the St. Louis Minority Business Council joined forces as one team for economic inclusion in the St. Louis region. At tonight’s reception, Chamber President and CEO Joe Reagan together with St. Louis Minority Business Council President Ed Bryant unveiled more details about the new St. Louis Minority Business Council, LLC powered by the Regional Chamber.

    By joining with the Regional Chamber, the Council will be at the center of the region’s economic development ecosystem and will be able to leverage the Chambers’ resources to better help ethnic minority owned businesses (MBEs) grow and create jobs. As part of the merger agreement, the Council will retain its own board and governance, but will keep its physical, financial, and organizational home at the Regional Chamber.

    The new Council is looking forward to focusing on four strategic areas:

    • Supplier Diversity Facilitation/Sourcing Solutions – The diverse business solutions will focus on connecting major sourcing organizations with MBEs for mutual business success and opportunities. This will include supplier diversity program development support, industry-specific supplier diversity forums, and matchmaking events. The Council will continue to offer MBE certification and re-certification and are now adding full membership support from the Regional Chamber.
    • Advocacy for Minority Business Development - Working in partnership with other regional leaders and organizations, the Council will provide leadership and guidance on public policy issues that improve regional economic inclusion and help ensure that economic inclusion is a key component of the region’s growth strategy. 
    • Business Capacity Building and Acceleration - To fulfill a sustainable role in a value chain, minority business enterprises must deliver real value. The Council will help ensure these businesses have adequate access to mentoring, technical consulting, capital, and any other services/resources that will assist them to become successful.
    • Leadership Development and Executive Education – High performing and high-growth potential minority business leaders can benefit from executive education and leadership development coordinated by the Council.

    Finally, the new Council will be held accountable for achieving results. Success will be measured by how well minority owned businesses are becoming strategic partners with major sourcing organizations. Both MBEs and major sourcing organizations play an important role in creating a more economically equitable region; therefore both are essential to the success of the Council’s mission.

    The merger is an example of moving away from the “us vs. them” narrative that has dominated the St. Louis region’s story for far too long. Here at the Regional Chamber, our mission is to inspire a greater St. Louis. By joining efforts with the St. Louis Minority Business Council, the Regional Chamber hopes to inspire many more businesses and individuals to work together for a more prosperous region for everyone.