• Statement Regarding the Jason Stockley Verdict

    Sep 15, 2017

    The court has issued its verdict, finding ex-St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of murder.  As we noted last week, opinions on this verdict are divided.  We expect that some of our friends and neighbors will exercise their right to assemble and be heard.  Whether you agree with them or not, we ask everyone to respect the right of all people to demonstrate and call for change. 

    Freedom of speech and assembly are at the core of American beliefs.  We have learned it is vital to listen to those demonstrating to hear the message they are sending.  This is the only way to find common ground, a path forward to bridging the divides between us. This path is what can lead us to positive, lasting change for our country.

    While people have a right to protest, they do not have a right to hurt someone else or their property.  Violence will only further divide our community and set back what progress and healing we have made together over the last few years. We know we must do more.

    We ask a great deal of our law enforcement officers and first responders every day, and know that what we ask them to do now is that much harder.  They are well-trained professionals and we know they are up to the task of protecting the rights of demonstrators while also keeping people and property safe. 

    Our thoughts are with those families who have been affected by this tragedy. Our hopes are firmly planted in our region’s future.  Let us learn from each other’s fear, pain and frustration; let us work together to be the healing path forward.

  • Spirit of St. Louis Ventures Completes Investment in Yield Lab Ireland

    Sep 13, 2017

    ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI/GALWAY, IRELAND – Spirit of St. Louis Ventures, the investment arm of the St. Louis Regional Chamber, today completed its investment in The Yield Lab Ireland, an agriculture technology venture fund and business accelerator located in Galway, Ireland. The announcement was made today during the 9th Annual Ag Innovation Showcase at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis.

    Spirit of St. Louis Ventures is part of the Chamber’s commitment to backing entrepreneurs and their investors who are scaling new enterprises and high-quality jobs.  Over the last four years, the Chamber, through Spirit of St. Louis Ventures, has invested $1 million in business accelerators that collectively have graduated over 85 startups employing over 600 people.

    One of those accelerators is The Yield Lab in St. Louis, an early-stage venture fund and business accelerator that invests $100,000 in food and agricultural technology (AgTech) startups, provides one-on-one mentorship, free workspace, and networking opportunities supported by agriculture focused organizations and businesses from the St. Louis region. Agriculture is a leading industry in the U.S. Midwest, with extensive business connections to the St. Louis region and beyond. The diverse talent, central location, and solid business community support makes the St. Louis region a leading market for AgTech expansion.  The Yield Lab Ireland marks the European expansion of The Yield Lab in St Louis with the establishment its Irish operations.

    “The Yield Lab Ireland is a natural fit for Spirit of St. Louis Ventures,” said Andrew Smith, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the St. Louis Regional Chamber.  “Our region has emerged as arguably the global epicenter of AgTech. This investment allows us to leverage a core economic strength while sharing the St. Louis innovation story with a global audience.  From an economic development standpoint, it places us in a strong position to be able to attract AgTech companies looking for a North American headquarters to St. Louis and serve as a bridge for AgTech companies based here with access to the European market.”

    The Yield Lab Ireland has been established on the same building blocks and strategy of sourcing, transacting, and mentoring as the Yield Lab in St. Louis. The fund has already invested in four companies and is accepting applications now for the next cohort of investments.   Each food and AgTech startup will receive up to €100,000 and participate in a six-month accelerator program in Ireland, London and St. Louis.

    “We brought an intense focus on increasing commerce between Ireland and the United States during my time as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland,” said Kevin O’Malley, a St. Louis attorney who served as ambassador from 2014-2017.  “I’m proud St. Louis is the global home for The Yield Lab and Galway is their gateway to Ireland and the European Union. It’s also inspiring to see our St. Louis Regional Chamber demonstrate a global mindset with this significant equity investment.”

    The PorterShed innovation hub shares the qualities of the Helix Center at 39 North, the innovation center where The Yield Lab is based in St. Louis.   Galway and St. Louis have a strong relationship as Sister Cities. With Brexit, Ireland is positioned well for international trade as the only English-speaking country in the European Union

    “We are excited to have the support of Spirit of St. Louis Ventures and the St Louis Regional Chamber,” said Paul Finnerty, CEO of The Yield Lab Ireland.  “This is a strong endorsement of our strategy and of the track record of The Yield Lab team.”

    About the St. Louis Regional Chamber

    We are a broad community of leaders committed to inspiring a greater St. Louis and growing the bi-state region’s economy. Our goal is to make St. Louis one of the top-ten most economically prosperous regions in the U.S. by 2025. Driving economic development is about putting people first. When we work together and achieve our goal, the St. Louis region will be a more inclusive and attractive place to live, work and invest for all people.  This is our strategy to achieve our goal:  First, strengthen the economic clusters where we are already strong and have global potential for growth – financial services, health, logistics, and biosciences.  Second, create new economic opportunities and mobility by leading initiatives to achieve greater education attainment, inclusion and talent attraction, entrepreneurship and innovation. Third, advocate for forward-thinking economic policies that result in racial equity, a more safe and secure region and substantial investments our region’s infrastructure. Learn more at www.stlregionalchamber.com.

    For questions, contact 
    Courtney Mueller at (314) 660-1518 or cmueller@vectorstl.com.