• Study Validates Greater St. Louis’ Competitive Business Costs

    May 16, 2016

    Greater St. Louis is known as an affordable place to live.  However, information on St. Louis’ competitive business costs are less well-known.

    KPMG Competitive Alternatives is a biennial comparison of business costs and other location factors for larger U.S. and international metro areas.  Competitive Alternatives 2016 compares business costs in 10 countries including at least one city in each U.S. state.  “The study examines 26 individual cost factors that are likely to vary significantly by location." 

    Greater St. Louis has a low overall cost index of 96.1 (the four largest U.S. metro areas = 100).  This makes us the 9th least expensive of the U.S. large international metro areas (over 2 million in population) in the report.

    The report also reviews costs for several types of business operations.  As illustrated in the table below, St. Louis’ business costs are below the U.S. cost index of 100 for all of these business types.  St. Louis has a significant cost advantage in R&D and corporate operations.

    Business Type

    St. Louis

    Digital – two types of software development and production

    93.1

    R&D – combination of biomedical research, clinical trials, and electronics design and testing

    90.5

    Corporate – combination of financial services and shared accounting, IT, and call center services

    87.9

    Manufacturing – combination of 12 different types of manufacturing

    98.3

    This report, like the cost of living index, does not include data on taxes.  Taxes vary widely based on location, assets, income, spending, and other factors that are difficult to meaningfully average for a metro area. 

    St. Louis’ business costs are very competitive, especially for a large metro area.  Competitive Alternatives provides important standardized data to businesses on cost factors by location and business type.  This data is valuable for business site location decisions and validates St. Louis’ competitive business costs as a key strength of the region.

  • $1 Billion in Venture Capital in Three Years

    May 13, 2016

    Recent investment in St. Louis metro area startups has been at near record levels.  Between 2013 and 2015, companies in the St. Louis, MO-IL metro area raised over $1 billion in venture capital investments.  In 2013, 75 companies raised $320 million in venture capital, more than triple the previous year’s total.  In 2014, another $280 million was invested in 60 St. Louis companies.  The pace of venture capital investment in 2015 continued at a high level.  Another $380 million was invested in 120 startups in 135 separate investments.  Much of this investment was in new firms in information technology, financial services, and biosciences.

    The St. Louis region is home to over ten local angel and venture capital investors.  Combined with increasing investments from national venture capital funds there are diverse opportunities for area startups to secure capital investment.  InvestMidwest is a venture capital conference that is held biennially in St. Louis and has raised over $1 billion in investment for participants over the last 17 years.

    The combination of ample venture capital, angel investors, public funds, and entrepreneurial competitions has made Greater St. Louis into a strong location to launch a startup, or for startups from elsewhere to expand into the Midwest and U.S. markets. 

    These assets and the growth in venture capital investments continue to receive national attention.  Popular Mechanics named St. Louis number one out of the “14 Best Startup Cities in America” in 2015 citing community support for our growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.